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(sämär`rä), town, N central Iraq, on the Tigris River. It is on the site of an ancient settlement and has given its name to a type of Neolithic pottery of the 5th millennium B.C. The present town was founded (836) by the AbbasidAbbasid
or Abbaside
, Arab family descended from Abbas, the uncle of Muhammad. The Abbasids held the caliphate from 749 to 1258, but they were recognized neither in Spain nor (after 787) W of Egypt.
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 caliphs. Samarra's 17th-century Askariya mosque complex, sacred to Shiite Muslims as the burial site of the 10th and 11th imams and the site of the disappearance of the 12th ("hidden") imam, was severely damaged by terrorist bombings in 2006–7 but was subsequently rebuilt. There are notable ruins of many palaces, mosques, and other buildings, including the 9th-century great mosque with its spiral minaret. The town was the scene of fierce fighting between Sunni insurgents and U.S. occupation forces in 2004.



a city in Iraq, on the left bank of the Tigris, in Baghdad Muhafaza (Province). Population, approximately 20,000. Industry is represented by pharmaceutical and cement-production enterprises.

Samarra was founded in 836 on the site of an ancient settlement and became the residence of the Abbasids. After the caliph al-Mutamid (870–892) removed the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate back to Baghdad, Samarra fell into decline.

The German archaeologist E. Herzfeld studied the ruins of the old city from 1911 to 1913. He discovered rectilinearly planned grandiose palaces with gardens and mosques, mausoleums, and dwellings made of fired brick and, more rarely, of adobe. The ruins of the core of the city are located on the left bank of the Tigris; they include the palace of Gausaq, which has a facade with three iwans. South of the palace are the remains of the Great Mosque of Mutawaqqil (846–852), which has a rectangular walled-in courtyard, and the spiraling al-Malwiya minaret.

Farther south in Samarra are the ruins of the square-shaped palace of Balquwara (854–859), built with three large courtyards along its main axis. To the north are the palace of Mutawaqqil and the mosque of Abu Dulaf (860–861) and the octagonal domed mausoleum Qubbat al-Sulaybiyya. Both representational and nonrepresentational murals were also discovered, as well as mosaics, carved stucco, and lustrous and under-glazed fine painted pottery.

References in periodicals archive ?
Informed sources said at least 400 ISIL terrorists were killed by Iraqi forces over the last two months in West of Samarra and Makhoul mountains.
Fouremployees, working in al-Udaim Project, have been kidnapped by unknown gunmenlast night in Umtaihiya area, 50 km to the east of Samarra city," thesecurity source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, adding that the employees werean engineer and 3 technicians.
The Iraqi forces struck a heavy blow at the ISIL terrorists, and inflicted heavy losses on them and killed dozens of the militants in a recent military operations on the outskirts of Samarra city, informed sources said Sunday.
The group were cornered and tried to continue their attack using hand-grenades that did not detonate, followed by the detention of 3 of them," Abu-al-Farouq al-Samarrae of Al-Sahwa forces in Samarra told Aswat al-Iraq.
The Iraqi security forces and al-Hashd al-Shaabi volunteer forces killed the aide of the ISIL leader near Samarra on Wednesday, the command center of Salahuddin operations said on Thursday, adding that the dead terrorist was of Algerian origin.
The group were cornered and tried to continue their attack usinghand-grenades that did not detonate, followed by the detention of 3 of them,"Abu-al-Farouq al-Samarrae of Al-Sahwa forces in Samarra told Aswat al-Iraq.
The Western parts of Samarra are under the control of the Iraqi volunteer forces (Hash al-Shaabi) and the holy Shrines of the 10th and 11th Shiite imams are safe," an Iraqi military source told FNA on Saturday.
The cell said in a statement that the leadership of Samarra operations / Brigade nineteenth federal police blew up three armored vehicles.
SAMARRA / Aswat al-Iraq: Five members of one family have been killed in an armed attack on their house in Samarra town of Salah al-Din Province on Wednesday, a security source reported.
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraqi military sources said that the country's army men have repelled an ISIL offensive in the city of Samarra in Salahuddin province, and killed over 50 Takfiri terrorists in their counter-assault.
Tikrit / Nina / The security forces liberated a village west of Samarra, and killed 17 elements of Daash.
SALAH AL-DIN / Aswat al-Iraq: A cop was killed by unknown gunmen in Samarra city, security sources said here today.