Historic capital of Afghanistan, Kabul is a city of many facets, a crossroads of ethnic cities and cultures very different from each other, but unfortunately also the scene of a conflict that shows no sign of ending. The city, which has more than 3.5 million inhabitants, is the economic and cultural center of Afghanistan and, despite the destruction that war, boasts a rich ancient and fascinating buildings. From the geographical point of view, Kabul is located in the north-east of the country, along the narrow valley of the river before the Khyber Pass, which, with its more than thousand meters, connects Afghanistan with Pakistan. Starting from Kabul can be reached Tajikistan through the tunnel under the mountains of the Hindu Kush, the main mountain range of the state.
Inhabited as early as 1200 BC, the area of today’s Kabul has seen a succession over the centuries dozens of different peoples and rulers, each of which, in some ways, was able to convey something. After being in the hands of the Mongols in the thirteenth century, and the Persians, in the eighteenth century, Kabul was waged for nearly a century by the British, but with the advent of the twentieth century to take control of the capital of Afghanistan was the King Amanullah, the author during his reign of important initiatives to improve the standard of living in the country. In 1979 to occupy Kabul was the USSR, which made her the command center of the conflict which lasted for years against the mujahideen, while after the seizure of power by the Taliban in 1996 and the war waged against them by the U.S. in 2001, the city is experiencing a phase of slow political and social redevelopment, which is parallel to the ongoing reconstruction of the most damaged of the center.
Although seriously troubled by the recent war, Kabul is a city that offers a charming and fascinating historic center, which has been joined in recent years new districts dominated by modern buildings built according to Western canons. Walking through the narrow streets of the old part of Kabul is divided in two by the old city walls, you will see the open wounds in the urban fabric by bombs, but at the same time you will breathe the desire to share that animates the people in search of a semblance of normalcy. In this sense, are emblematic of the many bazaars scattered around the city, where it seems that the noise of the hundreds of busy people to set up their stall or decant the praises of their wares want to erase forever the sound of the bombs that for too long has echoed in the valley.
Among the main attractions include some interesting architectural relics of the past, primarily the mausoleum of Amir Abdur Rahman, built in honor of the ruler of Afghanistan in the nineteenth century not far from Zarnegar Park, but also the tomb of Timur Shah, built in 1817 in memory the son of the ruler who made Kabul the capital of Afghanistan, and that of Babur, surrounded by gardens of the same name. Do not miss some mosques scattered in the oldest part of the center, where it deserves especially Mosque Shah Do Shamshera, and the Minar-i-Istiqlal, the “Lighthouse of Independence”, created in 1919 after the Third Afghan War, which marked achieve final independence. Other places to visit are: Balar Hissar, an ancient fort was partially destroyed by the British in 1879, located just outside the boundaries of Kabul, the Baghe Bala, a beautiful building that stands on a hill north of the center in which lived during the summer rulers of the city, the Darul Aman Palace, now the seat of government of the country, and the gardens of Paghman, unfortunately much neglected and therefore not in a good state of preservation.
With regard to the aspect of museums, Kabul boasts the richest museum of Afghanistan: the National Museum, housed in a building built in 1922 in the south-east of the city. Walking through the exhibition halls on two floors you can admire a large collection of works dating back to different periods in able to provide a comprehensive overview of the artistic Afghanistan over the centuries, complemented by a visit to the National Museum smaller Afghanistan and the National Gallery, also in the center. To tell the state of tension that afflicts the city and in general the whole of Afghanistan is the Omar Mine Museum, which displays the weapons that have caused so much suffering to the population in recent decades.
The climate is continental, semi-arid, characterized by winters long, cold and snowy, and summers are warm and sunny. To unite the twelve months of the year is the high temperature swing that exists between day and night temperatures, with values ranging or even twenty degrees. In January values amounted on average to 5 degrees with regard to the maximum, and -7 to the minimum, while in July the average temperatures vary between 32 and 15 degrees. Rainfall is generally low, with precipitation that barely exceed 300 mm of rain per year, although during the winter, especially in February and March, you experience frequent snowfalls. The best time to visit Kabul coincides with the second half of the spring, when the temperatures are pleasant and the rains almost absent.
The city is served by the largest airport in Afghanistan: the Kabul International Airport, also known as Khwaja Rawash Airport, located 25 kilometers from downtown and connected to many cities in Asia and Africa. Despite the investments made in recent years, the city’s public transport network, which currently consists of about 800 buses, is insufficient to handle the large number of people every day who need to move to the city and its surroundings, as well as is difficult to move around with long-distance transport from the Afghanistan’s capital to other destinations in the country and vice versa.
Originally posted 2012-08-29 09:41:35.