All posts tagged “heritage & history

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Genius Loci of Brunel’s SS Great Britain

There are many landmarks and attractions in Bristol, one of which is the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the other being Brunel’s SS Great Britain – they both claim to be the No. 1 tourist attractions in Bristol.  I am lucky enough to live “very” close to… Read More

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The Imam Square in Esfahan

Walking about in a souk or bazaar or traditional market can be enjoyable as well as frustrating. It’s enjoyable because you will see so many other things that you won’t see in high street shops, from the variety of the items they sell, the activities… Read More

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On our flight to Iran, my husband sat next to an Iranian who was curious on why we wanted to visit Iran; but in the end he told us not to miss Persepolis – it’s a must place to visit in Iran he said. Obviously we did not do our homework, as in the guide book – Lonely Planet or others always put Persepolis as the place to go to. From the name it sounds like another Roman-Ruin, and it’s located where the Roman Empire flourished around 5 BC, but the truth is this was a relic way before the Roman Empire.

So what is Persepolis? Literally it means City of Persia. Architecture style of Persepolis is neither Assyrian nor Egyptian nor Greek, nor a mixture of all. It is located in Iran, or you might say on Persian soil; it was said that King Darius I (an Achaemenian King) first built it in 515 BC. Other studies said that it was King Cyrus the Great who first initiated and chose the site, but it was King Darius who executed, he built the great terrace and the beautiful palace.

Images above is the plan and the sketch of what it was, the ceremonial capital of the Achaemeniad Empire during it’s glory days, between 550 BC to 330 BC. Archeological studies say that this magnificent ceremonial capital was first built in 520 BC, during King Darius I who took the throne, and carried on by his successors over a period of 150 years. They were still constructing the Apadana (Hall of Hundred Columns) when Alexander the Great – burned the Achaemeniad capital which marked the down fall of Achaemenian Dynasty.


architecture of Persepolis

So what kind of architecture is Persepolis we are looking at? as it is not Egyptian architecture nor it is Assyrian architecture, and the fact that it was the Romans who destroyed the culture, obviously this was before the Roman Empire. Persepolis was the creation of Persian architects and artists as per their king’s instructions as well as their own interpretation of their environment, animals, and religions  and beauty as you can see above. When you look carefully at the ornaments of the columns did not show anything like Corinthian Columns or any of those elaborate capitals; in fact like you can see in the slide show above, it has its own style of ornaments.

Sadly enough, the majestic grandeur of the Achaemeniad Dynasty as well as its architecture is hardly mentioned in any foreign records or history books.