Fountain Square

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Erbil, Iraq

Fountain Square Erbil Reviews

maykal maykal
85 reviews
Fountains under the Citadel Jan 15, 2014
First stop on a sightseeing tour of Erbil should be the new fountain square in the heart of the bazaar, underneath the citadel. I don't know its official name, or even if it has one, but it seems to be the focal point of the city. Fountains play a huge role in the redevelopment of Erbil...every park worth its salt has one if not a dozen, each one lit up at night like a liquid Christmas tree. But for my money, these ones were the most impressive, probably because of the unique backdrop.

The main fountain isn't all that exciting really, but it draws a lot of attention at night as it is lit up and changes colour every few seconds. Photographers are on hand to take your portrait as the fountain does its best to soak you silly, while onlookers eat ice cream and munch their way through packets of nuts and seeds.

On three sides, you have the Qaysari bazaar, the brand new Nishtiman Mall, and a new looking mosque with attractive brick archways, while on the fourth, you have the citadel towering above. New fountains are under construction, and this square will no doubt be a very pleasant place to sit once it is completed.

Each morning, I used to head to the teahouses in the shade of the archways for a strong black tea or an instant coffee (I need my caffeine, but apart from the upmarket malls where espresso drinks are the in thing, you don't get a lot of coffee in Kurdistan), and in the evening, these became popular places to smoke chicha.

On the other side of the square is Erbil's most famous teahouse, supposedly an old one, but clearly renovated not too long ago. This is literary teahouse, where all the writers, journalists, poets and musicians apparently hang out, although I'm not sure how many of the customers I met fell into any of those categories. Inside, bookshelves and paintings cover most of the walls, and old fashioned Kurdish singers play on the crackly music system. Outside, rows of chairs look out onto the square and across the road to the Qaysari Bazaar, and you're lucky if you find an empty seat.
Erbil's Fountain Square
Selling cigarettes in the square
Chasing pigeons in the square
Chicha on the square
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