Persepolis and the Shah’s Last Party

Persepolis is where the first Persian Achaemenid Empire celebratory capital and 2500 years later the site for a hell of a party hosted by Shah Reza and his lovely wife Farah.

IMG_4146
Gate of All Lands built by Xerxes grandson of Cyrus the Great
Gate of All Nations
Darius Defeating Evil Persepolis and Gates of all Lands

The ruins of Persepolis date back to 515 BC and Cyrus the Great chose its location and began its construction. Darius the Great first added the grand palace of Apadana, the Gate of All Nations and the very grand staircases which welcomed the noble and royalty entered when visiting the complex.   Alexander the Great had most of the palaces and treasuries buried to the ground in 330 BC but enough remained behind for archeologists to reconstruct the site so visitors today can sort of imagine what the grounds looked like.  It was Andre Godard, also the person who created the mausoleum for the great Persian poet Hafez, who was in charge of the excavation which began in 1930.

Persepolis
Remains of the Shah’s party tents beyond the tree line at Persepolis

The Shah could really throw a party.   He put a grand affair together for the 2500th anniversary Iran honoring Cyrus the Great.  It marked the beginning of the end of the House of Pahlavi as history shows.  It was easy for many who opposed the monarchy, such as the banished Ayatollah Khomeini, to gain support.  This ended up happening and the Shah and his family fled Iran and escaped being harmed after the revolution in 1979 and Khomeini’s return.

Persepolis today is one of the biggest tourist draws of Iran.  Some of it’s treasuries have been taken away to museums in the US and England but many remain here in the museums of Tehran and at the site itself.  The skeletal frames of the Tent City or Golden City lie behind the tree line just north of the ruins as an eerie reminder of the not so distant past.  It maybe reminds Iranians of the events that took place back in Oct 1971 and how the Shah became the “puppet of the west”.

Persepolis
Gate of All Nations at Persepolis
Gate of All Nations
Gate of All Nations at Persepolis

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