Description of Baghdad

Baghdad (Arabic بغداد Baghdad, DMG Baġdād, Kurdish بەغدا Bexda, of Persian "gift of the Lord" or "God's gift", according baġ, "God" or "Lord", and dād, "Gabe") is the capital of Iraq and of the same governorate. It has a population of 5.4 million inhabitants (2010). It is one of the largest cities in the Middle East. In the metropolitan area, which extends far beyond the borders of the governorate, 11.8 million people live (2010), which corresponds to about 40 percent of the total population of Iraq.

The city is the political, economic and cultural center of the country and the seat of the Iraqi government, the parliament, all state and religious central authorities and numerous diplomatic representations. Baghdad is the most important transportation hub in Iraq and has numerous universities, colleges, theaters, museums and monuments.


The Iraqi capital is located approximately in the middle of the country on average 40 meters above sea ​​level. It stretches along the middle reaches of the Tigris, which is navigable to Baghdad. The river divides the city in half, the eastern part of Risafa and the western part of Karch. The land is very shallow and due to periodic flooding of alluvial origin. The Tigris River, on whose banks Baghdad lies, is an important trade route for the city. In Baghdad, some run through the fertile Crescent, a precipitous winter rainfall, north of the Syrian Desert and north of the Arabian Peninsula, leading trade routes. Together with the Euphrates, the Tigris, whose catchment area covers 375,000 square kilometers, forms the Mesopotamia, where some of the first advanced civilizations developed.



There are several versions of the origin of the name. The name "Baghdad" was found on Assyrian cuneiform records of the 9th century BC and on Babylonian bricks marked with the seal of King Nebuchadnezzar II (6th century BC).

The importance of the settlement of Baghdad has increased dramatically since its founding by Caliph Abu Ja'far al-Mansur. The caliph chose the name Madinat al-Salaam, which means "city of peace" in Arabic. This was the official name, and was minted on coins and used for other official purposes, although most people continued to use the old name. By the 11th century, the name "Baghdad" had become almost the only name of the world-famous metropolis.

The most widespread version of the origin of the name is from the Middle Persian language from the words bagh (Baghpahlavi.png) - "god" and dād - "given", which translates as "God's gift" or "given by God". This, in turn, can be traced in the ancient Persian language. A less common version associates the name with a combination of the words bāgh - "garden" and dād - "given", translated as "gifted garden", "given garden".


Geography and climate

Baghdad is located almost in the center of Iraq, on the banks of the Tigris River, not far from the mouth of the Diyala River. The weather conditions within the city and its environs are influenced by the subtropical and Mediterranean climate. In January, the average air temperature is about +10 °C, in July - about +34 °C. The average annual rainfall is from 160 to 180 mm. The greatest amount of precipitation falls in December-January. Summer lasts from May to October: at this time, very hot, sultry weather is observed in Baghdad (in July, during the day, the average air temperature is about +43 degrees), rains are extremely rare. Winter lasts from December to March; the maximum air temperature in winter does not exceed +18 degrees. There have been cases of snowfall (the last time this happened in January 2008). On January 21, 2011, frosts were recorded: from -1 to -3 ° C, which is close to the absolute minimum values.

In May-June, winds blowing from the northwest are noted; during this period in Baghdad and its environs, dust and sand storms - "khamsins" often occur.

Natural vegetation is represented mainly by comb, date palm, and in the coastal zone - solonchak grasses, reeds, reeds, willows. Waterfowl build their nests near the banks of the Tigris River, in particular ducks, herons, pelicans, geese, game fish are found in river waters: carp, catfish, etc. Small rodents and monitor lizards, many harmful insects, especially mosquitoes and mosquitoes, are found in the vicinity of the capital. are carriers of malaria.



Small settlements on the territory of the modern Iraqi capital, according to archaeological excavations, already existed in the 19th-18th centuries. BC

Baghdad was founded on the western bank of the Tigris on July 30, 762, and was originally circular in plan; the construction of the city as the capital of the Abbasid state began by order of Caliph Abu Jafar al-Mansur. After seizing power in the Arab Caliphate, the Abbasids decided to move the capital from Damascus to the east, closer to Khorasan, which served as a stronghold for their supporters. In addition, the new capital was closer to the geographical center of the caliphate, which significantly expanded its eastern borders in the 7th-8th centuries.

