Persepolis, Stairs of All Nations

Persepolis (Old Persian Pârsa, modern Takht-e Jamshid): Greek name of one of the capitals of the ancient Achaemenid Empire, founded by king Darius the Great (r.522-486 BCE). There were several satellite sites, Naqš-e Rustam and Takht-e Rustam.

The Stairs of All Nations

The construction of the monumental "Stairs of All Nations" in Persepolis was ordered by king Xerxes (r.486-465), the son and successor of the founder of the city, Darius I the Great. Originally, the main access had been from the south; now, one had to ascend to the terrace from the west.

The steps are remarkably low. Perhaps this was to enable horsemen to climb to the terrace too, but another, more likely explanation is that this was because in this way, a visitor was automatically forced to proceed in a dignified way. It inspired the Parthian architects of the sanctuary in Konkobar.

The first building a visitor would encounter when he was upstairs, was the Gate of All Nations.