Added: 9 December 2020
District: 1st Area
FB Page: facebook.com/ARG1880
Address: Wazir Akbar Khan road, ARG
Kabul, a city of ancient history, had been a home for kings and crowns. In the past, a wall, which still its remainders exist, enclosed the city with six entrance gates. Each of the doors was known with a certain name, Kandahari Gate in Dehmazang area, Sardar Jahan Khan Gate at Salam Khaana area, Speena Darwaza, Peet Darwaza behind Eidgah Masjid, Guzargah gate at Bala Hesar as well as Lahori Gate which old people still express their memory lanes about.
The ruling castle was situated at Bala Hesar. Before the kingdom of Abd-ur-Rahman Khan, no suitable place was available for the king. Bala Hesar and Shir Poor palaces had been damaged and partly burned during the wars in Afghanistan. During the reign of Shir Ali Khan, the construction of Shir Poor Castle had been started in accordance with his order, but in 1878, following the attack of English to Kabul, the King moved away to Mazar-e-Sharif, and the construction was stopped.
By the time, Amir Abd-ur-Rahman Khan came to Kabul and ascended the throne, there was no suitable place for the residence of the king. Therefore Amir spent the first night at the house of Ghazi Abdullah Khan Wardak who was dwelling in the area today known as Da-Afghanan.
King Abd-ur-Rahman Khan developed a plan to build the Arg palace in 1229 Hijri Qamari. The King paid a visit to Jalalabad to organize military affairs and stayed there for a while. Amir – the king – sent a letter to his son and instructed him to commence building of the palace in coordination with advisors at the area which is located today. At last, construction of the palace was started by a number of adept and proficient architects in 1300 Hijri Qamari.
There was no trace of a constructed area in nowadays Arg (the Presidential Palace) and it was only a soil desert. There were farms and gardens on a part of the area surrounded by drylands. There was also a small Bazar in present-day Da-Afghanan and Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood was an open area in which, afterward, the first airport was founded during the reign of Ghazi Amanullah Khan.
Construction of the Arg was coincided with the creation of several other buildings. Bostan Saray is located in current Zarnegar Park where Amir Abd-ur-Rahman Khan is laid to rest today. The other building ‘Gulistan Saray’, in which Amir Abd-ur-Rahman khan had been living, was situated across from the Ministry of Education in the area where currently Kabul Municipality is positioned. Two mentioned buildings were parts of the Arg at that time.
Currently, some portions of the Arg do not exist on the map of Kabul city. Some of these buildings have been demolished and some renovated and still remain. Right now, the mentioned buildings are differently situated inside and outside of the Arg. For instance, Storay Palace is situated in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Naak Bagh Palace is positioned in the National Archive. Zain-ul-Emaarat Palace is referred to as the current Sedarat (Presidency) which was built by Viceroy Nasrullah Khan.
In an aspect of the location, the Arg palace is located at the heart of Kabul linked to Da Afghanan in the east and to the Murad Khani area in the north-west. From Pashtunistan Square to Macrorayan, the Ministry of Mines, the Administrative Office of the President, and the Ministry of Defense are situated at the side of the road in front of the Arg palace. Also, Ariana Square, Ariana Hotel, and Central Statistics Department are positioned in the north-east. Amani High School and residential houses of Wazir Akbar Khan are positioning at the side of a road passed through the north side of the Arg palace. The west side has comprised the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of China as well as the United Nations Offices, and finally, Azizi Center and other buildings have been raised to the south.
The first building constructed inside the Arg palace is called Kuti Baghcha of which construction was completed on 1304 Hijri Qamari. Following that, several buildings were constructed such as; the building of ARG, Salaam Khaana Palace, Gunbad (Dome) of Naghara Khaana, Arg Kootwali Bazar, Shahi Base (Qaraargah Shahi), Shahi therm (Hamam Shahi), and Office of Accountant for the Countries (Mostofi-ul-Mamalek).
A number of other palaces were built during the reign of Amir Abd-ur-Rahman Khan along with the construction of the Arg Palace.
Kuti Baghcha known as the first palace inside the compound is around a two-floor building built on a 300 m2 area. The palace comprises a total number of 15 small, medium, and large rooms. The second floor contains small but spectacular rooms which its windows are opened in numerous directions.
Prior to the coup against Sardar Dawood Khan, Sardar Abdul Wali Khan was living in Kuti Bachcha. It is expressed that the sacred hair of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) has been found in the eastern room of the second floor. It is worth mentioning that a part of the palace had served as a museum, and Shahi Kitchen used to exist on the south-east of the palace. The construction process of Kuti Baghcha came to an end in 1304 Hijri Qamari.