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The Afghan Capital

The Afghan Capital image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Cabul, the present capital of Afghanistan, suffered a temporary eclipse in the middle of the last century through the rise of its southern rival, Kandahar. The latter, founded, in 1754, by Shaw Ahmed, the greatest of Afghan sov-, ereigns, rapidly grcw into one of the largest and most flonrishing cities of the lcingdom: but, on its founder's death, in 1772, nis effeminate son, Timonr, transferral t}ie spat of government to Cabul, where it has remained ever since. It mnst be owned that this dignity is fully merited. Standing tipon a river of the same name, in the midst of a wide plain bordered by low hills and dotted with eountless villages, the Afghan metropolis has a striking picturesqneness of aspect, heightenedby the innumerable gardens which are the prominent feature of every Asiatic city from Tnshkend to Damascus. The honses are of wood, Imt nni ch noater and more commodioub tluin is usual in Eastern towns. The great bazar and several of the public buildings are of essentially moderr construction, thanks to the partía demolition of the place by the Englisl in October, 1842; but it possesses one splendid monument of antiquity in tin tomb of the Emperor Baber, the founder of the Mogul dynasty of India. lts climate is sürprisingly healthy on the whole, although the grcat difference of temperature between day and night exposes foreigners to the risk of fever and ophthalmia. From a military poiut of view, again, its position, which may be compared with that of Sophia in Western Turkey, is idmirable lor all purposes of defense. Placed at the inj tersection oí the four great roads leadj ing to Koondooz, Herat, Peshawur and ■ Kandahar, it is protected on the north by the snows of the Hindoo Koosh, and on the southeast by the westernmost spur of the Suleimann range, while the most practicable approach from the southwest is commanded by the impreg! nable fortress of Ghizni, the Afghan Gibraltar, whose capture in 1841 was only aceomplished by treachery. In a word, Cabul needs nothing but a more complete system of fortiflcation to make it one of the strongest places in Central Asia.


Old News
Michigan Argus