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Herat (; Persian: هرات; ; , Alexandria Ariana; ) is the second-largest city of Afghanistan. It has a population of about 436,300, and serves as the capital of Herat Province, situated in the fertile valley of the Herey River. It is linked with Kandahar and Mazar-e-Sharif via highway 1 or the ring road. It is further linked to the city of Mashhad in neighboring Iran through the border town of Islam Qala.

Herat dates back to the Avestan times and was traditionally known for its wine. The city has a number of historic sites, including the Herat Citadel and the Mosallah Complex. During the Middle Ages Herat became one of the important cities of Khorasan, as it was known as the Pearl of Khorasan. It has been governed by various Afghan rulers since the early 18th century. In 1717, the city was invaded by the Hotaki forces until they were expelled by the Afsharids in 1736. After Nader Shah's death and Ahmad Shah Durrani's rise to power in 1747, Herat became part of Afghanistan. It witnessed some political disturbances and military invasions during the early half of the 19th century but the 1857 Treaty of Paris ended hostilities of the Anglo-Persian War. Herat suffered from extensive destruction during the Soviet war in the 1980s, but certain parts of the city have been spared from it.

Herat lies on the ancient trade routes of the Middle East, Central and South Asia. The roads from Herat to Iran, Turkmenistan, and other parts of Afghanistan are still strategically important. As the gateway to Iran, it collects high amount of customs revenue for Afghanistan. The city has an international airport.

Herat is a regional hub in western Afghanistan in close proximity to Iran and Turkmenistan. The city has high residential density clustered around the core of the city. However, vacant plots account for a higher percentage of the city (21%) than residential land use (18%) and agricultural is the largest percentage of total land use (36%).

Usage examples of "herat".

Iranian border near the Kazakhistan city of Ashkhabad and the Afghanistan city of Herat.

Merchants in flowing silk robes sat cross-legged before their booths, extolling the quality of their goods--Mosul silk, matchlocks from Herat, edged weapons from India, and seed pearls from Baluchistan, hawk-like Afghans and weapon-girdled Uzbeks jostled him.

They continued through the canyons for another hour before Herat finally guided them into a narrow, rising gulch, then climbed to a vast sandrock plateau painted in crimson and rust by the setting suns.

His army was in fact reduced to such a deplorable condition, from the scarcity of provisions and the predatory incursions of the Turcomans, that all hopes of undertaking a winter campaign against Herat were given up, and, despite the remonstrances of the Russian plenipotentiary, the shah led back his forces into Persia.

So King Herat put out from Thobos with many war galleys, to avenge the wrong that Atka had done his god and to succor the strangers who had been instrumental in recovering the true Father of Diamonds from the bottom of Holy Horus.

Sayuri Nakada was probably running on family credit, and when the plot failed and the sun rose she might drag the entire Nakada family down with herat least, I thought so for a minute or two, but then I changed my mind.

With the sandcrawler's initializer core hidden in the speeder's cargo bay, Grees and his compatriots would still be in the cave, struggling to bring the reactor core on-line when Herat returned with her clanmates to bury their dead and reclaim their property.