Reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate façade

By Iris Fernandez

This 1912 watercolor offers a beautiful look at how the Ishtar gate façade would have looked in antiquity. It was certainly a visual highlight of Babylon’s architecture. Using molded and glazed bricks, the Gate itself featured rows of white and yellow marching bulls and dragons against a blue background. As symbols of the gods and ferocious wild and imaginary animals, these figures protected Babylon’s sacred inner city from mortal as well as supernatural foes.

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Friedrich Wachtsmuth
Reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate façade
1912 CE
Watercolor on paper
H. 51.4 cm; W. 69 cm
Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft, Berlin: ArDOG V.29.100
© Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft, Archiv; Photo: Olaf M. Teßmer