The Kabul Times.
Culture National Social

Chihilsitoon Garden, the sign of past memories in Afghanistan

Chihilsitoon Garden, considered as one of the historic and entertainment places in Kabul city, has been constructed in 60 acre of land nearly 200 years back during the reign of Shah Zaman Khan. During the civil war, 80 percent of the garden and Chihilsitoon palace were destroyed, but renovation work on the garden was started four years ago and the work was completed with total cost of $14 million. In past, the Chihilsitoon Palace was used as guesthouse and was hosting foreign guests.
The palace was a home for foreign leaders visiting Afghanistan. It is said that the Durand agreement was signed in Chihilsitoon Palace, located in this garden.
Mohammad Fahim, a 65-year old resident of Kabul, said he had been living for long years in Chihilsitoon and witnessed lots of wars.
“Chihilsitoon has not much changed, but conflicts, artilleries and tanks have destroyed the area, the Chihilsitoon Palace and its minaret,” Fahim said.
He further said that the Chihilsitoon Palace has changed to an entertainment place. Its renovation work was started by Aga Khan Cultural Foundation with financial assistance of Germany. The renovation work on the palace and garden has been completed within four year. Now, the garden has changed to a recreational place and the public can visit it.
It is worth mentioning that Chihilsitoon Garden — as it is defined today by a low brick wall — seems to have been greatly reduced in size by the construction of roads around its perimeter. Historic descriptions indicate that the garden had extended to sloped areas to the east of the site, where a pigeon tower had been built on a stone outcrop. Since the 1980s, informal settlements have been erected on these hillside areas by those displaced by conflict or economic migrants.
Now complete, the rehabilitated Chihilsitoon Garden provides users with high-quality landscapes and building spaces capable of containing and promoting the rich and diverse forms of social, cultural and economic expression manifested in Afghanistan.
Saida Ahmadi

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The Kabul Times.