Persepolis complex is one of the biggest and most important places in Iran.in other word it is the Persian history identification.It is the first Achaemenid and Persian civilization capital.most of the tourist and travel agency put this place to their itinerary .
Persepolis complex is consists of Achaemenid kings palaces. Its construction started by Darius The Great in 512 BC.
According to the Persepolis documents the construction was done by order of Achaemenid kings.in fact the Persepolis complex completed 120 to 150 years.
Location. Size . application
Persepolis is located in 55 kilometers northeast of Shiraz city at the foot of Rahmat Mountain.The measurements of Persepolis complex is 455 m on the west, 300 m on the north, 430 m on the east and 290 m on the south.Evidence shows Persepolis was neither a setting for invocation nor a governmental place.In fact king and his family didn’t reside in Perspolis. They came to Persepolis only on special occasions like Nowrooz and the other religious festivals.He attended Persepolis only during special occasions. With this in mind it was considered a holy center for national, royal festival of Iranians, Nowruz.
The great architecture, materials , inscriptions and reliefs of Persepolis has made it one of the most awesome ruins of the ancient world.The inscriptions show the names of the kings who constructed the palaces.The excavated mud tables which fortunately have become harder after firing , gives us information about government and people’s life of those days.The Persepolis construction was done in 3 different periods. First by Darius I, second by Xerxes and third by Artaxerxes I and his successors
Names and titles
According to the documents name of the Persepolis originally was Parse. Greeks pronounced it Persis. And Persepolis is the appellation known in west.Since cuneiform inscription was not opened , over the time people had given different names to this place.They believed Jamshid ,mythical king of Persia had made it. That’s why in Iran this site is known as THKHT e JAMSHID.
At the Darius era the exterior part of platform were cut up to 300 m by 450 m .This part hollows and ravines were filled in by rubles in order to level the rock.The central part of platform is 18 m high. Water ways were made in advance to drain off rainwater from terrace. An efficient underground drainage system prevented flooding: rainwater was led into vertical shafts dug inside the pillars and walls, and then into the underground channels which ended in the plain.
The complex is consist of many building and palace about 19 part.It seems the first building was treasury palace for the purpose of maintaining the wealth which was gained from subject countries of Achaemenid Empire.According to the remaining mud tablets about 1345 people worked for it’s construction.
The construction of Apadana palace and treasury palace started at same time and due to its artistic architecture and great political history it’s known as the most beautiful part of complex.Hall of the Apadana palace was large enough to place thousand people. It had 72 columns each 20 meters high.According to archaeologists each column weighs 85 ton and 20 m high.The capitals of the columns in main hall are double headed cow and in eastern part is double headed lion.Darius the Great placed gold and silver plates bearing a «foundation inscription» inside the four corner walls.
The east portico
The east portico is the most impressive feature of Apadana palace. It has 4 stair flights and each flight has 31 steps.These stair flights display relief of 23 delegations of Achaemenid while bringing their presents to the king.
Tachara is private palace of Darius which is less damaged next to Apadana palace.There are inscriptions on its wall from Achamenid, Sassanid and Islamic periods.It seems leaving graffiti by famous people on the wall of this palace was common.the square of this palace is 1200 m.some archaeologist are believe this palace was special for ritual ceremonies.
THE «GATE OF ALL LANDS»
Palace of all Nations or gate of all lands is located next to the entrance stairs. It was a waiting hall for all the representatives of subject nations to be guided to Apadana Palace.The representatives could sit on the stone bench which was made in the hall for the same purpose.There are 3 columns in its hall. The third one was assembled from the fragments by Archaeologists and today its most completed column of Persepolis.The east entrance is depicted by two lamassu inspired by Assyrian arts.
The terrace stairway
The staircase are cut out of a single piece of stone and joined together without any mortar. They used iron clamps wherever necessary.Each side has 111 steps. First 63 steps and after it makes 180• turn , the other 48 steps are there.In fact they were designed this way to allow the guests to walk slowly up with dignity.
Hadish is private palace of Xerxes. Its construction started by order of Darius and completed by Xerxes. is next to Queen palace and used by Xeroxes. The doorjambs of the main hall are sculptured with the representation of Xerxes leaving or entering the hall.
Hundred columns palace
Hundred columns palace is the second largest palace of the complex. Its building started during Xeroxes kingdom and completed by Artaxerxes.It had hundred columns in the main hall. That’s why it’s called by this name.and made by Xeroxes.Hundred columns palace is the second largest one. Its building started during Xeroxes kingdom and completed by Artaxerxes.It is called Hundred Columns Palace since it has 100 columns in its main hall.
The Tripylon or Central palace
Three gates palace is in the center of Persepolis. It is connected to the all palaces and has 3 entrances.Artaxerxes’s palace has different architecture style.
The Unfinished Gate
Unfinished palace started by Artaxerxes and completed by Darius 3 rd.It’s located in north east and opposite hundred columns palace.According to the scholars they tried to design it in such a way that visitors after going to palace of all nation pass through Army road and enter the unfinished palace and finally reach to hundred columns palace.
The Royal Tombs
The Achaemenid kings were mummified and beginning with Darius the Great, were placed in rock-cut tombs. Two such tombs are cut into the «Royal Hill» of Persepolis; one is at the north overlooking the northeastern corner of the Terrace, and the other is at the south, overlooking the southeastern corner of the Terrace.
The fabled Treasury of Persepolis stood south of the Hundred Column Hall and east of the main wing of the Harem.the original Treasury measured 120×60 m.Among important objects housed in the Treasury were two orthostats, each ornamented with the representation in relief of an «audience scene»; this showed a Great King, probably Xerxes, enthroned his crown prince, Darius, standing behind him, as well as several senior officials of the empire.