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===Nebuchadnezzar II’s Building Projects===
[[File: Ishtar_Gate.jpg|300px|thumbnail|left|The Ishtar Gate of Nebuchadnezzar II Now in the Berlin Museum]]
[[File: Nabuchodonosar_II.jpeg|300px|thumbnail|right|Statue of a Neo-Babylonian King Believed to Be Nebuchadnezzar II]]Once Nebuchadnezzar II had secured the boundaries of his dynasty’s empire, he was free to pursue more peaceful endeavors in Babylon. For several decades before Nebuchadnezzar II came to power Babylon had languished, with many of its once great monuments falling into ruin. The central part of Babylon, which was on the banks of the Euphrates River, was remodeled in a truly extravagant manner. The king’s palace was built in the center of it all with the newly constructed Etemenanki Ziggurat – the ziggurat of the god Marduk and what was more than likely the inspiration for the “Tower of Babel” in Genesis 11: 1-9 – nearby. <ref> Frankfort, Henri. <i> The Art and Architecture of the Ancient Orient.</i> (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1996), p. 203 </ref> Marking the way into Nebuchadnezzar II’s inner city was the famed Ishtar Gate, which was dedicated to Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess of love and war. The beautifully done gateway was made of glazed bricks and covered with numerous depictions of mythological bulls and dragons. <ref> Frankfort, p. 205</ref>

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