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Coordinates: 34°31′25″N 69°10′44″E / 34.52361°N 69.17889°E / 34.52361; 69.17889

Presidential Citadel (Arg) photo essay 110604-D-XH843-036.jpg
General information
Town or cityKabul
Construction started1880
Technical details
Structural systemAfghan
SizeApproximately 34 ha (83 acres)

The Arg (Pashto: ارګ‎; Persian: ارگ‎; meaning "citadel") serves as the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan.[1] It sits on a 34-hectare (83-acre) site in District 2, between Deh Afghanan and 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 Emir Abdur Rahman Khan to current President Ashraf Ghani.


The foundation of the Arg was laid by Emir 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 emirs 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 1978 Saur Revolution, 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.



  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-05. Retrieved 2012-09-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

See alsoEdit

Other Palaces in Kabul: