Iraq: Al-Ukhaidir Fortress

Al-Ukhaidir Fortress is the massive Abbasid-era rectangular fortress in the middle of the western Iraqi desert, dating back to 775 AD. The fortress is truly massive, representing the classic Abbasid dynasty grandeur – super thick walls and towers surrounding the inner courtyards. The palace towers rise 70 feet high and the complex is more than 550 feet wide. You will most likely have the whole thing for yourself – to climb up on the walls and top floor, to walk up all the spiral staircases, to explore the basements and living quarters, and to view the massive imposing structure from the outside. This should be on the UNESCO list no doubt!