The ancient city of Persepolis in Iran
When we arrived at the ancient city of Persepolis true to form we hadn’t done much research at all so we didn’t really know what to expect. Iran constantly blew our mind but what we saw here still has me talking about how amazing it was and constantly reminding people that it was destroyed by Alexander the Great in an attempt to give them some idea of the time line Persepolis sits on. The sheer size and detail in everything you see here is mind blowing not to mention it is 13 hectares so it’s an incredible size. I just could not get over it!
Getting to Persepolis
The easiest way would probably be to head there from Shiraz. We were staying with a local family in Shiraz. Persepolis is about 60kms north east of the city. The family we were with drove us but if you don’t have that luxury the easiest way to get around is by taxi. It will cost you next to nothing and they are super accommodating and will stop anywhere you want. We never had a taxi driver try and rip us off so you are pretty safe just paying what ever they ask.
We actually took a 7 hour taxi ride and it cost us about 30-40 USD and he stopped constantly for us to take photos so price should not really be an issue for a 30 minute ride. Chances are they will wait there for you also or even come in with you and help explain some of the history to you.
The entrance fee to Persepolis is 150,000 Rials, which is about 4-5 USD.
History of Persepolis.
Darius I the third king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire who ruled the empire at its peak founded Persepolis. It was built on an enormous half natural, half artificial terrace. The king created an incredible palace complex influenced by Mesopotamian models.
Persepolis became a designated UNESCO world heritage site in 1979 and they claim it is among the world’s greatest archaeological sites. The earliest remains of Persepolis date back to 515 BC which to me after seeing it is so completely mind blowing. Some of what we saw was in an almost perfect condition. This is after 2500 years, it has been looted and set on fire and just left to sit with no care.
In 330 BC Alexander the Great sent the main force of his army to Persepolis. After a few short battles, the last and most important being the Battle of the Persian Gate which lasted about 30 days the city fell and Alexander the Great took possession of it. After a few short months Alexander let his army loot the city and around the same time a fire burned the palaces.
Ignorantly I do not always get super into the history of places but the history behind Persepolis and the fact it was fought over by historical figures like Alexander the Great and Darius I around the peak of both of their empires had me losing it.
This is Darius I.
I could not figure out at all how in the world these were in such good condition after 2000 plus years.
A bunch of early explores and travellers I would assume mostly traders carved their names into some of the statues a long time ago. This one is from 1897.