On the outskirts of Kabul, sits what was once Afghanistan's most ceremonious buildings; the Darul Aman palace. Built in the early 1920s by King Amanullah Khan, who wanted to modernise the country by building a new capital city, which Khan wanted to connect to Kabul via a narrow gauge railway.
Now, it lies in ruins.

With walls peppered with bullet holes, roofs which are collapsing and graffiti around its pillars, the Darul Aman has become a symbol of failed attempts to bring peace to war-torn Afghanistan. Decades of fighting have eroded the essence of grandeur that the palace once gave off, and while most of the city has been repaired after it was ravaged by wars and Taliban occupation, the palace remains in ruins.

Darul Aman palace
The Darul Aman palaceOmar Sobhani/ Reuters

In 1969, the building was gutted by a fire, only to be restored to house the Defence Ministry during the 1970s and 1980s. During the Communist coup of 1978, the palace was set alight for a second time. It was damaged again as rival Mujahideen factions, who fought for control of Kabul in the early 1990s, after the end of the Soviet invasion. Heavy shelling caused by the Mujahideen, also known as Peshawar Seven, has left the palace a gutted ruin.

Darul Aman palace
The ruins of the Darul Aman palaceOmar Sobhani/ Reuters
Darul Aman palace
Afghan policemen stand amidst the ruins of the Darul Aman palaceOmar Sobhani/ Reuters

Across the hill from the once majestic palace lies the National Assembly, inaugurated in December following a $100m (£68m, €87m) build. Now, President Ashram Ghan has his sights set on the Darul Aman. Plans are now under way to transform the palace into a museum and venue for national ceremonies – a project which will take at least three years and will cost up to $20m, a media adviser for the ministry of Urban Development and Housing told Reuters.

However, the plan is to rebuild, even though the latest phase of Afghanistan's decades of conflict seems from over and could still derail the good intentions. Many people believe the palace should be left alone, serving as a reminder of the awful destruction that war unleashes.

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Graffiti is seen on a wall of the Darul Aman palaceOmar Sobhani/ Reuters
Darul Aman palace
A wall damaged by bullets is seen at the Darul Aman palaceOmar Sobhani/ Reuters
Darul Aman palace
Graffiti is seen on a wall of the Darul Aman palaceOmar Sobhani/ Reuters
Darul Aman palace
A staircase is seen at the Darul Aman palaceOmar Sobhani/ Reuters
Darul Aman palace
A policeman walks inside the Darul Aman palaceOmar Sobhani/ Reuters
Darul Aman palace
Graffiti is seen on a wall of the Darul Aman palaceOmar Sobhani/ Reuters
Darul Aman palace
Afghanistan's new parliament building is seen from the ruins of Darul Aman palace in KabulOmar Sobhani/ Reuters
Darul Aman palace
The ruins of the Darul Aman palaceOmar Sobhani/ Reuters
Darul Aman palace
Boys stand in the window of the ruins of Darul Aman palaceFayaz Kabli/ Reuters
Darul Aman palace
A policeman walks inside the Darul Aman palaceOmar Sobhani/ Reuters
Darul Aman palace
The ruins of the Darul Aman palaceOmar Sobhani/ Reuters
Darul Aman palace
Graffiti is seen on a wall of the Darul Aman palaceOmar Sobhani/ Reuters
Darul Aman palace
The ruins of the Darul Aman palaceOmar Sobhani/ Reuters
Darul Aman palace
A boy sells cigarettes on a snow covered street in front of the war torn Darul Aman PalaceMohammad Ismail/ Reuters
Darul Aman palace
2011: A man rides a bicycle past the ruins of Darul Aman palaceManan Vatsyayana/ AFP
Darul Aman palace
2010: Laundry hangs up to dry in a once-ornate anteroom in the Darul Aman PalaceChris Hondros/ Getty Images
Darul Aman palace
2010: A girl stands in the ruins Darul Aman PalaceChris Hondros/ Getty Images
Darul Aman palace
2005: Aerial view of the Darul-Aman palace, the former house of Afghan King Amanullah (1920-1929), taken from an ISAF helicopterEmmanuel Duparcq/ AFP
Darul Aman palace
2005: A woman walks past the snow-covered Darul Aman's PalaceShah Mara/ AFP
Darul Aman palace
2001: People walk along a street in Kabul, with the ruined Darul Aman palace in the backgroundAlexander Nemenov/ AFP