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Sammara (Iraq)

Written by Swaiba Asif The modern Islamic city of Samarra is located on the Tigris River in Iraq . Its earliest urban occupation dates to ...

Written by Swaiba Asif

The modern Islamic city of Samarra is located on the Tigris River in Iraq. Its earliest urban occupation dates to the Abbasid period. Samarra was founded in AD 836 by the Abbasid dynasty caliph al-Mu’tasim [ruled 833-842] who moved his capital there from Baghdad.

Samarra’s Abbasid structures including a planned network of canals and streets with numerous houses, palaces, mosques, and gardens, were built by Al-Mu’tasim and his son the caliph Al-Mutawakkil [ruled 847-861].

The ruins of the caliph’s residence include two race tracks for horses, six palace complexes, and at least 125 other major buildings stretched along a 25-mile length of the Tigris. Some of the outstanding buildings still in existence at Samarra include a mosque with a unique spiral minaret and the tombs of the 10th and 11th imams.