We are greeted at the arrival by two gigantic statues of bulls, whose heads already destroyed not steal importance to his presence, giving even a mysterious look. On the opposite side of this gate, are two other statues of robust bull body, winged and with human head, which as guardians observe indifferent over time the thousands of tourists who flock here daily. We are in Persepolis, the so-called Gate of Nations.
This giant sculptures at the gate od Persepolis representing Shedu (or Lamassu) with lion body or sometimes bull, a human head and bird wings, are protective deity related to the zodiac and originated in Mesopotamia
But despite Persepolis mean the “City of Persians” this site wasn’t built as a city but for ceremonial purposes showing the greatness and power of the Achaemenid Empire.
The construction of Persepolis began in 515 BC by Cyrus named “the Great” founder of the Achaemenid Empire and was subsequently added by his successors: Darius and Xerxes.
But it was Alexander “the Great” that in 300 BC ended the greatness of this place, looting and burning, apparently in revenge, for earlier King Xerxes had order to burn down the city of Athens.
Throughout the space, walls reveal large images carved in stone, represented envoys of other nations, bringing offerings, showing hosts, ornamented with flowers, lettering and various representations where it is a lion attacking a bull, symbolising the eternal struggle of the Moon (bull) with the Sun (Lion); this duality is also related to the Zoroastrian religion, and is the Persian New Year (Nowruz), which coincides with the equinox marking the beginning of spring.
The faravahar, also called fravahr, symbolises the Persian nation, and representation can be found in various locations of the ruins of Persepolis, especially in the figures carved in Tomb of Artaxerxes II, as a kind of protector angel, with the wings and tail of a bird, a human figure at the center, emerging from a hoop, holding a ring, whose meaning is closely connected to the Zoroastrian religion.
Persepolis being the heart of Persia, instead of “Salam”, the traditional greeting in Farsi but that comes from the Arabic language, we are invited to use the old term “dûrut”.
Persepolis, is without doubt a must see place for anyone traveling through Iran, and despite the large amount of people who visit the site, the vast majority on organised tours, does not take away the beauty or impact these ruins of another vanished empire.
How to reach Persepolis:
This is undoubtedly the challenge for those visiting Persepolis.
Virtually all hotels and travel agencies organize tours that may or may not include Naqsh-e Rostam and Pasargadae: with values between 30 and 50 USD.
It is also possible hired a taxi for return trip, asking the driver to wait for the end of the visit to bring you back to Yazd; however there are reports that in turn is asked for more money than agreed, with the argument that the waiting time during the visit was longer than arranged.
You can Persepolis also by public transport Persepolis: At the Karandish Bus Terminal (the main terminal in Yazd) you need to walk toward the binding in direction of the south exit, and then cross the avenue to the other side where a small mini-bus terminal is located. Then here take a bus to the city of Marvdasht, 50 km. From Marvdasht you need a taxi (or a shared taxi) for the next 10 km until Persepolis entrance.
The greatest difficulty is to go through the human barrier created by taxi drivers at Karandish Bus Terminal, that virtually prevent people from reaching the terminal across the street, blocking the way, giving incorrect information that there are no buses (to be Friday or any other reason) and offering different prices for the route to Persepolis.
Given this situation couldn’t even get information about the routes, schedules or bus prices to Marvdasht.
The solution came unexpectedly from a Iranian couple who was in the terminal and offered to give me a ride, and bring me back; Having visited Persepolis with me, showing a pleasant and interesting company, taking me also to visit other places of Shiraz. With this, not to abuse the generosity of this couple I skip the visit to Naqsh-e Rostam, highly recommended.
Were to Eat:
At the entry, were is the ticket counter, toilets and gift-shops you can also find something to eat, drink or snacks, even within the archaeological complex you all find a café serving drinks and light meals.
Inside the complex is possible to find drinking water taps.
Persepolis: 150,000 rials
Inside the complex there is a museum, being necessary to purchase another ticket: 100,000 rials.