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Kabul (Afghanistan)
Kabul (34 ° 32 ′ 0 ″ N, 69 ° 10 ′ 0 ″ E)
Coordinates 34 ° 32 '  N , 69 ° 10'  E Coordinates: 34 ° 32 '  N , 69 ° 10'  E
Basic data
Country Afghanistan


height 1807 m
surface 275 km²
resident 4,273,156 ((2020) [1] )
density 15,538.7  Ew. / km²
Mayor Abdullah Habibzai
Kabul City from a hill

Kabul ([ ˈkaːbʊl ], Pashto / Dari :کابل) is the capital of Afghanistan . With around 4.3 million inhabitants (2020) it is the largest city in Afghanistan and the economic and cultural center of the country. The city in eastern Afghanistan has grown rapidly in recent years. It ranks 64th among the largest cities in the world . In terms of population development, it ranks fifth among the fastest growing cities in the world . With over 3500 years of history, it is also one of the oldest continuously populated regions in the world.

Since Afghanistan is a centralized state , all ministries as well as the seat of government, the parliament and the Supreme Court of Afghanistan are located in Kabul. The majority of banks, companies and universities can also be found here.


Abdul Rahman Mosque
View over the city

The city's strategic importance is due to its proximity to the Chaiber Pass , an important link between Afghanistan , Pakistan and India . This connects the capital with Jalalabad , one of the largest cities in the country. It is located in a mountain basin in the Hindu Kush. The city is connected to the north of the country by the Salang Pass , through which many goods are transported from the Central Asian republics and from Russia . The city is supplied with water by the Kabul River and does not have its own canal system.


The cold semi-arid climate ( BSk ) is attributable to the location. Temperatures are relatively low for the region. Winters can be very cold.

Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Kabul
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 4.5 5.5 12.5 19.2 24.4 30.2 32.1 32.0 28.5 22.4 15.0 8.3 O 19.6
Min. Temperature (° C) −7.1 −5.7 0.7 6.0 8.8 12.4 15.3 14.3 9.4 3.9 −1.2 −4.7 O 4.4
Precipitation ( mm ) 34.3 60.1 67.9 71.9 23.4 1.0 6.2 1.6 1.7 3.7 18.6 21.6 Σ 312
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 5.7 6.3 6.6 7.8 10.0 11.8 11.5 11.0 10.1 9.1 8.4 5.9 O 8.7
Rainy days ( d ) 4th 5 8th 7th 3 1 1 0 0 2 3 4th Σ 38
Humidity ( % ) 68 70 65 61 48 36 37 38 39 42 52 63 O 51.5
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: WMO ; wetterkontor.de


Kabul reflects the country's ethnic and linguistic diversity, although traditionally the Persian-speaking population forms the majority. Official figures are not available, but it is estimated that the population is made up of around 45% Tajiks and 25% Hazara , followed by another 25% Pashtuns . Uzbeks , Turkmens , Paschai and others form smaller minorities.

The literacy rate is relatively high in the capital, although schooling is compulsory for both boys and girls across the country.

The city's population rose from around 171,000 in 1950 to around 4.3 million in 2020. Kabul is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. A population of over 17 million people is expected by 2050. By 2100, 50.3 million people are forecast, making Kabul the tenth largest city in the world.

Population development according to the UN

year population
1950 171,000
1960 285,000
1970 472,000
1980 978,000
1990 1,549,000
2000 2,401,000
2010 3,289,000
2017 3,913,000


Kabul is the most populous and most important Persian-speaking city in the country. The Kabul dialect ( Persian کابلى/ Kābulī ), an Eastern dialect of Persian, serves as the standard language in politics, education, and the media. Kābulī is often incorrectly equated with the written Persian language Dari - one of the two official languages ​​of Afghanistan. In addition to Kabuli, other Persian dialects such as Hazaragi , Dari , Aimaq or Farsi or other languages ​​such as Pashto , Nuristani , Uzbek or Urdu are spoken. There are always riots between different ethnic groups and language groups.


As in the rest of Afghanistan, Islam is the dominant religion. Most of the city's residents are Sunnis ; Shiite Muslims are a significant minority. There is also a significant Hindu community. There were also Zoroastrian and Jewish communities in the city that have now completely disappeared. The Asheqan-wa-Arefan Shrine is a mausoleum of the brothers and folk saints Abd al-Samad and Abd al-Salam and a well-known pilgrimage site.


Some myths deal with the origin of the city. According to the Avesta and Schahnama , Kabul was founded by Esfandiyar , a legendary Iranian hero. In which from the middle of the 2nd millennium BC The Rigveda that originated in BC is known as Kabura or something similar to the Kabul River . It is unclear when Kabul was founded. During the reign of the Achaemenid Kabul was part of the satrapy of Gandhara and was next to the capital Taxila is an important trade center in Afghanistan.

