Bash Tapia Castle

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Bash Tapia Castle
Mosul, Iraq
Ruins of Bash Tapia Castle in 2014
Bash Tapia Castle is located in Iraq
Bash Tapia Castle
Bash Tapia Castle
Bash Tapia Castle
Coordinates36°21′19.4″N 43°7′17.7″E / 36.355389°N 43.121583°E / 36.355389; 43.121583
Site information
Site history
Built12th century
MaterialsStone and stucco
FatePartially destroyed, 2015
Battles/warsOttoman–Persian War (1743–46)

Bash Tapia Castle, (Arabic: باشطابيا) also known as Bashtabiya Castle or Pashtabia Castle, is a ruined 12th-century castle located on the western bank of the Tigris river, forming part of the city wall of Mosul, Iraq. It was partially destroyed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in April 2015.


Bash Tapia Castle was built in the 12th century as one of seven castles within Mosul's city wall. The castle was damaged by Timur in 1393, and was later rebuilt by the Ottoman Empire.[1]

Bash Tapia Castle played an important role in the siege of Mosul during the Ottoman–Persian War of 1743–46. The siege began on 14 September 1743 when the Shah of Persia, Nadir Shah, arrived in city. The Pasha of Mosul, Hajji Hossein Al Jalili, successfully defended the city, and the siege was lifted on 23 October of the same year.[2]

The ruins of the castle were an archaeological site,[3] and were also significant as being one of the few surviving parts of Mosul's walls.[4][5] The castle was a landmark and a symbol of Mosul's identity,[6] and it was popular with tourists from other parts of Iraq and neighbouring countries.[7] It became neglected after the invasion of Iraq in 2003.


The city of Mosul was captured by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant on 10 June 2014, and Bash Tapia Castle was damaged in the subsequent fighting. A missile fell near the castle on 10 July and damaged its walls,[8] while a drone fired two shells on it on 23 July.[9]

According to reports by the Iraqi Ministry of Tourism, the castle was blown up by ISIL in April 2015, making it one of many heritage sites destroyed by that group.[6][7] Photos released by ISIL in 2016 show that parts of the castle remain intact.[10] The remains of the castle was recaptured by the Iraqi Army in June 2017.[11]


  1. ^ "Mosul History". Archived from the original on 24 May 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  2. ^ Sicker, Martin (2001). The Islamic World in Decline: From the Treaty of Karlowitz to the Disintegration of the Ottoman Empire. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 63. ISBN 027596891X.
  3. ^ "ISIS blow up Bashtabiya Castle in Mosul". Shafaq News. 8 April 2015. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Iraq, to Mesopotamia". 30 November 2003. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Iraqi's Heritage". ISESCO. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  6. ^ a b "ISIS destroy ancient Bashtabiya Castle in Mosul". RUDAW. 8 April 2015. Archived from the original on 1 October 2015.
  7. ^ a b Боевики "Исламского государства" взорвали древний замок Баш Тапия в иракском Мосуле (in Russian). TASS. 8 April 2015. Archived from the original on 8 September 2016.
  8. ^ "Updates: Bashtabya castle in danger; ISIS withdraw from their centers; fuel crisis is resolving; and ex-Iraqi Army officers assassinating ISIS leads". mosuleye. 10 July 2014. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
  9. ^ "ISIS expands to Mosul Damp; airstrikes on Mosul; displaced homes given away; no electricity; more arrests; and free buses". mosuleye. 23 July 2014. Archived from the original on 1 February 2016.
  10. ^ Prince, Sam J. (18 April 2016). "ISIS Releases Tourism Pictures of Mosul Castle". Archived from the original on 22 April 2016.
  11. ^ "Iraqi army tighten noose on IS in old city of Mosul". Kuwait News Agency. 21 June 2017. Archived from the original on 22 June 2017.