Herat is one of the most ancient cities in Asia and the most famous Islamic city of Khorasan.
In its history, it has been a cradle of western and eastern civilizations.
Once it was located along the Silk Road, so it was one of the crossing points of important roads of Central Asia, Middle East and South Asia.
Herat is made up of two distinguished parts, one is the old city and another is the new city which was built in 1934.
Kohandezh (the likely site of pre-13th century Herat) and part of the city from the Timurid era (now only some ruins are remaining) located in the Khiyaban area are apart from this division.
Herat’s old city was designed in a small area that had four big towers as following:
Northeastern Tower called “Kalan Bigh”;
Southeastern Tower called “Abdullah Misry”;
Southwestern Tower called “Khakester” or “Khak Bar Sar”;
Northwestern Tower called “Feel Khanah”.
The surrounding walls had small towers, as part of the defense-system of Herat.
Herat’s old city had four gates opening to four directions. On the north alone it had two gates. These gates were:
- Eastern Gate, called “Darb-e-Khosh”;
- Southern Gate, called “Darb-e-Qandahar” or “Darb-e-Ferooz Abad”;
- Western Gate, called “Darb-e-Iraq”;
- Northeastern Gate-eastward, called “Qotbichaaq”,
- Northern Gate-westward, called “Darb-e-Malik.
Each gate had a bridge over the big moat which was dug around the city.
Herat city has four localities:
- Qotbichaaq Locality;
- Mohmands Locality;
- Bardaraniha Locality;
- Abdullah Misri Locality.
Generally, there were three centers in the city:
- Citadel (Arg): Place of residence of governor and governmental administrations;
- Great Mosque: Place of religious gatherings;
- Char Sawq: Place of trade and dealing goods.