Restoration planned for supercool Iraqi citadel

Irbil, capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq, has a citadel. A citadel which has been continuously inhabited for 8,000 years. A citadel just 20 miles away from where Alexander the Great finally defeated King Darius in 331 B.C. A citadel on the verge of collapse.

The Kurdish government, in conjunction with a Czech restoration company and a variety of NGOs, has crafted a plan to restore this gem before it’s too late.

Little is known about the early inhabitants of Irbil but the citadel’s secret is water – an abundant supply has maintained civilization after civilization.

The site “is a rich historical repository holding evidence of many millennia of habitation, more than 8,000 years old, making it the longest continuously inhabited site in the world,” said UNESCO’s Djelid.

The citadel sits atop a roughly 30-metre-high mound formed by layers of successive settlements, including Assyrians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Persians and Greeks.

They need $35 million to get started, though, and right now the kitty is at zero. Here’s hoping the wondrous rare beauty and historical importance of this site inspires a flood of donations.