CTESIPHON (طيسفون)

After crossing some terrible checkpoints, we arrived at the Ctesiphon, an ancient city located on the left bank of the Tigris River about 32 kilometers southeast of modern Baghdad. It served as the winter capital of the Parthian Empire and later the Sāsānian Empire. The site is famous for the remains of a gigantic vaulted hall, the Ṭāq Kisrā, which is traditionally regarded as the palace of the Sāsānian king Khosrow I (reigned AD 531–579), although Shāpūr I (reigned AD 241–272) also undertook work on the site. The hall has one of the largest single-span brick arches in the world. Unfortunately, visiting the Ctesiphon’s deserted ruins is impossible unless you will be lucky like us and find a friendly guard who could eventually open the gate for you.

Parking location – Madain: 33.094483N 44.581101E