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The Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II commissioned the construction of the Ishtar Gate circa 575 B.C. as a component of his plan to beautify his empire. As its name indicates, the gate was dedicated to Ishtar, who was the Babylonian goddess of love, war, fertility, and sex (Ishtar features prominently in the Epic of Gilgamesh).
The Ishtar Gate served as the most-trafficked entrance into the capitol city of Babylon, and it was so beautiful and magnificent that it was originally chosen as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (The Lighthouse of Alexandria replaced it, although many disputed this change). Portions of the Ishtar Gate have been reconstructed in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany. This image offers a glimpse of the gate's former beauty.
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