What is Perspolis Palace?
Persepolis, also Takht-e Jamshid, was the ritual capital of Hakhamaneshi Empire or the Persian Empire, which came into existence and grew from 550 –330 BC.
Persepolis is a Greek word which means Persian City. Cyrus the Great decided this site as the capital, Darius the Great built the Apadana Palace and the Council Hall, and finally, Xerxes the Great (Khashayar Shah) completed what had been established before him.
Building Persepolis was a continuing activity until Hakhamaneshi Empire fell. In 330 BC, Alexander the Great plagued and ruined Persepolis and set fire to the constructions.
It was then part of the Macedonian Empire. Its importance gradually reduced and finally lost its importance until it was discovered by a Spanish ambassador in the Safavid Dynasty period.
In the entrance, there is about a one hundred meter passage in the yard which faces a high terrace on which the main buildings were constructed.
There are two series of entering stairs that are placed against each other that were built by Khashayar Shah.
Width, length, and height of the stairs are 38 centimeters, 7 meters, and 150 centimeters. Generally, there are 111 stairs.
Why was Perspolis palace an important place?
There is also a gate renowned as the Gate of All Nations or Xerxes Gate. For greeting to foreign representatives, designers tried to build Darvazeh Melal (Gate of All Nations) as a splendid gate.
. This part was built by order of Xerxes. The building included 3 doors and 4 columns. There were chairs made out of stones here for agents to sit.
. Just 2 columns of the palace are unbroken. In one part of this palace, there is a gate which is accompanied by two winged cows.
The shape of the winged cows is a mixture of Hakhamaneshi and Assyrian Art. These shapes are enigmatic since the cows have the head of breadedmen.
Furthermore, Inscriptions are engraved on the walls in three languages of Babylonian, Elamite, and Persian. There are various tall columns on top of which there are statues. Besides, at the entrance, there is a lion figure. This monument reports the flourishing days of the Persian Empire in which the art and architecture acted as the high sound of Persians prosperity. On the terrace of this huge construction stands out the treasury of the Kings which once used to be full of gold, silver and precious stones.
About all of palaces in Perspolis
Building the palace of Apadana commenced in 515 BC by Darius, however, was completed by his son Xerxes I. This claim is supported by various pieces of historical evidence found on the site. As a reliable evidence, the buildings inscriptions must be mentioned.
On one of the engraved walls is written ‘Darius the great king, king of kings, king of countries, son of Hystaspes, an Achaemenian, built this palace.’ Apadana is considered to be the most outstanding as well as the largest and biggest building in Persepolis.
The eastern part stairs of the building are famous for the figurative representation of the peoples of the empire known as low reliefs; figures such as people bringing gifts to the king. Another figure indicates Darius sitting on the throne and his son, Xerxes standing behind him. There also signs of fire spread throughout the buildings by people of Alexander the Great.
One of the most outstanding characteristics of Persepolis is the number of low reliefs which still stand firmly after this long period. A most recurring theme in these low reliefs are a lion attacking a bull which is a symbol of Zoroastrian Nowruz; that is a representation of bull as the earth and lion as the sun that overcomes the bull and marks a new year.
These low reliefs give details of various wars, festivals, ceremonies and other events that happened during the supremacy of Persian emperors and the lands they dominated.
The row of soldiers with spears, camels and horse-drawn chariots, people carrying gifts to the king, and king sitting on the throne are some of the most recurring low reliefs found at various places on the Persepolis buildings.
The site is littered with various objects such as fallen pillars, decorated pieces of stone and fluted columns.
Near to Apadana, the Throne Hall is constructed that indicates Xerxes sitting on a throne. There is also another low relief of Xerxes who is fighting a lion. This hall was commenced by Xerxes and finished by his son. This hall was used as a service place for military chiefs.
On the close by hill, there are three rock tombs with adorned low reliefs. An interesting piece of architecture is the twin winged mythical figures mounted on a column.
About 13 km away of the Naqsh-e Rustam region, there are tombs of several Persian leaders such as Darius, Xerxes, and Artaxerxes; their tombs are rocks arisen about 15 m into the air.
In Persepolis, there also other palaces made by different emperors that each of which served a specific purpose.
Winter Palace in Perspolis
Another palace that was built by Darius I is the Winter Palace. According to archeologists, stones of this palace reflect the light functioning as a mirror. However, the columns are ruined since they were made out of wood. In the eastern part of the palace, there is a big room and in the eastern and western parts of the room, there are two big doors on which figures of Darius are engraved. It seems that writing names of all kings were frequent at the time. You can see different inscriptions of different eras like the Parthian Empire, Sassanid kingdom, ages after Islam and etc.
Hadish Palace in Perspolis
Darius, I began building this palace, but Xerxes (Khashayar Shah) completed it. Hence, it was named after Xerxes as Xerxes palace, however, later it is was found that it is altered into Haddish. Based on the remains of the palace, it seems that there was a water tunnel beneath it and its southern part functioned as an air conditioner for the palace. This palace includes two long series of steps as well as a big courtyard.
Haramsara in Perspolis
This place was built by Khashayar Shah in Persepolis and no one had the permission or ability to enter it. Haramsara was a palace for safeguarding the queens of the King and only the King could enter. This part is located in the southern part of Persepolis and it is separated from other places and is comprised of four parts which are finished during the reign of Xerxes’ son. During the supremacy of Ardeshir III, a palace was built with 32 columns. Unfortunately, Alexander invaded and ruined many parts of Persepolis. Therefore, currently, no can be sure why this huge palace was being built. However, there are guesses for a hall of the council as well as a place for soldiers.
Three Gates Palace
This palace is considered as the palace of the council and is built in the central part of Persepolis. As the name suggests, this palace has three gates related to the other parts. There are low reliefs on the walls indicating figures of noble people and comprised of several columns and several doors. According to historians, this palace was built by the command of Ardeshir I.