| In the capital, there
is a shocking contrast between the new buildings and the shabbier
back streets. The Government aims to conserve the
city’s Islamic character by protecting the ruins of historic
buildings such as the Ike Abbasid Palace. Traditional markets still
trade and the museums of Iraqi Folklore and Modern Art are well
worth visiting. The River Tigris is a central quality of the city.
South of Baghdad is Babylon, the great city once ruled by the Semitic
King Hammirabi. The city, and predominantly the
famous Hanging Gardens, are now being restored.
/ Kurdish Region
This area is mountainous and forested.
Mosul is the main northern town, which boasts the 13 th century
Palace of Qara Sariai and the old Mosque of Nabi Jirjis. Nineveh
is an ancient and prosperous archaeological site near Mosul.
Arbil is possibly the oldest continuously inhabited
city in the world. Kirkuk has assumed significance since the discovery
of oil. It is famous for ‘Eternal Fires’, the endless
burning of gas leakage.