Babylon was the capital of a small city state of Mesopotamia, named Babylonia, located in what is now Iraq, near the modern town of Hilla and on the eastern bank of the Euphrates river. Babylon was founded at the end of the 3rd millennium BC, and lasted through the 2nd century AD.
Babylon reached its heyday under the Babylonian king Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC), who ruled all of southern Mesopotamia. The city again was at the height of its powers in the 7th century BC during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II, just before the Persian conquest. Nebuchadnezzar built the famous Hanging Gardens, considered by some authorities one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Important buildings still standing at Baghdad include the Ishtar temple, the ancient theatre and the 'Babylon Tower'.