Persepolis, Iran: A Majestic UNESCO World Heritage Site

March 20, 2012


Persepolis, Iran: This week’s Travel Tuesday feature! (Persepolis at sunset photo: Pourhassan, Alireza, Wiki Commons)

Persepolis - panoramic view

Persepolis - panoramic view (Photo: Ggia, Wiki Commons)


Literally meaning “Persian City” in Greek (Πέρσης), the ancient site of Persepolis, Iran is located about 70 km northeast of the contemporary city of Shiraz. It used to be “the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (Wikipedia).

Persepolis, Iran - Achaemenid Empire map

Map of the Achaemenid Empire during Darius the Great and Xerxes' time (Wiki Commons)

It is believed that two rulers must be attributed for the construction of Persepolis, Iran: Cyrus the Great (Kūrosh), who chose its location, and Darius the Great (Daryush), who is actually responsible for the bulk of construction. This includes the terrace, the Council Hall, and great palaces. Conversely, the destruction of Persepolis is attributed to Alexander the Great and an “accidental” (or deliberate?) burning of the city.

Persepolis, Iran - Apadana Palace

Persepolis, Iran - Apadana Palace (Wiki Commons)

Other Ruins on Site

Gate of All Nations – entrance on the Western Wall

Persepolis - Gate of All Nations

Gate of All Nations, Persepolis (Photo: Alborzagros, Wiki Commons)

Tombs of King of Kings – the name might be somewhat deceiving, as Darius the Great, Xerxes I, Artaxerxes I and Darius II are believed to be buried in Naghsh-e Rustam (about 12 km northwest of Persepolis); while Cyrus The Great’s body is believed to be buried at Pasargadae.

Persepolis reliefs

Unicorns in the bas-reliefs at Persepolis (Photo: Ginolerhino, Wiki Commons)

The Throne Hall – second largest building of Persepolis’ Terrace, right after the Apadana Palace.

Persepolis - The Throne Hall

Persepolis - The Throne Hall (Photo: diocal, Flickr)

Have you visited Persepolis, Iran? Is it on your travel bucket list?


3 Responses to “Persepolis, Iran: A Majestic UNESCO World Heritage Site”

  1. InsideJourneys Says:

    Have seen photos but have never been. Thanks for sharing these, Maria.


  2. Dick Jordan Says:

    Nifty photos tied to an interesting bit of ancient history.


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