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The Ishtar Gate in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin
An auroch above a flower ribbon, missing tiles are replaced
The Ishtar Gate (Assyrian: ܕܵܪܘܲܐܙܲܐ ܕܥܵܐܫܬܲܪ translit: Darwaza D'Ishtar, Arabic:بوابة عشتار) was the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylonmarker. It was constructed in about 575 BC by order of King Nebuchadnezzar II on the north side of the city.

Dedicated to the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, the Gate was constructed of blue glazed tiles with alternating rows of bas-relief sirrush (dragons) and aurochs.

The roof and doors of the gate were of cedar, according to the dedication plaque. Through the gate ran the Processional Way which was lined with walls covered in lions on glazed bricks (about 120 of them).

Statues of the deities were paraded through the gate and down the Processional Way each year during the New Year's celebration.

Originally the gate, being part of the Walls of Babylon, was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the world until, in the 6th century AD, it was replaced with the Lighthouse of Alexandriamarker.

A reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate and Processional Way was built at the Pergamon Museummarker in Berlinmarker out of material excavated by Robert Koldewey and finished in the 1930s. It includes the inscription plaque. It stands 47 feet high and 100 feet wide (14 meters by 30 meters). The excavation ran from 1902-1914 and during that time 45 feet of the foundation of the gate was uncovered.

The gate was in fact a double-gate. The part that is shown in the Pergamon Museum today is only the smaller frontal part, while the larger back part was considered too large to fit into the constraints of the structure of the museum. It is in storage.

Parts of the gate and lions from the Processional Way are in various other museums around the world. Only three museums acquired dragons while lions went to several museums. The Istanbul Archaeology Museummarker has lions, dragons, and bulls. The Detroit Institute of Artsmarker houses a dragon. The Röhsska Museummarker in Gothenburg, Sweden, has one dragon and one lion; the Louvremarker, the Royal Ontario Museummarker in Toronto, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropologymarker in Philadelphia, the Metropolitan Museum of Artmarker in New York, the Oriental Institute in Chicago, the Rhode Island School of Design Museummarker, the Museum of Fine Artsmarker in Boston, and the Yale University Art Gallerymarker of New Haven, Connecticut, each have lions.

A smaller reproduction of the gate was built in Iraq under Saddam Hussein as the entrance to a museum that has not been completed. Damage to the reproduction gate has occurred since the Iraq war (see Effects of the U.S. military).

Gallery

Image:Pergamon Museum Berlin 2007109.jpg|Model of the main procession street (Aj-ibur-shapu) towards Ishtar GateImage:Pergamon Museum Berlin 2007110.jpg|Model of the gate, the double-structure is clearly recognisableImage:Ishtar-gate-بوابة-عشتار.jpg|Photo of the remains from the 1930's of the excavation site in BabylonImage:Ishtar Gate Dragon.JPG|Aurochs and dragons from the gate in the Istanbul Archaeology MuseumsImage:Pergamonmuseum Ishtartor 02.jpg|One of the dragons from the gateImage:Pergamon Museum Berlin 2007085.jpg|Building inscription of King Nebuchadnezzar IIImage:Berlín - Pergamon - Porta d'Ishtar - Lleons.JPG|Lions and flowers decorated the processional streetImage:Ihstar Gate RB.JPG|The replica Ishtar Gate in Babylon in 2004

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