Persepolis - Marvdasht, Fars Province, Iran (Persia)

On the foothills of Rahmat Mountain, Cambyses II who was son of Cyrus the Great, the first Achaemenian King, built an artificial platform. The Palace was to become the residence of the royal family as well as their command center. The Cambyses’ ruling was short, and Darius the Great took the challenge of finishing the constructions. However, Persepolis was not just a royal palace, it was a Royal City initiated by Darius and expanded by his descendant. When Alexander’s Army attacked the country, just piles of stone were remained from the construct that took more than 200 years to be completed.

Persepolis, Gate of all nations – Marvdasht, Fars Province, Iran

The stone terrace that the palaces are built upon is close to 450 m long and 33 m wide; a series of palatial buildings, fortified hill and smaller building next to a city where commoners lived makes the royal city of Persepolis or the city of Pars. Water channels and draining system run through the whole construct proving the exquisite planning before the beginning of the construction. Access to this platform is through double-ramped ceremonial staircases. The stairs are from stone and built shallow so that climbing them is easy for all. It also enabled the important guests to reach the entrance with their horses. Going up the stairs one reaches the main gate of the palatial area that is known as the Gate of All Nations. The gate is famous for the two winged bull-like figure that are a reminder of the Assyrian bulls. Above the figures, there is a trilingual inscription of Xerxes saying that his father began the construction of the Persepolis and he completed it by the favor of Ahura Mazda and then prays for the preservation of the buildings.

The gate is famous for the two winged bull-like figure that are a reminder of the Assyrian bulls.

Persepolis - Marvdasht, Fars Province, Iran (Persia)

At the southern side of the Gate of All Nation, the Palace of Apadana is located. The two tablet founds in the northern wall of the place tells us that the palace was made to be used as the Audience Hall by Darius the First, but he died before its completion. Apadana, the biggest and most important palace of the Persepolis is a combination of a 3600 m2 reception hall, three columned porches, couple of rooms, service area, and guarding room. The roof of the hall was placed on thirty-six columns each 20 m long with porches that each had 12 columns. After passing a double staircase, the nobles and officials entered the columned porch that led to the hall where they were received by the king. The bas-reliefs of the staircases show the nobles, the foreign dignitaries and the tributary nation’s leader in their long procession attending a reception event at the presence of the king carrying gifts. The nobles would pass the opposite exit to the Central or Tripylon palace, and then move to the Hall of One Hundred Columns (it literary has 100 columns) to face the visiting dignitaries and tributary nations leaders.

Persepolis - Marvdasht, Fars Province, Iran (Persia)

The bas-reliefs of the staircases show the nobles, the foreign dignitaries and the tributary nation’s leader in their long procession attending a reception event at the presence of the king carrying gifts.

Beside Apadana, the greatest palace in Persepolis and The Hall of 100 Columns, this royal city includes other spaces such as the Central Palace that its significance lies in the pictures of Persian and Medes soldiers carved on its walls. The Hadish Palace that have the most beautiful masonry of Persepolis.  The Tachara Palace that is one of the oldest buildings in the complex and was built by the order of Darius the Great. The Harem or Queen’s residence that is located near Hadish Palace, and has been restored to its original shape used as the Takht-e Jamshid museum. And The Royal Treasury and Store Room that are two interconnecting hall with 100 and 99 columns, and were built in three stages and today just the plinths of its massive columns are remained. Seven Hundred Fifty tablets in Proto-Elamite were found in the halls that gave invaluable information about the Achaemenian Empire.

Persepolis - Marvdasht, Fars Province, Iran (Persia)

Seven Hundred Fifty tablets in Proto-Elamite were found in the halls that gave invaluable information about the Achaemenian Empire.

Persepolis is located in the city of Marvdasht in Fars Province about 50 km North of Shiraz. It was registered as a national heritage on September 15th, 1931, and was registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage in 1979.