Persepolis was the center of the Great Persian Empire. The Persians called it Takht-E-Djamshid (Throne of Djamshid the Great), the Greeks called it Persepolis (Capital of Persia). Even now, at the site of Persepolis, the remains of the glory of the Persian Empire, which dates back two and a half millennia, can still be found.

The site is located at the foot of a rugged mountain called Kuh-E-Rahmat (Mount of Grace), bordering the eastern end of Marv-dasht plain, and is 60 kilometers to the north of Shiraz, which is the administrative center of the Fars Region.

This area was called Parsa in ancient times, and was the place where Achaemenian Persia saw its rise. But the first capital of this dynasty was Pasargadae, 70 kilometers north of Persepolis. Pasargadae was first built by the first king, Cyrus (who reigned from 558 B.C to 529 B.C.) and before long the capital was moved to Susa (in the western district, then known as Elam), which occupied a more important position in political and economic relationships with Mesopotamia. Since that time, Pasargadae came to hold religious significance rather than political. According to records, Darius I concentrated his energy in the building of Susa, collecting materials and gathering architects and workers from all over the Persian world. He erected palace buildings here including the Apadana. But soon he decided to build a new capital at the present PersepolisFars was the home land of the Achaemenian Dynasty, that the climate of this district was more favorable and perhaps that there was some political necessity. It was around this time that Darius succeeded in suppressing the domestic rebellions and established his firm position as the Persian king. In that sense, too, there must have been a strong desire to build a fine palace in this homeland of the dynasty.

The site of Persepolis consists of many monuments built on a large terrace made by leveling a part of the mountain and piling up blocks of stone. The great terrace measured about 500 meters extending north to south and about 400 meters east to west and is 10 to 13 meters high facing the plain. The buildings include facilities for public ceremonies and reception of foreign delegates, privet royal palace buildings and also such minor ones as treasuries.

The important public buildings are the Hundred Column Hall built by Darius, and the Apadana and the Tripylon completed by his son, Xerxes I. The private palace buildings are that of Darius which was called the Hadish. The minor facilities are exemplified by treasuries, barracks, the stairway of the terrace and the Xerxes gate. Most of the above mentioned buildings were constructed in the reigns of Darius (who reigned from 521 B.C. to 486 B.C.) and Xerxes (reigned 486 B.C. to 465 B.C.), the most prosperous periods of the dynasty. They are magnificent art works as well as living materials for historical studies.

After the time of Darius and Xerxes, the successors of the dynasty added some buildings until this capital was destroyed by Alexander, the ling of Macedonia.