Day 6: Welcome to the Persian Empire
Eram garden*: Explore lovely Shiraz, the City of Roses and Nightingales. Begin in Eram Garden*, with its beautiful cypress-lined avenues leading to an elegant summer palace.
Persepolis*: An early start takes us to Persepolis* (Takht-é Jamshid), the heart of the Persian Empire and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, walk through a complex of palaces and temples that is said to be one of the architectural wonders of the world. Massive winged bulls, derived from Assyria but given a characteristic Persian stateliness, greet us at the head of a grand stairway wide enough for five horses to ride abreast. The stairway leads up to the vast platform on which the entire site is built. On the stairway up to the Apadana, the reception hall to the palace of King Darius I, survey the hundreds of figures carved in low relief exactly as Darius and Xerxes saw them. They look so fresh they might have been carved yesterday. The small museum in Persepolis has been created from the ruins of a building called the “harem of Xerxes”
Pasargad*: Our explorations take us to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pasargadae* to see the impressive, elevated Tomb of Cyrus and to walk through the different sections of the ancient city: the residential Palace, the Audience Hall, the Gatehouse, and the curious Zendan-e Soleyman.
O/N in Pasargad