Persepolis, the capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550–330 BC), is about 60 km northwest of Shiraz. It is an architectural complex consisting of several palaces, most of them are still showing their magnificence despite the destruction caused by wars and the passage of time.
Persepolis, derived from an ancient Greek word, means the City of Persia. Among Persians though, the sight has been known as Takht-e Jamshid, meaning the Throne of Jamshid, a well-known king of Persian mythology who believed to be the builder of those splendid palaces.
The palace complex of Persepolis was inscribed on the list of World Heritage by UNESCO in 1979. According to the UNESCO, the royal city of Persepolis is the gem of Achaemenid (Persian) ensembles in the fields of architecture, urban planning, construction technology, and art, ranking it among the archaeological sites which have no equivalent and which bear unique witness to a most ancient civilization.
The splendid palatial complex of Persepolis was built by the Achaemenid kings Darius (522-486) and completed by his son Xerxes (486-465) and his grandson Artaxerxes (465-424). The buildings include military quarters, the treasury, the reception halls and occasional houses for the King. Noted structures include the Great Stairway, the Gate of All Nations, the Apadana, the Hall of a Hundred Columns, the Tripylon Hall and the Tachara, the Hadish Palace, the Palace of Artaxerxes III, the Imperial Treasury, the Royal Stables, and the Chariot House.
Every year thousands of domestic and foreign tourists come to see this marvel of antiquity which suffers a rash of arson attack by Alexander the Macedonian in the fourth century.