The Throne Hall of Persepolis
Founded in the Sixth Century BC by
Kings of the First Persian Empire (the Achaemenids),
Persepolis is located 60 km northeast of Shiraz in Iran.
The present-day Persian name, Takht-e-Jamshid, means "
Throne of Jamshid", a legendary Iranian King Cyrus the Great. However,
the ancient name of the city was Parsa, or Pars' City,
hence the Greek name Persepolis.
magnificent ruins of
Persepolis lie at the foot of Kuh-i-Rahmat,
or "Mountain of Mercy,"
in the plain of Marv Dasht about 400 miles
south of the present capital city of Teheran.
Persepolis continued to flourish under the later Achaemenian Kings,
until it was burned and destroyed by Alexander the Great in 330 BC.
It is not known whether the burning of the city was accidental,
or an act of revenge for the destruction of Temples in Athens
in 480 BC by the Persians.
Modern excavations in Persepolis began in
the early 19th Century.
The Gate of All Nations is located at the end of two
monumental staircases. Between the staircase ramps are
symbols of the Zarathustrian God Ahura Mazda, and carvings
representing the different Nations of the World, from
Egyptians and Armenians, to Babylonians, Assyrians,
and Medians. The Gate leads to the Throne Hall,
or the Hundred-Column Hall. The Hall contains several
doorways adorned with carvings showing the
military combat. It is believed that the Gate of All
Nations and the Throne Hall were used in New Year's
celebrations when delegates presented the annual
tribute to the Persian King. The city of Persepolis
was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1979.