Persepolis is a ruin city in located in the south of Iran. This ruin city used to be the capital of the Persian empire. You can visit the ruins of what once used to be a powerful city, destroyed by Alexander the Great. The name Persepolis is not the original name, the city used to be called Parsa. Parsa means city of the Persians. Persepolis is the Greek name with the same meaning, namely, city of the Persians. Imagine yourself being a real Persian princess looking over this ancient city! Persepolis is must visit in Iran!
Persepolis, a must visit in Iran!
Persepolis lies next to the mountainside and looks out across a great plain. Because its location, it was mainly used as spring- and summer palace, the Persian government was seated in Babylon, Susa and Ecbatana. Persepolis used to consist of twelve buildings. The most important building was the audience hall, where the shahs used to do their audiences. During the Persian new year, subjects of several peoples came here to present ‘gifts’ (actually they were more like taxes) to the shah.
Alexander the Great burned this city to the ground in 330 BC on his conquest of the east. According to oral tradition, he needed hundreds of mules to transport all of Persepolis’ treasures. Many foreign museums, like the Egypt National Museum have treasures from Persepolis in their possession. After it was burned down, Persepolis never reached its former glory again. The earthquakes, which happen frequently happen in this region, didn’t help either.
Which sights are there?
Only in last century’s thirties archeologists were sent to the Persepolis region. Much of the sculptures lived through the ages relatively unscathed, as they were buried in the sand. The most important function of Persepolis (presenting gifts) has been carved out in stones in and around the ruins. It shows how different peoples are presenting gifts to the king. The detailed reliefs remaining today are very impressive.
The highlight of my visit to the complex was climbing the mountain which hugs Persepolis.
From the top you will have a great view over the whole complex! The moment to imagine yourself being a princess in ancient Persia. From the top you’ll see how vast and overwhelming it must have been.
The museum is worth visiting and is located in in the completely restored residence of queens. The museum will provide you with a good impression of how the palace used to look like.
Before I went to Iran I thought that visiting Persepolis would be one of the highlights of the trip, but frankly speaking, it was a bit disappointing. I think my expectations were simply too high. only the view over Persepolis from the mountain did it for me.
How do you get there?
• From Shiraz you can arrange a taxi and go to Persepolis by yourself. Persepolis is an hours’ drive from Shiraz.
• It’s also very easy to book an arranged tour to Persepolis. An arranged tour will cost about 25 dollars per person and will take half a day. During this tour you will spend two full hours in Persepolis and that’s more than sufficient.
• The organized tour is the preferred choice, because you’ll visit the area with an English-speaking guide. It will give you a bit more background information regarding the history of Iran and Persepolis. I must admit that the large amount of dates, numbers, peoples and names the guide will provide you are quite overwhelming.
I believe Persepolis is a must visit in Iran! Have you been here and do you think Persepolis is a must visit in Iran?
There are a few nice hotels to stay in Shiraz, but I really loved my stay in The Niayesh Boutique hotel. Traditional house in the center of Shiraz. Perfect quiet location in the old city. The staff is kind, helpful and speak good English!
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