Photographer's Note

This photo is relatively old, from August 1972, but the Citadel on the hill is a lot older. It was built in the early 15th century, but this spot is supposed to have been fortified since the days of Alexander the Great, who was here in about 330-329 B.C.

This is Herat in western Afghanistan. I passed through here roughly 2300 years after Alexander. The citadel was in a bad shape and I was never inside. It may not even have been possible. In the late 1970's there was a lot of restoration work done, financed by the UNESCO, but then the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan and during the following decades of wars the citadel was once again severely damaged.

In recent years Herat has been one of the relatively safest and most prosperous cities of Afghanistan, with a lot of money coming in from border trade with Iran. With a relative degree of peace it has become possible to consider other things than just staying alive. According to what I have found on the internet the citadel was reopened as a museum in 2011 after three years of extensive restoration. I have found several photos on the net and I will borrow one to show you as a workshop, to give you an idea of what it looks like today, about 40 years after my photo.

I am fully aware that this is a technically not very impressive photo. The bright light made it difficult to get a good exposure of the general view, and at the same time the faces of relatively distant people. I tried to lighten the faces of the man crossing the street and the "taxi-driver", but nothing could be done.

This was taken while I was still in my "pre-Kodachrome" days, so I have scanned it from an Agfacolor slide. A larger version can be seen here.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6978 W: 407 N: 13807] (65360)
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