Mirgasor district lies 130 km north of the capital Erbil, in the far northern edge of Erbil province. Mirgasor includes five sub-districts – Sherwan Mazen, Barzan, Perrin, Mazne and Gorato – as well as 252 villages. Over 170 villages were rebuilt after the Anfal campaigns, however 80 villages are still unoccupied to this day. It is a rugged, mountainous area on the edge of a valley. Much of the area is unspoiled so hunting is strictly prohibited. Mirgasor is famous for its forest and its natural crops and fruit.
Shanadar Cave is located on the Bradost Mountain in Mirgasor district. Famous for its triangular shape, the cave is 2,200 m above sea level, 18 meters high and 40 meters deep. It is thought to be one of the largest and most ancient caves in Iraq, dating back to 60,000 B.C. The Kurdish Peshmerga used the cave as a hideout during revolutionary times. The cave was first excavated in 1951 when archaeologists managed to date it by analyzing its stone layers.
The Graveyard of Martyrs
The graveyard is located in the village of Barzan, 155 km north of Erbil city, and contains the graves of Mustafa Barzani and his eldest son Idris. The graveyard is visited by hundreds of thousands of people annually from different parts of Iraq and abroad. Officials and delegations also come here to pay homage to the great leaderof Kurdistan.
Mustafa Barzani was born in Barzan in March 1903 and became world famous for his belief in the rights of the Kurdish people and for his commitment to justice. Barzani spent his life working for all four parts of Kurdistan up until his death in 1979. He was the primary political and military leader of the Kurdish revolution for much of the twentieth century and is legendary for his righteous struggle for the freedom and peace of his people. His memory will remain alive in the hearts of millions of Kurds.
In the east of Barzan municipality, 23 km from Mirgasor district, lies the graveyard of 503 Barzan Martyrs, who were victims of the 1983 Anfal campaigns in Qushtapa, Harir, Dyana and Bahreka. During these campaigns, 8,000 members of the Barzani tribe were martyred, buried alive in the desert areas of southwest Iraq. Exact numbers of those killed during the Anfal campaign are hard to come by, but more than 200,000 Kurds are thought to have met the same fate.
Rezan Summer Resort
The resort lies 22 km southeast of Barzan and 134 km from Erbil, 1,200 m above sea level. Rezan amusement park is on the road to Khalideen Shrine, on the banks of the Rezan River. The resort offers a wonderful climate and fresh springs for people to visit during the hot summer months.
Meydanok forest is 979 m above sea level and lies between Mirgasor and Soran, 128 km from Erbil city. The forest is large and contains many distinct types of trees. The area is undeveloped and protected so hunting and chopping down trees is prohibited.
Barzan belongs to Mirgasor district in Erbil province and is located at the intersection of the Iraqi, Iranian and Turkish borders. Barzan is famous for its landscapes, which attract visitors year round. Roaming mountain animals accompanied by a shepherd are also a common sight in the mountains around Barzan.