The construction of the Stairs of All Nations and the Gate

4/1/2021, 5:32:31 PM
The construction of the Stairs of All Nations and the Gate of All Nations was ordered by the Achaemenid king Xerxes (r.486-465), the son and successor of the founder of Persepolis, Darius I the Great. Originally, the main access had been in the south; now, visitors would have to ascend the terrace from the west. Like Gate R in Pasargadae, the entrance of the Gate of All Nations was protected by bulls (front) and mythological creatures, called lamasssus, bulls with the head of a bearded man. These bull-men originated in Babylonia and Assyria, but the Persians had adopted them. The general idea behind these fantasy animals is that they warded off evil, which explains why they were standing at a gate. The entire monument was a giant construction with two large doors in the west and east and a hall between them. The columns of the central halls were 16½ meters high. The capitals had the form of a double bull. A third entrance was to the south. From here, visitors could proceed to the throne hall or Apadana. In the mid-fourth century, the main exit was no longer to the Apadana but to the Hall of Hundred Columns; when the palaces were sacked by Alexander the Great, Persian artisans were building the Army Road that was to connect these two buildings. Photographer unknown

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