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Preserving the Past, Building the Future: The Citadel of Erbil Restoration Project

Nestled in the heart of the historic Citadel of Erbil, a remarkable journey through time is underway. As the sands of time continue to shift, a group of dedicated individuals and professionals have come together to bridge the gap between the past and the present through a meticulous and awe-inspiring conservation and restoration project.

The Citadel of Erbil: A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a testament to the ancient history of Mesopotamia, the Citadel of Erbil stands proudly as one of the oldest continuously inhabited human settlements on Earth. Its labyrinthine alleyways, historic buildings, and the stories etched into its very stones tell the tale of countless generations who have called it home.

Project Scope: Within this extraordinary citadel, a particular project known as the “Conservation and Restoration Works on Building Group 7” has been a beacon of hope for preserving the rich architectural heritage that resides within. Comprising three distinct houses, this ambitious project had a multifaceted scope of work:

1.     Courtyard Retrieval: The project aimed to revive the courtyard shapes within these houses, reclaiming the essence of open spaces that were once the heart of daily life.

2.     Façade Rehabilitation: The weathered façades of these historic buildings were meticulously restored to their former glory, breathing new life into the exteriors.

3.     Wooden Columns and Beams: The delicate wooden columns and beams, bearing the weight of history, were carefully restored, ensuring their longevity for generations to come.

4.     Concrete Blocks and Walls: The restoration of concrete blocks and walls was a painstaking process, with damaged sections removed and replaced, all while preserving the original character.

5.     Brickwork Strengthening: Vertical and horizontal strengthening of the brickwork was undertaken to ensure the structural integrity of these age-old structures.

6.     Wall and Parapet Rebuilding: Walls and parapets, which had weathered centuries of wear and tear, were meticulously rebuilt, aligning with the traditional craftsmanship techniques.

7.     Staircases and Special Elements: Unique elements like staircases and other architectural marvels were rebuilt, honoring the original design and function.

The Noble Goal: At the heart of this project lies a noble goal—to regain the essence of space itself. These houses’ typology reflects a profound understanding of spatial harmony, where courtyards evolved into the zoning spaces of the past. The project’s success hinges on not only restoring the physical elements but also rekindling the soul of these spaces, drawing from the architectural and cultural wisdom of the past.

Preserving the Citadel for Generations to Come: The Conservation and Restoration Works on Building Group 7 is not just about preserving buildings; it’s about safeguarding the legacy of a civilization, its traditions, and its architectural prowess. The project is a testament to the commitment of those who recognize the importance of cherishing our shared human heritage.

As this project unfolds, it brings renewed hope for the Citadel of Erbil. It stands as a beacon, reminding us that while the past is a place of reference, it’s also a foundation upon which we build a future that respects and honors the contributions of our ancestors. In this restoration, the past and the present converge, breathing life into history, and preserving it for the generations yet to come.