Nicephorium (classical name), Rakka, Ar Raqqah, Ar-Raqqah, Rafiqa (Variant)
Al-Raqqa (Alternate transliteration)
Al-Raqqah (Alternate transliteration)
Raqqa (Alternate transliteration)
Raqqah is one of the rare remaining urban settlements of the Abbasid dynasty in Syria. It was founded by Abu Ja'far al-Mansur in 771 on the left bank of the Euphrates, near the Old Raqqah. The plan of the city bears a slight resemblance to Baghdad, but is in the shape of a horseshoe with a straight spine on the western side. Raqqah is famous for its palaces built by Harun al-Rashid and al-Mu'tasim and other Abbasid caliphs. These palaces have long since been erased, with only scattered fragments of plaster ornaments, painted wooden pieces, and glass tiles. These artifacts currently occupy the Raqqah Hall in the National Museum in Damascus. The two major surviving monuments of the city are the Baghdad Gate and the Great Mosque of Raqqah.
Rihawi, Abdul Qader. Arabic Islamic Architecture: Its Characteristics and Traces in Syria. Damascus: Publications of the Ministry of Culture and National Leadership, 1979.
The ruins of Heraqlah are situated eight km west of al-Raqqa. Heraqlah was originally founded as a Roman military camp settlement, but was later developed by Abbasid Caliph Haroun al-Rashid into a monument celebrating his triumph over Byzantine forces. The terraced monument is enclosed by a circular stonewall about 500 meters in diameter. The structure is 103 square meters with four towers, one at each corner and an iwan that opens to the intermediate space between the terrace and the circular wall. Four gates on the outer wall open up to the exterior and mark the key directions (north, south, east and west).
Burns, Ross. Monuments of Syria, 201. London: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd., 1992.
Rihawi, Abdul Qader. Arabic Islamic Architecture in Syria, 87-88. Damascus: Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, 1979.