Baghdad

Baghdad

Baghdad (/ˈbæɡdæd/ ⓘ BAG-dad or /bəɡˈdæd/ bəg-DAD; Arabic: بَغْدَاد, romanized: Baghdād, [baɣˈdaːd] ⓘ, Kurdish: Bexda، بەغدا) is the capital of Iraq and the second-largest city in the Arab world after Cairo. It is located on the Tigris river. In 762 AD, Baghdad was founded as the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate, and became its most notable major development project. Within a short time, the city evolved into a significant cultural, commercial, and intellectual center of the Muslim world. This, in addition to housing several key academic institutions, including the House of Wisdom, as well as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious environment, garnered it a worldwide reputation as the "Center of Learning". For much of the Abbasid era, during the Islamic Golden Age, Baghdad was the largest city in the world. Its population peaked at more than one million people.[3] The city was largely destroyed at the hands of the Mongol Empire in 1258, resulting in a decline that would linger through many centuries due to frequent plagues and multiple successive empires. With the recognition of Iraq as an independent state (formerly the British Mandate of Mesopotamia) in 1932, Baghdad gradually regained some of its former prominence as a significant center of Arab culture, with a population variously estimated at 6 or over 7 million.[note 1] Compared to its large population, it has a small area at just 673 square kilometers (260 sq mi).