Great Zimbabwe is a ruined ancient city in the south-eastern hills of Zimbabwe. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe during the country's late Iron Age and spans an area of 722 hectares. It is thought that construction on the monument began in the 11th century and continued until the 15th century. During that time and onwards, it served as a royal palace for the local monarch, but eventually the city was abandoned and fell into ruin. Great Zimbabwe has since been adopted as a national monument by the Zimbabwean government, and the modern independent state was named for it.