Persepolis
 
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Persepolis and Remains of Persian Empire

Established 500 years before the birth of Christ, Persepolis was a showplace of the affluent Achaemenian Kings of Persia. It's glory was short-lived however, as it was looted and burned to the ground by Alexander in 330 BC, less than two centuries from it's inception.

It's ruins attest to its majesty.  Persepolis consists of the remains of several monumental buildings on a vast artificial stone terrace about 450 by 300 m (1,480 by 1,000 ft). A double staircase, wide and shallow enough for horses to climb, led from the plains below to the top of the terrace. At the head of the staircase, visitors passed through the Gate of Xerxes, a gatehouse guarded by enormous carved stone bulls.

Silhouette of Tachara, the Palace of Darius - The Ruins of Persepolis  The Tomb of Cyrus the Great at Sunset - Pasargadae, Iran

The largest building at Persepolis, the Apadana (audience hall), stood to the right of the gatehouse. Archaeologists estimate that it could accommodate 10,000 people. Massive stone columns supported the Apadana's roof; 36 were interior columns and another 36 supported verandas on three sides of the building. Thirteen of these 72 columns remain standing today.

Remnants of the Apadana, Stone doorways and 13 of the 72 massive stone columns that originally supported the Apadana, or audience hall, at Persepolis are still standing today. Viewing these and other ruins, one can only imagine at the scope of this short lived kingdom.

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