The 12.5 hectare Chihilsitoon Garden laid in ruins for the past 26 years before a project by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture restored the site to former glory, incorporating 10,200 m2 of modernized or newly constructed rammed earth buildings to provide high-quality facilities for visitors. Formerly a 19th century royal garden transformed in the early 20th century into a state property housing visiting dignitaries, including most notably U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, the site had been heavily damaged and looted during the internecine conflict of the early 1990’s. The project began in early 2015 and was completed by mid-2018 with a €15.1 million budget provided by the German Federal Foreign Office through the KfW Development Bank and entailed extensive partnerships with local communities, Kabul Municipality, and the Ministries of Culture and Urban Development. Rehabilitation of the Chihilsitoon garden is the largest project carried out to date by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, which has completed more than 140 restoration and landscaping projects across Afghanistan since commencing its work in 2002.
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