|Population (1998 Est)|
Hillah (Arabic: الحلة), also spelled Hilla or Al Hillah (BGN: Al Ḩillah) is a city in central Iraq on the Hilla branch of the Euphrates River, 100 km (62 mi) south of Baghdad. The population is estimated at 364,700 in 1998. It is the capital of Babylon Province and is located adjacent to the ancient city of Babylon, and close to the ancient cities of Borsippa and Kish. It is situated in a predominantly agricultural region which is extensively irrigated with water provided by the Hilla canal, producing a wide range of crops, fruit and textiles. Its name may be derived from the word "beauty" in Arabic. The river runs exactly in the middle of the town, and it is surrounded by date palm trees and other forms of vegetation enhancing the weather and reducing the harmful effect of dust and the desert winds.
It became a major administrative centre during the rule of the Ottoman and British Empires. In the 19th century, the Hilla branch of the Euphrates started to silt up and much agricultural land was lost to drought, but this process was reversed by the construction of the Hindiya Barrage in 1911–1913, which diverted water from the deeper Hindiya branch of the Euphrates into the Hilla canal. It saw heavy fighting in 1920 during an uprising against the British, when 300 men of the Manchester Regiment were apparently defeated in the city. It is said to be where the Hanging Gardens of Babylon once were.
The ancient metropolis of Babylon is one of the most famous cities of the ancient world and its remains can be found today near the town of Al-Hillah in modern-day Iraq.
Founded almost five thousand years ago, the city on the Euphrates has seen empires rise and fall and has been the centre of the highest forms of culture and the most brutal wars and devastation.
It is likely that Babylon was founded in the third millennium BC and rose to prominence over the next thousand years. By the 18th century BC the city was the centre of the empire of Hammurabi. However, the changing political and military nature of the region saw Babylon fought over countless times over the following centuries, with one empire or dynasty after another securing Babylon as their home.
A resurgence of an independent Babylonian empire briefly flourished towards the end of the 7th century BC under king Nebuchadnezzar II – famous for building great wonders within the city, including the renowned Hanging Gardens of Babylon – yet even this dynasty failed to last, with Babylon falling to Cyrus the Great, king of the Persian Empire.
In 331 BC Alexander the Great captured Babylon, and it was here he died in 323 BC. After the fall of Alexander’s fledgling empire, Babylon was fought over by his surviving generals and was slowly abandoned over the following centuries.
The ruins of Babylon have suffered greatly due to looting and destructive policies, leaving little behind that captures the glory of the once-great city. Saddam Hussein also built a ‘new’ version of ancient Babylon over the site.
Of Babylon’s ancient ruins, it is still possible to see parts of Nebuchadnezzar's palace and some of the old city walls. It is also possible to see a reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
Birth of Hillah
In the 10th century, the town of Al Jami'ayn was founded on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. The location of that town is in modern-day Hillah now. In 1101 CE a new town was founded near Al Jami'ayn. Bricks were taken from Babylon to build houses and so Hillah expanded. During the 18th century, the town became an administrative center in the Ottoman Empire. In the 19th century, the flow in the al-Hillah stream decreased, and that led to worsening conditions for agriculture. To solve the problem, al-Hindiya Barrage was built.
U.S. invasion of Iraq
Hillah was the scene of relatively heavy fighting in the 2003 invasion of Iraq on and around April 1, 2003. Iraqi casualties from the Medina Division of the Republican Guard were unknown but heavy, with several hundred reported to have been killed in fierce fighting with the United States Army's 2-70th Armor. After the battle with the RG Medina Division the US Army forces moved to Baghdad and the U.S. Marine forces took over responsibilities in Al Hillah.
Shortly after the invasion a mass grave site was reported by locals to be in the area around Hillah. Local citizens and members of ORHA worked together to exhume thousands of Iraqis who had been killed by Saddam Hussein's security forces during the uprising against his government in 1991.