In the 9th-10th centuries, Baghdad became the largest cultural and economic center of the Middle Eastern territories. Handicraft production and trade with other countries developed quite quickly and successfully here. Baghdad received various products and expensive goods from Arabia, India and distant European states. In historical documents compiled by the Arab scholar Ibn Khordadbeh at the end of the 9th century, Baghdad's trade relations with ar-Rus (Rus) merchants were mentioned. During the reign of the Abbasids (VIII-XIII centuries), Baghdad was the capital of the Arab (in some sources, Baghdad) caliphate.

After the collapse of the Abbasid state, the political and administrative role of the city fell significantly, but its cultural significance remained very important for all Arab countries. Baghdad quickly acquired the status of a major scientific center: more than 30 libraries were opened here at the beginning of the 13th century. In 945, the city became part of the possessions of the Buyid dynasty, since 1055 it was on the territory of the Seljuk state, and in 1258, the troops of Khan Hulagu[20] invaded Baghdad, devastating and destroying the city. Baghdad came under the control of the Iranian Hulaguid Ilkhanate.

From 1356 to 1411, Baghdad was the center of the province of the Sultanate of the Mongol Jalairid dynasty.

At the end of the 14th and then at the beginning of the 15th centuries, Baghdad was invaded by Tamerlane's troops, as a result of which many city buildings were destroyed and valuables were plundered. Between 1393 and 1405 Baghdad was part of the empire of Tamerlane.

From 1411 to 1469, Baghdad was the center of the province of the Sultanate of the Kara Koyunlu dynasty.

From 1469 to 1508, Baghdad was the center of the province of the state of the Ak-Koyunlu dynasty.

From 1508 to 1523, Baghdad was the center of the province of the state of the Safavid dynasty.

From 1523 to 1529, Baghdad was dominated by the Kurds.

From 1529 to 1534, Baghdad was again the center of the province of the Safavid state.

In 1535, as a result of the Turkish-Persian war of 1514-1555. Baghdad was annexed to the Ottoman Empire.

In 1623-1638, Baghdad was again under the control of the Safavids as a result of another Turkish-Persian war, but in 1638 Baghdad was finally annexed to the Ottoman Empire, which it was until 1917.

In 1917, British troops invaded the city and occupied its territory. In 1920, the British, having achieved economic dominance in Iraq, declared Baghdad the administrative center of the mandated territory, and in 1921, after recognizing the sovereignty of the state, Baghdad became the capital of the kingdom of Iraq. In 1923, the Iraqi Museum was created in the city, which housed mainly large archaeological collections - historical and cultural monuments of Ancient Babylon and Assyria, art objects discovered on the territory of the Parthian kingdom, the Sassanid state, etc.

In 1941, a power vacuum arose in the city for a short time as the pro-Nazi and pro-British forces clashed. In this environment, a bloody pogrom, known as Farhud, took place, during which at least 175 people died and many houses were burned. The pogrom became an indirect cause of the mass exodus of Jews from Iraq immediately after the war.

In the 1940s and 1950s, mass popular demonstrations against the imperialist state policy were repeatedly held in the city, the national liberation movement grew, which was joined by thousands of residents of the capital. The most numerous riots took place in Baghdad in 1948, 1949, 1952 and 1954. The revolutionary events that unfolded in Iraq in the mid-1950s led to the abolition of the Hashemite monarchy and the formation in July 1958 of the independent Iraqi Republic, whose capital was proclaimed Baghdad. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, all industrial enterprises were nationalized in the city, with the exception of oil ones. In the 1980-1990s, as a result of military conflicts in the Persian Gulf (first between Iraq and Iran, and later between Iraq and Kuwait), economic activity in the capital was complicated.


XXI Century
During the Iraq War in April 2003, Baghdad was occupied by combat units of the US Army and Marine Corps, and subsequently military units of some other countries of the international coalition entered the city. Later, the occupying regular foreign military forces were withdrawn, and control of the city was transferred to the local government, which still uses the help of foreign military and police advisers.

