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Ancient, modern cultures still mingle in central Erbil's Ottoman masterpieces

Erbil's citadel and grand central market are living examples of the city's cultural heritage, which is both distinctly Ottoman and shaped by its local setting.

Despite Erbil’s rapid recent expansion, the city’s urban core dates back to its Ottoman period, when the city first experienced a building boom that created the city’s main central market, the Qaysiri, whose vaulted ceiling still stands today. Nonetheless, Erbil's Ottoman-era heritage has always been influenced by local materials and tastes. 

Nestled in the plains of northern Iraq, Erbil is one of the oldest continually inhabited areas in the world. Historically, it acted as both a gateway and a buffer between Mesopotamia and Iran.

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