The so-called "Central Palace," is one of several large residential structures that comprise the palace-suburb of Lashkari Bazar
, located to the north of the medieval Afghan city of Bust. The palace was excavated by Daniel Schlumberger who called it the "Château du Centre" based on its location between the site's two other major palaces: the North Palace and South (or Grand) Palace
. Based on the structure's relationship to an adjoining garden, dated to the earliest phase of Islamic occupation at the site, and its lack of relationship with the North and South Palaces, which are Ghaznavid in date, Terry Allen has suggested that this building predates Mahmud I of Ghazna's
construction of the South Palace (after 998/388 AH), and may date as early as the middle of the tenth/fourth century AH.
The building is situated along the bank of the Helmand River, over which it would have commanded an unobstructed view. It is a rectangular structure made of mud brick with three-quarter-round towers at each corner, rising two stories high. The ground floor is divided into two sections by a central, axial hallway running north south. The two sections are further divided into rectangular chambers. The layout suggests storage rather than living quarters. Two stairwells, one on the east and the other on the west side of the building, just south of the central axis, lead onto the second floor. The plan of the second story contains two apartment-like assemblages and what may be interpreted as a mosque.
Adjoining the Central Palace to the east is a large walled enclosure that the site's excavators have interpreted as a garden. To its north, a smaller rectangular building that Schlumberger called the "Châtelet" and Allen described as the "Large River Pavilion" nearly abuts the palace, having almost certainly been built before the Central Palace was constructed.
Allen, Terry. "Notes on Bust." Iran 26 (1988): 44-68.
Schlumberger, Daniel. Lashkari Bazar: Une residence royale ghaznévide et ghoride. Part 1A: L’architecture. Paris: Diffusion de Boccard, 1978.