Ishtar Gate

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The reconstructed Ishtar Gate in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin
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The reconstructed Ishtar Gate in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin
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Ish-tar_Gate_detail.jpg
A detail from the reconstructed gate. Missing tiles are replaced.

The Ishtar Gate was the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon. It was constructed in about 575 BC by order of King Nebuchadrezzar II on the north side of the city. Dedicated to the goddess Ishtar, the Gate was contructed of blue glazed tiles with alternating rows of bas-relief dragons and bulls. The roof and doors of the gate were of cedar, according to the dedication plaque. Through the gate ran the Processional Way which was lined with walls covered in lions on glazed bricks (about 120 of them). Statues of the gods were paraded through the gate and down the Processional Way each year during the New Year's celebration.

A reconstruction of the Ishtar gate and Processional Way was built at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin out of material excavated by Robert Koldeway and finished in the 1930s. It includes the inscription plaque. It stands 47 feet high and 32 feet wide (14 meters by 10 meters). The excavation ran from 1902-1914.

Parts of the gate and lions from the Processional Way are in various other museums around the world. Only two museums acquired dragons while lions went to several museums. The Istanbul Archaeology Museum has lions, dragons and bulls. The Detroit Institute of Arts houses a dragon; the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Oriental Institute in Chicago, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, the Museum of Fine Art in Boston each have lions.

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Ishtar_gate_soldiers.jpg
Soldiers from the 155th Brigade Combat Team pose for a photo at a modern reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate in ancient Babylon.

A reproduction of the gate was built in Iraq as the entrance to a museum that was never completed.

External links

sv:Ishtarporten

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