Rawanduz, Rowanduz, Rwandz
|Autonomous region||Kurdistan Region|
|Elevation||658 m (2,159 ft)|
Rawandiz (Kurdish: Rewandiz ,?) is a city in Kurdistan Region, located in Erbil Governorate, close to the borders with Iran and Turkey, it is located 10 km to the east from Bekhal Waterfall. The district is 123 km from Erbil. The district is surrounded by mountains, Korek Mountain is to the south, Hindren Mountain to the north, Zozik Mountain to the west, and Bradasot Mountain to the east.
The name of the city derives from Rewandiz which means "castle of Rewands". The name "Rewand" was spelled as Orontes in ancient Greek sources.
In the time of the Neo Assyrian Empire, from the 10th to the 7th centuries BC, the area lay on the trading route to Nineveh. Rawandiz was the capital of the Soran Emirate, which is said to have lasted from 1399 to 1835.
The Assyrians relate that, in the 1830s, the Mir of Soran Emirate, nicknamed Miri kora, started to expand his territory by attacking neighbor Emirates. In 1833, he attempted to attack them but didn't have enough manpower. Miri kora needed his army in order to protect Soran Emirate, When ottomans attacked and captured some strategic areas, a tribe leader named Rash Agha informed his tribe and collected nearly 150 to 160 men of the tribe and went off to fight the Ottomans, Rash Agha defeated the Ottomans and frightened them which made the Ottomans to fall back, that day Rash Agha recaptured all of the strategic areas and made security points all around the area. When Miri kora heard about Rash Agha's bravery by volunteering to fight the enemy, Miri kora happily invited Rash Agha to his palace and said "I lost my dignity Rashid but you bought back my dignity and saved my Rawandiz with your bravery therefore you will be my prime minister" Miri kora trusted rashagha with many dangerous missions such as sending Rash Agha to kill Ali Beg, Rash Agha successfully killed Ali Beg with his own dagger and brought back two his daughters as a gift for Miri kora and kept the dagger as a victory and pride for himself, the dagger became very popular at the time, After that Miri kora attacked the unarmed Assyrian towns of Tel Keppe and Alqosh and killed thousands of their inhabitants, kidnapping the women and children. Miri kora is usually attributed as Amir Muhammad, the then ruler of the Soran Emirate.[unreliable source?]
In 1915, during the First World War, the town was occupied by the Russians and Assyrians. The Muslim population was massacred by the Russians and Assyrians, after Nikolai Baratov's Cossacks recaptured the town only 20 percent of the Kurdish population managed to survive. In 1922 the town was occupied by the Turks, until they were driven out at the end of the year. The British army occupied the town on 22 April 1923. The British decided to stay in place to await the arrival of a special commission to fix the border between Turkey and Iraq, believing that if they left the Turkish troops would return.
Between 1928 and 1932 the British built a strategic road from Erbil, through Rawandiz, to the Iranian border near modern-day Piranshahr. The construction of the road was directed by the New Zealand engineer A. M. Hamilton.
As of July 2007, Rawandiz was undergoing major reconstruction. The bazaar was being relocated to make room for a new road. In July 2011, in a response to a Turkish military offensive, local artists decided to paint the debris from the raids.  In 1930, A. M. Hamilton noted: "it has always been a place of grim deeds and bloody retributions. Its greater and its lesser rulers alike have nearly all met with violent deaths and even today this reputation is being well earned". The anthropologist Edmund Leach went to Rawandiz in 1938, to study the Rawandiz Kurds, intending to make this the subject of his thesis. His field trip had to be aborted because of the Munich crisis, but he nevertheless published his monograph "Social and Economic Organization of the Rawandiz Kurds " two years later. 
Like most of Iraqi Kurdistan, Rawanduz has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Csa) with very hot dry summers and cool, wet winters. The winters see lows below freezing in many nights, making frost prevalent. Snowfall occurs occasionally.
|Climate data for Rawandiz|
|Average high °C (°F)||9.5
|Average low °C (°F)||0.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||147
|Source: Climate Data|
The striking scenery has been noted by a number of visitors to the region. A. M. Hamilton relates that the Rawanduz gorge was said to be the finest in Asia.
The Pank Tourist Resort, which was opened in 2007 , it was the first such resort in Iraq. It includes a Ferris wheel and other rides, including a toboggan and Bobsled. Also includes a five-star hotel, restaurants, swimming pools, saunas, tennis courts, helipads and mini golf.Mount Korek is one of the top 10 destinations to visit in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, there is a 4 kilometer long Doppelmayr Teleferic (cable car) from its Bekhal Bottom station to Mount Korek. The mountain is developed as an international destination. The Resort has developed 132 villas and several rides in his project which is called "The Korek Mountain Resort & Spa". There are also restaurants, cafes and helipads. The resort is a summer retreat providing cool environs when the whole region reels under high temperatures. During winters, it turns into a Ski Resort. And many other destinations in the mountains and falls of Rawandiz are targeted as tourist destinations.