Tikrīt, Iraq

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Tikrīt, Iraq

Region: Salah ad-Din Governorate

Geographic Coordinates: 34.610000, 43.680000
Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 45.0°C (68°F to 113°F)
Climate: Hot and dry summers, mild winters with occasional rainfall.
Population: 105700
Language: Arabic

Tikrīt, A city in north-central Iraq, Lies around 140 kilometers northwest of Baghdad. The Tigris River flows on the west bank of the city which is home to approximately 160, 000 people. Tikrīt is historically significant as it was once inhabited by Saddam Hussein, The former president of Iraq. The history of Tikrīt dates back to ancient times when it was known as Dur-Kurigalzu or Fortress of Kurigalzu. King Kurigalzu ruled over Babylon during the Kassite dynasty in the second millennium BCE and named this city after himself. The Bible and Assyrian inscriptions also mention Tikrīt.

In modern times, Tikrīt gained fame for being Saddam Hussein’s hometown who invested heavily in developing infrastructure and building extravagant palaces throughout the city. However, During Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, Coalition forces destroyed or damaged many buildings. Despite this damage, Tikrīt still attracts visitors because of its cultural and historical significance. Al-Awja Palace built by Saddam Hussein remains a popular attraction that served as his primary residence until his capture by US forces in December 2003. Salahaddin University is another notable landmark offering courses on various subjects including medicine and engineering.

Tikrīt serves as an important transportation hub due to its location along major highways connecting northern Iraq with Baghdad and other southern regions. Additionally, Several oil refineries located near Tikrit contribute significantly to Iraq’s economy. However, Recent years have seen security challenges caused by ISIS militants targeting civilians and government officials alike but local authorities have taken measures aimed at improving security within residential neighborhoods such as increasing police presence throughout these areas while implementing surveillance cameras in public places.

Overall, Tikrit has a rich history with cultural significance that continues to attract visitors interested in exploring its historical landmarks despite facing challenges related to security issues caused by ISIS militants targeting civilians & government officials.

Important Landmarks

  1. Saddam Hussein’s Palace: This massive complex was built by Saddam Hussein during his presidency and includes a mosque, gardens, lakes, and several buildings.
  2. Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi Mosque: Named after Muslim leader Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi (Saladin), this mosque boasts intricate designs and beautiful architecture.
  3. Tikrit Castle: Built during the Abbasid era, this castle served as an essential military base for many years.
  4. Al-Nasiriyah Bridge: This bridge spans across the Tigris River to connect Tikrit to other parts of Iraq.
  5. Tikrit Museum: The museum houses artifacts from various periods of Iraqi history.
  6. Qadisiyah Dam: Located on the Tigris River near Tikrit, Qadisiyah Dam is an important source of hydroelectric power for Iraq.
  7. Tikrit University: Tikrit University is one of Iraq’s largest universities with over 20 faculties offering undergraduate programs in fields such as engineering, medicine, law, etc.

Primary Industries

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  1. Tikrit, Iraq is mainly an agricultural city.
  2. The cultivation of wheat, barley, and other crops is the primary industry.
  3. Additionally, there is a small oil refinery and some light manufacturing industries in the city.
  4. Small shops and restaurants catering to local residents are also present in Tikrit.
  5. However, due to its location in a conflict zone and ongoing instability in the region, economic activity has been severely disrupted in recent years.

Noteable History

  1. Birthplace of Saddam Hussein: Tikrit is where former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was born. He ruled the country from 1979 until his overthrow in 2003.
  2. Battle of Tikrit (2003): During the Iraq War, Tikrit was a major battleground between US-led coalition forces and Iraqi insurgents. The battle resulted in the capture of Saddam Hussein by US forces.
  3. Salahuddin Governorate: Tikrit is located in Salahuddin Governorate, which was named after Saladin (also known as Salahuddin), a famous Muslim military leader who fought against the Crusaders during the 12th century.
  4. Ancient history: The area around Tikrit has been inhabited since ancient times and was an important center for trade and commerce during Mesopotamian civilization.
  5. Al-Mutasim Billah Mosque: The Al-Mutasim Billah Mosque is one of the most notable landmarks in Tikrit, built during Abbasid rule in 861 AD by Caliph al-Mutawakkil.
  6. Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr: Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr was an Iraqi politician who served as president from 1968 to 1979 before being succeeded by Saddam Hussein.
  7. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was a Jordanian militant who founded Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and led numerous attacks against coalition forces during the Iraq War before being killed by US forces in 2006.
  8. Sunni Islam stronghold: Tikrit has traditionally been a stronghold for Sunni Muslims and played an important role in shaping Islamic history through its association with various caliphs, scholars, and leaders over time.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Saddam Hussein’s Palace: A former palace of the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, which is now a museum showcasing his luxurious lifestyle.
  2. Al-Alam Palace: A beautiful palace located on the banks of the Tigris River and known for its distinctive blue dome.
  3. Tikrit Museum: A museum showcasing artifacts from ancient Mesopotamia and other historical periods in Iraqi history.
  4. Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi Mosque: A mosque dedicated to Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi (Saladin), a famous Muslim military leader who defeated the Crusaders in the 12th century.
  5. Qadisiyah Dam: An impressive dam built on the Tigris River that provides irrigation water and electricity to nearby towns and cities.
  6. Tikrit University: One of Iraq’s leading universities with a rich history dating back to 1958.
  7. The Great Mosque of Tikrit: One of the largest mosques in Iraq, with a beautiful architectural design that combines traditional Islamic elements with modern features.
  8. The Tomb of Saladin: Located near Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi Mosque, this tomb is believed to be where Saladin was buried after his death in 1193 AD.
  9. Martyrs’ Memorial Museum: It showcases photos and documents related to martyrs who died during wars against Iran (1980-1988) or against ISIS (2014-2017).

