Persepolis, the Throne of Jamshid, was a massive and magnificent palace complex built from about 512 BC and completed over the next 150 years. Persepolis was burnt to the ground during Alexander the Great's time, in 331 BC, although historians are divided about whether it was accidental or in retaliation for the destruction of Athens by Xerxes.
|The ruins you see today are a mere shadow of Persepolis' former glory, but you can still get a great idea of its majesty if you carry a map and use a bit of imagination. Incredibly the whole site was covered with dust, earth and the sands of time before being rediscovered in the early 1930s.|
One of the first things
you'll see is Xerxes' Gateway, covered with inscriptions
and carvings in Elamite and other ancient languages. The gateway leads to the immense
Apadana Palace complex where the kings received visitors and
celebrations were held. Plenty of gold and silver was discovered in the palace, but it was
predictably looted by Alexander the not-so-Great, and what he left behind is in the
National Museum in Tehran. The largest hall in Persepolis was the
Palace of 100 Columns,
probably one of the biggest buildings constructed during the great Achaemenian period, once used as a reception hall for Darius I. Persepolis is 57km (35mi) from Shiraz, just off the Esfahan road, accessible from Shiraz by bus and shared taxi.