Pasargadae

Nearby Persepolis on the road to Shiraz lies Pasargadae, the first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire, known as an astonishing archaeological site.

Registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the awesome monument, including the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great, Mozafari Caravanserai, two royal palaces and a stone tower exemplifies the Persian synthesis of various traditions, drawing on precedents from Elam, Babylon, Assyria, and ancient Egypt.

Founded by Cyrus the Great, in Pars, homeland of the Persians, in the 6th century BC, Pasargadae is a fundamental phase in the evolution of the classic Persian art and architecture and exceptional testimonies of Persian civilization.

In the south, the most important monument is the tomb of Cyrus the Great, the founder of Persian Empire who ruled from his capital Pasargadae and rapidly established a vast empire. The tomb chamber has a unique architecture with simple structure built of huge white limestone blocks set on a stepped platform locally known as the tomb of Solomon’s mother.

The austere and awesomely simple Tomb of Cyrus stands proudly on the plain, consisting of six stone tiers with a modest rectangular burial chamber above and a narrow entrance which shows unique architecture.

Audience hall which was used as a reception hall and winged human combining the elements of all major civilizations that Cyrus had conquered are among the other distinctive features of Pasargadae.

Also, in the north, Tall-e Takht (“Solomon’s Throne”) is another famous monument, a great fortified platform built on a hill that later incorporated into a sprawling citadel with substantial mud-brick defenses, used from Cyrus’s time until the late Sassanian period.

Moreover, the “Four Gardens” type of royal ensemble, which was created in Pasargadae became a prototype for Western Asian architecture and design.

At the extreme southern edge of the site, an impressive rock-cut road or canal indicates the course of the ancient highway that once linked Pasargadae to Persepolis.

The majestic simplicity of the architecture at Pasargadae reflects a sense of balance and beauty that was never equaled in either earlier or later Achaemenid times, making it a memorable visit for those who reward the ancient civilization.

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