The Mythical and Iconic Gardens of Babylon: Unveiling the Secrets

Gardens of Babylon

One of the most well-known of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is thought to be the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. As this was the time when the value of gardens was recognised and these architectural components can be observed throughout the history timeline, these exquisite gardens have been a source of curiosity for ages. They are thought to have been constructed in the 6th century BC by Nebuchadnezzar II, the Neo-Babylonian King, in the city of Babylon, which is now Hillah, in the Babil Province.

This article will unveil details such as location, history, architectural character, theories etc.

Origin of Hanging Gardens

Greek word “kremast√≥s,” which means “overhanging” and has a broader definition than the present English term “hanging,” is where the name “Hanging Gardens” originates. It describes a large green mountain constructed of mud bricks with trees that are planted on an elevated structure, like a terrace, with an ascending sequence of tiered gardens that contain a variety of trees, shrubs, and vines.

Unfortunately, there is no conclusive evidence to support the existence of these gardens, and historians and archaeologists continue to disagree on the subject. It has not yet been determined who created it, despite the fact that it has been the subject of thousands of studies worldwide. The layout and placement of the gardens, however, remained the subject of numerous speculations. According to some scholars, these were rooftop gardens. Another hypothesis was that the gardens were actually roof gardens set up atop a series of ziggurat terraces that were irrigated by pumps from the Euphrates River. They were constructed inside the walls of the royal palace at Babylon, the ancient Babylonian capital (today in southern Iraq).

Location of Gardens of Babylon

It is thought that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were situated in the city of Babylon, which served as the seat of the Babylonian Empire. On the banks of the Euphrates River, in what is now Iraq, was the site of Babylon. As a result, the “Fertile Crescent” (also known as the cradle of civilization) region in the middle-east is where it all began.

The gardens’ precise position is unknown, but it is assumed that they were on the east bank of the Euphrates River, next to King Nebuchadnezzar II’s palace. Travelers from all across the Mediterranean region came to see them and were in awe of their majesty and beauty. The gardens were referred to as “a wonder of the world” by the Greek historian Strabo.

Initially, gardens were designed and constructed with the intention of growing food, but as time went on, it became clear that these activities may also be enjoyable. During Nebuchadnezzar II’s rule in the sixth century BC, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were constructed. The gardens are thought to have been created by the monarch for his wife, Amytis, who longed for her own land’s lush greenery and profusion of plants. Nebuchadnezzar II intended to make a replica of her native place, so he constructed a magnificent garden that would astound everyone who saw it.

Architectural Characteristics

About this incredible architectural achievement, several theories have been put forth. One of the explanations was that they appeared to be “up in the air” even though they weren’t really hanging because they were fashioned with such intricate ornamentation. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were built using sophisticated technical techniques. The hanging gardens are a place where such elegant and beautiful visual expressions can be discovered.

The gardens were terraced, with staircases leading up to each level. A network of pillars and arches supported each terrace. On an elevated, massive rectangular platform, the gardens were built. Brick was used to build the walls, while stone was used to build the arches and pillars. The terraces created a beautiful aesthetic impact while also making irrigation of the hanging plants easier. The gardens were irrigated by a complex system of canals and waterwheels that drew water from the nearby Euphrates River. The plants were able to survive in dry and desert environments because of this irrigation system.

Gardens of Babylon
Photographer Unknown

Flora and Fauna

According to reports, the gardens were more than 400 feet wide and 80 feet tall. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon are famous for their stunning flora and unique plant life. Fruit trees, palm trees, pine trees, as well as vivid flowers like roses, lilies, and daisies, were among the many different types of trees, flowers, and other plants that were planted there. From a distance, one could see a series of lush, green terraces created by the plants’ layout. The gardens were home to a wide variety of wildlife, including zebras, lions, and baboons.

flora and fauna
Photographer Unknown

Opinions and Theories

Archaeologists and historians have divergent opinions on the existence of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Some people think the gardens are only a fiction and never really existed. Some assert that despite their fame and beauty, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were eventually destroyed. It is thought that they were demolished sometime in the second century BC, however the precise date and circumstances of their destruction are unknown. While some historians believe that invading armies may have been to blame, others believe that an earthquake may have been the cause.

Conclusions

To conclude, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are a symbol of nature and prosperity that radiates a purity that is timeless. These gardens continue to capture people’s minds today. Despite the dearth of concrete evidence supporting its existence, the tale of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon has persisted over time. It continues to be a source of intrigue and awe for people all around the world. The secrets of this remarkable beauty will certainly be revealed at some point in the future by someone.