Takht-e Jamshid (contemporary name, method – "throne the Jamshid"), Uvādaicaya (Old Persian), Matteziš (Babylonian), Chehel minar ("forty columns" in middle Persian)
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Persepolis, map / Gatis Pāvils, basing on Google earth (2012), DigitalGlobe
One that the best-governed realms in the ancient world to be the very first Persian realm – Achaemenid empire (sometimes about 550 – 330 BC). This period was the zenith of Persian civilization, laying a for sure basis for the identity and also awareness of contemporary Iranians. It has left a substantial impact top top world society – likewise Western civilization. The empire in many elements was a predecessor of the Greek and Roman empires.Achaemenid empire was founded by a man of extraordinary management abilities – Cyrus the Great and it changed the previous local power – the median Empire. This to be the largest realm in that time, stretching from the contemporary Lybia, Sudan, and Greece to India and also Uzbekistan. Achaemenid realm was a multicultural empire with one autonomy that satrapies (regions) and freedom the religion. In ~ the times of Cyrus Persians – current nomadic people – just learned to develop monumental structures.The end of the realm was lugged by another distinguished personality – Alexander the Great, who dominated the resources of Persia – Persepolis, Susa, and also Ecbatana – in 331 – 330 BC.The magnificent empire needed representative resources city because that the ceremonies of imperial importance – and also for this over there was developed entirely brand-new city – Persepolis.Emperors and also Persepolis
Persepolis. Room of hundreds Columns in the forefront, royal residence of Darius in far-right and also Palace of Artaxerxes ns – in the far left / David Holt, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
In the time of Cyrus the Great (559 – 530 BC) Persepolis did not exist yet (or was rather insignificant) and also capital was in Pasargadae. Nevertheless, it is thought that this royal city was the idea the this an excellent character.Cambyses II (530 – 523 BC) – kid of Cyrus to be the following emperor. In his time capital of Persia was in Susa.Darius the Great (522 – 486 BC) is the true founder that Persepolis – the symbol of the Achaemenid dynasty. He to be the next good leader of Persia and also managed to strengthen and also increase the empire. Darius presented money – golden and silver coins, taxes changed to every region, and also legislation. In his time over there were constructed 2,500 kilometres of roads, connecting the regions of the empire. In Persepolis, that ordered to clear from cliffs the terrace and to construct the massive Apadana, main Palace (Tripylon), Treasury, and also much that the facilities in the city and around it.Xerxes I (486 – 465 BC) – boy of Darius, continued the magnificent building and construction projects in Persepolis. In his time to be completed Apadana, the palace of Darius, and also the Treasury. He additionally built his own palace – twice as huge as his father’s palace. In his time the design in Persepolis ended up being even bigger and an ext luxuriant.Artaxerxes I (465 – 424 BC) – kid of Xerxes – moved the capital of Persia native Persepolis to the ancient metropolis – Babylon. That introduced countless farsighted reforms. In his time the key language the the empire came to be Aramaic instead of the former Elamite, Zoroastrianism became the key religion. When Artaxerxes died in 424 BC, his human body was carried to Persepolis – which shows that the city had an essential symbolic function anyway.For a couple of weeks the empire was administrate by Xerxes II (424 BC) – child of Artaxerxes. He to be assassinated soon after.There is rather small known around the next emperor – Darius II (423 – 404 BC).Artaxerxes II Memnon (404 – 358 BC) – son of Darius II – relocated the capital back to Persepolis. The is remembered as a treacherous and also lewd leader (f.e. That married several of his own daughters and also had much more than 115 sons indigenous 350 wives), however he additionally loved to present off v magnificent building projects – albeit nobody in Persepolis. Zoroastrianism prospered in his times. Citizens of the empire had to pay one-tenth the their revenue to the nearest temple. In his time there started to show up images of god – prior to it was considered that gods room not men and can not be depicted.In the times of Artaxerxes III (358 – 338 BC) – child of Artaxerxes II – the empire ended up being less stable and also experienced many revolts. By the end of his power the true leader of Persia to be the vizier Bagoas – a "grey eminence" of the empire. In the times of Artaxerxes III, there to be ongoing energetic construction in Persepolis, however such magnificent frameworks as the hall of Thirty 2 Columns and also the palace of Artaxerxes III were left unfinished.Artaxerxes IV Arses (338 – 336 BC) was intended as puppet-king by Bagoas – but, as the young king do the efforts to get rid of Bagoas, he was killed.The critical emperor the Achaemenid realm was Darius III (336 – 330 AD). Bagoas mounted him together the emperor and also soon after ~ tried to poison him. This time the plot was quit on time and also Bagoas to be poisoned himself. The realm was declining and the powerful and relentless militaries of Alexander the an excellent were attacking from the west.Alexander the Great captured Persepolis in 331 BC or early 330 BC – this was done quickly, to record the endowment in the city. Darius III was eliminated by his own statesman Bessus and also his body was left on the roadway to delay the troops the Alexander. Alexander walk indeed carry the human body of the beat emperor ago to Persepolis and also buried him through honor. Later, in may 330 BC Alexander though burned down the city, for this reason eliminating the symbolic heart of the Achaemenid dynasty.
