Samarra

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Map showing Samarra near Baghdad

Sāmarrā (Arabic: سامراء) is a town in Iraq. It is on the east bank of the Tigris in the Salah ad Din Governorate, 125 km north of Baghdad. In 2003, the town had an estimated population of 348,700 people.

Medieval Islamic writers believed that the name “Samarra” is derived from the Arabic phrase, “Sarre men ra’a” "سر من رأى" which translates to “A joy for all who see”. It was changed later by Armenian soldiers to "Samarra" "ساء من رأى" which means "A sad for all who see".

Al-Askari mosque, an important Shi'a holy site, is located here.