Harun al-Rashid, grandson of al-Mansur, moved his court to al-Raqqa between 180 and 192 / 796 and 809, during a period of political unrest in Baghdad and southern Iraq. Al-Rashid extended the fortifications and created a whole new suburb of palaces to the north of al-Raqqa. These palaces accommodated his household and those of a number of officials who came to reside with him. The link with Baghdad and the eastern lands was maintained using a sophisticated mail system. Al-Rashid’s sons and future caliphs all spent much of their youth at al-Raqqa.