Iraq: Babylon – Saddam’s Palace

In 1991 at the end of Persian Gulf War, Saddam Hussein built a grandiose palace on a high hill on the bank of Euphrates overlooking the sprawling complex of the Babylon Archaeological site. The new palace, built to look like the ancient Mesopotamian ziggurat (temple) was built on top of the unexcavated palace of King Nebuchadnezzar, which was thus forever destroyed. Saddam brought several thousand of Sudanese construction worker to built an ugly bulky structure with his name and initials engraved in many stones and decorations, and bass reliefs around the palace. Today, the one time lavish palace lies abandoned and covered in graffiti. Surprisingly, most of the structure and marble floors and walls and columns are fully intact and even the painted ceilings are still in good shape despite zero security. For several years after 2003 US invasion the palace was the headquarters of US Team Alpha and later a Polish battalion, who further ransacked it and the evidence is still glaring in Polish/Russian graffiti al over the walls. This could have been a magnificent museum to Babylon and centuries of ancient history, but seemingly nobody in Iraq cares or gives a crap.