Persepolis

Entrance gate sort of sphinx

Entrance gate sort of sphinx

Detail of the door

Detail of the door

Persepolis doesn't quite fit in my camera

Persepolis doesn't quite fit in my camera

Can someone tell me what I was trying to achieve here?

Can someone tell me what I was trying to achieve here?

Unfinished business

Unfinished business

Century-old graffiti - it's cooler when it's older, right?

Century-old graffiti - it's cooler when it's older, right?

Strange creature

Strange creature

Column horses

Column horses

Detail of a column

Detail of a column

Persian numbers at the amphitheatre

Persian numbers at the amphitheatre

Persepolis grounds

Persepolis grounds

Someone's tomb, with a huge impressive facade

Someone's tomb, with a huge impressive facade

Lion

Lion

Camel and its pet human

Camel and its pet human

My buddy the cuneiform script, nice and neat

My buddy the cuneiform script, nice and neat

Zoroastrian symbol

Zoroastrian symbol

Tall columns

Tall columns

Finally some blue sky

Finally some blue sky

Entrance gate sort of sphinxDetail of the doorPersepolis doesn't quite fit in my cameraCan someone tell me what I was trying to achieve here?Unfinished businessCentury-old graffiti - it's cooler when it's older, right?Strange creatureColumn horsesDetail of a columnPersian numbers at the amphitheatrePersepolis groundsSomeone's tomb, with a huge impressive facadeLionCamel and its pet humanMy buddy the cuneiform script, nice and neatZoroastrian symbolTall columnsFinally some blue sky

Persepolis is a must-do once you’re in Shiraz. My friend Küç, who has no interest whatsoever in tourist attractions, says she went there just because everyone was permanently asking her if she had been there or not. I went there on a rather gloomy day with two co-couchsurfers, Fulvia and Arun. We dozed off in a local bus, then in a taxi for the last bit. I was not excited, but curious. For French people, Persepolis is first of all the name of a great comic book by Marjane Satrapi about the Iranian revolution. It was later well adapted into an animated film. So what was the real Persepolis like?

The pictures won’t tell you much I’m afraid. I wasn’t in a very picturesque mode that day. And everything there was too huge for my camera anyway. But I was having a good time with my new friends, chatting the visit away, discussing how on earth the builders could have cut and lifted such huge stones, centuries before Christ (the construction started in -521) – did they have access to some magical technology that we have lost since then or was it all sweat, strong ropes and smart engineering?

The boards were also in English but as usual, the information displayed was mostly the dimension of this or that stone – boring. At the entrance, one of them was explaining that the low steps of the big double staircase were cut in this fashion so that it wouldn’t impede the dignified walk of the aristocratic women in their beautiful dresses. So we tried for ourselves the dignified staircase walk and discussed what one should do with their hands on such occasion (what a busy day we had ;) ).

Somehow I got into my head that Persepolis was a secret party city built without anyone knowing – anyone but the thousands and thousands of workers it took to build it, which doesn’t make sense. Oh, a secret party for celebrating the New Year, that’s what Persepolis was. “Hey buddy, where do we celebrate New Year this time? – I dunno, why don’t we build a new city to have a big party? – Yeah cool, let’s get started, I’ll get my best architects on the project. We’ve got the latest technologies, we will be finished in no time, less than two centuries, Gods permit!”. More than two centuries, that’s how long it actually took to build Persepolis. Then Alexander came, rather angry, and destroyed it.

If those last two sentences are true, I very much doubt the party-city-story stands a chance against History. But I liked the idea :) .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


− 2 = four

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

%d bloggers like this: