A model of Persepolis lies at the bottom of the Grand Staircase

A model of Persepolis lies at the bottom of the Grand Staircase

Persepolis is located 55 km northeast of the city of shiraz in Iran

Persepolis is located 55 km northeast of the city of shiraz in Iran

The word Persepolis itself means

The word Persepolis itself means " City of Persians"

The Grand Staircase is located on the northeast side of the city - Persepolis is also known as Takht-e Jamshid

The Grand Staircase is located on the northeast side of the city - Persepolis is also known as Takht-e Jamshid

Opposite side of the Grand Staircase - these stairs were carved from massive blocks of stone

Opposite side of the Grand Staircase - these stairs were carved from massive blocks of stone

Stone wall beside the Grand Staircase - Persepolis was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire between 550 BC - 330 BC

Stone wall beside the Grand Staircase - Persepolis was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire between 550 BC - 330 BC

Decorative stones on one side of the staircase - I have seen similar decorative patterns in the Corodba Mosque of Spain as well

Decorative stones on one side of the staircase - I have seen similar decorative patterns in the Corodba Mosque of Spain as well

Whenever important foreign delegations arrived, their presence was heralded by trumpeters at the top of the staircase

Whenever important foreign delegations arrived, their presence was heralded by trumpeters at the top of the staircase

Acolytes then led the dignitaries through Xerxes’ Gateway (also known as the Gate of All Nations)

Acolytes then led the dignitaries through Xerxes’ Gateway (also known as the Gate of All Nations)

The magnificent ruins of Persepolis lie at the foot of Kouh-e Rahmat, or

The magnificent ruins of Persepolis lie at the foot of Kouh-e Rahmat, or "Mountain of Mercy," in the plain of Marv Dasht

King Xerxes (486-465 BC) built the Grand Staircase and the Gate of All Nations

King Xerxes (486-465 BC) built the Grand Staircase and the Gate of All Nations

This is the western side of the Gate of All Nations

This is the western side of the Gate of All Nations

This gate consisted of a grand hall that was a square of approximately 25 metres (82 ft) in length, with four columns and its entrance on the Western Wall

This gate consisted of a grand hall that was a square of approximately 25 metres (82 ft) in length, with four columns and its entrance on the Western Wall

These bull-men originated in Babylonia and Assyria, but the Persians adopted them

These bull-men originated in Babylonia and Assyria, but the Persians adopted them

The columns of the central hall are 16 m in height

The columns of the central hall are 16 m in height

In the past, visitors didn't have much respect for these monuments and they left their marks on the walls of the Gate of All Nations

In the past, visitors didn't have much respect for these monuments and they left their marks on the walls of the Gate of All Nations

Walkway and the columns of the Gate of All Nations

Walkway and the columns of the Gate of All Nations

Xerxes's name was written in three languages (Old Persian text are Babylonian and Elamite) and carved on the entrances, informing everyone that he ordered it to be built

Xerxes's name was written in three languages (Old Persian text are Babylonian and Elamite) and carved on the entrances, informing everyone that he ordered it to be built

It translates as; A great god is Ahuramazda, who created this earth, who created heaven, who created man, who created happiness for man, who made Xerxes king, one king of many kings, commander of many commanders

It translates as; A great god is Ahuramazda, who created this earth, who created heaven, who created man, who created happiness for man, who made Xerxes king, one king of many kings, commander of many commanders

Many others left their signatures on the walls of the gate, like the American journalist Henry M. Stanley, the British consul Malcolm Meade and many more

Many others left their signatures on the walls of the gate, like the American journalist Henry M. Stanley, the British consul Malcolm Meade and many more

Probably, back in the days it was a fashion to leave one's mark on these monuments but things have changed for good

Probably, back in the days it was a fashion to leave one's mark on these monuments but things have changed for good

A view of the Gate of All Nations with two Lamassu guarding it

A view of the Gate of All Nations with two Lamassu guarding it

Top of the Gate of All Nations - Lamassu is an Assyrian protective god and then it was adopted by the Persians

Top of the Gate of All Nations - Lamassu is an Assyrian protective god and then it was adopted by the Persians

These mythological creatures have the head of a bearded man

These mythological creatures have the head of a bearded man

Visitors passing beside the famous gate of Persepolis

Visitors passing beside the famous gate of Persepolis

Many Iranians belive that these creatures were defaced by the Arabs when they conquer Persia in the 7th century

Many Iranians belive that these creatures were defaced by the Arabs when they conquer Persia in the 7th century

Head of a Lamassu - this is a winged animal with the head of a human

Head of a Lamassu - this is a winged animal with the head of a human

Inscriptions by King Xerxes above one of the wings of Lamassu

Inscriptions by King Xerxes above one of the wings of Lamassu

Two Lamassu seen at the entrance of the Gate of All Nations with the tall columns in the background

Two Lamassu seen at the entrance of the Gate of All Nations with the tall columns in the background

A side view of Lamassu - Assyrians used to place these figures at the entrance of the cities and palaces

A side view of Lamassu - Assyrians used to place these figures at the entrance of the cities and palaces

A closer look at the Lamassu

A closer look at the Lamassu

A walkway which was used by the Persians in the past to go under the Gate of All Nations

A walkway which was used by the Persians in the past to go under the Gate of All Nations