Persepolis, the palatial city whose construction was begun by Darius I, was the ceremonial and administrative capital of the Achaemenid Empire between c. 520 and 330 BCE when it was razed by Alexander the Great during his invasion of Persia. The ruins of Persepolis are now designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This view shows the ruined city from the west. The whole sits on a huge, 13-hectare terrace partially carved from the rock at the base of the Rahmat Mountain, seen in the background. Porter describes how over time several earthen mounds have formed around the base of the terrace walls. In the centre are the surviving columns of the Apadana, the great palace built by Darius I and, to the left, the piers of the monumental propylaea. The mounds to the right are the remains of the Tachara.