Tourist guide, Tourist places

The great Cyrus tomb in Pasargadae

The world’s oldest earthquake-proof structure.

The tomb of Cyrus is located one kilometre southwest of the Pasargadae palaces. For its Outstanding Universal Value, it was recorded as the ensemble of Pasargadae in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. The great Cyrus (r. 559-530 BC) is the founder of the Achaemenid dynasty. Cyrus is internationally renowned for its vast empire and the Cyrus cylinder (539 BC) as the world’s first charter of human rights. The structure was described and admired by historians for many years, but a few people know that the Cyrus tome is the world’s oldest earthquake-proof structure. Stay with Miniyatour, to know more about this amazing feature.

There are many earthquakes in Iran, so Iranian engineersa were well aware of this danger and had taken steps to reduce the destructive damages of it. The skills of Iranian to build the hydraulic systems like dam and bridge to control water and floods are well known by the people of the world but they were quite able to build resistant structures against earthquake. Building on sand or loose sands is one of these methods to reduce the earthquakes destructive power. for example, stone buildings that were attached to wood made such flexible structures like what is today seen in the ancient monuments of Crete Island. The Temple of Athens in Troy also stands on a thick sandstone base to enhance its seismic resistance. Ancient engineers in Iran devised a technique that used different materials, such as mud, between the ground and the foundation of the building.


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This will slide one layer over another during an earthquake and minimize the vibrations of the earth. An inspiring way influenced modern architecture. Nowadays, structural engineers use rubber bearings or spring systems to separate the building from the ground.


The tomb of Cyrus in Pasargadae is the first example of using earthquake resistance techniques. Unlike the glory of Cyrus, the great empire, his tomb is very simple and modest. A rectangular cubic masonry with dimensions of 6 meters by 5 meters and a triangular ceiling on a six large level. The structure is made of white limestone, probably supplied by Sivand Mine. The base of the plinth, which rises in six receding tiers, covers an area about 13×12 m, the chamber is over 3 meters long, 2 meters wide and slightly over 2 meters high. The overall height of the building is 11 meter. At the front of the chamber and at the top of the doorway, there is a beautiful flower-shaped decoration with only half of it left. This figure is quite popular by Iranians as a sign of twelve months of a year. The tomb of Cyrus is the only building in Pasargadae described in Greek sources. It is interesting in its own way that even Cyrus’ enemies have mentioned his power and modesty.

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