Arg (Kabul)

Arg photo essay 110604-D-XH843-036.jpg
The Afghan flag flies over the entrance to the palace of Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 4, 2011.
General information
Town or city Kabul
Country Afghanistan
Construction started 1880
Technical details
Size Approximately 83 acres

The Arg (ارگ, meaning citadel in Persian and Pashto) serves as the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan.[1] It sits on an 83 acres wide area in the Wazir Akbar Khan section of the city, near the international embassies and Afghan ministries. The Arg was built after the destruction of the Bala Hissar in 1880 by the British Indian troops. It has been used by many Afghan kings and presidents, from King Abdur Rahman Khan to the current President Hamid Karzai.


The foundation of Arg was laid by King Abdur Rahman Khan in 1880 after assuming the throne. It was designed as a castle with water-filled trench around it. Abdur Rahman Khan named it Arg-e-Shahi (Citadel of the King) and included among other buildings a residence for his family, army barracks, and the national treasury. Previously, the Bala Hissar served as the citadel or the headquarters of the kings until it was destroyed by the British Indian troops during the Second Anglo-Afghan war (1878–80).

The Arg has served as the royal and presidential palace for all of the kings and presidents of Afghanistan, with the single exception of President Hafizullah Amin. It has undergone modifications and revitalization under the different rulers. During the April 28, 1978, Saur Revolution, President Mohammed Daoud Khan and his family were assassinated by members of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) inside the arg.

The Arg today consists of the following:

See also