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Hatra, Iraq
Hatra, Iraq
Author: Lance Cpl. Albert F. Hunt, US. Marine Corps (public domain)

Hatra is the capital of the first Arab Kingdom in Persia. It is located 290 km to the northwest of Baghdad and 110 km to the southwest of Mosul. The city was founded by ancient Arab tribes around the 3rd century BC. It became a major religious and trading centre under the Parthian empire of Persia.

Hatra is characterised by massive fortified walls. These stout walls helped it withstand repeated Roman assaults between AD 116 and 198. Sieges by Trajan (AD 116/117) and Septimius Severus (AD 198/199) were successfully repulsed. It was only in AD 241 that the Iranian Sassanid Empire of Shapur I defeated and destroyed Hatra. According to legend, the fall was attributed to an-Nadira, the daughter of the king, who betrayed the city into the hands of Shapur I. Shapur I killed the king, married an-Nadira, but later also had her killed.

Today Hatra is a well preserved Parthian city with some 6.4 kilometers of inner and outer walls. Within the city are temples to various deities drawn from Greek, Mesopotamian, Syrian and Arabian influences.

Hatra was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site during the 9th session of the World Heritage Committee at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, on 2-6 December, 1985.

Photos of Hatra

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: N 35 35 17.016 E 42 43 5.988 in Ninawa, Iraq
Inscription Year: 1985
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: II, III, IV, VI

Location Map of Hatra

to be added soon.

Return to Iraq's World Heritage Sites
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