Pasargadae – Resting Place of Cyrus the Great
Did you know that when Alexander the Great conquered Persia, he ordered the restoration of Pasargadae and the Tomb of Cyrus the Great? He didn’t mean to stay in Shiraz, but out of awe and respect for the Persian king, Cyrus the Great, Alexander made sure his resing place is in good shape.
The original capital of the Achaemenid Persian Empire was located around 100 kilometers northeast of Shiraz. King Cyrus of Persia built his monument on a funerary platform, which also houses his son and successor Cambises’ tomb. The Toll-e Takht Fortress, which consists of an entrance porch, a courtroom, and vestiges of royal mansions and gardens, is likewise positioned on top of the hill.
So, you could say that by visiting Pasargadae UNESCO’s world heritage site, you’ll also be touring some of the most important cultural sites of Iran and Shiraz! Please keep reading to learn more about Pasargadae origins, location on the map, surrounding Iran tourist attractions, and FAQ.
Pasargadae is a vast hall with eight columns to the palace’s east. There is a doorway on the north, east, and west sides of the hall. A winged figure with two wings pointing to the sky and two wings pointing to the bottom can be seen in the northern doorway. Whereas, the hands are raised to the sky in a praying motion.
With a total area of 3,427 square meters, this structure lies 15 kilometers northwest of the palace. The main hall contains 30 white stone columns. The construction material consisted of a large number of black and white stones. The white stones specially embolden the unique characteristics of Pasargadae.
Some people are destined to create, while others are destined to follow. Here lays a man who was both a creator and a founder, laying the groundwork for human rights. Koroush, or Cyrus the Great, was a person whose futuristic and innovative viewpoints were amazingly ahead of their time. So much so that his ideas have been emulated and reproduced many times throughout history, even centuries and millennia later.
These viewpoints encompass humanistic concepts, productive and non-destructive plans, artistic and architectural approaches. So, it’s not surprising to hear that he has raised the standard for humanity so high that no one has ever been able to fully achieve it.
“Mummify my body and bury me without a coffin because every part of my flesh and Persian soil coalesce.” His tomb was apparently built before his death and was meticulously guarded during the Achaemenid Empire.
During the Macedonian invasion, while Alexander the Great was in power, one of the Macedonian troops broke into the tomb, took the tomb’s priceless and precious items, and injured Cyrus’ body. After conquering Persia, Alexander saw that everything had vanished except the divan and the casket. He then ordered the tomb to be restored and repaired, as well as the arrest and torture of the tomb’s guardians.
The Achaemenid Empire’s first dynastic capital, Pasargadae, was constructed by Cyrus II the Great in Pars, the Persian heartland, in the 6th century BC. Its palaces, gardens, and Cyrus’ mausoleum are remarkable examples of royal Achaemenes art and architecture from the first phase and exceptional testaments to Persian civilization.
The Mausoleum of Cyrus II, Tall-e Takht, a fortified terrace, and a royal ensemble with gatehouse, audience hall, residential palace, and gardens are among the highlights of the 160-hectare complex.
Pasargadae was the seat of Western Asia’s first great multicultural kingdom. It is thought to be the first empire to recognize the cultural diversity of its various peoples, from the Eastern Mediterranean and Egypt to the Hindus River. This was reflected in Achaemenes architecture, which blended multiple cultures.
The Nowruz (Persian new year) and Cyrus the Great day, which are held in the confines of the Tomb of Cyrus, have long been celebrated throughout Persia. The magnificent New Year celebrations during the Achaemenid Empire can be seen in evidence found in Pasargadae. Also, the 29th of October is an unofficial holiday in which people commemorate Cyrus the Great.
Nowruz is an ancient Persian rite. Following their forefathers’ footsteps, Iranian people still practice today at the site of Pasargadae and around the Tomb of Cyrus. Korush Day is another Persian celebration you’ll enjoy in Pasargadae. Persian boys and girls gather around the tomb of Cyrus the Great to commemorate his memory on this glorious day as well.
Click on this box to learn more about Traditional Persian Celebrations.
Cyrus the Great’s Tomb belonged to Cyrus II of the Achaemenid Empire, also known as Cyrus the Great. This one-of-a-kind structure is one kilometer south of the Pasargadae castles. Tourists can see Cyrus’ Tomb from anywhere in the Murghab plain. The Tomb of Cyrus will be the first structure you see as you enter the site from Tang-e-Bolaghi (Bolaghi Canyon).
The only edifice in Pasargadae referenced in Greek texts and sources is the Tomb of Cyrus. On his military campaign to Achaemenid land, Aristobulus, one of Alexander the Great’s colleagues, provided the earliest description. Aristobulus wrote this description down in Arrian’s book, Alexander’s Anabasis.
Here is what was inscribed on the tablet found within the tomb, as quoted from Alexander’s book Anabasis: O man, whoever you are and wherever you come from, because I know you will come, I am Cyrus, who won the Persians their empire. So don’t begrudge me this sliver of earth that covers my skeleton.
The Tomb of Cyrus the Great is located in Pasargadae, Iran, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Shiraz is the closest major city to this Iran tourist attraction. Simply continue on Route 65 until you reach Pasargad (1 hour 45 min).
The location is 1,900 meters above sea level and is located at 30°15′ N and 53°14′ E in northern Fars, in the lush and well-watered Dasht-i Murghab (Dasht-e more). Pasargadae is 40 kilometers northeast of Persepolis in a straight line, whereas the present route between the two sites takes 80 kilometers. The path follows the pre-modern highway, passing past the Pulvar River’s rather direct flow and onto the stunning Tang-i Bulaghi.
As we mentioned before, the closest major city to these two cultural attractions of Iran is Shiraz. Yes, that’s correct, one of the top cities of Iran and home to numerous Iran tourist destinations! That means if you’re visiting Pasargadae or Tomb of Cyrus the Great, you’ll also have the mesmerizing tourist attractions of Shiraz at your fingertips!
Shiraz is Persia’s literary soul and romantic essence. The city smells like sour oranges and daisies in the spring, and in the fall, it smells like bitter olives and smoky pines. Some of the places you must definitely visit in Shiraz include the following.
The remains of Solomon’s Prison (Zendan-e Soleiman) are 500 meters north of Cyrus’ Private Palace. There is supposed to be a fire temple, tomb, sundial, or store, depending on who you ask. The references to Solomon, according to local historians, stem from the Arab occupation, when the residents of Pasargadae replaced the sites with Islamic titles to avoid its destruction.
The ruins of Persepolis tell the story of the world’s oldest civilization, where the monarch of kings lived and built one of the world’s most important archeological monuments. Persepolis is also where the same king fell from his regal throne as Alexander the Great burned the city to the ground.
Eram Persian Garden is home to Iran’s most exquisite natural and historical sights. This lovely landscape has beautiful redbuds, luxuriant European ash trees, golden willows, and soft Silverleaf poplar timbers.
One of the most historically significant sights of the Shiraz city tour is the Pink Mosque and its beautiful structure. European styles inspired the beautifully pink hallways (the result of sunlight hitting the rosy glass windows).
Karim Khan’s unrivaled gifts to Shiraz are the Vakil Bazaar, Vakil mosque, and Vakil baths. Each of these monuments is unique in style and architecture. They are still active and visited by tourists every year.