Persepolis or "The city of the Persians” is an ancient city of Iran that for year’s ceremonial capital of the Empire was the Achaemenid Empire of Iran at the time. Persepolis is situated 58 Kilometers from Shiraz.
It is there, in the center of the Marv Dasht basin, that Cyrus the Great chose, toward the end of his reign, to build under the shelter of a fold in the mountains, a palace worthy of the Empire.
The site consists of the remains of several monumental buildings on a vast stone terrace surrounded by a brick wall.
The city of the Persians is near the small river Pulwar, which flows into the river Kur. The site includes a 125,000 square meter terrace, partly artificially constructed and partly cut out of a mountain, with its east side leaning on Kuh-e Rahmet ("the Mountain of Mercy").
The other three sides are formed by retaining walls, which vary in height with the slope of the ground.
The largest and most magnificent building is the Apadana, used mainly for great receptions by the kings.
Thirteen of its seventy-two columns still stand on the enormous platform to which two monumental stairways, on the north and on the east, give access.
They are adorned with rows of beautifully executed reliefs showing scenes from the New Year's festival and processions of representatives of twenty-three subject nations of the Achaemenid Empire, with court notables and Persians and Medes, followed by soldiers and guards, their horses, and royal chariots.
Delegates in their native attire, some completely Persian in style, carry gifts as token of their loyalty and as tribute to the king.
These gifts include silver and gold vessels and vases, weapons, woven fabrics, jewelry, and animals from the delegates' own countries.
At some 13 km northwest of Persepolis are the Achaemenian royal tombs.
There rises a perpendicular wall of rock in which four similar tombs are cut at a considerable height from the bottom of the valley.
This place is called Nakhsh-e Rostam (the Picture of Rostam), from the Sasanian carvings below the tombs, which were thought to represent the mythical hero Rostam.
That the occupants of these seven tombs were Achaemenian kings might be inferred from the sculptures, and one of those at Nakhsh-e Rostam is expressly declared in its inscriptions to be the tomb of Darius I.
The majestic simplicity of the architecture at Pasargad, the first dynastic capital of the Achaemenian Empire reflects a sense of balance and beauty that was never equaled in either earlier or later Achaemenian times.
The principal buildings stand in magnificent isolation, often with a common orientation but scattered over a remarkably wide area.
Although no single wall enclosed the whole site, a strong citadel commanded the northern approaches.
The dominant feature of the citadel is a huge stone platform, projecting from a low, conical hill.