Historic Silk Road caravansary in Badakhshan province faces imminent collapse

A Silk Road caravansary in Afghanistan’s northeastern Badakhshan province is in grave danger of collapsing, according to officials from the Taliban’s Directorate of Information and Culture.

Located in Wurjud district, the caravansary has only two walls and towers remaining intact, with a large part already destroyed due to decades of neglect, according to locals.

Mohammad Farooq Arifi, the Head of Art and Culture in the Taliban’s Directorate of Information and Culture in Badakhshan, emphasised that the loss of this ancient structure would signify the disappearance of an integral part of the province’s rich history.

Mohammad Hashem, an elderly resident of Wurduj district, recalled that the caravansary had served as a mosque and a place for travelers in the past. He mentioned that during the reign of King Zahir Shah, who reigned from 1933 to 1973, it was used as a military base.

Currently, part of the caravansary is housing a school.

Many historical monuments across Afghanistan have been at risk of destruction in recent years. Some, including the Bhuddas of Bamiyan, were destroyed by the Taliban during the group’s last time in power.