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Travel Warning WARNING: Samarra remains one of the most dangerous cities on Earth and is not a tourist destination. Those who are travelling here on business are strongly advised to consult their own government first and have an armed guard with them.
(Information last updated Feb 2018)

Samarra (Arabic:سامَرّاء‎) is a city in Iraq's Baghdad Belts. In 2007, UNESCO named Samarra one of its World Heritage Sites.

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There has been no rail services to Samarra for more then a decade, however rehabilitation on the line from Baghdad are under way and train services might resume in 2019 or 2020. 1 Samarra railway station is located on the western side of the river Tigris.

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Map of Samarra
 
The spiralling minaret of the Great Mosque.
  • 1 Great Mosque of Samarra (مسجد سامراء الكبير). Ninth-century mosque that was commissioned in 848 and completed in 851 by the Abbasid caliph Al-Mutawakkil who reigned (in Samarra) from 847 until 861. Was at one time the largest mosque in the world; its minaret, the Malwiya Tower, is a vast spiralling cone 52 m high and 33 m wide with a spiral ramp. The art and architecture of the mosque was influential; stucco carvings within the mosque in floral and geometric designs represent early Islamic decoration.    
  • 2 Al-Askari Shrine (مرقد الامامين علي الهادي والحسن العسكري, Marqad al-Imāmayn ‘Alī l-Hādī wa l-Ħassan al-‘Askarī). Contains the mausoleums of the 'Ali al-Hadi and Hasan al-Askari, the tenth and eleventh Shia Imams, respectively, as well as the shrine of Muhammad al-Mahdi, known as the "Hidden Imam", who is the twelfth and final Imam of the Shia of the Ja'farī Madhhab. This has made it an important pilgrimage centre for Ja'farī Shia Muslims. In addition, Hakimah Khatun and Narjis Khatun, female relatives of the Prophet Mohammed and the Shia Imams, held in high esteem by Shia and Sunni Muslims, are buried there, making this mosque one of the most significant sites of worship for Shia and a venerated location for Sunni Muslims.    

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