2.500 years ago this place most likely held the greatest wealth on earth. The treasury of the Achaemenidean kings Darius and Xerxes measured the size two soccer fields. Giant palaces, adorned with remarkable masonry work retell of the glory and power.
Then came Alexander the Great and burned the place to the ground. He had the foresight to order 10.000 mules and 100 camels to be brought to Persepolis to carry away the bounty.
What is left today still gives you the shiver, and brings back childhood memories. Ancient Civilizations is among the first topic Austrian schoolchildren study in their history lessons.
The skillful masonry is simply breathtaking, not only because of the sheer extent but also because of the quality. Nessi, our knowledgeable guide managed to fill these stones with life. In the souvenir shop she pointed out one of those books that show the present remains, but when putting a transparency on top display the original glory. Unfortunately it costs 50 Euro and unable to pay with credit cards or getting cash anywhere, we felt we could not afford it. We still feel sorry for this.
Before we set out to explore the historical sites we were in for a little drama. The toilets were closed, period. In a place visited by hundreds and hundreds of people, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When Heidi quietly required in a souvenir shop nobody seemed to be concerned, only then did we notice an elderly couple – the husband in uproar, gesticulating wildly and ranting off at the shopkeepers. When he realized that a foreign tourist had similar needs, hell broke loose. He ran from store to store, to the ticket office and shouted at anybody who crossed his way. His wife in a long chador was running after him dragging Heidi along by the hand, whispering “sorry for Iran, sorry for Iran”. In a nearby construction site her husband found a lavatory in a container. We kept running into the lovely couple while wandering through Persepolis – he was still complaining to anybody he could get his hands on.