26 Facts About Raqqa


Raqqa is a city in Syria on the northeast bank of the Euphrates River, about 160 kilometres (99 miles) east of Aleppo.

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Raqqa lay on the crossroads between Syria and Iraq and the road between Damascus, Palmyra and the temporary seat of the caliphate Resafa, al-Ruha'.

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At least at the beginning of the construction work on al-Rafiqah, the indigenous residents of Raqqa were hostile to the military settlement – they expected a rise in their own cost of living.

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The splendour of the court in Raqqa is documented in several poems, collected by Abu al-Faraj al-Isfahani in his "Book of Songs".

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Name "Raqqa" was used both for the entire urban sprawl, or more specifically for the old city of Raqqa aka Kallinikos.

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Somewhat to the west of Raqqa proper was al-Rafiqah, which had horseshoe-shaped walls.

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The resulting style of Abbasid Raqqa is a transition between pre-Islamic styles and later Abbasid ones, such as the architecture of Samarra after it became the new Abbasid capital in 836.

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Abbasid Raqqa had an important river port, which played a vital role in trade and communications.

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Raqqa's location was ideal for a river port on the upper Euphrates – it was ice-free throughout the year, whereas the early 14th century author al-Dimashqi wrote that the Euphrates sometimes froze further north.

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Abbasid Raqqa was an important center of glass and ceramics production.

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Al-Muqaddasi mentioned a soapmaking industry at Raqqa, which is connected to the glass industry because both make use of alkali.

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Port of Raqqa was probably the main entrepot where food and goods from northern Syria and Mesopotamia were shipped to before then being exported to Baghdad and the rest of Iraq.

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Raqqa had a mint for coins and was the only important mint city in the region from the time of Harun al-Rashid onward.

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Raqqa's fortunes declined in the late 9th century because of continuous warfare between the Abbasids and the Tulunids, and then with the Shia movement of the Qarmatians.

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Raqqa experienced a second blossoming, based on agriculture and industrial production, during the Zangid and Ayyubid dynasties during the 12th and the first half of the 13th century.

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The famous ruler 'Imad ad-Din Zangi, who was killed in 1146, was initially buried in Raqqa, which was destroyed during the 1260s Mongol invasions of the Levant.

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Raqqa Museum is housed in a building that was built in 1861 and served as an Ottoman governmental building.

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In March 2013, during the Syrian Civil War, Islamist jihadist militants from Al-Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham, the Free Syrian Army, and other groups overran the government loyalists in the city during the Battle of Raqqa and declared it under their control, after they had taken the central square and pulled down the statue of the former president of Syria, Hafez al-Assad.

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Raqqa was the first provincial capital to fall to the Syrian rebels.

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Migration from Aleppo, Homs, Idlib and other inhabited places to the city occurred as a result of the ongoing civil war in the country, and Raqqa was known as the hotel of the revolution by some because of the number of people who moved there.

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Syria still considers Raqqa to be an occupied city, and it can only be considered liberated when the Syrian Arab Army enters it".

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The National Hospital in Raqqa was reopened after rehabilitation work in May 2019.

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Raqqa Museum had numerous clay tablets with cuneiform writing and many other objects vanishing in the fog of war.

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Raqqa ordered the synagogue rebuilt at the expense of the bishop.

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However, since the Iran–Iraq War made the important Shi'i holy cities of Najaf and Karbala inaccessible to Iranian visitors, Raqqa has gained importance as a Shi'i pilgrimage destination.

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However, a group calling itself Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently operated within the city and elsewhere during this period.

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