Kabul

Article

August 14, 2022

Kabul (Pashto کابل Kābəl‎; Persian (Afghan Persian) کابل Kābul‎) is the capital of Afghanistan. Its name comes from the name of the river of the same name, approximately four and a half million people live here.

Natural conditions

Kabul lies in the valley of the Kabul River in the middle of the Asmai and Shir-Davaza mountains. The city lies at an altitude of about 1,760 m, the lowest point is at 1,720 m above sea level, the highest at 1,850 m above sea level. In July, the average temperature is around 25 °C, in January it drops just below freezing point. The most precipitation falls in April, with a total of 100 mm in this month. In contrast, only 5 mm of precipitation falls on average in July.

History

Kabul was founded in the 1st millennium BC on an important trade route to India. The first mentions of the city can be found in the Vedas, the holy books of the Indian Aryas, which were created between 1500 BC and 400 BC. They call it Kubhá Kóphén. At the beginning of our era, the geographer Strabo called it Kóphés, in the middle of the 2nd century Ptolemy called it Kóa. In 1221, Kabul was sacked by Genghis Khan, in 1504 Babur, a descendant of Tamerlane, took control of it and made it the capital of his Great Mughal Empire. The Mughals remained in power here until 1738, when they were expelled by the Persian ruler Shah Nadir. In 1747, Kabul came under the rule of the Afghan state founded by Ahmad Shah. In 1773, Timur Shah, son of Ahmad Shah, made Kabul the capital of the empire (at the expense of Kandahar). Later the empire split into four principalities, one of which was Kabul. In 1839–41, 1842 and 1880, the city was occupied by British troops. After the 3rd Afghan War in 1919, Afghanistan gained full independence as a kingdom and Kabul became its capital. In the 1970s and 1980s, Kabul was the center of the communist Afghan government. Throughout the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the city successfully resisted conquest. At this time, a panel housing estate was built in the city with houses similar to the so-called Khrushchev houses in the USSR. Later, in addition to four-story houses, six-story houses were also built. It was only after the withdrawal of Soviet troops that it was besieged at the beginning of the civil war in 1992 and subsequently captured by the Mujahideen. Just before the conquest, the city was made up of two different sectors from a security and sociological point of view. Mujahideen rockets hit one part of the city in abundance, and it quickly turned into a ruined slum. The rockets hit the other part of the city rather exceptionally, so a layer of the richest Kabulans and some foreign representations moved there. The last employees of the embassy of the then Czechoslovakia were evacuated in the spring of 1992. The last communist president, Muhammad Najibullah, fled to the UN residence after the capture of the city by the Mujahideen, where he remained relatively safe until 1996. Meanwhile, the political situation in Afghanistan changed dramatically. In 1996, Taliban fighters captured Kabul. Dr. Najibullah was almost immediately arrested and publicly executed. The city, along with the majority of the entire territory of Afghanistan, fell into the hands of the Taliban. Kabul was recaptured only on November 13, 2001 by the troops of the Northern Alliance, which later shared control over the city with American troops.

Today's City

The city of Kabul is divided into two parts: the old Kabul and the new city. Old Kabul is located on the right bank of the river, the new city on the left. The oldest part of the entire city lies at the foot of the Šir-Davaza mountain range. The ruins of the ancient walls with the fortress of Bala Hisar have also been preserved here. Not far from this fort stands the pillar of liberation. The further the districts are from this area, the more modern they look. In the city we can find the former Royal Palace and the residence in