Ctesiphon was the winter capital of the Parthian Empire (247 BC-224 AD) and was founded next to the neighboring Hellenistic capital Seleucia on the Tigris. The Sassanians Empire (224-651 AD) took over the capital but the city got sucked several times by the Romans. A legendary battle took place at Ctesiphon (637 A.D.) that marked a turning point in the establishment of Arab power over Mesopotamia. From the city itself, not much is left to see, while one immense monument stands out in the flat landscape – Taq Kisra. It is the remains of a large palace complex and marks an architectural landmark. It is the second largest and oldest man-made arch that is standing to this day. It is constructed of bricks with a free-standing vault 26 m wide and 37 m high. It can be spotted already from far. In the past years, the arch showed significant signs of danger to collapse. It is now under a protection project to stabilize this unique monument. Learn more about the history of Ctesiphon and it’s important role in history on site.

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