The 1st Marine Division had established a base at one of Saddam Hussein's Palaces about one mile north of Hillah. This also happened to be the historical site of Babylon and further damaged the ruins of the ancient city. The 372nd Military Police Company had performed law and order and Iraqi Police training in the city from June 2003 to October 2003 prior to moving on to Abu Ghraib prison. The city was part of the Polish military zone under the occupation of Iraq.
After the initial invasion, Hilla was relatively peaceful, but it then became the scene of numerous bomb attacks.
- In February, 2004, insurgents tried but failed to blow up a camp run by Hungarian troops with truck bombs.
- February 28, 2005 saw the deadliest single insurgent attack up till then, when a car bomb killed 125 people outside a medical clinic.
- On May 30, 2005, two suicide bombers killed 31 Shia police, and wounded 108 Shia police.
- On September 30, 2005, a car bomb exploded in a vegetable market in Hilla, killing 10 and wounding 30 others.
- On January 2, 2007, at least 73 people were killed and more than 160 were injured when two suicide bombers blew up themselves at a gathering of Shia militias.
- On February 1, 2007, a pair of suicide bombers detonated explosives among shoppers at a crowded outdoor market, killing at least 45 people and wounding approximately 150.
- On March 6, 2007, 114 people were killed and at least 147 people were wounded in two car bomb attacks on a Shia shrine.
- On May 10, 2010, a series of three to four suicide car bombs at the 'State Company for Textile Industries' in the city killed a total of 45 people and left 140 wounded.
Geology and natural resources
A detailed scientific study at the University of Babylon proved that Babil province is rich with natural untapped oil, gas and minerals of economic and industrial rocks and sediments of rivers and groundwater that can be exploited to intensify studies, geophysical surveys and mining. The Geological Study across the province drew Dr. Amer Khalidi to study the area. And head of Applied Geology Engineering in the Faculty of Sciences and researcher Ahmed Abbas said the lack of investigations that may be almost non-existent for the province of Babylon in this area and reviewing the nature of the mineral wealth of the expected (underlying) in Babil province has been the preparation of this study, which confirmed that Babel is rich with natural and that can be invested now it did not specify a lot of geological surveys and investigations mineral underwent her areas of Iraq for eight decades, including the province of Babylon natural resources potential and determine the nature and distribution Babil province and determine its reserves In this regard, the study to oil and gas as are among the most important natural resources discovered in Iraq, and Iraq has become rich in this wealth and classifies it as a second (and some of them thought first) the existence of the largest oil reserves in the world.
Babil province own 10 hospitals with 1,200 beds. At the beginning of 2005, local health department announced some plans to build a hospital number 2 by 50 beds per hospital near Al-Khifil and Al-Shomaly. Major hospitals in Hilla, will also receive major renovations. Staff master plan is to raise the level of training of personnel in the field of nursing and re-construction of new health centers across the province. Hillah contain four major government hospitals and they are (Hillah General Teaching Hospital, Babylon Hospital for Women and Children, Merjan Teaching Hospital and Al Noor Hospital for Children). Hilla has initiated assess the annual medical conference since 2008 under the slogan (Babylon .. cultural capital of Iraq .. the future of medicine in scientific research). In the conference offers a number of scientific research that address the health, education, medical and health in the country also the wide projects to support health and medical research in the future on the sidelines of the conference organized an exhibition of modern medical devices and electric vehicles with disabilities addition to medicines and treatments.
City of Hillah Owns a cultural history and widely talked about hundreds of pages of the history books, literature, geography and, excursions and biographies. City of Hillah, was chosen as the cultural capital of Iraq in 2008 because of its this city from the large cultural gatherings and art galleries, as well as the many talents in all fields of culture and art of poetry, writing, music and vocals. And many well known Iraqi writers have written about it like: (Mr. Abdul-Razzaq al-Husseini, Abd al-Qadir al-Zahawi, Mohammad Mehdi Aljawahiri, Rusafi, Sahtia AlHasri, Dr. Fadel Aljamali, Thi Alnun Ayoub, Dr Ali Jawad Tahir, Ahmad Safi Alnajafi). Also it Has emerged in which many writers, poets and artists of whom from it like (Sharif Alrhdi, Saifuddin Al-Hilly, Mohammed Mahdi Albasir, Ali Jawad Tahir, archaeologist Ahmed Sosa, Taha Baqer and Ahmed Saeed and others).
