The Hanging Gardens of Babylon: A myth buried in Iraq
As quite a few of the Wonders of the Ancient World, there are no physical remains of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon therefore only imagery and scriptures tell of this breathtaking architecture.
According to the stories, the Gardens were a present of love by king Nebuchadnezzar II for his wife Amytis of Media who missed the flora and mountains of her homeland Persia.
The Hanging Gardens: A crown of flowers for Babylon
During this time (around 600 BC), Babylon was one of the most powerful and imposing cities of the world, with architecture that seemed to long for the skies, most of it being ideas by Nebuchadnezzar II who obviously wanted to create a city that longed for eternal greatness.
„A living mountain“, the garden was supposed to be, 400 feet wide, 80 feet high and with a little chapel on top of 6 feet height to take in the scenery. The building was made of several terraces that amounted to a „mountain“ and were accessible through long stairs.
The flowers and trees would grow on the overlapping surface of the terraces and hang over the walls, therefore giving the World Wonder the name.
The construction itself was another miracle of ancient architecture as it apparently managed to not only hold the huge amount of earth to accommodate, plants, bushes and trees of up to 50 feet height but also could take the thousands of gallons of water to keep the plants alive. Through pumps, the water was directed to the several terraces, up to the very top which meant that a system had been built to pump it 80 feet upwards, so it could flow down over the terraces and water all the plants.
How Neubchadnezzar II achieved this feat, no one really knows. Some speculate that they somehow transported huge buckets of water up to the top, others are convinced that there was an intricate pumping system.
Did the Hanging Gardens even exist?
Many scholars are unsure whether the Gardens, that apparently were destroyed by an earthquake, even existed because a lack of archaeological findings and furthermore no evident, textual evidence in scriptures from that time (especially by Herodotus) suggest the Gardens or even the woman for whom they apparently had been built.
Only several hundred years later would writers rave about the beauty of the structure and luxurious display of the garden.
However, there have been findings of basement structures and strong foundations in the specific area that suggest a somewhat bigger building on top that might or might not have been the Gardens of Babylon.
Until no further discoveries have verified these theories, though, no clear assumptions can be made of the mystery of this architectural Wonder of the World.