The Citadel town of Erbil lies in the middle of the greater city of Erbil, the Capital City of the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq.
The overall form of the citadel town is circular but more elliptical to be precise. It rises some 30 meters above the ground level of the lower city . Its long diameter is about 430 meters and its short diameter is about 340 meters. Its overall area is slightly more than 102,000 square meters. It is surrounded by a steep earthen mound in all directions which made it very difficult for any attacker to scale it. The houses that are built on the perimeter are contiguous and form a solid wall very similar to fortified citadels of medieval times.. Because of its imposing height, yellow-ochre color, and the solid perimeter wall, the town is perhaps one of the most dramatic visual experiences in the Middle East.
The citadel town of Erbil represents a distinct urban entity and should be treated as such. The citadel town is the unique heritage of human experience and genius of thousands of years. It tells the story of how hundreds of past generations interacted with their natural environment and how they developed their way of life based on their cultural norms and values. Recently, the citadel town has been included as one of the 100 most endangered cultural sites in the world by the World Monument Fund (WMF) in New York. The outer wall of the citadel town is perhaps its single most important feature and is one of the most impressive found anywhere. It is this perimeter wall which surrounds the town that gives it its fortified look and dominates the modern City of Erbil. The wall is a continuous ring of about a hundred houses of various vintages.