No Peace in the Valley

The ruins of Shahr-i-Gholghola — variously known as the City of Silence, the City of Noise or the Cursed City — tower above the Bamiyan plains of central Afghanistan, a single watchtower left of what, until its destruction in 1222, was a flourishing city on the Silk Route between Europe and China. Antitank mines left by a Soviet garrison in the 1980s deter visitors from exploring the caves and tunnels where the Taliban sheltered from coalition bombing last fall. On the other side of the plateau are sandstone cliffs honeycombed with caves and the empty niches that held the two giant...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!