Columns in Apadana, Persepolis / Felix Dance, Flickr / CC by 2.0
Alexander the great was a faresighted emperor and in plenty of respects he continued the traditions of the great Persian kings – former adversaries to Hellenistic world. After ~ the death of Alexander in 323 BC his newly developed empire disintegrated. In Persia was developed the Hellenistic Seleucid realm (312 – 63 BC).Lower city that Persepolis – listed below the terraces – was inhabited for part time period after the battle – but not much an ext than a couple of decades. Due to the fact that then this wonder the urban architecture has been exit – although that was supplied as a place of prayer for numerous centuries.Research
Columns in Apadana, Persepolis / Bijan Tehrani, Flickr / CC by 2.0
In the 19th century began the an initial excavations – initially looking for valuables however then also – with scientific purposes.Beautiful drawings of the reconstructions that this ancient city to be made by French researchers Chipiez Charles and also Georges Perrot in the late 19th century.Jane and also Marcel Dieulafoy saw Persepolis numerous times in the late 19th century and also brought an initial photographs earlier from the site.Famous researcher of Persepolis include Ernst Herzfeld (1931 – 1934), Erich Schmidt (1934 – 1939) and André Godard (1940s).After the Iranian revolution in 1978 – 1979 the fundamentalists ordered to bulldoze the site and also only in the last moment ruins the Persepolis were conserved by the to plan of local people.The research is on-going, there space made thorough restorations of the site. That is expected that new, huge structures will certainly be uncovered here in the future.
Frieze with Immortals in Apadana, Persepolis / Charles Chipiez, 1884, Wikimedia Commons, windy domain
Imperial capitalPersepolis (from the Greek language – "Persian city") was developed to impress and to display off the could of the largest empire of the time. Every little thing here was planned in the smallest detail to produce a special atmosphere of premium power and refinement. Craftsmen, artists, and also materials were lugged from all regions of the empire to construct the city. Persepolis was built by paid workers – slavery was forbidden by Zoroastrianism.Achaemenid architecture is luxurious and impressive – and this is well watched in Persepolis. Persians melted varied styles of arts from different regions the the empire, producing a distinctive imperial style. Well checked out is the Greek (Ionian) influence – palaces in Persepolis have usual Greek hypostyles and porticoes, columns are thin and also tall, with barrel ribs.The role of Persepolis in the life of the Persian realm is not completely clear.Although it seems that Persepolis to be the symbolic and also administrative heart of the Achaemenid Empire, several much more cities served as resources of the empire – such together Susa, good Babylon, and likewise Ecbatana – winter capital. Persepolis to be rather tiny known outside Persia.Notable structures
Basic structures in Persepolis were built from grey limestone. Notable and also luxurious stone structures though were constructed of dark marble.The columns in Persepolis were constructed of wood. Home builders tried their ideal to gain the largest known trees (cedars of Lebanon) to construct the superior structures. Only the biggest columns – in Apadana and also Propylaea – were made of stone.Although the city experienced significant ravage after ~ the capture by the Greeks and also has been exit for 2300 year (!), splendid ruins continue to be here. 15 huge pillars stand since these times and several more have to be reerected.Foundation – terraceEven the foundation where the city stands, is amazing. This 125,000 m², 450 m through 300 m big (17.5 soccer fields) terrace is man-made – fifty percent hewn in the cliff and fifty percent built. The terrace is fastened by 5 – 13 m high walls.Below the floor are built tunnels for sewage. Aerial photography mirrors that Persepolis had intricate underground water supply mechanism of quanats – innovative underground canals.
