Afghanistan Main Cities


Jalalabad [d ʒ -], Djalalabad [d ʒ -], city in eastern Afghanistan, on the Kabul River and on the road from Kabul to the Khyber Pass (Pakistan), 585 m above sea level, (2019) 263 300 residents.

Archaeological Museum; Commercial center of an area with irrigation management (citrus fruits, rice, sugar cane, fruit, etc.).

8 km southeast of Jalalabad, a Buddhist monastery town was excavated near the village of Hadda; the more than 1,300 statuettes found are v. a. Examples of Gandhara art (today most of them in the National Museum in Kabul).

Mazar-e Sharif

Mazar-e Sharif [ma za ː re ʃ a ri ː f], Mazar-e Sherif, city in northern Afghanistan, at the northern foot of the foothills of Hindukusch, 360 m above sea level, (2019) 469 200 residents.

Important Shiite pilgrimage site (tomb of the 4th caliph Ali Ibn Abi Talib); Museum. The city is located in a mountain oasis with intensive irrigation; Fertilizer factory, manufacture of carpets, cotton and silk goods; Commercial center.

The first shrine, built in 1136, was destroyed by Genghis Khan in 1221. The construction of today’s mosque (“Blue Mosque”) began in 1481, the original decorations were renewed in the 19th century (colorful glazed faience decoration) and another mosque was built next to the actual pilgrimage mosque.


Kandahar, Qandahar, city ​​in southern Afghanistan, on Arghandab, which irrigates the oasis of Kandahar (on the northern edge of the Registan desert), 1,030 m above sea level, with (2019) 506,800 residents. See localtimezone.

Trade center (for agricultural crops) and important road junction; international Airport. Vine and pomegranate crops in the area.

The mausoleum of Ahmed Shah shows stylistic elements of the Indian Mughal art. The pilgrimage destination is the Friday Mosque, which hides the mantle of the Prophet Mohammed.

Kandahar was the first capital of Afghanistan; Tombs of the Durrani dynasty (Ahmed Shah, † 1773; Timur Shah, † 1793).

Several inscriptions with edicts of King Ashoka from the period from 253 to 250 BC were found in Kandahar. Found, among others. a bilingual text (bilingual) in Aramaic and Greek.

Herat (city)

Herat, largest city in northwestern Afghanistan, on Hari Rud, 930 m above sea level, (2019) 556 200 residents.

Trade center of a river oasis with a wide range of handicrafts and carpet production (particularly important in the 16th to 18th centuries). The location on the ring-shaped main road of the country with roads to the Turkmen (90 km north) and to the Iranian border (110 km west) favor Herat as the center of the western part of the country; international Airport.


The old citadel was changed frequently under the Timurids and later. The Great Friday Mosque was built by the Ghorid dynasty around 1175 and rebuilt after being destroyed by Timur; the faience decor comes from the Safavid period. A Timurid mausoleum (1432) and six minarets have been preserved from the building complex with musalla (prayer area), madrasah and grave structures, which was built after 1417 and expanded from 1469–77. The painting school of Herat founded under Ali Schir is also famous. Not far from Herat the sanctuary of Gasaraga (1428–29), burial place of the poet K. A. Ansari.


Herat, already mentioned in ancient Persian and Greek inscriptions, had been the main town of the Areia satrapy since Darius I ; newly founded and expanded as Alexandreia by Alexander the Great. Conquered by the Arabs around 660, Herat became a Muslim city. Destroyed by the Mongols in 1221 and taken by Timur around 1380, Herat experienced its heyday under his successors (Timurids) as a residence and center for trade, literature, art and science. Conquered by the Uzbeks in 1507 (again plundered by them in 1529 and 1535), since 1510 in the hands of the Safavids; Herat was among them the center of Khorasan until 1747. The city then came under Afghan sovereignty and was incorporated into the state of Afghanistan in 1863. In 1979 an uprising began in Herat against the Afghan government, which was loyal to Moscow. After the mujahideen came to power, the warlord Ismail Khan (* 1946) was governor of Herat from 1992–95 and (again after the fall of the Taliban) from 2001–04, under whom reconstruction progressed.

Afghanistan Main Cities

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