Naqsh-e Rajab is a tiny archaeological site about 5 minutes from Persepolis... it's so tiny that it really takes a few minutes to visit it, there are only two masin bas reliefs and some rockface inscriptions, one opposite the other.
The most striking, the one in the picture, is that of 'Shapur's Parade'. The king, on horseback, parades to celebrate his victory over the Roman emperor Valerian I and Philip the Arab. It's a variation of the bas relief 'the triumph of Shapur I' at Naqsh-e Rostam. The difference is that here the two defeated Roman emperors are not portrayed.
Naqsh-e Rajab and Naqsh-e Rostam are part of the Marvdasht cultural complex and they are candidates for UNESCO World Heritage status. Naqsh-e Rajab is located about 12 km north of Persepolis and 1 kilometer away from Naqsh-e Rostam
Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Persian Empire (Achaemenid Empire). It is a complex of palaces built on a stone terrace, 14 metres above the surrounding plain. Work with Persepolis begun around 518 BC, when Darius I was king, and it was added to during the next 150 years.
Especially during the New Year celebrations (Noruz) delegates from all over the empire came to Persepolis to pay homage to the kings. As Persepolis was more for ceremonial use the kings did not stay here all year round, but spent much time in their palaces in other cities.
The glory of Persepolis came to an end when it was occupied by Alexander the Great in 330 BC. Alexander plundered the city of all its treasures and he burned it down (it is not known if that was an accident or not).
Persepolis is an Unesco World Heritage Site and it really deserves it. It is one of the best surviving masterpieces of the Ancient Near East. For centuries the city was covered with sand and not until 1930 largely excavated. The quality of the many stone reliefs, almost 2500 years, old are magnificent
Persepolis is situated 53 km north east of Shiraz.
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
Naqsh-e Rajab is a small site 3 km north of Persepolis, and it is near to Naqsh-e Rostam as well. Here you will find four early Sassanian bas-reliefs, which are important cultural remains. In the reliefs are motifs from the lives of Ardeshir Baabakaan (who was the founder of Sassanian Dynasty) and Shapur I (a great Sassanian king). One relief shows the coronation of Ardeshir Baabakaan when he receives the ring of kingship from the God Ahuramazda. Inscriptions beside the relief says “The zorastrian faith had died out I, the king of kings, re-established it”. Another relief shows how Shapur I, on horse, receives the ring of kingship.
Entrance fee when I visited was IR 2000 (July 2006).
The site is open till 7pm in summer (5pm in winter).
- Historical Travel