In May 2003, the city hosted the first major demonstration of Shia Muslims against the actions of the US and allies in Iraq. Started as a guerrilla during the American occupation, and after its end in the capital, as in all of Iraq, the war continues, which has taken the shape of a terrorist one.

Despite this, measures are being taken to restore the destroyed capital, and the city is gradually being built up anew. Suburban trains have been launched, and the ground-based Baghdad metro is being created (instead of the underground metro that was started but stopped during the time of Hussein).

In March 2019, Baghdad was ranked the world's worst city to live in by international consulting firm Mercer. The capital of Iraq was on the last 231st place immediately after Bangui (CAR). When compiling the rating, the agency's specialists took into account the environment, housing conditions, public transport, etc.


Population, language, religion

The population of Baghdad before the start of US military operations (2003) was over 5.1 million people. However, as a result of the death of part of the inhabitants of the city, as well as the emigration of Baghdadians to other cities of the country and beyond, the number of the urban population has significantly decreased, there are no exact data at the moment. The national composition of the population of the city is represented mainly by Arabs (75%), as well as Kurds, Turks, Assyrians, Armenians, Jews, etc. The state language is Arabic, and Kurdish, which has received official status, is also widely used. Among the believing residents of Baghdad, Shia and Sunni Muslims predominate (over 90%), there is an insignificant part of adherents of Christianity and Judaism.

Administrative-territorial division
Baghdad is divided into 9 administrative districts, which in turn are divided into 89 micro-districts. These official subdivisions of the city served as administrative centers for the supply of public services, but until 2003 had no political functions. Beginning in April 2003, the US-controlled Coalition Provisional Administration began the process of forming new functions for these units.


Cultural significance

The creation of most of the architectural structures of Baghdad, later recognized as cultural and historical monuments, dates back to the 12th-14th centuries. Among them are the palace of the Abbasids (late 12th - early 13th centuries), the mausoleum of Zubaida (first half of the 13th century), the Mustansiriya madrasah (13th century, reconstructed in the 20th century), the Bao al-Vastani gate (first half of the 13th century BC). ), the Suk al-Ghazal minaret (second half of the 13th century), the building of the caravanserai Khan Marjan (mid-14th century). At the beginning of the 16th century, the Golden Mosque, or the mausoleum of Moussa al-Kadima, was built in Baghdad. This building was restored twice: in the 17th century and in the middle of the 20th century.

Modern sculptural works include the stone and bronze relief monument "Revolution of June 14", erected in 1960, and the monument to the Unknown Soldier, which was erected in 1959 on Saadoun Avenue. In the western part of Baghdad are the buildings of parliament and government, as well as the palace of ar-Rihab. 3 universities, a number of institutes and the Academy of Sciences have been built in the city; the largest library in Baghdad is the Public Library; it also houses the National Library and Archives of Iraq. In 1940-1950, the Es-Sarafi bridge was built across the Tigris River, connecting the two parts of the capital. Since 1998, the al-Rahman mosque has been standing in the Mansour district, the construction of which has been frozen since 2003.

There are 6 museum institutions in Baghdad: the National Museum of Iraq (archaeological), the Baghdad Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Modern Art, the Iraqi War Museum.

Baghdad is also known as the main city in the tales of the Thousand and One Nights.



The headquarters of Iraqi Airways ("Iraqi Airways"), the national carrier of Iraq, is located at the international airport "Baghdad", which is located 16 km from the capital. Another airline, Al-Naser Airlines, also has an office in Baghdad.

In 2008, the construction of the Baghdad Metro resumed. It should connect the center of the capital with the suburb of Dora, located south of Baghdad. In May 2010, a new residential commercial project called "Baghdad Gate" was unveiled. This project not only solves the urgent need for new housing in Baghdad, but is also a kind of real symbol of progress in the war-torn city, for there have been no projects of this magnitude in Baghdad for decades.


In art

One of Valery Diduli's compositions is called "Road to Baghdad".