Fort Bala Hissar seen from the west (1879)

Under the Kushans , Kabul became a center of the Graeco-Buddhist culture of the region, but was conquered by the Sassanids a little later and reintegrated into the Persian Empire . Different groups of the Iranian Huns ruled here from the 5th to the late 7th century .

From the 7th century to the 11th century AD, first the Buddhist Turk Shahi ruled , then the Hindu Kabulshahians (kings of Kabul) and Hindu Shahi (Hindu dynasty). For a long time they successfully resisted the Arab invaders. The Islamization of Kabul began with the sense of mission of the Ghaznavids in the 11th century. In 1504 Kabul was conquered by Babur (1483–1530) and made the capital of his sphere of influence.

Nadir Shah of Persia (1688–1747) took the city in 1738. Under Timur Shah Durrani , the second son of Ahmad Shah Durrani (the founder of Afghanistan ), it became the capital of Afghanistan in 1776. Before that, Kandahar was the capital.

Kabul 1958

Kabul was captured by the British in 1839 during the First Anglo-Afghan War and partially burned down in 1842 in revenge after the defeat in the retreat. The British retook the city in 1879 after a massacre of British envoy Louis Cavagnari and his staff in the Second Anglo-Afghan War .

The Amani secondary school in Kabul was founded in 1924.

The Soviet Union occupied the city on December 23, 1979 and made it their headquarters during the ten-year conflict between the Soviet Union-allied government and the mujahideen rebels.

After the collapse of the government under President Najibullah in 1992, Kabul became the center of the civil war in which the various mujahideen groups fought each other. During this time, over 50,000 people lost their lives in the streets of Kabul. Most of Kabul, which had been spared the effects of the war to date, was also destroyed.

In 1995 the Pakistan-backed Taliban militias stood up to 15 kilometers from the city limits and conquered Kabul the following year. The Taliban proclaimed a strictly Islamic state in Kabul with its 1.2 million inhabitants. During the time of their rule, little changed in the ruined state of the capital.

On November 13, 2001, the Northern Alliance took over the city ​​after the Taliban withdrew from Kabul. The ISAF headquarters (HQ ISAF) was established in Kabul on December 22, 2001 .

After that, the reconstruction of the city began, largely financed from abroad. The airport was restored by Japan and most of the roads were re-paved. Even after the withdrawal of foreign troops, the city suffers from devastating attacks and the poor security situation. As a result, many buildings, primarily administration buildings, are surrounded by meter-high concrete walls and equipped with guards.

In 2016 the new Afghan parliament was opened, which was completed after several years of construction. It was entirely funded by India and labeled a gift from the Indian people to Afghanistan.

Kabul has been besieged by the Taliban since mid-August 2021 . On August 15, 2021, the Afghan government announced that it would peacefully hand over power in Kabul to the Taliban.

On August 16, the Taliban occupied the presidential palace and took power in the capital with the exception of the airport, which is still controlled by US forces.

Assassinations since 2016

In the terrorist attack in Kabul on April 19, 2016 , a suicide bomber killed at least 64 people and injured another 347.

During the terrorist attack in Kabul on July 23, 2016 , two ISIS attackers blew themselves up in the middle of a demonstration, killing 80 people.

On March 8, 2017, armed gangsters attacked the Sardar Daud Khan Military Hospital, killing at least 49 people.

In a bomb attack on May 3, 2017, eight people were killed and at least 25 injured, confirmed the deputy spokesman for the Ministry of Interior of Afghanistan, Najib Danish. The attack occurred around 8:00 a.m. ( UTC + 4: 30 ) near Massoud Square, not far from the United States Embassy , within Police Section 9, the Afghan National Police . Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles were hit during the attack and passed the area in a convoy . Bill Salvin, spokesman for the US Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A), confirmed that three members of the Resolute Support Mission were injured in the attack . The terrorist organization Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack through its propaganda mouthpiece Amaq .

On May 31, 2017, an explosion occurred in the Wazir Akbar Khan district, in Zanbaq Square, where numerous diplomatic and consular missions are based. At least 80 people were killed and more than 350 were injured. Among other things, the embassy building of the Federal Republic of Germany in Afghanistan was damaged by the explosion.

On June 3, 2017, 20 people died in three bomb attacks during a funeral.

The province of Kabul is at the top of the attack and casualty statistics because of the many attacks on the capital. According to the UN, the number of civilian victims of attacks in Kabul had already risen by 68 percent from 2015 to 2016 . By July 2017, it had grown by a further 59 percent compared to the same period of the previous year.