At the beginning of the twentieth century saw the Koranic schools scattered that they lead role in education and learn the lesson and the principles of the Arabic alphabet and something from the account and the emphasis on the Holy Quran and news companions and virtues of Ahl al-Bayt. Thy Ottomans to establish modern schools, including the School (AL-Rashidiya) and was its position in the market commotion now and were taught material in Turkish, and that the first elementary school in Hilla is Madrasat Al-Sharqia which was founded in 1918 with one class and twenty students and situated at the top floor of the Grand Mosque and the first director of it is Mr. Abdul Mahdi al-Hilali, then the school moved to a building on the Shatt al-Hilla with four classes, but this school was not stable because the majority of students leave these schools to study at the seminary. And the first secondary school in Hillah, established in the year 1927 was Al-Hillah Secondary School. Also Moderiat Alm'arif School was founded in year 1931. The statistics of this day demonstrates the evolution that has occurred in the large number of schools and the number of teachers and students as a result of the nature of life.
As for university education in Hilla, you can specify the beginning founded Institute of Management in 1976 AD and which consisted of two accounting and office management, and the foundations of Department of Technology and Management Branch Stores, and in 1980 was called the Technical Institute which is today called Technical Institute in Babylon and includes the following fields: scientific (civil and space and electrical and electronic devices, computers and mechanics, machinery and equipment) and administrative (accounting, warehouse management and management Aleghanoah and computer systems) and medical (community health and nursing). In 1959 established the Technical Institute in a project Musayyib and named now Technical Institute includes disciplines: technological (Irrigation and mechanics, machinery and equipment) and administrative (accounting, warehouse management) and agricultural (plant production and soil and land reclamation, machinery and agricultural equipment and production of life). We have introduced the University of Babylon in 25/04/1991 AD and included Faculty of Fine Arts, law and engineering, science, education and physical education, medicine and basic education, management, economy, literature, agriculture, science for girls dentistry and materials engineering and veterinary medicine, nursing, and follow the university several scientific centers: Center for Studies Babylonian Center, documents and studies Hilla, electronic calculators, teaching methods Development Center Continuing Education Center. And that the province of Babylon contains five universities: (Babylon University, Alqasim Green University, introduced in 2012 in Al-Qasim, Al-Nahrain University, Almostaqbal University Collage and Hilla University College)
Located just 5 km north of the city of Hilla, and became months, the city of the ancient world and the modern and became a marvel of the ancient world, especially after the largest breadth at the hands of the Babylonian king famous Nebuchadnezzar (605-562 BC). Until it became the title civilization of Mesopotamia Association, called the Babilonia, and its walls and Gardens are considered one of the seven wonders of the world.
Kish ruins (Tel Alahamr)
It is located 13 kilometers from city of Hillah and 6 km east of the ancient city of Babylon, including the ziggurat "Inner Cdermh" a ziggurat structure of (Baba deer) god of war.
It is Situated south of Hilla, approximately 15 miles away, and its tower found between Hilla and Al=Khifil and its current name (Albers) distortion of the name Old Babylonian "بورسيا" which is a newspaper and its sumerian meaning "sword of the sea" because it was located on the Ghadeer edge along the lines of the Sea of Najaf.
- Money, Robert I. (1917). "The Hindiya Barrage, Mesopotamia". The Geographical Journal 50 (3): 217–222. JSTOR 1779909.
- "Bombings rock Shiite city". Associated Press, February 2, 2007.
- Abbas al-Ani (10 May 2010). "102 killed in Iraq's bloodiest day this year". Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
- Iraq Image - Al Hillah Satellite Observation
- Texts on Wikisource: