Construction of the palace began in the early 1920s as a part of the endeavors of King Amanullah Khan to modernize Afghanistan. The palace was designed by German engineer Walter Harten and his team of engineers.

The palace is an imposing neoclassical building on a hilltop in the western part of the Afghan capital.

Dar-ul-Aman Palace in 1930

Dar-ul-Aman Palace in 2015, before the beginning of the reconstruction / Image: Jim Huylebroek

Intended as the seat of a future parliament, the building remained unused and partially complete for many years after religious conservatives under Habibullah Kalakani forced Amanullah from power in 1929, and halted his reforms.

In later years it served as the medical school for Kabul University, as well a warehouse, and the seat of several smaller ministries.

The building was gutted by fire on December 14, 1968, and afterwards restored to house the Ministry of Defense during the 1970s and 1980s. In the Communist coup of 1978, the building was once more set on fire.

On March 6, 1990, much of the building was damaged by tank fire during Shahnawaz Tanai’s failed coup attempt.

It was once again damaged in the 1990s as rival Mujahideen factions fought for control of Kabul.

The historic Dar-ul-Aman Palace 2019

In early 2016 work began on restoration project, intended to renovate the palace in time for the centenary of Afghanistan’s full independence in 1919. The renovation was complete by July 2019.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.