Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Ancient Ruins of Persepolis - Iran

We hired a cab from Shiraz to Persepolis. The driver sent us for breakfast in the city and it was about half past ten by the time we left Shiraz. We did not communicate much with the cab driver for he spoke very little English. Most of the time my Iranian friend was narrating to us about the city of Shiraz and the archaeological sites in Persepolis we were about to visit. Along the way to Persepolis I saw several huge posters of Iranian men lined on the highways and out of curiosity I asked, "Who are they?" I was told that those are portraits of the martyrs in the 8 years Iran-Iraq War from 1980 to 1988, thus making it the longest conventional war in the 20th. century.
Can't stand the heat!

The journey from Shiraz to Persepolis (about 58km) took us more than an hour and by the time we arrived in Persepolis it was almost noon and the heat was getting intense. I can feel it on my skin and even the hat would not help much. We had to walk up the ancient site quite far from where the cab dropped us. All we saw were just ruins and stones which tell a story of the ancient Persia that was once ruled by the Romans in 2 million BC.

Persepolis may not be a place of interest to everybody because apart from the ruins, there are not much to see unless you are such a great fan of archaeology. 
Founded by Darius in 518 BC, Persepolis was invaded and burnt by Alexander the Great in 331. Persepolis was declared the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. There were many locals flooding the ancient ruins, be it for nostalgic purposes or pride of the past. Persepolis bears an important chapter of the Persian history in particular.

In the scorching heat we walked through the sites and it was really tiring that we need to stop for a cool glass of ice cream and faludeh in a small cafe next to the museum. From the cafe we decided to walk back and call the cab to pick us up. We should have come earlier in the morning to avoid the heat but anyway, just a few hours in Persepolis to have a taste of this ancient history is sufficient.

A site near the museum
Tall columns all over the site
Huge rocks formed the horse sculpture  
Rocks all over
Massive complex influenced by Mesopotamian model
The Great Stairway - 111 steps

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