In the suicide attack on a Shiite cultural center and a news agency on December 28, 2017, 50 people died and more than 80 were injured.

On January 4, 2018, at least 20 people died in a suicide attack committed by the terrorist militia IS.

On January 20, 2018, at least 43 people were killed in an attack on the Intercontinental Hotel .

At least 95 people died in a suicide attack with a car bomb on January 27, 2018.

At least 29 people and 52 others were injured when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest in a crowd in front of a mosque on March 21, during the Nouruz New Year celebrations . The attack occurred near the university and Ali Abad Hospital. The Daesh terrorist militia (ISIL, ISIS) claimed the act for itself via Amaq .

April 22, 2018: In front of a voter registration center, a suicide bomber killed at least 69 people.

April 30: Two suicide bombers blew themselves up 20 minutes apart in the government district, killing a number of first responders and reporters, including Agence France-Presse photographer Shah Marai; TOLO News cameraman Yar Mohammad Tokhi; Ebadollah Hananzi and Sabvon Kakeker from Radio Free Europe ; Maharam Darani of Radio Azadai; TV1 cameramen Ghazi Rasoli and Norozali Rajabi; Salim Talash and Ali Salimi from Mashal TV.

In October 2018, a suicide bomber killed 15 people.

At least 40 people died in an attack on a religious celebration in November 2018.

2019 (selection)

In January 2019, four assassins blew up a truck. At least four people died and at least 113 people were injured.

In August 2019, a Taliban suicide bomber killed 14 people and injured another 145 with a car bomb.

Also in August, 63 wedding guests died in a bomb attack by the Islamic State (IS); more than 180 were wounded.

2020 (selection)

On March 25, 2020, 25 people died in an attack in a Sikh and Hindu temple.

In October 2020, an IS attacker blew himself up, killing several young people with him. The attack took place at an education center in the western district of Dascht-e Bartschi.


Golden Star Hotel in the Shahr-e Naw shopping, hotel and banking district

Clothing, furniture and beet sugar are the main products in Kabul , but the war that has persisted since 1979 has severely restricted the city's economic productivity. The Chamber of Commerce of the City of Kabul represents the interests of the private sector in the city. The majority of foreign imports flow to Kabul and regional goods are mostly sold via the capital. But the few Afghan exports, which are mainly composed of dried fruits , also pass through the city.

The national bankDa Afghanistan Bank ” and most of the Afghan companies have their headquarters here. Still, the unemployment rate in Kabul is high, especially after the return of millions of refugees from Pakistan, most of them moving to the capital.


In the city is the Kabul International Airport , which was restored by Japan after the war .

German designers, construction companies and machines played a prominent role in the construction of railways in Afghanistan in the 1930s. The connection Jalalabad - Kabul was planned by the Berlin consortium Lenz, but no longer exists today.

The 7 km long tram (streetcar) Kabul - Darulaman from 1923 was also operated with German Henschel locomotives from Kassel. During the Taliban era, the rails were dismantled and sold abroad as scrap metal.

Before the civil war, the construction of a metro (subway) was planned in Kabul, but this could not be implemented because the then Prime Minister Mohammed Daoud Khan was killed in a coup on April 27, 1978 .

The Kabul trolleybus , the only trolleybus operation in Afghanistan , ran in the capital from 1979 to 1993 . It had to be discontinued as a result of the civil war.

Primarily the main roads were redesigned and asphalted in the course of the reconstruction of the city. Nevertheless, there are numerous unpaved streets and alleys. Traffic is regulated by the traffic police, but traffic jams and accidents occur more often than the average.

The Ring Road connects Kabul with the largest cities in the country ( Kandahar , Herat , Mazar-e-Sharif ).


Well-known buildings are the Palaces of Arg , the Darul Aman Palace , the Tajbeg Palace , Bala Hissar or the Tschehel Sotun . The British Cemetery and the German Memorial to the Fallen refer to the international conflicts . The Intercontinental Kabul is one of the largest hotels in the country .

Gardens of Kabul

Kabul actually consisted of various gardens and parks, Bagh ( Persian باغ): such as Badam-Bagh , Bagh e Alam Ganj (was at Amani secondary school from 1924–1970), Bagh e Ali Mardan , Bagh e Babur , Bagh e Qazi , Bagh e Wazir , Baghe Tschel Seton or Chilsotoon Bagh (it says ( Persian تخت رستم) Tacht e Rostam ( Throne of Rostam ; see also Persepolis )), Gul Bagh , Baghe Bala , Bagh e Vafa , Bagh e Pole Ommumi , Qarabagh , Bagh e Zanana, Bagh e Shah Rara , Bagh e Nur Afshan , Bagh e Gul Tschar Bagh , Nila Bagh , Nasir Bagh and the parks like Park e Zarnegar , Cinema Park and many more . Most of these gardens were laid out in Kabul during the Mughal Empire .

