About Tomb of Cyrus the Great
The Tomb of Cyrus the Great, located in the former Persian capital of Pasargadae, is a monument thought to have once housed the corpse of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the ancient Achaemenid Empire. It is now a UNESCO-listed town in Iran.
History of the Tomb of Cyrus the Great
Cyrus the Great, also known as Cyrus II, founded the Achaemenid Dynasty in the sixth century BC and with it the capital, Pasargadae. The Achaemenid Dynasty was vitally important, being the first ruling dynasty of the Persian Empire.
The Tomb of Cyrus the Great is one of the main historic sites of modern Pasargadae. A stepped limestone structure crowned with a rectangular chamber, the Tomb of Cyrus the Great dates back to approximately 540-530 BC.
Legend has it that when Alexander the Great conquered Pasargadae in 330 BC, he had the tomb renovated in honour of Cyrus the Great. However, it has never been conclusively proved that this is indeed the tomb of the great Persian king. In fact, it was thought at one point to have been the tomb of the mother of the prophet Sulayman, accounting for various additions such as its carved mihrab, added in the 1970’s.
Tomb of Cyrus the Great today
Restoration works started in 2003 and continued to October 2008. The tomb chamber itself, built from white limestone, is two meters wide, two meters high, and three meters deep. It once contained a gold sarcophagus, Cyrus’ arms, his jewelry, and a cloak.
Cyrus the Great Day, also known as Cyrus Day, is an unofficial holiday in Iran that takes place annually in the Tomb of Cyrus on October 29th, 7th of Aban on Iranian calendar, to commemorate Cyrus the Great. During Nowruz, the Persian New Year, celebrations are held annually around the tomb by Iranians which gather from all around the country. Iranians respect Cyrus the Great as the founder of Iran and the Persian Empire.
Getting to the Tomb of Cyrus the Great
The Tomb of Cyrus the Great is located in Pasargadae, now a World Heritage Site, in Iran. The nearest major city is Shiraz. From here simply drive along route 65 until you reach Pasargad (1 hour 45 min).
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