At least 18 sites within the 6,000 year old Erbil citadel have been restored and are now open to visitors. Work on the UNESCO World Heritage site has been delayed due to the financial crisis. Considered one of the oldest inhabited areas in the world, the citadel was home to 6,000 residents at its height.
It has, however, suffered from decades of neglect and many of the houses were crumbling. One of the attractions where visitors can now enter is the Citadel Antiquities, which is full of Kurdish traditional heritage items and relics. The other sites now open to visitors include Guest Reception Center, Kurdish Traditional Clothing Museum, Citadel Great Mosque, Citadel Public Bath, Erbil Hand-made Carpets Center, Citadel Cultural Center, Mideast French Institute, Kurdish Waive and Knit Museum, Citadel Upper Gate, Erbil Museum for Rocks and Jewels, and the Citadel Main Commission Office. In coordination with UNESCO, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has been repairing the Erbil Citadel since 2007 in order to protect its history as one of the oldest inhabited sites not only in the Middle East, but also the world.
One family has remained living at the site in order to maintain its status as continually inhabited.
People & Places