Pasargadae or Pāsārgād is the first capital of the Persian Achaemenian dynasty in Fars province, south-western Iran. Pasargadae was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004. The complex, including palaces, gardens, Tall-e Takht, tomb, Zendan, the stone plinths, etc. Situated on a plain northeast of Persepolis. This area was under Achaemenian family for many years before it was chosen by Cyrus II (the Great; reigned 559–c. 529 BCE) as his capital and throne. The name of the city may have been derived from the word ‘’Parsagadeh’’, which means ‘’Throne of Pars’’.
This site covers 1.6 square kilometres and presents the earliest example of Iranian classic art and become a fundamental phase in the evolution of Persian architecture. For many years and even these days, archaeological projects conducted to discover new findings and structures in this area.
The Tomb of Cyrus, the Great: The tomb of Cyrus is the most known monument in Pasargadae complex, looks like a simple but a firm example of Mesopotamian or Elamite Ziggurats. In particular, the tomb has the same design and dimension as the tomb of Alyattes, the father of Lydian King, Croesus, who became a member of the Cyrus court after the falling of Lydia. It reached almost eleven meters in height and consists of a high plinth composed of six receding tiers and a tomb chamber with a steep-pitched gable roof.
read more: Cyrus tomb in Pasargadae
The Palace Area: Almost 1 kilometre far from Cyrus tomb, there is a board tract of land including some especial palaces came to be characterized, exceptionally, by a whole series of contiguous gardens served to link structures as Gate R, Palace P, and Palace S. Gate R consists of a rectangular columned hall pierced by two opposed monumental doorways on its long axis and by two side doorways on its cross axis. Palaces S served as the principal public venue and palace P was a pavilion served as the private palace for King and his family.
The Pasargadae Persian Gardens: Paradise or The Persian gardens of Pasargadae are the earliest examples of the ‘’Persian Chahar Bagh’’ or ‘’Four gardens’’. Based on certain evidence, it’s believed that the ‘’Four gardens’’ plan was at first tried in Pasargadae by order of Cyrus, and after that, it becomes a prototype for Western Asian architecture.
Tall-e Takht: Tall-e Takht or Toll-e Takht is a great stone platform, known today as the Taḵt-e mādar-e Soleymān which means The Throne of Solomon’s Mother. Out of the western side of the Tall-e Takht (Throne Hill) provides some of the best evidence for the abrupt cessation of construction work at Pasargadae before the original plans for the site could be completed.
Persepolis or Parsa is the third capital of the Achaemenian dynasty after Pasargadae and Susa, located about 50 km northeast of Shīrāz in the Fars province of southwestern Iran. The site was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. In historic time and especially during the Islamic era, it named Takht-e Jamshīd which means the throne of Jamshid who is a character in Persian mythology and Shahnameh book.
Without a doubt, Persepolis is the most important and valuable tourism site in Iran, no worldtraveller should miss visiting the site. It is also a key archaeological site in Iran which was first excavated and restored by German antiquarian Ernest Herzfeld. As the great Iranian historians Shahpur Shahbazi said: ‘’ In about 518 BCE, Darius the Great (r. 522-486 BCE) chose a promontory of the “Royal Hill” at the foot of a mountain (Kuh-e Mehr) to the east of the plain to serve as the site for a new palace complex forming the citadel of the city of Pārsa’’.
The aims and function of Persepolis are still doubted but it’s believed that this complex served for a series of celebration related to the Persian New Year Festivals mayfbe Nowruz or maybe it was an illustration of royal power, economic centre, the political or administrative capital of the Achaemenian empire. The site includes some magnificent structures on a massive platform. Persepolis presents a collection of multilingual inscriptions mostly old Persian cuneiform. The city of Pārsa laid on the plain with its mud-brick houses and gardens. The main structures include Gate of All Lands with two enormous winged-bulls support the side pillars, Apadāna or the palace of Darius, The Palace of Xerxes (the Hadiš), The Palace of Darius (the Tačara), The harem of Xerxes, The “Tripylon” or Central Palace, The Treasury, The Hundred Column Hall. This archaeological ruins of Persepolis are authentic in terms of locations, styles, materials, substance, forms and design.
read more: Archaeological Landscape of Fars Region
Shahr-e Sokhta or The Burnt City is the most important archaeological site in the southeast of Iran. The site is located in Zābol in the Baluchistan region of Iran. As a part of the Helmand River valley, the site dates back to the Chalcolithic (Bronze Age) during the 3rd millennium BC. It was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in June 2014.
The prehistoric city covering an area of 151 hectares was a centre of trade and productions like alabaster and sandstone vases. The settlement appeared around 3200 BCE and it had four stages of civilization, Period I dating back to 3200- 2800 BCE, period II dating back to 2800-2500 BCE, period III 2500-2300, period IV 2300-2100 BCE. And was burnt down three times before being abandoned in 1800 BCE. After archaeological excavation conducted by Italian Institute for the Middle and the Far East in 1967, especial cultural data like large buildings, burial grounds, stone workshops, metal workshops and artificial products like pottery, textiles and many others were revealed.
Shahr-e-Sukhteh ultimately provides concrete evidence of east of Persia civilization that was independent of ancient Mesopotamia. The city is well known for its advanced technique of stone products, wide use of stamp seals, scientific medical activities. Shahr-e Sokhta may have also been an important centre for the production of alabaster and sandstone vases. These discoveries indicate that the site’s Chalcolithic inhabitants had a culturally advanced community with a high degree of technical specialization and a wealth of foreign contacts. Shahr-e Sokhta is an exceptional site to a peculiar civilization and cultural tradition cultures on the Indus Plain become an important tourism destination for travellers all around the world.
Dome of Soltaniye
Dome of Soltaniye located in Soltaniye city, Zanjan province, Iran. It was constructed by order of the Mongol ruler IL-khan Öljeitü, also known as Muhammad Khodabandeh between 1302- 1312 AD. It was registered on the UNESCO world heritage list in 2005.
The Tomb of Öljeitü was one of the largest religious endowments of the 14th century used for multiple functions, such as praying, teaching Islamic lessons, Quran reading and other religious ceremonies. The main building is approximately 125 feet in height. It is crowned by a dome with an average diameter of 80 feet. Eight minarets enclosing the dome above the gallery. As an important principle of Persian Architecture, the complex consists of Four Iwans (Four courtyards) connected by arcades with Muqarnas. Many parts of the building adorned with plastered and paintings, and the courtyard was paved with white marble. As for the interior of the tomb, it is decorated with tile and plaster. The Iwans’ walls possess white inscriptions that stand out against the blue background. The underside of the Iwans is stuccoed with bands of ornamentation and later painted. A garden named Rawda was built around the mausoleum of Öljeitü. Because Oljeitu’s tomb was one of the most significant works of its time, it became an inspiration for many other complexes like Blue Mosque of Tabriz built by Saliha Khanum, Taj Mahal, Saint Mary Church in Florence and Turkey’s Hagia Sophia.