• Registration Year


  • Registered Sector

    Erbil Citadel

  • Historical Function


Location and site

Erbil Citadel is a fortified settlement on top of an imposing ovoid-shaped tell (a hill created by many generations of people living and rebuilding on the same spot) in the Kurdistan region, Erbil Governorate. A continuous wall of tall 19th-century façades still conveys the visual impression of an impregnable fortress, dominating the city of Erbil. The citadel features a peculiar fan-like pattern dating back to Erbil’s late Ottoman phase. Written and iconographic historical records document the antiquity of settlement on the site – Erbil corresponds to ancient Arbela, an important Assyrian political and religious centre – while archaeological finds and investigations suggest that the mound conceals the levels and remains of previous settlements.

Registration Criteria

Criterion (iv): Erbil Citadel is an imposing example of a multilayered archaeological mound still physically emerging from the surrounding landscape. The physical structure of the Citadel town is characterized by the permanence of the Ottoman period urban form and street pattern on top of the mound. Its shape with definite boundaries has in part dictated the transformations of the urban fabric which still exhibits the typical Ottoman period traditional articulation in functional districts and comprises some fine examples of residential buildings dating back to the 19th – 20th centuries, and, to a lesser degree, to the 18th century.

Mr. Nawzad Hadi Mawlood
Governor of Erbil
Kurdistan Regional Government - Governorate of Erbil
Hawler Governorate
Erbil, Iraq


Mr. Dara al Yaqoobi
Head of HCECR - Senior Advisor - Council of Ministers
High Commission for Erbil Citadel Revitalization-HCECR

Erbil, Iraq