Pasargadae is a city built by Cyrus II the great and located in Murghab plain surrounded by arid mountains in southwestern Iran’s Fars province. In fact, Pasargadae is located 130 Km from Shiraz.
It was the first dynastic and spacious capital of Iranian tribes and the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus II also known as Cyrus the Great as the pioneer of world peace who helped shape Asian history in 6th century BC . It is symbolically the heart of the Persian Empire. Today, it is an archaeological site and inscribe on Iran’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Tomb of Cyrus the Great located in Pasargadae and it is the most important monument of it and it is a focal point for visitors, travelers, historians, and archaeologists to Pasargadae.
Why Visit the Pasargadae Collection?
- One of the heritages of global register of Iran and is on the UNESCO heritages list.
- One of Iran’s most famous historical attractions is the tomb of Cyrus.
- The first capital of Achaemenid Empire here established.
- According to historical evidences, Cyrus the Great was responsible for constructing most of the buildings in this complex .
- Visiting this place will help you increase your knowledge of Iranian history, especially Achaemenid history.
- Pasargadae is a valuable and historical collection of Achaemenid monuments, and you can visit this part of Iranian history.
- Pasargadae Garden with global record is also part of the collection. Although this garden does not exist today, it has inspired the famous Iranian gardens after it.
Introduction to the ancient collection of Pasargadae
To discover the facts of Pasargadae complex you must travel to southern part of Iran and Fars province. Somewhere in the plain of Morghab and the plain of Pasargadae, near Pasargadae, there are ancient structures that are reminiscent of ancient Iran and have many stories to tell. This is where the glorious Achaemenid history is founded and regarded as the first capital of this great empire. It is also home for the world’s largest and most extensive Achaemenid heritages, and the most diverse and most influential sites of this period. Pasargadae Complex is also the fifth Iranian site on the UNESCO World Heritage List which was able to enter the list with hundred percent of votes, but before that this historic site on September 16, 1931 was in the National Monuments List with registration number of 19.
“In this post we are going to take a close look at all the works of this historical complex of Pasargadae and examine this ancient city from different angles.”
Pasargadae complex generally composed of the following buildings:
The tomb of Cyrus the Great
Iranian Garden Collection
The Sacred Yard
Position of various structures in Pasargadae Complex:
The tomb of Cyrus the Great in the south
Tel bed and its fortifications on a hill to the north of main courtyard
The royal complex in the center of main courtyard which includes the remains of gate building, public hall, palace and royal garden
Solomon prison in the north of the complex
Tomb of Cyrus the Great considered to be the most important and famous sites among the various sites of Pasargadae Collection. Many people recognize this ancient and historic site with this structure and pass a long way to reach Pasargadae to see Cyrus’s tomb. The tomb of Cyrus located in the southern part of the complex and said to have been built by Cyrus himself under his supervision. A simple but beautiful monumental tomb that stands 156 square meters and 11 meters high after 25 centuries, still stands firmly in the middle of Morghab Plain.
The structure has an ingenious design that reminds every visitor of ancient ziggurats and temples and draws attention from all sides of the plain. The tomb has a two-part structure that includes a staircase section and a tomb chamber with a truss roof.
Near the tomb of Cyrus, there is a 208-square-foot building built with an irregular design using white stones stolen from Cyrus palaces. Known as the Mozaffari Caravanserai, it has a 30.3-meter-wide porch with irregular, rectangular stone walls and small and large rooms around it. In the past, there was a cemetery around this building, where they buried people in until the contemporary (Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi era). Some of these stones used for graves of dead which were those of Cyrus palaces. Of course, there are beautiful inscriptions among these tombstones that have been transferred to 7tanan Museum in Shiraz today.
Dedicated Palace, Cyrus Residence
Dedicated Palace is another palace complex in Pasargadae which measures 3192 square meters and has a central hall and two eastern and western porches. There were also two rooms in the north and south corners of the west porch of the palace, with little trace of them today. As plan and architecture of the building show, this palace was the residence and home of Cyrus the Great. There is a picture of king with his servant in the porch of this palace in which the size of the king’s body is bigger than the servant. The king’s cloak is a long cloak in Achaemenid, with golden buttons.
There is a stone platform near the eastern gate and in porch walls facing the campus which king may have used it to watch the garden. The stones used in the construction of this palace are of three types: white marble, black limestone and brick sandstone. The combination of black and white stones in the base section of columns and porches was a special architectural innovation at that time. columns in palace also have horizontal spoon decorations on the shawl (generally called the below part of pillars).
There is also a stone wall in the southern corner of palace that has a hole inside and adheres to the brick and adobe walls of the structure. An action that helped having stronger building at the time of construction. There is a stone above this wall and in the northern part in which Cyrus introduces himself.
Baram Palace: Cyrus Palace and the first UN headquarters in the world
The Palace of Baram was the Reception Palace of Cyrus in which king hosted guests and officials of various civilizations under his dominance and discussed various issues with them. In fact, the Palace is also remind as the first headquarters of the United Nations where wise human thoughts, human rights, freedom and equality were raised and spread to other parts of the world about twenty-five centuries ago.
The palace has an area of 2472 square meters and was built on the northwest-southeast axis. A palace with a spacious central hall with 8 columns measuring 705 meters. There are 4 porches on 4 sides of the palace along with smaller columns and two other rooms which include components of the palace
The central hall of palace was higher than its porch ceilings and connected from four gates to four porches. Today, there is only one column left from that eight columns, with a height of 10.13 meters. Columns that had bases and heads of black stone. The trunks of these columns were made of white stone. The other seven columns of complex were also relocated around tomb of Cyrus at the time of the Atabakan to build a mosque there, but these columns were returned to their original place today.
4 portals that connected hall to porches around the palace were made of black stone and were thus connected to the porches:
Northwest Port: This port reached the porch of 16 northwestern porches with human and eagle patterns.
Northeast Port: This port was the connection site with the largest porch with 48 columns.
Southeast Port: This port was a pattern combined with humans, fish and cows designs reaching a 16-column porch.
Southwest Port: This port was also adorned with human and animal footprints and had a 28-column porch.