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Herat Old City: A Living History

Herat, Afghanistan

The restoration of key buildings in Herat Old City has overcome tremendous challenges and demonstrates the important role of cultural revitalization as an integral part of the process towards establishing normalcy in a post-conflict situation.

The project showcases a holistic approach to regeneration by initiating the conservation of the entire historic district through the strategic restoration of the bazaar, mosque and gateway. The success of these initial steps provides the confidence needed to undertake the larger-scale rebuilding works. Excellent documentation of the historic structures provided the basis for the restoration decision-making process. The restoration works display a high level of craftsmanship and a commitment to the use of traditional materials, leading to a positive impact in reviving the traditional construction system as well as the local building trades.

The community-led project has clarified the reading of the historic cityscape, strengthened the social fabric, and renewed Herat’s spirit of place.

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