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Travel Warning WARNING: Northwestern Iraq remains extremely dangerous and is not safe for travelers due to terrorism and armed conflict. All travel to this region should be avoided.
Government travel advisories
(Information last updated Mar 2020)

Assur is an ancient Assyrian ruin in Northwestern Iraq. In the Bronze Age, it was an important trade hub. The city remained continuously inhabited for over 4000 years, but was abandoned in the 14th century after the residents were massacred by the Timurid Empire. Assur has been a WV-Unesco-icon-small.svg UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2003, as a reaction to plans to submerge parts of the archaeological site underwater in a dam project. The project was put on hold following protests of the international community.


Get in[edit]

Assur is off Highway 1, that runs between Baghdad and Mosul. From Mosul, the distance is about 140 km. Nearest town is Al-Shirqat.

Fees and permits[edit]

Get around[edit]

Due to its relatively small size, you could (in safer times) get around on foot quite easily.


Ruins in Assur.

Due to the unstable security situation on site, the architectural heritage has not been assessed by experts since Assur was overrun by terrorists in 2015. The current status of the structures below is therefore unknown. Do not assume they are still intact nor that they can be visited.

  • 1 Assur Ziggurat.
  • 2 Temple of Nabu.
  • Royal Tombs.






Stay safe[edit]

Parts of the archaeological site were reportedly demolished in 2015 by terrorists using explosives, and some of these unexploded devices may still be around. Do not stray from marked foot paths.

Go next[edit]

In safer times, Hatra and Mosul would have been next on many travelers' itineraries, but as of 2019 they are very dangerous and best avoided.

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