Monday, October 21, 2013

Carpe Diem #328, The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another day in haiku paradise Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, and as we started two days ago with exploring the Seven Ancient World Wonders with the Pyramid of Giza, we now will visit The Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

The hanging gardens of Babylon are a quite mysterious wonder. Indeed, no Babylonian text describing them have been found. We don't even know the destruction date of this wonder. Maybe this is just a product of Greeks imagination ?

The gardens were located on east the bank of the river Euphrates, in the city of Babylon (50 km from Bagdad) and may have been built in 600 BC. No Greek historian have seen them, it just consists in stories told by soldats, which is a quite doubtful source of informations.
According to the legend king Nebuchadnezzar II (604-562 BC) would have made build the famous hanging gardens of Babylon for his wife Sémiramis to remind her the vegetation of the moutains from her natal country : Media (actual Iran).

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon - painting by the 16th century Dutch artist Martin Heemskerck

These gardens were composed of several floors, each was a terrace of 120 m² supported by vaults and pillars of brick. An immense staircase, made of marble, connected the terraces, where water was brought from the river Euphrates by a system of hydraulic screws. It was a real botanical garden where was cultivated plants and trees of Mesopotamia and of Media. On the first eight meters height terrace were planted big trees : plane trees, palm trees - date palms, pines and cedars. On the second thirteen meters height terrace were located the cypresses and quantity of fruit trees. And even higher, on the two last terraces, less vast than the others, we could find the anemones and the tulips, the lilies and the irises… without forgetting the roses, so appreciated from the beautiful Sémiramis.

There is evidence that these Hanging Gardens were situated in Nineveh and not in actual Babylon. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon are likely a legend, but a nice one.

ancient stories told -
soldiers' fantasy came true
desert garden

desert garden
eyecatcher of Babylon -
hidden wisdom

hidden wisdom
ancient knowledge for gardening
hanging baskets

Well ... have fun with this new episode of Carpe Diem's daily haiku meme ... be inspired and share your haiku with our haiku-family here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.
This prompt will stay on 'til October 23th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new episode, Statue of Zeus at Olympia, later on today around 7.00 PM (CET).
!! The Hanging Gardens of Babylon is open for your submissions at 7.00 PM (CET) !!


  1. Kristjaan you have given us a spectrum of delightful prompts this month. We appreciate the thought and time you take to prepare these prompts for us!!!!

  2. I loved this one tell the computer ate my 'ku !
    Had a mental pause...getting tired...
    almost time to get up in Maine ☺USA

    Finally salvaged what I could...and rewrote.