Dar-ul-Aman Palace: from background to rebuilding

By: Karima Malikzada

Dar-ul-Aman palace is one of our historical buildings located on a hill south west of Kabul and was established during the reign of King Ghazi Amanullah Khan in (1304-1306) solar year with the help of a group of German architects including Eng Walter Hartel and their Afghan colleagues in three stories containing about 150 big and small rooms.

This palace was used in different eras by MoPW, MoJ and MoD. In 1358 solar year during the rule of Hafizullah Amin part of this palace was set on fire but despite of that it was still strong and had preserved its magnificent figures. In 1368 solar year, during abortive coup d’état of the then minister of defense Gen Shahnawaz Tanay, air bombardments damaged the main figure of the palace. During the civil wars, this historical palace was razed to the ground and changed to a ruined as even today we can see the impacts of bullets and signs of wars on its internal and external sides.

The cabinet of the National Unity Government in one of its meetings approved that this historical palace should be rebuilt with an expenditure of US $ 16m. President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani ordered MoIC, Kabul Municipality, MoUD to complete rebuilding of the palace in five years with the aim of preservation of cultural and historical heritages, attraction of tourists and rehabilitation of art of architecture of Amani era. During his visit of the completion of the first part of the palace rebuilding, expressing pleasure on the advance of the rebuilding process, president Ghani appreciated role of Afghan engineers, said, foreign construction companies had requested US $ one million for cleaning of the palace in the first phase but our architects managed to carry this job at a cost of US $ 30000. 

The rebuilding of the second phase of this palace was started in Dec 2018 by the president as he said, after rebuilding this palace would be used as a National Museum as well as a Reception Hall for hosting of senior foreign guests.

The president emphasized, we try to change rebuilding and maintenance of historical buildings to a continued process and annually a particular budget should be allocated to this section. According to president, this is a fundamental investment that would boost tourism and cause connecting of our people to their past history.

Emphasizing on the need of rebuilding and maintenance of Afghanistan historical works including this palace, the president said, rebuilding of such historical construction is important due to this reason that they connect and familiarize today’s and tomorrow’s generations with their past history.

President Ghani has time and again announced that most of government departments should be relocated and deployed in south west of Kabul and all historical buildings in this area must be reconstructed so to change the dreams of Afghan ex-progressive leader late Amanullah Khan (1919-1929) to a reality.

This was the first time that Afghan architects undertook rebuilding responsibility of a national project. 80 architects including 40 females have been involved in this project. Rebuilding of Dar-ul-Aman palace is expected to be completed in 2019. Beside this palace, the government authorities have vowed to rebuild other ancient works and revive culture of their ancestors.

Meanwhile a number of Kabul residents praised government’s efforts for rebuilding of historical monuments and construction of grand mosques.

“Reconstruction of Eidgah Grand Mosque and Dar-ul-Aman palace is indeed of immense important to our people and the youth to know more about their rich history and cultural heritages,” a resident of PD 6 Masoma told The Kabul Times.

 

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