From incredible Indus Valley on the east to the life-giving Nile River on the west, more extensive than any previous empire in history, a real collection of cultures, almost more than half of the known world, that is the expansion of the glorious Achaemenid Empire’s kingdom. The kings were genius, kind-hearted, righteous, sovereign, and had courtesy. Surely this realm needed more than just one capital to govern correctly; among six capitals of the Achaemenid Empire, Persepolis is the greatest and most significant one. You will be surprised to see how reminding of an Empire, even if it is ruined, can provoke your sense of admiration. Let’s have a closer look at the second registered UNESCO World Heritage Site from Iran.
History of Persepolis
How Persepolis was Built
The Architecture of Persepolis
A lot of people think only one huge piece was used for each part of Persepolis’ stone structure but that is not true. First of all, it is practically not possible to carry such enormous stones, and even if it was possible, they would fall off and cause great damages in earthquakes. What is fascinating about huge stone pillars, for example, is that they managed to put several pieces on the top of each other so artfully and delicately that no one can tell if they are separated. What is more interesting is that they didn’t use any mortar! Instead, they used a special fastening named «Dom Chelcheleh» (swallowtail) Fastening. These fastenings which have the molten lead, allow the structure to move smoothly during sharp movements such as earthquakes. That is why after more than 2500 years Persepolis is still extended.
Different Parts of Persepolis
There are eight palaces in Persepolis: Apadana Palace, Tachar Palace, Hadish Palace, The Queen’s Palace, H palace, Se-Dar Palace, Sad Sotun Palace, and Showra Palace. Let’s take a brief look at these palaces.
Apadana is one of the oldest palaces in Persepolis which was built in order of Darius the Great, and its function was mainly for grand ceremonies and celebrations. Apadana means a grand hall with pillars. Many believe that this is the best palace in Persepolis.
Tachar means a winter house. This palace was also built to Darius the Great, as it is written on one of the cravings in this place: «I Darius, built this Tachar.» There was probably a garden on the southern part of this palace. Also, there is an inscription in three languages (Elamite, Persian, and Babylon) by King Xerxes in the southern doorway.
Hadish was the Personal Palace of King Xerxes and it is believed that the grand arson was started here. Hadish means a place in height, and it was also the name of Xerxes ‘s second wife.
The Queen's Palace
The Queen’s Palace was built by King Xerxes and it is relatively lower than other palaces in Persepolis. Now this place is used as Persepolis Museum.
H palace is located on the southwest of Hadish Palace and it is almost completely ruined.
The Achaemenes’ kings used Se-Dar Palace as a place for more informal and less critical meetings. On this palace staircase, you can see cravings of Persian nobles.
Sad Sotun Palace
Sad Sotun means 100 pillars. The palace is about 46,000 square feet (about 4,300 square meters), with a ceiling of 100 columns, each 14 meters high.
Showra palace means the council palace. Probably the king used Showra Palace to discuss with elders. In the Council Palace, two human heads are not elsewhere and that human beings are the symbol of thought.
Location of Persepolis
As you are out of Shiraz, you cannot access to city center tourist attractions, but no worries, visiting Persepolis will take you half a day. Also, there are two other remarkable historical sites to see. Naghsh-e Rustam and Pasargadae are close to Persepolis. So, you can visit all three locations in one day.
Where to Stay near Persepolis
Where to Eat near Persepolis
Visiting such a magnificent structure can make you quite hungry. Luckily, there are some restaurants nearby where you can treat yourself to delicious Persian food. Parsian Restaurant, Traditional Persepolis Restaurant, Pizza Host Poem Restaurant, and Hakhamanesh Traditional Restaurant are some of them.
Iran in One Week
Tour around Iran with Apochi
Professional English speaking guide for the whole trip
All excursions & transfers by the modern couch with an experienced driver
1 Domestic flight
Refreshment between way (mineral water, tea or coffee)
Entrances fee according to the itinerary
Meals included all lunches
How To Get To Persepolis
If you want to visit Persepolis by your car, you can use Persepolis Public Parking, just next to the complex.
There are buses from Shiraz to Marvdasht. You can use these buses to reach Persepolis.
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