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Worth a detour
Rating 1.9 (193 votes)


Listed under Archaeological Sites in Iran.

  • Photo of Persepolis
  • Photo of Persepolis
  • Photo of Persepolis
  • Photo of Persepolis
  • Photo of Persepolis
Photo of Persepolis
Photo by UNESCO
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Translated to Persepolis or ‘The City of the Persians’ by the ancient Greeks, the original name for this Iranian city was Parsa. The first complex was built here in the 6th Century BC, but building continued over the next hundred years and beyond, before being razed to the ground by Alexander the Great.

The vision for city saw it flat so the natural plateau was added to to create a large platform 450m by 300m on which to build halls, palaces, harems, tombs and treasuries to hold the wealth of ancient Persia. Two large staircases lead up to the city from the plains below which were wide enough for horses to climb.

Alexander burned and demolished the city and it was left alone, covered only in its own rubble until it was excavated in the 1930’s, the dry conditions meant the ruins remained in surprising condition. The largest ruin was the audience hall, estimated to be able to hold 10,000 people under a wooden roof supported by the huge pillars which are one of the main focuses of the site today.

Written by  Howard Amble.

Other expert and press reviews


'Founded by Darius I in 518 B.C., Persepolis was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire. It was built on an immense half-artificial, half-natural terrace, where the king of kings created an impressive palace complex inspired by Mesopotamian models. The im… Read more...

Written by press. UNESCO

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