Herat (Persian: ???? / is the capital of Herat province in Afghanistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 397,456 as of 2006. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan. The city is linked with Kandahar, Mazar-i Sharif and Kabul via a circular highway that stretches across the country.
Situated in a fertile area, Herat 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. During the Middle Ages Herat became one of the important cities of Khorasan, as it was known as the Pearl of Khorasan.