Persepolis The Glorious Ruins of Ancient Iran
History has its great shades, while monuments gives unique essence to history. Persepolis is a historical monument, which was founded by Darius I in the period of 518 BC. Persepolis a Persian word which means ‘city of Persian’. The place was also declared as capital of Achaemenid Empire. The place was built with immense half-natural terrace, half artificial where kings created impressive palace. The Palace complex was all inspired by Mesopotamian model. It is situated 70-km from Northeast city of Shiraz in Iran.
According to archaeological evidence the remains of Persepolis was dated back from 515BC. It was Andre Godard, the French Archaeologist excavated in 1930. It is believed that, it was the great king Cyrus who chose the location for building ‘Persepolis’, then King Darius I built terrace and other palaces.
The Construction was done in Achaemenid style of architecture. The place was declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site in year 1979. King Darius ordered construction of Council Hall and Apadana Palace. This construction was then completed in during his son’s reign.
Gate of All Nation
It consist of huge hall square in shape of about 82-feet in length, with four columns also with its entrance on Western Wall. There are two doors, one gets opened to Apadana Yard toward south and other toward east meets to long road.
A pair of bull-heads, Lamassus stand by Western threshold. Then another pair with wings and Gopat-Shah, a Persian head stands firm on eastern entrance side which reflects Empire power. On entrance Xerxes’s name is carved in three-different language, the carved name depicts that the construction was ordered by Him.
The Apadana Palace was greatest palace built by Darius the Great King. The work of palace started in 515BC, which took 30-years to complete. The palace has 72-columns, of which 13-stand still on huge platform. Each of the columns has heavy plinth and square Taurus. The top area of columns are carved with animal sculptures like lion, eagle or two-headed bulls.
The walls are also adorned with interesting pictures of flowers, lion, bulls and so. Darius, the king also instructed to write his and his empire name to be carved on Silver and gold plates under 4-corners of foundation.
The Throne Hall is second largest building next to Apadana. It has 70 X 70 –square meter hall which started in Xerxes reign and got completed in his son’s reign Artaxerxes.
Today the glorious ruins of Persepolis lies at the foot of Mountain Mercy, ‘Kuh-i-Rahmat’ in plain of Marv Dasht. It is exact 650-km to south which is Teheran city at present! Persepolis stands today as great example of Achaemenid dynasty. The place gained high fame and was declared as a symbol of Achaemenid dynasty in past, which was only reason why Greek Alexander the king burned the Persepolis in 330BC. Then according to Plutarch they carried off 5,000 camels and 20,000 mules after prowling the place. The Darius had future vision and had planned the complex to have impressive palaces not just to mark his government, but also to show place for receptions and celebration of festivals.
At today’s date, the British Museum has outstanding collection of remains of Persepolis. The famous bull of Persepolis is treasured at Oriental Institute, Chicago.