Iran: Pasagradae & Naqsh-e Rostam

Pasagradae was the capital of the ancient Persian Achaemenid empire under Cyrus the Great between 559-530 BC. Today, its one of the premier archaelogical sites in the world, protected under UNESCO, and in a state of amazing preservation. In the heart of the complex is the Mausoleum of Cyrus and the ruins of two royal palaces. Not far away from Pasagradae are the Naqsh-e Rustam Achaemenid Tombs, another amazing archeological site. The four tombs belong to ancient kings of the empire – Darius I, Xerxes I, Antaxerxes I, and Darius II, covering the period from 522 to 404 BC. There is also an unfinished fifth tomb, the construction of which was interrupted by the invasion and destruction of the Achaemenid Empire by Alexander the Great. The tombs are truly amazing and are built into the mountain wall.