I placed wild bulls and ferocious dragons in the gateways and thus adorned them with luxurious splendor so that people might gaze on them in wonder.
The Ishtar Gate was the eighth gate of Babylon and the main entrance into the great city. King Nebuchadnezzar II ordered the construction of the Ishtar Gate in about 575 BC, as part of his plan to beautify his empire's capital.
Standing nearly 47 feet tall, the gate was constructed using an intense lapis blue-glazed brick with alternating rows of dragons and bulls. It has been suggested that 60 sculpted reliefs were made using plaster molds taken from a master clay panel. Sculpted elements would be cut down into brick sized segments, glazed with the appropriate colors, and then fired in a kiln. Marks were made on a tile’s upper edge to enable it to be placed in proper sequence when assembled.
The Ishtar Gate was part of a much larger complex. Through the gate was the Processional Way, a brick-paved corridor over half a mile long, adorned with over 120 sculpted lions, bulls, dragons, and flowers.
Today, a reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate, using original bricks, is located at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.