Posted 09 Dec, 2013 | 7 Comments
Posted in: Iran, Our Story, Travel Blogs

After a crazy few days in Kerman, we headed for Shiraz, the cultural and artistic capital of Iran. Because of the ceremonies for Ashura, buses were not running for 3 days, so we had to hire a taxi to take us. In most countries, a 9 hour taxi ride with 2 stops along the way would be way out of our price range, but seeing as the ride cost only $60, we decided to take it instead of waiting for the bus.


The Cave City Of Meymand

Our taxi driver was a quiet, gloomy fellow (very unusual in Iran), but he took us to where we wanted to go. First we stopped at a cave village called Meymand, similar to Cappadocia in Turkey, which has been continuously inhabited for at least 3000 years! The cave dwelling locals looked at us curiously as we inspected their beautiful rock homes. No tourists around meant hardly any curio shops, which meant that the place still felt rather authentic.


After Meymand we hopped back in the car for another 4 hours before arriving at Persepolis, Iran’s main tourist attraction. The city of Persepolis was built by Darius I, then added to by King Xerxes I and II and Artaxerxes I, II & III. Construction started around 520 B.C., but somehow its intricate stone carvings and towering columns have survived the centuries. We wandered around the city and could almost hear the trumpets blasting, and the bustle of the ancient palace that was Persepolis in its former glory.

Entrance to persepolis

The Entrance To Persepolis: “The Gate Of All Nations”

Some of the carvings at Persepolis were still so perfectly preserved that they had a buffed shine to them. The Apadana Staircase portrayed scenes of delegates and kings being welcomed to the palace from all of the four corners of earth. The artistic imagery helped us to imagine how opulent and important this place once was, while the impeccable detail only added to the illustration in our minds.

Detailed Carvings Of Persepolis

Some Perfectly Preserved Carvings (2500 years old?!)

The massive site is now left in ruin, but because there are parts that have survived so well, you can get a good feel for how amazing this city once was. We followed the map from our guidebook (which was poor as usual) and before long we were just enjoying getting lost in the complex.

Ancient City Of Persepolis

We headed up the mountain to the tombs of Artaxerxes II & III which were unimpressive compared to the city itself, but they granted us amazing views over Persepolis. From this high vantage point we could see just how huge the place was. We could see the 100 columns that make up the main palace, as well as a treasury which was once loaded with gold and jewels. It is said that when Alexander The Great conquered the city  around 331 B.C, he had to order 3000 camels just to haul off his loot from the treasury.


We’ve seen some amazing sites in the world, but Persepolis is among the top of the lot. With such stunning and detailed carvings, coupled with its towering palace walls and leaning columns, it will be a site we will never forget. People have been telling us that they are tired of seeing ancient monuments but for us, they never get old. To stand before a palace like Persepolis and gaze in awe at what civilizations must have been like over 2 millenia ago is a real privilege, and we felt very honoured to be there.

What’s Your Favourite Ancient Site? Have You Ever Seen So Many That You Got Tired Of Them? Tell Us Below.

Like it? Pin it! 🙂

A Cave Village & Persepolis- Iran’s Ancient Achaemenid City

Disclaimer: Goats On The Road is an Amazon Associate and also an affiliate for some other retailers. This means we earn commissions if you click links on our blog and purchase from those retailers.

Share this -

Written by

Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift are the owners and founders of Goats On The Road. Together they have been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and have more than 20 years of combined experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Their expert advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and they also spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging.

Learn more about Nick Wharton and Dariece Swift on their respective author archives on this site and on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

Connect with Nick Wharton & Dariece Swift -

You May Also Like

how to make money for travel 101 travel jobs to make money on the road
Travel Jobs Open Book

Want To Travel More?

We can help!

Sign up for our weekly newsletter and we’ll send you our 101 Ways To Earn Money For Travel eBook for Free, plus we’ll send you a series of emails to show you how to earn money and travel in a financially sustainable way.


7 thoughts on “A Cave Village & Persepolis: Iran’s Ancient Achaemenid City

  1. Great pictures guys, when I have visited earlier that year It was on sunset so majority of my pictures just play of the light! Great!

  2. That is really quite amazing that those carvings are 2500 years old; looks like they were made yesterday!

  3. Really interesting post about an area I’ve heard from a couple of friends but that I’m sure doesn’t see that many tourists yet! Maybe that will change… Found your post while googling information about new world heritage sites – Maymand just made the list – and hope you don’t mind that I linked to you from my post. 😉

  4. Load all Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I want to...