The name is suggestive. You feel like going to see what was the great Persian empire at its peak that’s why I put it in my itinerary for the trip.
Before going to Persepolis we stop to see these tombs carved in rock.
And finally we arrive.
The winged lions welcoming us.
Construction started in 518 and lasted 150 years.
Persepolis is near Shiraz(the same name as an Australian grape) so the best thing is to find a tour here so they take you to the ruins, in that way you go with more people and they tell you stories. I met an Italian guy that gave me a lot of info for Uzbekistan and an English guy that likes flying in different planes, one of the reasons for him to be in Iran was that there was a flight from Tehran-Beijing in a mini jumbo, this plane does not operate in Europe any more. Another one for his collection.
I like the lion.
The features are very detailed and everywhere you can see sculpted figures of the different tribes that the Persian empire dominated.
Persepolis is interesting for its meaning , what you see, is beautiful but once there it’s not very impressive, the centuries that have past since it was built and the remsacking of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane have left little standing.
But not all Persepolis is an ancient story. In 1971 Shah Mohammad Reza Phalavi(the last Shah) held a sumptuous party in the Persepolis ruins to commemorate the 2500 anniversary of the Persian empire. It’s said to be the beginning of the end, many people became infuriated with the waste of money(it’s estimated he spent over 100 millionEuro). Some other people say that put Iran on the map as government leaders from all around the world were invited and it brought amazing revenues in tourism for the next few years.
In Shiraz I met this guy in the market. He was a nice guy a bit of a renegade of life, he didn’t stop complaining about absolutely everything, took me around and showed me a few things. He also proposed to show me around next day but I had no time.
I eat a camel stew, it’s cooked with spices and I dip until the last drop of sauce. May have given give me a hump?
The other Persepolis is the comic. In 2001 the Iranian artist Marjane Satrapi created an autobiographic comic. It tells the recent history of Iran based on her life with the revolution and Iran-Iraq war as the time frame. If you have not read it, you want to have some fun, learn and review Iran history, I’d tell you go and buy it right now, it’s easy to find it in bookshops or comic shops. I’ve read it all non stop.
I put here some of the pictures so you get and idea on how it is.
It starts when she was a little girl, the revolution was starting that is when the Shah was removed and the religious power was imposed. It is funny that by this time Marjane wants to be a prophet when it’s something only possible for men. Transcript: – We didn’t like too much wearing the scarf, specially not understanding why. It’s too warm. Execution for freedom. I’m the shadow monster. Return my scarf. You’ll have to convince me. Soooo.
A revolution was needed because the Shah was not doing things well, however not everybody agreed on transferring the power to a religious power.
- Stop there. Are you saying we don’t know how to educate our kids?
- Mrs, we are in war. There are a lot of kids that don’t go to school. Your’s are fortunate! So you should obey!
- Obey to hit themselves twice a day? – To go covered from head to feet? – So they can’t play with boys their age? – Oh!
- Anyway that’s what it is. They obey the rules or we’ll expel them.
- An they have to wear the scarf properly…
- If the hairs are as exciting as you say, why don’t you shave your moustache? My father said that.
To get into the art faculty, apart from the tests, there was am art test. I was sure one of the points would be an army drawing. For sure! So I got ready copying Michel Angelos’s “Pietat”. That day I reproduced it adding a black chador to Virgin Mary, an army dress to Jesus and adding two tulips to the sides so there would be no confusion. – I was very satisfied with the drawing. – It’s said that the blood of martyrs grows red tulips.
The dead were converted into martyrs and used as propaganda.
The war with Iraq was a massacre, 19 year old kids were sent to the front line knowing that they would die.
- Do you see this? – Yes, it’s a plastic golden key.
- My son has been given it in school. They have been told that if they are lucky to die fighting, they’ll find paradise with this key.
- My god! – Come, cry, vent your frustration. – I go to prepare a tea.
What was wondering in peoples heads during the day to day life.
The regime had understood that if a person left home thinking… Are my pants long enough? – Do I have the scarf properly set? – Is my make up seen? – Will they whip me? - They didn’t ask themselves any more. – Where are my thoughts on freedom? – Where is my expression of freedom? – Is my life bearable? – What happens in the political prisons? - Normal. When you are scared you loose the capacity to analyse and reflect. Our fear blocks us. That’s why fear has always been the engine of repression and dictatorships. – Show the hair or having make up became the logic in rebellious acts.