Friday is like the weekend for Iraqis, as many have the day off. The ancient city of Babylon is a popular tourist spot for people in southern Iraq to visit. Sargon the Great, the head of the Akkadian Empire in 23rd-22nd Centuries B.C, originally built the city. It would go on to be an important center for all of the great empires and civilizations that lived in or conquered ancient Iraq. Under Saddam Hussein, the former metropolis was rebuilt, and opened to the public. After his overthrow in 2003 it was eventually reopened, and remains a destination point for many in the country.
|A remake of the Ishtar Gate within the City of Babylon (Reuters)|
|A family looking at the Lion of Babylon on Feb. 17, 2012 (Reuters)|
|Outside the ancient remade city (Reuters)|
|Tourists walking out of Babylon (Reuters)|
|Inside the city after walking through the Ishtar Gate (Reuters)|