Ekhtiyaruddin historical castle or Herat s Arg which is also known as Alexander s Great castle is one of the historical monuments of Herat which were destroyed and reconstructed during war period many times.
Some of the historians belive that Shamiran Foundation instituted this monument and some belive it is the first monu-ment in Speh s period.
As history says when Alexander the Great attacked Her-at he faced resistance of people in this region which had been called Artakuna Fence meaning Ariana Center. After the attack the Alexander repaired the castle.
This castle is located between Bardaniha and Qotbichaq ar-eas and had been used as defense center of Heartprovince.
To protect attack of Turks and Saljooqis armies during the period of Sultan Massod Ghaznawi Afghan army settled in this castle which was destroyed during war but was renewed after Saljooqs occupation.
In 571 Hijri Qamari Qoor is used this castle as a military base which during attack of Tuli Khan Son of the Changihz 12000 defenders of this castle were killed and castle had been occupid by Son of the Changihz.
By a revolution people of Herat reoccupied the castle and because of that Son of the Changihz got too angry and besieged Herat for six months and killed of the population except six teen persons.
In 695 Hijri Qamari Ekhtiyaruddin the military commander of Malik Fakhruddin reconstructed the castle and since then this is called as Ekhtiyaruddin Castle.
In 785 Hijri Qamari Amir Timur Kurgani who occupied Herat separated wall of the castle from the main wall of herat
Province so that to eliminate any threats from castle.
Shahrokh mirza timuri in 818 hijri qamari instructed to build surrounding wall by brick, stone and lime and used as his cultural and military base.
In 912 hijri qamari that shibanis occupied Heart,they oc- cutied the castle as wenn and because of this a heavy war hap-pened between Safawis and Shaibanis in 916 Hijir Qamari.
Ekhtiyarudin Castle was repaired in period of Minister Yar Mohammad Khan Alokozay and commander Faramarz khan but in 1330 Hijir Shamsi General Hayatullah Khan the super commander of military division started destruction of the castle and Zarnigar House which has recorded as a shame in the his tory.
Zarnigar House had been decorated by Ustad Kamanuddin Behzad and Mikanzh the Italian miniaturist.
In 1335 Hijir Shamsi UNESCO started the reconstruction of the castle which continued till 1363.
This castle has eastern and western parts which the eastern part was used as privacy area of kings and the western part was used as military base.
The length of the castle is 250 meters and its width is about 70 meters. Recently by contribution of the United States of America the reconstruction of the castle has been started by Aqa Khan Cultural Foundation. After the project conclusion it will be named and opened as cultural center of Heart.