The name Babylon comes from the Babylonian word Bab-ilium or Babel meaning the "gate of god".
Babylon lies at 40.42 degrees north, 73.20 degrees west on the Euphrates river where the Euphrates and Tigris rivers approach most closely together. Click here for a map of Chaldea.
On the eastern bank is the area known as the old quarter that consists of great temples and palace buildings. In the north-west corner is a cluster of palaces and fortifications, as well as the hanging gardens, one of the 7 man made wonders of the world that King Nebuchadnezzar built for his lovely median wife. Nearby is the impressive Ishtar gate that is adorned with lions and dragons in brightly coloured glazed brick. The main procession way of the city passes through the Ishtar gate and is the route taken by the political and religious leaders in the New years festival ceremonies.
It was under Nebuchadnezzar that Babylon gained it's western quarters. In his major construction and re-construction efforts, and the building of this "western outlook", the Euphrates river was diverted westward from it's course. As a result, in time, the eastern city wall (by Nabonidus) needed to be rebuilt, altering the original shape of the city.
Also, the northern city walls were rebuilt, because they were originally made from mud-brick, and Nebuchadnezzar wanted to replace them with burnt brick. Under Nebuchadnezzar, a new palace was built in which he would come to reside. He also constructed the glorious "Hanging Gardens" in which Babylon was so well known for. His other accomplishments included rebuilding the main canals, embellished the streets, completing the Euphrates River Bridge (begun by his father, Nabopolassar), and the embellishment and reconstruction of a number of temples, including the ziggurat (also begun by his father).
Note:All information contained in this site is about the city of Babylon as it is known to be or thought to have been around the year 580BC during the Chaldean empire or dynasty. This period is very similar to that of the Babylonian empire during which Hummurabi is the best known king, but some information (particularly about the city structures) will be different.
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