Night of the Persian Empire
In a time exposure image, stars trail above the ruins of Persepolis, a 2500-year old World Heritage Site of ancient Persian palaces and temples near Shiraz in southern Iran. Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Persian Empire during the Achaemenid dynasty. To the ancient Persians, the city was known as Pārsa, which means “The City of Persians”. Persepolis is the Greek interpretation of the name which means Persian city. At the height of its power, the Achaemenid Empire encompassed about 7.7 million square kilometers and spanned three continents, as far west as Libya to nearly all Middle East, and to Central Asia. Photographed in this picture is the Apadana Palace. Darius, the king of kings, built the most glorious palace at Persepolis for official audiences. The palace had 72 columns, each 19 meters high. The glory of Persepolis ended with invasion of Alexander’s army in 330 BC through the Royal Road of Persian Empire. After several months of stay in the Persian City, Alexander allowed his troops to loot and burn Persepolis.