The above gardens were pleasure gardens for kings and pleasure gardens for the population, especially on Fridays for picnics and during festivals for various events, games, kite flying and competitions. The Babur Garden , which has been renovated in the meantime, is now available to the Kabul population again.

Over time, these gardens were either destroyed or repurposed for other purposes. These gardens do not include the orchards and vegetable gardens that were laid out during the Indus civilization . Alexander the great founded the place Istafil (means wine) in the northwest of Kabul. Today the place is called Istalif because of the sound shift . The place is famous for its pottery and kilim production .


The most successful football club is Ariana Kabul FC , which has won the Afghan championship ten times. In 2007, the football club FC Kabul Bank was runner-up in the Afghanistan Premier League . The Ghazi Stadium is the home stadium of FC Maiwand , but is also used by other clubs from Kabul. However, since the stadium was not adapted to international standards, a new stadium was built in Kabul. As cricket is playing an increasingly important role, a new venue has also been set up for it, the ( Alokozay Kabul International Cricket Ground ).

sons and daughters of the town

See also

Individual evidence

  1. a b NSIA. Retrieved August 9, 2020 (Persian / Pashto / English).
  2. Population map Afghanistan (PDF; 547 kB), National Geographic , 2003.
  3. World 101 largest Cities. Retrieved July 23, 2018 .
  4. Forecast 2100: Lagos will be the largest city in the world. July 21, 2019, accessed on June 1, 2020 (German).
  5. World Urbanization Prospects - Population Division - United Nations. Retrieved July 23, 2018 .
  6. Afghanistan: Federal government wants to start evacuation tomorrow. August 15, 2021, accessed August 15, 2021 .
  7. ^ Afghan government plans "peaceful transfer of power" to Taliban. August 15, 2021, accessed August 15, 2021 .
  8. Afghanistan: 49 dead in attack on hospital. In: Zeit Online. March 8, 2017. Retrieved June 26, 2017 .
  9. Mujib Mashal: Suicide Bombing on US Military Convoy in Kabul Kills 8 Afghans. In: The New York Times. May 3, 2017, accessed May 3, 2017 .
  10. Sayed Salahuddin, Pamela Constable: Massive blast in the heart of Kabul's diplomatic quarter kills at least 80. The Washington Post, May 31, 2017, accessed May 31, 2017 .
  11. Kabul blast: Deadly explosions at protest victim's funeral . BBC News. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  12. At least 20 dead in IS suicide attack in Kabul In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung , January 4, 2018, accessed on January 5, 2018
  13. Afghanistan: Many dead in the attack in Kabul. In: Zeit Online. January 4, 2018, accessed January 5, 2018 .
  14. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/27/world/asia/afghanistan-kabul-attack.html
  15. https://www.aljazeera.com/amp/news/2018/03/afghanistan-dozens-killed-explosion-kabul-university-180321083838645.html
  16. https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/kabul-selbstmordanschlag-103.html
  17. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-election/suicide-attack-kills-15-people-in-afghan-capital-on-election-day-idUSKCN1MT2PG?il=0
  18. http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/ausland/afghanistan-dutzende-tote-bei-explosion-in-kabul-15900365.html
  19. Afghanistan: Taliban confess to attack in Kabul. In: Zeit Online, January 14, 2019
  20. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/suicide-blast-afghanistan-kills-14-people-145-wounded-n1039901?cid=ed_npd_bn_tw_bn
  21. https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-asia-49383803
  22. tagesschau.de: Kabul: At least 25 dead after attack on Sikh temple. Accessed June 1, 2020 .
  23. ^ Afghanistan - IS terrorist militia claims deadly attack on university. In: Deutschlandfunk . November 2, 2020, accessed November 2, 2020 .


  • Nancy Hatch Dupree , Aḥmad ʻAlī Kuhzād: An Historical Guide to Kabul . Afghan Tourist Organization, Kabul 1965
  • Christine Issa: Building culture as a symbol of national identity. The example of Kabul, Afghanistan. Dissertation, Justus Liebig University Gießen 2009 ( full text ).
  • Dominic Medley, Jude Barrand: Kabul (= The Bradt mini guide). Bradt, Chaldont St. Peter 2003, ISBN 1-84162-085-8 .
  • Horst Nußer: Kabul in a nutshell (= Geography Compact; Vol. 108). Nusser, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-88091-648-9 .
  • Jan Dimog: Architectural Guide Kabul . DOM publishers, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-86922-405-3 .

Web links

Commons : Kabul  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Kabul  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations