The best kept reliefs can be seen along the staircases of the Apadana Palace. There are 23 different scenes showing us the representatives of 23 different countries in the Achaemenian Empire, how they dressed, what weapons they carried and what treasury they brought from their homelands to please the King.
The two completed graves behind Takhti Jamshid would then belong to Artaxerxes II and Artaxerxes III. The unfinished one is perhaps that of Arses of Persia, who reigned at the longest two years, or, if not his, then that of Darius III (Codomannus), who is one of those whose bodies are said to have been brought "to the Persians."
Next to the Apadana, second largest building of the Terrace and the final edifices, is the Throne Hall or the Imperial Army's hall of honour (also called the "Hundred-Columns Palace). This 70x70 square meter hall was started by Xerxes and completed by his son Artaxerxes I by the end of the fifth century BC. Its eight stone doorways are decorated on the south and north with reliefs of throne scenes and on the east and west with scenes depicting the king in combat with monsters. The northern portico of the building is flanked by two colossal stone bulls.
In the beginning of Xerxes's reign the Throne Hall was used mainly for receptions for military commanders and representatives of all the subject nations of the empire, but later the Throne Hall served as an imperial museum
Darius the Great built the greatest and most glorious palace at Persepolis in the western side. This palace was named Apadana (the root name for modern "ayvan") and was used for the King of Kings' official audiences. The work began in 515 BC and was completed 30 years later, by his son Xerxes I. The palace had a grand hall in the shape of a square, each side 60m long with seventy-two columns, thirteen of which still stand on the enormous platform. Each column is 19m high with a square Taurus and plinth. The columns carried the weight of the vast and heavy ceiling. The tops of the columns were made from animal sculptures such as two headed bulls, lions and eagles. The columns were joined to each other with the help of oak and cedar beams, which were brought from Lebanon. The walls were covered with a layer of mud and stucco to a depth of 5cm, which was used for bonding, and then covered with the greenish stucco which is found throughout the palaces. At the western, northern and eastern sides of the palace there was a rectangular veranda which had twelve columns in two rows of six. At the south of the grand hall a series of rooms were built for storage. Two grand Persepolitan stairways were built, symmetrical to each other and connected to the stone foundations. To avoid the roof being eroded by rain vertical drains were built through the brick walls. In the four corners of Apadana, facing outwards, four towers were built.
The walls were tiled and decorated with pictures of lions, bulls, and flowers. Darius ordered his name and the details of his empire to be written in gold and silver on plates, and to place them in covered stone boxes in the foundations under the Four Corners of the palace. Two Persepolitan style symmetrical stairways were built on the northern and eastern sides of Apadana to compensate for a difference in level. There were also two other stairways in the middle of the building. The external front views of the palace were embossed with pictures of the Immortals, the Kings' elite guards. The northern stairway was completed during Darius' reign, but the other stairway was completed much later.
The Gate of all Nations, referring to subjects of the empire, consisted of a grand hall that was almost 25 square metres, with four columns and its entrance on the Western Wall. There were two more doors, one to the south which opened to the Apadana yard and the other opened onto a long road to the east. Pivoting devices found on the inner corners of all the doors indicate that they were two-leafed doors, probably made of wood and covered with sheets of ornate metal.
A pair of Lamassu's, bulls with the head of a bearded man, stand by the western threshold, and another pair, with wings and a Persian head (Gopät-Shäh), stand by the eastern entrance, to reflect the Empire’s power.
Xerxes' name was written in three languages and carved on the entrances, informing everyone that he ordered it to be built
There are many suggestive bas relief and friezes of Persepolis, mostly in the eastern portico of the Apadana or on the many coloumns of the archaeological site. Most of them depict human figures, like the 'Immortals', the imperial guard in three ranks, or the tribute bearers on the Tachara's western staircase.
Occasionally there are bas reliefs of animals, in particular of bulls and lions. Bulls are symbols of the earth, and of affluence - while lions are symbols of strenght anf the sun. Represented together, as they often are, they symbolize the return to the sun to the earth - hence the spring equinox, which coincides with the Persian new year (no Ruuz).
Another tzpical feature is the symbol of the Great God Ahuramazda, represented as a human figure rising from the sun, and with two large open wings. Ahuramazda is a Zoroastrian symbol and the God venerated by the Achaemenian kings. This fienzes, therefore, stood on palaces in order to have divine protection.
Directions: about 1 hour drive from Shiraz
There are three tombs in Persepolis, and they are not located where the main ruins are but rather half-way up on the hillside behind the complex. Only two of them are finished - one is left incomplete and it is of very little interest.
The finished ones are very nice, carved into the hillside and decorated with bas reliefs. It seems that they belonged to Artaxerxes II and Artaxerxes III. There are doubts about the unfinished one - some scholars believe that it was of Arses of Persia, and could not be finished because his reign lasted only two years.
Other scholars, it has to be said, think that this sepulchre hosts the body of Darius III... however there is a problem with this interpretation, as Darius III would have two unfinished tombs to his name, one here in Persepolis and one in nearby Naghsh-E Rostam.
Directions: About 1 hour drive from Shiraz
Persepolis is a striking sight in terms of ruins, basically because of their colossal size. At the beginning it seems that palaces were built of wood, but as the Persian rulers wanted larger and taller buildings, they soon had to face the pact that trees large enough were hard to come by. Hence they decided to use stone... more precisely marble. The marble used in the ruins that we see today is the dark-grey marble from the adjacent mountain.
Some of the most amazing sights are the Gate of All Nations, a grand hall supported by columns and ornated with bulls with the head of a bearded man (Lamassu), often with wings; the Apadana Palace, a palace which was used for the King of Kings' official audiences; and the Throne Hall, generally used for receptions for military commanders and representatives. There are other interesting ruins in the complex, like the Tachara and Hadish palaces, the Council and Tryplion Halls, and simper storerooms, stables and military quarters.
Directions: about 1 hour drive from Shiraz
Great Kourosh tomb distance 138 km with Shiraz , it is in Pasargad , Kourosh or Cyrus is the Iran father , he made emperor Iran in 2500 year ago . alles Iranians people love Kourosh and you can here find very son , these name is Kourosh . Kourosh like every people and when win in war dont kill people . Kourosh have a MOTTO : Good speak , Good Deed and good think
Address: In Pasargad
Naghshe rostam is near Takhte Jamshid ( Perspolis ) but the first you see it and after that if you like you can go to Naghshe rostam , naghshe rostam like Perspolis made in 2500 years ago a very nice and interesting place for visit .
Address: Near Perspolis
For go to Perspolis you must the first go to marvdasht and after that take a machine and go to perspolis , but native people say to Perspolis , Takhte Jamshid . summer in Fars is so hot and is better dony travel in middle of summer .
Address: Shiraz - Marvdasht - Takhte Jamshid
Apadana Palace was built on a platform and two monumental stairways lead up to the palace, one on the east side and one on the north side. The stairways are very impressive because of all the beautiful bas reliefs. The bas-reliefs on the eastern wall is considered to be the best ones and are now protected under roof.
On the eastern wall there are rows depicting delegates from the 23 subject nations of the Achaemenid Empire. The delegates are carrying gifts and their origin can be recognised because of the clothes they are wearing. Among others there are Ethiopians, Arabs, Indians Parthians , Elamites and Medians.
Other reliefs are showing fighting lions, court nobles, guards and soldiers and their horses and chariots.
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The entrance fee to Persepolis is IR 5000 (July 2006) and then you will have to pay another IR 5000 if you want to see the museum.
During the day it can be very hot, but if that is a problem for you, you can come very early as the site opens already at 6am during the summer months. The site is open:
Mar – Jun, Sep – Oct: 6am – 6pm
Jul – Aug: 6am - 8pm
Nov – Mar: 8am -5pm
The Palace of Darius is situated south of Apadana Palace and it is also built on a platform and reached by stairs with reliefs. The reliefs of those stairs depict servants walking up the stairs carrying food. There are well preserved stone reliefs around windows, doors and niches. Some are depicting the king fighting with monsters and on another the king is dressed in formal dress, on his way to leave the palace, with two attendants following him. There was a central hall with twelve columns supporting the roof with rooms around.
- Historical Travel
- Castles and Palaces
In the audience hall of Apadana Palace the king received the more important visitors. It was a grand hall, 60 metres long on each side with 72 columns (13 columns are still standing). The walls were covered with greenish stucco and between the columns there were beams of cedar and oak.
Work with the palace begun in 515 BC by Darius the Great and was finished 30 years later by his son Xerxes I.