Bagh-e Babur Restoration: Queen's Palace
Kabul, Afghanistan
Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme

This residential palace was built by Amir Abdur Rahman Khan (1880-1901) in the southeast corner of Bagh-e Babur. It was bequeathed to his third wife Bibi Halima after his death, and is now known as the Queen's Palace.

The main reception rooms of the palace are accessed from an open verandah running around three sides of a central courtyard, which afford fine views of the garden below. Adjoining the perimeter wall of the garden on two sides, the palace has two arched entrances to the north, one of which is designed for carriages. In the southern wing is a small brick-domed hammam, which retains its internal plaster decoration. The main structure was load-bearing mud brick; the pitched roof was supported on a timber structure that included the verandah.

The palace was heavily damaged in a fire that consumed its roof and portico during wartime. It was restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture between 2003 and 2006.


Dupree, Nancy Hatch. "Kabul". An Historical Guide to Afghanistan, Internet Edition. [Accessed December 4, 2005; inaccessible October 31, 2012. Text now available at]

Dupree, Nancy Hatch. 1965. "Babur Shah Gardens." An Historical Guide to Kabul, Internet Edition. [Accessed July 31, 2006; inaccessible October 31, 2012]

Niedermayer, Oskar von and Ernst Diez. 1924. Afganistan. Leipzig, K.W. Hiersemann.

Parpagliolo, Maria Teresa Shephard. 1972. Kabul: The Bagh-i Babur. Rome: IsMEO.

"Bagh-e Babur Excavation and Training Program." Website of the Deutsches Archaologisches Institut. [Accessed December 4, 2005]

"Historic Cities Programme Website." Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) Website. [Accessed August 10, 2006]

"In pictures: Kabul's Moghul Garden." November 6, 2003. Website of the BBC News, World Edition. [Accessed December 4, 2005]

""Paradise Garden" Restoration to Revitalise Kabul." 2002. Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) Website. [Accessed October 31, 2012]

Southeast corner of gardens, Kabul, Afghanistan
Images & Videos
Associated Names
Part of Site
Associated Collections
late 19th c., restored 2003-2006
Style Periods
Variant Names
Haremserai (Harem serai
Harem sarai
Building Usages