Achaemanid

Persepolis and Shiraz

This post is part of series documenting travel in Myanmar, Cuba and Iran: Introduction.

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August 2015

Minibus is nearing Marvdasht, a small town near the historic park of Persepolis. Commuters from Shiraz have filled the vehicle. Curiously, town itself does not provide much accommodation, perhaps because Shiraz is just 50km away. Sun at 8am is already getting hot, soon it will be over 40 Celsius.

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Akinageh, Achaemanid dagger and paw of a lion. The endless struggle between good and evil, Ahriman and Mino was depicted in many palace walls of Persepolis.
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Persepolis literally meaning “the Persian city”, was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550–330 BC). It was built as a showcase the might of an empire, a superpower of its time. What has helped to preserve Achaemenid’s in minds of people today, especially in West, is with help of Greek scholars who meticulously documented the history. Who were always the arch rival the good sons were fighting against? You can easily guess. Glory days of Persepolis came to an abrupt end, when Alexander the Great stormed the city and looted it. Theories vary even today was the destruction intentional or accidental. Still, what remains visible gives an idea of what once stood here, on a dry plain near the small river Pulvar.

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Gate of Nations.

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An unfinished gate in Persepolis.

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Persepolis.
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Shiraz skyline.

Shiraz is the major city of 1.3m people in southern Iran. Historic park of Persepolis is just one of attractions that the city can offer. Capital of Persia was moved several times during history, and Shiraz time was during the Zand dynasty’s era (1747-79). Several renowned poets are linked to the city, and its a treasure throve to Persian culture, culinary art and wines. Persian gardens, mosques and ofcourse, a large bazaar adds to the attraction. Shiraz is easily one of the most popular travel destinations of Iran.

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Poet Saadi’s Thomb in Shiraz

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Shiraz bazaar

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Nasir ol Molk Mosque, Shiraz
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Shah Cheragh. Funerary monument and mosque in Shiraz center.

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Karim Khan Castle, a citadel in the downtown Shiraz. And someone taking a perfect shot.