Darul Aman Palace
Darul Aman Palace ("abode of peace" or, in a double meaning "abode of Aman[ullah]") is a European-style palace, now ruined, located about sixteen kilometers (ten miles) outside of the center of Kabul, Afghanistan.
Darul Aman Palace was built in the early 1920s as a part of the endeavours of King Amanullah Khan to modernize Afghanistan. It was to be part of the new capital city (also called Darul Aman or Darulaman) that the king intended to build, connected to Kabul by a narrow gauge railway. The palace is an imposing neoclassical building on a hilltop overlooking a flat, dusty valley in the western part of the Afghan capital. Intended as the seat of a future parliament, the building was unused for many years after religious conservatives forced Amanullah from power and halted his reforms.
Darul Aman Palace was gutted by fire in 1969. It was restored to house the Defence Ministry during the 1970s and 1980s. In the Communist coup of 1978, the building was set on fire. It was damaged again as rival Mujahideen factions fought for control of Kabul in the early 1990s. Heavy shelling by the Mujahideen after the end of the Soviet invasion left the building a gutted ruin.
In 2005, a plan was unveiled to refurbish the palace for use as the seat of Afghanistan's future parliament. It was to be funded primarily by private donations from foreigners and wealthy Afghans. As of July 2010 there were no signs of renovation of the palace. The palace was reportedly part of the targets in attacks launched on 15 April 2012 for which the Taliban claimed responsibility.
Darul Aman Palace northern elevation showing shelling damage inflicted during mujahideen fighting for Kabul after Soviet withdrawal
- Clements, Frank (2003) Conflict in Afghanistan, a Historical Encyclopaedia. ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, ISBN 1-85109-402-4, page 29, 67.
- "Kabul to Darulaman railway".
- "Taliban strike across Afghanistan in 'spring offensive'". BBC News. 16 April 2012.
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