Persepolis or Takht-Jamshid (the throne of Jamshid) (also called Parseh) is the name of the legendary city that was the capital of Achaemenians. A wonderful city that shows how expert and artistic the Iranian engineers were in 512 BC. It was the architectural masterpiece of those years among all nations. Just compare Persepolis and other buildings of its age, you’ll be surprised how engineers in 500 years BC could be that wise, farsighted, careful, accurate and diligent to make such a great palace.
Persepolis was registered as the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
Persepolis was populous for about 200 years. It shows the creativeness and tact of Iranians in applying different cultures like Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, and Armenians that were under the Achaemenid rule. Darius I the Great built this palace to have such a unique capital in his empire, so he chose Marvdasht large plain.
Persepolis’s space is about 125000 square meters. Located in 57 kilometers away from Shiraz in the north of Marvdasht city.
Achaemenians had a special residence suitable for each season. Hamadan was the summery residence, Shush (the capital of Ilam) was chosen in winters, and Takht-Jamshid that was in Fars was the best place to enjoy the spring. Those years 43900 people were living there. They would celebrate Norouz in Persepolis. The most important and great celebration in the whole kingdom.
Takht-Jamshid has 5 most famous and important palaces: 1) Apadana: Used for celebrating Norouz and admitting foreign countries’ representatives on the presence of the King. It’s conjoint to the Tachra palace through the stairway. Six rows each one involving six columns held the roof in 20 meters hight. But now you can just see 14 columns of them remained.
2) Tachra or Tachar that means winter house, was the dedicated palace of Darius the Great. This palace is known as script museum because you can find many scripts that remained from Achaemenian age. It had 12 columns and the door frames with the picture of the king and his attendants carved on.
3) Hodish: The private palace of Khashayar the King which is conjoint through stairways to the Quin’s palace. The fire was probably started from this palace. Many parts of the floor are the mountain itself. Unfortunately, there is no good information about its details because it was completely burnt.
4) Quin’s Palace: It’s also made by Khashayar the king in a lower hight in comparison to other palaces. It was rebuilt in 1931 by an east scholar named Professor Herzfeld and nowadays is used as the museum and facilities office. It had 100 columns which were 14 meters high on a floor having a space of about 46000 square meters.
5) The Council Palace: The only palace having tow head columns of human head which is the symbol of contemplating.
One of the attractive details of Persepolis is its stairways. They were made much shorter than the popular ones for the guests, especially women wearing long dresses, passing easily through.
The Iranians honor for having Achaemenian age in their history is that the kings especially Cyrus the Great were noble people with big wise dreams for their beloved people and country. They didn’t use the labors for building Persepolis as slaves. There are some manuscripts giving information about salaries.
Alexander the Macedonian burnt Takht-Jamshid in 330 BC. Some say he wanted to avenge the defeat of Greece in front of Iran. So it was the time the Achaemenian glorious palace was ruined so that after 2500 years we have deep regret for not being able to know the full history.
Before the Islamic revolution in Iran, Pahlavi King would hold a big celebration every year as a memorial of Achaemenian age called “2500-years Celebrations”.
But still, it’s one of the most attractive places for tourists visiting Iran.
Don’t miss walking on the floors which were 2500 years ago the passage of gentle noble people like Cyrus the Great.