- Herat, the capital of Herat province is of the principle cities in the northwest of Afghanistan. It is located in a valley just north of the Hari Rud, some 915 m (3,000 ft) above sea level . Prior to the invasion of Alexander, there was another city, Artakana, on the site of which the present Herat was built by Alexander as one of his Alexandrias.
- Strategically located on the trade and migration route from the Mediterranean to Asia, Herat was long known as a center of art and learning. It is famous for its silks and carpets and is a trade center for the fruits, hides, and wool produced in the surrounding agricultural area.
- Herat was the capital of Khorasan under the Islamic Kings. It was completely destroyed by Chengiz (Genghis) Khan (1221), and later Tamerlane (Timur Lang) (1383). Shah Rukh, Timur's successor established the Timurid capital there (14041507). For a time an independent Afghan kingdom, Herat became part of Afghanistan in 1861.
Queen Gauharshad Tomb
- Herat once more lived a period of splendor during the reign of the Timourid Kings (15th century) and today the ruins of minarets, mosques and other monuments are standing witness to that splendid period, when art and literature had attained a high degree of perfectoin.