Woodburn, C.W. From the Bala Hissar to the Arg: How Royal Fortress Palaces Shaped Kabul, 1830–1930. In The Court Historian: The International Journal of Court Studies, Volume 17, Issue 2 (pp.171-188). London: Society for Court Studies, 2012.
Kabul has been a major trading center for many centuries. Usually the seat of a local ruler or governor, Kabul became the capital of Afghanistan in 1775. From accounts by visitors in the 1830S and officers involved in the two nineteenth-century Anglo-Afghan wars, a detailed picture can be built up of its citadel, the Bala Hissar, and of the adjacent city that lay between it and the Kabul River to its north. In 1880, Amir Abdur Rahman Khan decided to build a new fortress-palace, the Arg, on the open plain on the northern side of the river. This was a watershed in the development of Kabul. Not only had the court and the government moved into that area in this period, and a new city developed alongside, it was also a time when European ideas influenced the architecture of the court. Dynastic struggles and revolutions changed the rulers, but the Arg, though often altered, remained the centre of government.
Renderings in the article were produced by Ian Templeton. The article can be download from Maney Online here