Arg (Kabul)

Arg photo essay 110604-D-XH843-036.jpg
The Afghan flag flying over the entrance to the presidential palace in June 2011.
General information
Town or city Kabul
Country Afghanistan
Construction started 1880
Technical details
Structural system Afghan
Size Approximately 83 acres

The Arg (Persian: ارگ‎‎, meaning citadel in Dari and Pashto) serves as the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan.[1] It sits on an 83 acres wide area in the affluent neighbourhood of Wazir Akbar Khan. 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 current President Ashraf Ghani.


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, however Hafizullah Amin also used Tajbeg Palace as the residence for his family. 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:

  • The Gul Khana which serves as the offices for President Ashraf Ghani and the President's Protocol Office;
  • The Offices of the President's Chief of Staff;
  • The National Security Advisor's building; and the Offices of the Spokesperson to the President.
  • Offices for the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).
  • Various buildings for receiving delegations or hosting large meetings.

See also