Personal tools


Use this tag in Flickr to mark depictions of this place's site(s):


or this one to mark objects found here:


Related Content from Pelagios


You are here: Home Ancient Places Central Palace at Kalhu

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Central Palace at Kalhu

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Jamie Novotny
Contributors: Jeffrey Becker
Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Jan 19, 2021 02:47 PM History
tags: ,
The eighth-century-BC Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III (r. 744–727 BC) built himself a grand, ornately-decorated royal residence at Kalhu (biblical Calah, modern Nimrud). This (large) palatial complex, which included a pillared-portico (a bīt-ḫilāni), was constructed south of the Northwest Palace (built by Ashurnasirpal II [r. 883–859 BC]). The “Cedar Palace” (as it is referred to in at least one contemporary Akkadian inscription) was largely dismantled by the seventh-century-BC ruler Esarhaddon (r. 680–669 BC), who had its (sculpted and inscribed) limestone slabs reused in his own royal residence (the Southwest Palace). The building is now generally referred to as the “Central Palace,” a modern designation given to it by its excavators since the palace was constructed in the central part of the Kalhu citadel.

36.09794, 43.328311



Tiglath-pileser III (r. 744–727 BC) constructed a large palace south of the Northwest Palace at Kalhu. Several Akkadian inscriptions of his (for example, RINAP 1 online Tiglath-pileser 47) record that this newly-constructed royal residence, which he called the “Cedar Palace” (ēkal erēni), stretched to the Tigris River and had a bīt-ḫilāni, a Hittite-style pillared-portico, built for his personal pleasure. Its walls were lined with large sculpted and inscribed stone orthostats. Tiglath-pileser states that he created “glittering chamber(s) inlaid with precious stones,” which were named “(The) Palatial Halls of Joy Which Bear Abundance, Which Bless the King, (and) Which Make Their Builder Long-Lived.” The most important entrances to the palace were called “Gates of Justice Which Give the Correct Judgment for the Rulers of the Four Quarters (of the World), Which Offer the Yield of the Mountains and the Seas, (and) Which Admit the Produce of Mankind Before the King Their Lord.”  Construction on the palace seems to have been started late in Tiglath-pileser’ reign and was unfinished at the time of his death in 727 BC; this is certain from the fact that that several sculptured slabs, left without their inscriptions (annalistic texts) being carved, were discovered. In the seventh century BC, Esarhaddon (r. 680–669 BC) had Tiglath-pileser’s palace dismantled and had its building materials, especially its limestone slabs, reused in the construction of his own palace.

The Central Palace — its modern name, which stems from its location in the Kalhu citadel — was excavated by Austen Henry Layard in 1845–51, Horzmud Rassam in 1853–54 and 1878–79, William Kennett Loftus in 1854, Sir Max Mallowan in 1951–52, and Janusz Meuszynski in 1975–76. Because Esarhaddon had ransacked this once-grand royal residence for building material, only a small portion of this building remained. Layard remarked that it had been “so completely destroyed that its ground plan cannot be ascertained,” and, thus, the area covered by this palace remains unknown to this day. The relationship of the Central Palace to the other buildings on the citadel mound of Nimrud is also uncertain.

Atom, JSON, KML, RDF+XML, Turtle

Jamie Novotny, and Jeffrey Becker, 'Central Palace at Kalhu: a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2021 <> [accessed: 26 September 2023]

            {{cite web |url= |title=Places: 480919151 (Central Palace at Kalhu) |author=Novotny, J. |accessdate=September 26, 2023 2:40 am |publisher=Pleiades}}