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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Hanging Gardens of BabyLon







Centuries ago, King Nebuchadnezzar II lived in a land called Babylonia. He married a beautiful princess from another land and brought her to Babylon, the capital of Babylonia. She was the daughter of the King of Medes. Even though king Nebuchadnezzar's palace was lovely, the queen grew homesick for the beautiful gardens and mountains she left behind.

Greek legends tell two stories of how the gardens came to be. One story tells that the gardens were built by the Assyrian Queen, Semiramis, and the other story tells they were built by King Nebuchadnezzar, and this one is more likely to be true.


The king called for his best architects and craftsmen and they made plans to build the most beautiful gardens the world had ever seen. Without any type of machinery, the work was all done by hand, and the labors had to haul rocks and stones from far away.

Soon, the work began on the step pyramid and the men built tall walls and a series of terraces. When they were finished they added flowers, shrubs, various trees including fruit trees, and fountains. Excavations have found a detailed tunnel and pulley system that evidently brought water from ground level to the top terrace. Their water was pumped in from the Euphrates River.

The completed project was called The Hanging Gardens of Babylon and it became one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. We know from age-old writings that the gardens did exist and that on the inside were fortresses and temples containing enormous statues made of gold.

Excavator, Robert Koldewey identified the arched substructure of what is believed to have been a terraced garden garnished with blue enameled forms of bulls and dragons.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were written about by Herodotus, a historian in 450 BC He wrote:

"Babylon surpasses in splendor any city in the known world."

He claimed the outer walls were 56 miles in length, 80 feet thick, and 320 feet high but archaeologist claim the outer walls seem to be only 10 miles long and not nearly as high but still high enough to be quite impressive.

The word "hanging," may have come from a Latin word meaning, balconies and terraces. Today in modern times, in the country of Iraq, archaeologists have found empty wells, cellars and ditches believed to have been part of the famous gardens. What a glorious site it must have been to come down the Euphrates River and behold the spectacular beauty of the green leafy mountain consisting of a series of terraces rising off the plain.

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