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Residency, [Kabul], back view.

Residency, [Kabul], back view.

Photographer: Bengal Sappers and Miners

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1879

Shelfmark: Photo 197/(16)

Item number: 16

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the ruined Residency buildings from outside the Bala Hissar at Kabul photographed by the Bengal Sappers and Miners, an engineering arm of the Indian Army in c. 1879. Home to some of Afghanistan’s most important kings, the Bala Hissar is an ancient citadel, dating back to the time of the White Huns in the 5th century. It is located to the south of Kabul in a prominent position overlooking the city. The fortress was originally divided into two parts, the lower fortress contained three royal palaces, stables and barracks and the upper fortress housed the armoury and dungeon of Kabul. In the 19th century the British were engaged in conflicts with Afghanistan due to British fear of Russian encroachment on their Indian colony and internal divisions within Afghanistan. The Bala Hissar was occupied intermittently by the British and was partially destroyed by General Roberts in retaliation for the killing of the British resident, Cavagnari and his mission in 1879.

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