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Erbil Citadel (Alt: 415m)

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Erbil Citadel represents a distinct urban entity and should be treated as such. It is not simply an agglomeration of a number of houses and other buildings located within a complex system of narrow alleyways. The citadel is the unique heritage of human experience and genius of thousands of years. It tells the story of how hundreds of past generations interacted their way of life based on their cultural norms and values. Therefore, any attempt to conserve and develop this citadel should deal with it not as the sum of individual parts but as a total environment. There are so many lessons, both historical and architectural, that can be learned from this town. Its remaining buildings, houses, and urban spaces and features, represent an extremely valuable and irreplaceable cultural resource that should not be allowed to disappear forever. Recently, the citadel has been included as one of the 100 most endangered cultural sites in the world by the World Monument Fun (WMF) in New York. In 2014, it was placed on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. Before the advent of modernization in the 1930's the citadel consisted largely of traditional courtyard houses just over 500 in all. Of these there were some 30 or so large palace-like houses that were mostly located on the peripheral wall but some were inside the town proper. The outer wall of the citadel is perhaps its single most important feature and is one of the most impressive found anywhere. It is this perimeter wall which surrounds the town that gives it its fortified look and dominates the modern City of Erbil. The wall is a continuous ring of about a hundred houses various vintages.

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