Visiting The Ancient Assyrian City Of Amedi, Iraqi Kurdistan
Updated December 2023, Visiting The Ancient Assyrian City Of Amedi, Iraqi Kurdistan was originally published in June 2020
Located in a wide-open valley in northern Iraqi Kurdistan, Amedi is one of the most picturesque places you’ll visit in all of the territory. The city that sits about a plateau that seemingly rises from the bottom of the valley, perched up by precarious cliff edges has over 5,000 years of history.
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A Quick History of Amedi
As mentioned above, Amedi’s history dates back 5,000 years to 3,000 BC, when historians believe the city was built by the Assyrians. After the downfall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire Amedi changed hands several times.
Home To The Three Wise Men
The city is actually most well known as the home of the Three Kings. Amedi is believed to have been the home of the three most important Biblical Magi (priests), who traveled to Bethlehem in the year 0 to give Baby Jesus the gift of frankincense, gold, and myrrh.
Amedi has since been known to be a place where Muslims, Jews, and Christians have long coexisted together in peace.
Looking for a trip idea? Check out my 10 day Iraqi Kurdistan itinerary
Things To Do In Amedi
View Amedi From The Mountains Nearby
The best view (in my opinion) of Amedi is from the mountainside to the north. There’s a viewpoint near a flag (you’ll see it in photos) that I thought had the best views.
I had hired a car for the day to visit a few sites outside of Dohuk, and it took us a while to find the spot. We found it by following the road that heads straight north from the main highway that connects Zahko and Amedi (and continues on toward Barzan).
Eventually, you’ll need to take a left, and that road meanders up a few switchbacks before continuing straight west (the road ends before the Solav Resort area). It’s along this straight stretch that you’ll find a gate that you’ll need to park near and walk the remainder of the way.
The GPS coordinates I have saved on my phone from when I visited the viewpoint are 37.106630, 43.491234. If you’re going on foot, head to the Solav Resort, and walk up through the park. You’ll reach the road it’s off of and head east.
Enter The City Through The Bahdinian Gate
The Bahdinian Gate is the ancient entrance to Amedi. The gate is made of stone with a beautiful arch and is in great condition. Dating to the time of the Bahdinian Emirate 1376–1843 the Bahdinian Gate was constructed in Amedi, which was the semi-autonomous Emirate’s throne.
Visit The Great Mosque Of Amedi
Founded during the Abbasid Caliphate in 1177, the Great Mosque of Amedi is one of the main sites to see in the city. The mosque has undergone numerous renovations, the most well known in the 15th century during the reign of Sultan Hussein al Wali when the 30 meter minaret the Great Mosque of Amedi is now famous for.
The Tomb Of The Prophet Hazkiel
Believed to be the burial tomb of the prophet Ezekiel, the shrine was once a part of the Knis Navi Yehezqel Synagogue. The tomb is important to Muslims, Christians, and Jews.
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How To Get To Amedi
As mentioned earlier, Amedi is located along the main highway that cuts across Northern Iraqi Kurdistan from Zakho to Barzan and Shanider.
By car or taxi: If you’ve rented your own car or are hiring a taxi for the day, getting to Amedi is easy. You can easily input Amedi in Google Maps or Maps.me and follow the route.
By public transport: I was told there are shared taxis for 8,000 ID from Duhok to Amedi. You can easily grab a shared taxi from Erbil to Duhok if you’ll be starting from the capital.
Plan your visit: The Erbil Travel Guide
Where To Stay
As Amedi is quite small, most visit on a day trip from Duhok, located about 70 kilometers away. The Kristal Hotel in Dohuk comes recommended.
Have Any Questions About Visiting Amedi?
Ask in the comments section below.