Фотография и часть текста из материала блога "Bill and Bob's Excellent Afghan Adventure. Any opinions expressed are mine and mine alone. I do not claim to speak for the US Army, the Department of Defense, or the United States Government". http://billandbobsadventure.blogspot.com/2007....ul.html
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Darulaman: The Dowager Queen of Kabul
The palace was really interesting. It was completed in 1931 and a German engineer was in
charge of it. It is absolutely massive, and I can't tell you how many rooms it had. Very little of the interior hadn't been stripped. It was apparent that everything had been looted over the years. The walls were bare... and by that I mean that the marble, tile, or whatever had been removed... and even the electrical wires had been pulled out. Most of the stair railings had been removed, too. People will take any kind of scrap metal to sell. The marble floors had been torn up, with only remnants remaining, and in one bathroom all of the tile had been removed along with the bathtub, which had to be incredibly heavy, judging by the ones that remained.
In the center of the building there was a small courtyard, the palace surrounding it with glassless windows. It was ghostly, because of all the life that had once been there.
Some of the rooms were enormous, columned rooms that were large enough for the ANA guards to kick around a soccer ball, having a good time. The walls were bare concrete, the low-aggregate concrete having been used in construction like plaster. The only decorative features were the nicely poured concrete columns, much too massive to remove. Here and there some of the marble coverings survived.
She is a lifeless hulk now, stripped of even its wiring. Concertina wire fills some of the stairways, and sandbagged bunkers occupy what had been beautiful open balconies. There is dramatic evidence of huge blows to the building.
The sturdy construction of the building was violently exposed in one room by the impact of some type of high explosive projectile. Five layers of brickwork were penetrated, a hole about four and a half feet wide open to the air. Inside the room was a pile of shattered brick. The force of the explosion had been so great that brick material was blown onto the opposite wall like mud spatters, firmly adhering to the concrete wall.
With a little imagination it is not too hard to imagine the former majesty of this great edifice. It still bears a ghostly dignity, even as a matriarch of battle; a testament to the fact that no matter how hard this country is battered, it still stands, bullet holes and all. She may seem lifeless and bleak, but as long as she stands on the hill overlooking Kabul, there is hope she will be restored. Kabul teems with life, struggling to rebuild, but this dowager queen stands patiently on her hill, and life will not fill her halls once again until Kabul is restored first.