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Herāt (Persian: هرات) is the third largest city of Afghanistan and the capital of the province also known as Herāt. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of 397,500. The city is linked with Kandahar, Mazar-e Sharif and Kabul via a circular highway that stretches across the country.

Situated in a fertile area, Herāt is about 2,700 years old and was traditionally known for its wine. The city has many historic buildings, although these have suffered damage in various military conflicts during the last few decades. It is dominated by the remains of a citadel constructed by Alexander the Great. During the Middle Ages Herāt became one of the important cities of Khorasan, it was known as the Pearl of Khorasan.

Herāt lies on the ancient trade routes of the Middle East, Central and South Asia. The roads from Herāt to Iran, Turkmenistan, and other parts of the country are still strategically important. The city is the gateway to Iran, collecting the highest amount of customs revenue for Afghanistan.[1] Persian-speaking Tajiks are the main inhabitants of the city, and are roughly the same as the Persians of Eastern Iran.[2][3]


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