Great StairwayOne that the very first structures in the brand-new city, construction started in 518 BC. This gargantuan structure has 111 steps, each just 10 centimeter high, 6.9 m wide.Propylaea (Gate that Nations)First framework after the staircase to be a 25 through 25 m huge hall through a splendid entrance. That most most likely was developed by Xerxes i sometimes approximately 475 BC.Western gate of the framework still is adorned with 5.5 m tall sculptures the oxes. The room had 4 18.3 m tall columns, developed like palms. The structure has to be engraved in 3 languages – Old Persian, Babylonian, and Elamite – likewise other structures in Persepolis have actually such engravings informing around the builder of the structure.
Apadana PalaceThe greatest palace in Persepolis, constructed by Darius I and also Xerxes i in 515 – 475 BC. Royal residence was provided for official audiences and also could host up come 10,000 people! grand hall that the palace was 60 through 60 m large, with 72 ornate columns, each 19 m high (13 stay standing). Columns to be holding the hefty roof of this massive structure.Apadana, there is no doubt, included art values of substantial importance. Now we have the right to see just scarce stays of these values – remnants of wall surface decorations with varied bas-reliefs. Exterior facades were adorned with the piece of the brave Immortals – Persian elite troops. The building originally to be painted in gaudy colors.Hall of hundreds Columns (Throne Hall)Second biggest structure in Persepolis is the Throne room – royal army’s room of honour. The building and construction of this 70 by 70 m large building was started by Xerxes and completed by Artaxerxes I. The remaining ruins that the structure are extended with an important bas-reliefs, mirroring the scene of the emperor’s heroic accomplishments.
This representative structure initially was provided for armed forces ceremonies however gradually turned into a museum that Persian Empire.Throne room was severely damaged through the fire – just the base part of the building remained.Central palace (Tripylon Hall)This little palace was constructed as one audience room of Xerxes.Palace the Darius (Tachara Palace)This royal residence was began by Darius I and also completed through Xerxes I, then prolonged by Artaxerxes III.Palace of Xerxes (Hadish Palace)This palace stands on live rock and also uses the highest part of the terrace. The main hall had 36 wood columns.The purpose of the southern component of a building is not totally clear – it might have served as an annex to Treasury.
Persepolis / In the forefront – Garrisons, then room of hundred Columns and also further – Apadana.Travelling Runes, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
TreasuryStarted through Darius ns in 515 BC and finished by Xerxes in 480 BC. Is composed of a collection of rooms, whereby the two bigger rooms had 100 and also 99 wooden columns. This enormous structure had only two small entrances.Alexander the an excellent managed to record Persepolis with Treasury intact. According to Plutarch, over there were necessary 5,000 – 10,000 camels to lug the sweetheart away.Stables (Garrison)This complicated of multiple rooms was the house for the servants that Persepolis and for guards. In these premises were uncovered some 30,000 tablet computers with picture writing writing – their decipheration is ongoing. Paradoxally these tablets have actually been kept by the an excellent fire, i beg your pardon hardened them."Queens Apartments" and also Queen’Palace (Harem)The function of this large complex of basic is not completely clear. There is just a guess that this was the location where the ladies of Persepolis lived. These premises can have served for governmental purposes as well.
Tombs the Artaxerxes II and also Artaxerxes IIITwo that the most important Achaemenid emperors have actually been buried in Persepolis – one can be Artaxerxes II and another – Artaxerxes III. Tombs are cut in the hillside the Kuh-e Ramat mountains.Nearby over there is another, loose rock-cut tomb – supposedly intended for Darius III.
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Lying in the middle of a plain in contemporary Iran is a forgotten old city: Persepolis. Developed two and a fifty percent thousand years ago, that was recognized in that day together the richest city under the sun. Persepolis to be the resources of Persia, the largest realm the civilization had ever before seen, but after that destruction, that was largely forgotten for practically 2,000 years, and also the resides and accomplishments of those who developed it were nearly entirely erased native history.

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The Persepolis by Donald N Wilber is an important book for information on this Persian historical site.