The historic Persepolis or Takht-e-Jamshid (1979) Cradle of Civilization represents the greatest successes of the ancient Achaemenes Empire as well as its final demise. The ruins you see today are a mere shadow of its former glory. The striking point about its architecture is not only about how grand or detailed it is but how delicately it was influenced by the construction art of nations from around the globe. Tiles were brought from Babylon, precious stones from India, Cedrus wood from Lebanon and Lydians and Greeks worked together with Persians to raise hundreds of columns to the sky. It was the sea of government of the Achaemenid Empire, although it was prepared for the receptions and festivals of the kings and their empire. The ensemble of its majestic approaches, monumental stairways, throne rooms, reception rooms, and annex buildings is categorized among the world’s greatest archaeological sites, among those which have no equivalent and which bear witness of a unique quality and to a most ancient civilization. The most compelling part of the complex is the Apadana staircase. Rows of Persian nobles in formal clothing with headdresses that distinguishes them from the Medes in round caps are carved into the walls.An immortal army whose name was due to the fact that its number never decreased followed them. In case any soldier died, another would quickly replace him. And then come to the dignitaries from all across the empire to pay their respect to the king by gifts they have brought from home. Its monumental staircases, exquisitely carved reliefs and the gateways leave you in no doubt of its grandeur, and its broken and fallen columns attest to its ruthless fall. However, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. The main construction work of Persepolis began in 520 BC when Darius the Great took power and the process continued over a period of 150 years. The remaining ruins of this ancient city are reflective of its once glorious and majestic condition. Its existence owes to the fact that it was once lost for hundreds of years under dust and sand. The most majestic part of Persepolis is the eastern staircase of Apadana on which the pictures of representatives from all 28 subordinate nations under the rule of Achaemenid Dynasty had been depicted giving gifts from their local region to the kings. There are also ossuaries in the mountain beside Persepolis in which several tombs pertaining to the kings had been dug intricately. The complex had been used mainly for ceremonial reasons and for winter and spring time. There are a number of palaces in this surviving architectural wonder of the world allocated to its kings such as the mirror palace, Apadana palace and private palaces including Tachara which is the most striking with skilled reliefs which are some of the most photogenic, Hadish which was completed by Xerexes, and an unfinished palace named Palace H. The last palace worth visiting is one hundred column palace.The palace is still marked by Alexander’s fire: three feet of ash covered the floor in some places when it was excavated- and many of the columns are still visibly scarred by those flames which burned over two thousand years ago.
Today, the enticing spectacular glory of the ruins of Persepolis reveal both the glory of the Achaemenid Empire, and the abruptness of its passing. In order to understand its magnificence and glory, you don’t have to do much; just walk through the Gate of all nations and observe the perfectly detailed drawings of the surviving pillars and masons, and they will speak for themselves.
Visiting time from 8:00 A.M. to 17:00 P.M.
Entrance fee: About 6 US$
Address:60 km north of Shiraz, Marvdasht City, Persepolis
Tips when visiting the site:
- Get a map: because there is no map provided at the ticket office, so print either something from the Internet, or have book that shows the routes of this site.
- Bring a small bag: backpacks are not permitted inside the complex so try to have a carry-on bag or portable bag around your shoulders.
- Eat well before coming here: you will have to walk for several hours on foot, so before coming here eat well or buy something to eat at one of the shops on the way before entering the palace.
- Do not forget hats, sunscreen and water: if you visit the place from May to October, do not forget to wear a descent hat and a bottle of water. Our recommendation is that you either come early in the morning or in the afternoon. Also be aware of covering your skin with sunscreen to protect you against the captivating sun rays.
Persepolis to Shiraz. 60 km.,1h. By Car.
Persepolis to Shiraz. 78 km.,59 min. By Car.
Persepolis to Yazd. 391 km.,4h 32 min. By Car.
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