This ancient capital city is one of the premier sites of Iran. Founded by Darius the Great in the sixth century BC, Persepolis has palaces, detailed stone reliefs, ruined monuments of winged bulls with human heads (some covered with graffiti that is hundreds of years old), staircases and a citadel (sacked and torched by Alexander the Great in 330 BC). It takes a day to view it all. There's also an interesting museum on-site. Persepolis is best seen as a day trip from Shiraz or as an overnight if you're including the nearby areas of Bichapur (ruined Sassanian city), Pasargadae (ruined city in a desolate setting with the Tomb of Cyrus the Great, the Cyrus Palace and some ornate bas-reliefs) and Naqshi i Rustam (spectacular bas-reliefs). 30 mi/50 km northeast of Shiraz.

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