Tomb of Cyrus

My First Visit to Iran – Pasargadae and Persepolis

Pasargadae – Capital of the Achaemenid Empire

One day I took a taxi from Shiraz to Pasargadae, located about 85 miles north east of Shiraz by road. I didn’t take an organised tour, preferring to travel alone. (On later trips to Iran I started to use tour guides, and wish I had done so earlier).

Pasargadae has the ruins of Cyrus the Great’s capital, and his presumed tomb. It was built from about 546BC. There are some interesting things to see here, but perhaps more so for archaeologists as most of the site really is in ruins. One cannot easily see the scale and layout of what was once a major city. It is listed as a World Heritage Site.


Persepolis, also known as the Throne of Jamshid (تخت جمشید /takh’te jam’s hid/), like Pasargadae is also listed as a World Heritage Site. It is, in my opinion, by far the more impressive of the two sites in this article, and therefore more worth a visit. It is located about 35 miles by road from Shiraz.

Although still in ruins, Persepolis is very visible. The immense scale of the buildings, the carvings, the layout are all evident. One can really acknowledge that this was once a very important place. It was looted and destroyed by Alexander the Great in 330BC.


These two sites are both important historically. Of the two I recommend Persepolis as it is just wonderful. I would suggest using a tour guide in both of these places – they are not expensive.

About the author: Sadface