Art & Culture

Ancient site in Herat to change into handicrafts market

The Herat city’s barns. August 2022.

The ancient barns in the city of Herat in the west of Afghanistan are planned to be changed into a marketplace for handicrafts, but cultural activists push for the renovation of the historical site.

The barns were built 135 years ago. The renovation works on the historical site started in 2020 by the national development corporation and the information and culture ministry under the previous government and had at least 80 percent progress until last August, but it has stopped following political changes in the country.

“The Herat city’s barns have been damaged in the last two decades in conflicts and it needs renovation now,” said Abdul Qayyum Waziri, head of the association of cultural heritages protection.

The renovation of the historical site will change it into a good place for tourists and will create more jobs for Herat residents, he said.

Inside the Herat barns.

The barns were built from 1885 to 1878 during Amir Abdul Rahman’s reign when the Musallah complex was destroyed by the British. The barns were made to store grains and conduct combat exercises.

Herat has at least 800 historical sites but most of them are on the verge of destruction due to inattention by relevant institutions.