Raqqah is one of the rare remaining urban settlements of the Abbasid
dynasty in Syria. It was founded by Abu Ja'far al-Mansur in 771 on the left bank of the Euphrates, near the Old Raqqah. The plan of the city bears a slight resemblance to Baghdad
, but is in the shape of a horseshoe with a straight spine on the western side. Raqqah is famous for its palaces built by Harun al-Rashid and al-Mu'tasim and other Abbasid caliphs. These palaces have long since been erased, with only scattered fragments of plaster ornaments, painted wooden pieces, and glass tiles. These artifacts currently occupy the Raqqah Hall in the National Museum in Damascus
. The two major surviving monuments of the city are the Baghdad Gate
and the Great Mosque of Raqqah
Rihawi, Abdul Qader. Arabic Islamic Architecture: Its Characteristics and Traces in Syria. Damascus: Publications of the Ministry of Culture and National Leadership, 1979.