From Naqsh-i Rustam we drove for about 10km or so to another archaeological site called Persepolis, literally the ancient Persian City (in Greek). In Persian, it’s known as Takht-e Jamshid, or the Throne of Jamshid. This was the capital of Achaemenid Empire back in the years between 500-300BC. So unlike in Naqsh-i Rustam where all we could see are tombs, Persepolis offers a lot more than that.
According to what my guide has told me, the architecture in this ancient city was mainly based on wood and timber. Marbles and stones were mostly used only for column bases and other parts that are bigger than the biggest timber that they could get hold of. So when the city was burnt down soon after it was conquered by Alexander the Great, nothing much was left standing apart from a few huge stone/ marble columns and walls.
Talking about Greek-Persian Wars – something which I didn’t learn at school and only got registered on my mind when I visited Athens, Greece before the trip to Iran – apparently Persepolis was burnt down in retaliation to the Persians burning the Acropolis in Athens. And do you know the history of how marathon started? And why it’s called “marathon”? You can read it here. It involved the Persians too :-)
So anyways, back to Persepolis. This archaeological site is quite big and keeps on expanding with new findings over the years so visitors can still see archaeologists working in the area. I thought of writing bits of history related to places shown in the following photos but I better not. Obviously one is better off reading the history somewhere else. So I tried to come up with something else instead, to explain my experience visiting this site. But I simply couldn't. There are no words to describe Persepolis. It's just one of those places which you have to visit and experience yourself.
|The Gate of All Nations|
|Apadana / Palace of Xerxes (?)|
|Hall of 100 Columns|
|Hall of 100 Columns with Tomb of Artaxerxes III in the Far Background|
|Apadana Audience Hall|
|Apadana Audience Hall Columns|
|View of Hall of 100 Columns and the Tomb from Apadana Audience Hall|
|Tomb of Artaxerxes III|
|View of Main Archaeological Site of Persepolis|
|View of Other Archaeological Areas in Persepolis|
|The Signage to the Thrones for Today's Visitors :-)|
Persepolis is, by the way, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Personally I do believe that it’s as good as Acropolis in Athens, Greece, if not better. The site is well maintained and background information is well displayed at each individual site. Unfortunately Persepolis is not as well known as Acropolis, or even when compared to Esfahan. Well, I know I myself haven’t heard of Persepolis before I decided on a trip to Iran. Hopefully more can be done to promote this place to the whole world.
If it were you, would you be interested to visit Persepolis as part of your trip to Iran?