Note that due to security concerns related to terrorism threats or conflicts between armed groups within Iraq, it is recommended for visitors always check travel advisories issued by their country’s foreign ministry before planning any trip inside Iraq including Tikrīt city specifically which was affected by conflicts during recent years.

Sports Teams

Tikrīt, Iraq’s Sports History

Football Clubs:

  • 1. Al-Talaba SC – Founded in 1969, achieved national and international success.
  • 2. Al-Jazeera SC – Established in 1974, strong fan base and multiple local tournament wins.
  • 3. Salahaddin FC – Well-known club founded in 1980.
  • 4. Al-Minaa SC – Newer club established in 2005, rapidly growing due to talented players.

Other Sports Teams:

  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Handball
  • And more…

Note: These sports teams have participated at both national and international levels despite difficult circumstances due to ongoing conflicts within Iraq’s borders, always representing their city with pride over the years.

Cultural Events

  1. Eid al-Fitr – A Muslim festival that marks the end of Ramadan.
  2. Eid al-Adha – A Muslim festival that commemorates Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son for Allah.
  3. Ashura – A Shia Muslim festival that commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussain.
  4. Newroz – Kurdish New Year’s Day celebrated on March 21st.
  5. Baghdad International Film Festival – An annual film festival held in Baghdad to promote Iraqi cinema.
  6. Babylon Festival for International Cultures and Arts – An annual event held in Babylon city to showcase Iraqi culture with music, dance performances, art exhibitions etc.
  7. Tigris Festival- Celebrated annually during summer where people gather at Tigris River banks for various activities like swimming, boating etc.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and there may be other regional or local events/festivals celebrated in Tikrit or other parts of Iraq as well.


  1. Masgouf: A traditional Iraqi grilled fish dish that is marinated with spices and served with rice.
  2. Tashreeb: A soup-like dish made with lamb or chicken broth, bread crumbs, and vegetables.
  3. Kebab: Grilled meat skewers served with rice or bread.
  4. Al-Farookh Restaurant: A popular restaurant in Tikrit known for its kebab dishes.
  5. Al-Qadisiya Restaurant: Another well-known restaurant that serves traditional Iraqi cuisine such as masgouf and tashreeb.
  6. Abu Salim Restaurant: Famous for its grilled meats and kebab dishes.
  7. Al-Najaf Restaurant: Offers a variety of Iraqi dishes including masgouf, tashreeb, and kebab.
  8. Samara Palace Hotel Restaurant: Located inside the Samara Palace Hotel serving international cuisine along with traditional Iraqi food options like kebab and masgouf.

Please note that this information is based on online reviews from various sources; therefore it may not be accurate or up-to-date at all times as the popularity of restaurants can change over time depending on various factors such as quality of food/service offered etc.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Al-Qadisiyah Park: A large park located in the heart of Tikrīt that features a playground, picnic areas, and walking trails.
  2. Al-Tawfiq Park: Another popular park with a playground and walking paths.
  3. Al-Mansour Mall: A shopping center with various recreational activities including a cinema, bowling alley, and arcade games.
  4. Tikrīt Sports Club: A sports club that offers facilities for soccer, basketball, volleyball, and tennis.
  5. Swimming Pools: There are several swimming pools in Tikrīt where visitors can enjoy swimming during hot summer days.

It’s important to note that due to security concerns in the area it is advisable to check with local authorities before visiting any public place or engaging in any activity.


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