About Bisotun

Bisotun Historic Site is one of the most famous historical places in the world. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit this historic site and its world-famous monuments in Kermanshah yet, we recommend that you include it in your plans as soon as possible. The inscription on this site is one of the international monuments of our country. Because of the importance of the place, the need for better care and maintenance of this historical collection is more evident. We hope that the authorities and visitors will realize the importance of this ancient site to preserve it for future, as Darius himself insisted.

Bisotun mountain
Bisotun mountain

Bisotun location

Bisotun is a mountainous and a historical site, located in northeast of Kermanshah Province in western part of Iran. It is well known for its famous Inscription and rock relief in which the great Achaemenian King, Darius the Great, had the narrative of his exploits carved. In fact, the principal monument of mount Bisotun is the bas-relief and cuneiform inscription ordered by Darius I, the Great, in 521 BC. It is as a testimony to Persian civilization and one of the world’s most creditable historic evidences. The inscription includes three versions of the same text, written in three different cuneiform script languages: Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian.

Bisotun inscription lines
Bisotun inscription lines

Legends of Bisotun

There is a legend about Mount Bisotun, as the Persian poet Ferdowsi in his Shahnameh wrote about it. A man named Farhad who was a lover of Shirin was given the task of cutting away the mountain; if he succeeded, he would be given permission to marry Shirin. After many years and removing half of the mountain, he did find water, but was informed by Khosrow that Shirin had died. He went mad, kissed the ground and died.

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Bisotun site has unique ecological and mythological value, aesthetic features, outstanding universal value, testimony to the ancient Persian civilization to promote cultural identity and improve prosperity of living condition of impoverished people in the region. In fact, this cultural landscape had already provided a better meaning to the concept of nature. The natural features of Bisotun region were an introduction to the formation of culture and human history in this region.

Bisotun inscription
Bisotun inscription

Bisotun historic surrounding

Iran is an ancient land with thousands of years of history to tell. Iran’s historical and natural richness can be found in few other countries on this planet. Every corner of our country has treasured historical monuments. Heritages that some of them have global fame and others only are known for Iranians. Bisotun is registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Take a tour around Kermanshah province and visit historic Bisotun area.

Every corner of our country, Iran, when you look, you will find some heritages of our ancestors that are still magnificent. Kermanshah is one of these places. A province that has much to say about history and culture of Iran, and is known as one of the oldest historical settlements in the world. Bisotun Historic Site is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in the province with Darius’s inscriptions that being internationally recognized.

around Bisotun
around Bisotun

Location

Bisotun is one of the most important and valuable ancient sites in Iran, and even in the world. This area located in eastern parts of Kermanshah province, with a length of 3 and width of 3 km. Bisotun is one of the top landmarks in the world, also listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List in Year 1385 SH. Within the historical site there are over twenty valuable heritages from pre-Islamic era to Islamic era. sites of which 28 have been nationally registered, which in turn is unique in the country. This site is located 30 kilometers from the big city of Kermanshah and you must visit it.

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Bisotun is a collection of pre-historic and Islamic sites. Treasures such as Darius the Great’s World Scrolls, Hercules Statue, Remnants of Sasanian Dam and bridge, Sarab Bisotoun, Ilkhanid Monuments, Safavid Monuments, Ancient Caves, Goodarz II Stones, King Abbasi’s Caravansary that altogether make this place as one of the richest and most prestigious historic sites in the world. Perhaps the reason for accumulation of so many heritages from different historical periods in one place is the great sanctity that Mount Bisotun has had among our ancestors for many years.

Bisotun pattern(Darius the Great inscription)

Darius inscription is one of the most prestigious historical documents in the world. This inscription describes his great victory over the Magi’s Geomat. The relief of Darius I was carved at a height of 100 meters above the ground on the rocks of Mount Bisotun. Darius’s inscription is 6 meters long and 2.30 meters wide, and in its vicinity is a prominent Achaemenid carved at a height of 1.78 meters in the heart of the mountain. Bisotun inscription tells the story of the first year of Darius the Great’s reign and his victory over Magi in three languages. In fact, Darius intended to tell the world the hardships and stories he faced when he achieved power, and the uprisings he had suppressed. Alongside this historical inscription, Darius’s prominent pattern is engraved with his captives. In this prominent pattern, Darius is dressed in magnificent Persian dress and has a congressional crown. He places his left foot on the chest of Magi’s Geomat, signifying his power and authority, and Geomat is begging. Behind Darius are the captives standing with a rope. These captives are those who wrongly called themselves King of Iran after death of Bardia. Instead of this prominent pattern, as well as its inscription, Ahuramazda’s pattern is evident, demonstrating his great monotheism.

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Darius the Great introduces himself in his inscription, tells the great Achaemenid fathers and kingdoms, and talks about how to seize government and suppress insurgents. Inscription says: “You are seeing this writing afterwards, do not hurt it. Keep it as long as you can.”

Bisotun
Bisotun

Hercules statue

The famous statue of Hercules depicts a powerful and giant man who has lain on his left side. Hercules holds a wine cup in his right hand and places his left hand on his leg. This valuable statue was discovered when road builders were scraping the mountain to construct  Hamadan road to Kermanshah. Behind the statue, there is an inscription from the Seleucid period. The statue is 1 meters and 47 cm long.

Hercul statue
Hercul statue

Bisotun Mirage

Bisotun Mirage is actually a spring whose water has created a small lake in Bisotun’s historic site. One of the reasons for the settlement of ancient humans in this area is the existence of this unique spring. Most of the precious monuments in this area have been built around this historic spring.