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Persepolis, capital of the Achaemenid Empire
Photo by Mostafa Meraji

Persepolis

Get ready to be enchanted by one of the world’s most ancient cities. Built during the Achaemenid Empire, Persepolis was a symbol of wealth and prosperity in the Silk Road.

© MORTEZA YOUSEFI / Shutterstock
© MORTEZA YOUSEFI / Shutterstock

Persepolis was designated a World Heritage Site in 1979. Built during the Achaemenid Empire, Persepolis’ construction started around 518 BC. Its construction was ongoing for over 100 years and it is, today, one of Iran’s most sought after attractions. The order to build the city came from Darius, the great. At the time, Persepolis was a symbol of equity as women had the same work and voting rights as men. The construction of the city perpassed multiple rulers. Each one of them ordered the construction of different areas of the city.

Even though the city was built to become the capital of the Achaemenid Empire, its location had difficult access for the time, turning Persepolis’ palaces into a spring residence for the kings. After the end of the Achaemenid rule, the Sassanid rulers took over Persepolis. The city remained politically and economically important even during the Arab command. It was only around 10AD with the rise of Shiraz that Persepolis lost importance and was fully abandoned.

© Whatafoto / Shutterstock
© Whatafoto / Shutterstock

Aside from multiple ancient texts and reliefs, the site comprises three main attractions: The Gate of All Nations, Throne Hall, and Apadana Palace. The Gate of All Nations was ordered by Xerxes I and is one of the main parts of the city. The well-preserved columns impress visitors with its imposing height. Another construction ordered by Xerxes I was the Throne Hall. The construction served to honour the military conquests of the kings of Persia. It has multiple reliefs that depict war scenes and battles. Finally, the Apadana Palace, the oldest construction of the city, was ordered by Darius I. This is the most luxurious part of the complex. Archaeologists found in there numerous animal sculptures and imported wooden structures, as well as golden and silver inscriptions honouring the king of kings, Darius I.

© muratart / Shutterstock
© muratart / Shutterstock

For the visitation of this site, it is recommended to arrive early as the hot sun can be excessive for many tourists. There is little to no shade in the site so be prepared to come with a hat or an umbrella. It is also advisable to hire a knowledgeable guide that can tell you the stories and legends of the site.

Many World Heritage sites are temporarily closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please check official websites for more information.

Visit

Persepolis

Hours

Summer time: 8AM to 8PM; Winter time: 8AM to 6PM

Pricing

The entry cost is 200,000 Rials