Main façade, Attarbashi house (2016) by AKTC / Simon NorfolkThe Aga Khan Trust for Culture
When in 2004 the Aga Khan Trust for Culture commenced its restoration activities in Herat, one of the first projects undertaken was the restoration of the Attarbashi house in the Bar Durrani quarter of the Old City.
Built in the early 20th century by a distinguished Herati physician and practitioner of herbal medicine, this sizeable residential complex had partially collapsed when documentation activities began in the spring of 2005.
Remains of decorated plasterwork and lattice screens excavated under the ruins of a double-height reception room in the southern range were carefully documented, while elements that could be repaired and reused were relocated to a carpentry workshop established on the premises.
Attarbashi house (2016) by AKTC / Simon NorfolkThe Aga Khan Trust for Culture
Earth accumulated on the roofs was removed, following which damaged timber joists were replaced, new wooden boards were installed, and a protective layer of mud-straw plaster was applied.
Reconstruction of the domed reception space in the southern range was undertaken, drawing on examples from similar homes in the area, and external colonnades in the upper sections of both wings were restored along with extensive repairs made to timber screens.
Passed Down through Generations
The diversity of restoration work in the Attarbashi house has enabled the development of a range of skills among Herati craftsmen and contributed to efforts to raise awareness among local community members and professionals in Herat.
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) wishes to express its appreciation, first and foremost, to its staff and consultants for their tireless efforts and commitment towards preserving Afghanistan’s rich tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
In addition to resources provided directly by AKTC, the restoration of heritage sites shown in this exhibition were supported through financial contributions made by the Federal Republic of Germany, the Government of the United States and its Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.
This online exhibition was made possible through the efforts of Theresa zu Leiningen, Mohammad Baqir Yaqubi and Dr. Arash Boostani.