Ancient ruined city on the Euphrates River, Iraq. It lay about 55 mi (89 km) south of Baghdad, near the modern city of Al Hillah. Babylon was one of the most famous cities in antiquity. Probably settled in the 3rd millennium BC, it came under the Amoritic kings around 2000 BC. It became the capital of Babylonia and was the chief commercial city of the Tigris-Euphrates valley. Destroyed by Sennacherib in 689 BC, it was later rebuilt. It attained its greatest glory as capital of the Neo-Babylonian empire under Nebuchadnezzar II (r. 605-c. 561 BC). Taken by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, it was where he died. Evidence of its topography comes from excavations, cuneiform texts, and descriptions by Herodotus. Most of the ruins are from the city built by Nebuchadnezzar. The largest city in the world at the time, it contained many temples, including the great temple of Marduk with its associated ziggurat, apparently the basis for the story of the Tower of Babel. The Hanging Gardens, a simulated hill of vegetation-clad terracing, was one of the Seven Wonders of the World.