Srochik Castle, another archaeological wonder in the Kurdistan Region
Locally known as the “Stone and Lime Castle,” Srochik is an ancient castle in the Kurdistan Region. However, that’s all that’s really known about it due to the lack of research and study of the site to date.
The castle sits atop a hill 100 kilometers northeast of Sulaimani city in the Moryas village of Barzinja subdistrict.
“According to its amazing architecture, Srochik could date back a thousand years to the Sultan Muzafar era,” said Shikar Aziz, a local archaeologist. “Its vaults, rooms, halls, interior decorations, and walls resemble those castles built ten centuries ago.”
Srochik is a touristic attraction.
“I love visiting castles. That is my thing,” Dara Ali, a local tourist, told Kurdistan 24. “However, this one is unique because all you see are stones. I think it was built with small stones, and that is something amazing I have never seen in other castles in Kurdistan.”
“It is a rare castle, but we know almost nothing about it,” said local historian Kamaran Hassan. “We need to start working on this unique site as soon as we can. We can discover things that no one can imagine.”
The experts call on the government to allocate a budget for Srochik, which needs local and international excavation teams to dig, examine, and study.
“There are so many international teams working in different locations, but Srochik needs immediate attention because it could collapse any day,” Aziz warned. “And if it collapses, the job will be much harder and longer. So, it is better to start now.”
Tourists usually come, take photos, then leave. However, they could spend more time in the area if it was properly developed into a tourist site.
“I can stay longer if the area had some services such as food, water, more trees, shops, or at least a good road to the castle,” said Bareen Ahmed, a local visitor from Rania town. “I have seen castles outside Kurdistan that have been made into nice touristic places. And this could be one too, but it needs more services, and I hope they can work on this amazing castle.”
According to local historians and archaeologists, the Kurdistan Region is rich with castles like Srochik, but their condition is no better.
“In Qalacholan, Badinan, Soran, and Khoshnawati areas, there are castles like this one,” noted Hassan. “We have to register them, work on them and protect them. It is good for history, archaeology, tourism, and humanity.”
“We can learn a lot from the ancient life through such castles.”