Pasargad | Tomb of Cyrus and the First Iranian Garden

Pasargad | Tomb of Cyrus and the First Iranian Garden

Pasargad for Iranologists is reminiscent of the name of Cyrus, the just king of Iran, whose tomb is based in this city. Pasargad, however, is relatively less known for its history, due to its name changing from Kaminoosh to Pasargad. Pasargad includes buildings such as the Great Caverns, the Pasargad Gardens, the Palace of the Gate, Bridge, the Palace of Bare Aam, the House of Commons, the Two Palaces, the Royal Garden drains, the tomb of Kamboojie, the Tal Takht defensive structures, the Mozaffari caravanserai, the holy sanctuary and the gorge of the valley, and on top of them is the tomb of Cyrus.

Pasargad on seventies
Pasargad on seventies

Since the tomb of Cyrus is at the top of this list, Irantrawell will describe it in the following article.

The Pasargad complex in general is the relic of the Achaemenid’s powerful era, which, as it has been said, included numerous gardens and slabs, but what is known globally, Mashhad is the mother of Solomon, or the tomb of Cyrus, which from 526 BC until after the war with Masagets hosted Cyrus. This building in the Pasargad plain is 2500 years old and was probably built by the order of Cyrus himself. The reason for this speculation is that the evidence, including three-language script (Elamite, Ancient Persian and Akkadian), and architecture more or less similar to Takhte Jamshid, confirm this possibility.

Cyrus tomb
Cyrus tomb

The Greek historian Strabon described the building and space as follows: ” and there, Alexander saw the tomb of Cyrus in a paradise, in the form of a low ridge hidden under the shadow of the gardens of the royal garden, the lower part of the tomb was large and bulky. And in the upper part there was a room with a bed of gold and a table on which there were cups and ceremonial vessels, and a golden coffin containing the body of Cyrus … “

One of the special features of the Pasargad complex is the existence of the King’s Garden and its palaces complex. In Pasargad, Iranian garden is built with all its features and elements of architecture. Attention to religious elements and its use conceptually in architectural structures, geometric pattern of the garden with its slopes and rocky gardens among the great Pasargad garden, the proper distribution and division of water within the complex of gardens and palaces and the combination of architectural elements and structures with nature are among the features that make this garden a quintessential model for Iranian gardens. In other words, the Pasargad Gardens and its palaces are the masterpiece, creativity and artistic originality of Iranian artists as the first examples of Chaharbagh, later seen in the Safavid architecture and Mongolian period in India. The King Garden in the World Heritage Site of Pasargad consists of a complex of palaces with rocky and muddy streams, with few traces remaining.

The structure of the shrine with a height of 11 meters, which consists of two main sections of the staircase and a tomb chamber with a rustic roof, is made of broken stone blocks that are arranged side by side without any material to hold them together. These rock cubes are tied up with iron fasteners and lead. Just like the marvelous structure of the Takhte Jamshid. Apart from its unique visual and architectural aspect, the structure of this ziggurat attracts the attention of every visitor from everywhere in the plain because of its simplicity and at the same time strength.

Pasargad in Eighteenth century
Pasargad in Eighteenth century

The magnificence of this building in the Pasargad plain is in a way that the English historian Claudius Rich, in 1821, about the tomb and the person laid in it, said: “The very respectable appearance of this stone building immediately causes some kind of fear with strain and bow. It became known to me that I had not understood it so far, so while I was drowned in thinking, I sat about an hour on the staircase until the moon was lighted above it and it was then that I told myself that, undoubtedly, this place should be the tomb of the best, most famous, most respectable and most admired king of the east. “

Unlike the tablets at Takhte Jamshid in the tomb of Cyrus, there is no tablet that has been discovered from this structure, but Aryan the Greek historian writes that there is a tablet in the tomb of Cyrus with Iranian script that reads: “O man! I am Cyrus, son of Kamboojie, I founded that Persian kingdom. I ruled Asia, now do not envy me.”

Pasargad in Qajar Period
Pasargad in Qajar Period

In the era of Atabakan Fars, inside the tomb of Cyrus and on stones near it, there were tablets with religious content and an image of an alter which indicates that this place got to be used as a mosque. Today, there is only one whole tablet in Pasargad that is written in several places can be seen. These tablets are in two sentences in Persian script and old Persian language, one sentence in Elam translation and one sentence in the Akadi (new Babble) language: “Ayam Koorosha, Khashayathi ya, Hakhamaneshi ya” which means I am Cyrus the Akhaemenid king.

There was a copy of this tablet on top of the winged man statue, which disappeared between the years 1240 until 1253.

Anyhow, be sure to remember Pasargad and the tomb of Cyrus while traveling in the Fars province.

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