She stopped the attack of “Nader Shah” and witnessed the battles with the Islamic State… Learn about the ancient Bashtabiya castle in Mosul
The name “Bashtabaya” goes back to the Turkish language according to historical sources, and it consists of the words “bash” (main) and “tabya” (tower), which means the main tower or fortress, and it was called by this name because it is located at the highest point in old Mosul.
Mosul- Bashtabia Castle – located on the right side of the city of Mosul in the Nineveh Governorate in northern Iraq on the left bank of the Tigris River – is one of the authentic monuments that represent the identity of the city and is still witness to many historical events.
The name Bashtabia is due to the Turkish language – according to historical sources – and consists of the words “Bash” (main) and “Tabaya” (tower), which means the main tower or castle, and it was named by this name because it is located at the highest point in Old Mosul (right side) at a height 75 feet from sea level on the land side and 150 feet from the Tigris River side.
The Umayyad Caliph Marwan bin Muhammad established the castle between the years 126 and 128 AH, and the Hamdanids built the Mosul wall in 180 AH, then the castle was demolished by Abu Al-Harith Arslan bin Abdullah Al-Muzaffar Al-Basasiri (Turkish owned by the Prince of the Buyids in Iraq Bahaa Al-Dawla Al-Buwaihi) in 450 AH, and the Emir restored Aleppo and Mosul were the honor of the state’s reconstruction in 474 AH.
The citadel was the eastern fortress of the Atabeg state. It was demolished during the campaign of the Mongol leader Hulagu in 660 AH and in the Tamerlane campaign in 726 AH. It was reconstructed during the reign of Governor Bakr Pasha Ismail al-Mawsili with the Mosul wall in 1625 AD, and he added a high tower to it, and it was restored and reconstructed during the reign of the governor of Mosul, Hussein Pasha. Galilee 1743 AD.
Siege of Mosul
Among the evidence present in the minds of the residents of Nineveh is that the fortress played an important role in confronting the siege of “Nadir Shah” of Mosul in 1743 AD, and was a center for the leadership of the battle on the part of the people of Mosul led by Hussein Pasha al-Jalili, after the Persian leader Nader Shah of Mosul besieged with more than 300 thousand fighters.
Nader Shah surrounded the Citadel of Mosul and fired about 200 cannons on the city, which kept bombarding it day and night, turning it into an impenetrable fortress.
The castle was surrounded by a wall other than the city wall, according to the Mosuli historical researcher, Maysir Muhammad al-Hasoud.
The castle of Bashtabia – and other archaeological and cultural sites, some of which date back to hundreds of years BC and others after Christ – tell the story of civilization and the man who inhabited these sites and lived them, to show us what they provided to humanity of urban, civilizational and cultural wealth that is still immortal today.
The pearl of Mosul
Ashtabiya was subjected to government neglect, in addition to being greatly damaged as a result of the military operations that the governorate witnessed after the American invasion of the country in 2003, and after the Islamic State’s control over the city in 2014, and what accompanied its liberation operations in 2017, in addition to that it was a witness to the violations of the state organization against the residents conductor.
During 2013, government agencies sought to transform the castle into a tourist site; However, the organization’s control of the city in 2014 nullified the project, according to Musab Muhammad Jassim, the antiquities inspector at the Nineveh Antiquities Inspectorate. After its liberation, the necessary plans and studies were prepared with a comprehensive assessment to preserve the rest of it in a way that does not affect its archaeological value.
The Bashtabiya Castle will be invested as a tourist area to receive visitors and tourists within a very large project called “The Pearl of Mosul.” The city’s churches, as well as the ancient “Karasaray” building.
These four prominent landmarks will constitute an important tourist area for Nineveh Governorate, which is a historical and cultural transformation for it, according to Jassim’s description of Al Jazeera Net, who confirmed the project’s entry into its first phase, to be an important attraction for future tourists.
As for the TV and film director Muhammad al-Mahdi, who directed several films about the citadel, he describes it as the title of Mosul and the symbol of steadfastness and the challenge that stood in the face of the fiercest attack and siege led by Nader Shah, and it was one of the hardest things the city’s residents faced, but they remained steadfast, so they broke the shah’s thorn by defeating him.
Al-Mahdi expresses his wish that the castle become a tourist attraction and a center for hosting various activities and artistic festivals in it to make the world aware of it, to be a bold message to the world that Nineveh – despite the calamities and tragedies that have fallen upon it – rises every time as long as the Tigris River flows through it with seagulls flying over it while reciting verses beauty.
But Al-Mahdi complains about the neglect of the concerned authorities of the Citadel over the past years due to the wrong policies followed and the political interactions that have negatively affected the development of the country’s antiquities and culture, calling on the Ministry of Culture and Antiquities – which is concerned with heritage, civilization and tourism – to pay more attention to it.
The director, Al-Mosili, confirms that his city is not covered by a sieve, and its history is known to researchers and intellectuals, and it has a historical-geographical weight over various eras and times, in reference to the failure of ISIS attempts to erase its historical, cultural, artistic and scientific identity.
But the Mosulian media figure, Faten Al Ali, seems to be in a more frustrated and desperate state after the castle lost its historical features, from which only some stones and dilapidated walls remain, which may also collapse with the days after it was an important landmark that attracts many tourists from around the world.
Al Ali believes that Ashtabia suffered the greatest neglect when the Islamic State entered the city and the areas close to it were bombed, which led to damage in it, wondering – in her talk to Al Jazeera Net – about the secret of the concerned authorities’ ignoring the antiquities and not developing them, even though they are the city’s key to external openness with countries and the exchange of different cultures However, the reality of Bachtabia now is very sad and disturbing, due to the great neglect and disregard it suffers from.
It asserts that the castle is one of the last remaining monuments in Mosul, after it lost many archaeological sites at the hands of the organization, and it has a great place in the hearts of its people because of the features of their land and its origins. to lift the siege.
According to media reports, Nineveh Governorate lost about 90% of its archaeological sites after ISIS took control of it and liberated it from the organization in 2017.