PASARGADAE | In the middle of the Iranian desert in the ancient town of Pasardage, approximately 140km from Shiraz, you will find the Tomb of Cryus II aka Cyrus the Great. Cryus II was the first Iranian monarch to be bestowed the title “The Great” due to his conquering the Median, Lydian and Neo-Babylonian empires and his, for the time, progressive political rule. During his time as King of Persia/Babylon, Cyrus the Great created one governing body, put in place and enforced laws allowing freedom of belief in religion and viewpoints, and restored art/relics destroyed during war to create peace and prosperity. He was (and still is) considered one of the most important rulers in Persian history.
During Cyrus the Great’s reign, Pasargade was created as one of the four political centers of the Persian empire. At the time it was a relatively large beautiful city however it was later destroyed by Cyrus’s enemy Alexander the Great. What remains today is the outline of the gardens, some of the walls from the original two palaces and the Tomb of Cyrus the Great.
There is still speculation whether or not this is actually Cyrus the Great’s tomb however based on Greek documentation Alexander the Great believed this to be the case. Whether of not this is the final resting place of Cyrus the Great, it’s still a culturally significant building. The modest Mausoleum (completed in 530BC) and surrounds are examples of Achaemenid architecture, a synthetic representation of different cultures.
After the tomb’s construction, this type of architecture became more prominent throughout Persia. Due to its importance, Pasargadae and the Tomb of Cyrus the Great are now listed as UNESCO heritage sites to help protect such an influential part of Iranian history.