Persian Garden

Pasargadae

Pasargadae was a city in ancient Persia, and is today an archaeological site and one of Iran's 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The first capital of the Achaemenid Empire, Pasargadae, lies in ruins 43 kilometers from Persepolis, the present-day Fars province of Iran.
The construction of the capital city by Cyrus the Great, begun in 546 BCE or later, was left unfinished, for Cyrus died in battle in 530 BCE or 529 BCE. The tomb of Cyrus' son and successor, Cambyses II, also has been found in Pasargadae. The remains of his tomb, located near the fortress of Toll-e Takht, were identified in 2006. Pasargadae remained the Persian capital until Darius founded another in Persepolis. The modern name comes from the Greek, but may derive from an earlier one used during Achaemenid times, Pâthragâda, meaning the garden of Pars. The archaeological site covers 1.6 square kilometers and includes a structure commonly believed to be the mausoleum of Cyrus, the fortress of Toll-e Takht sitting on top of a nearby hill, and the remains of two royal palaces and gardens. The gardens provide the earliest known example of the Persian famous chahar bagh, or four-fold garden design.

Latest research on Pasargadae’s structural engineering has shown the Achaemenid architectures constructed the city to withstand a severe earthquake, at what would today be classified as a '7.0' on the Richter magnitude scale. The foundations are today believed as having a base isolation design, much the same as what is presently used in countries for the construction of facilities.

The most important monument in Pasargadae is the tomb of Cyrus the Great. The design of Cyrus' Tomb is credited alternatively to Mesopotamian or Elamite ziggurats, but the cellar is usually attributed to Urartu tombs of an earlier period. In particular, the tomb at Pasargadae has almost exactly the same dimensions as the tomb of Alyattes II, father of the Lydian King Croesus; however, some have refused the claim (according to Herodotus, Croesus was spared by Cyrus during the conquest of Lydia, and became a member of Cyrus' court). The main decoration on the tomb is a rosette design over the door within the gable. In general, the art and architecture found at Pasargadae exemplified the Persian synthesis of various traditions, drawing on precedents from Elam, Babylon, Assyria, and ancient Egypt, with the addition of some Anatolian influences.