Saturday, June 28, 2003

Gate Of All Nations ( Darvaze Mellal)

One of the most fabulous ruins in Iran is Persepolis or Takht-e- Jamshid as we Iranians call it which covers 125.000 squer meter in the province of Fars located in heart of Iran. Persepolis was built in about 500 BC by Achaemenian Kings Darius, Xerxes (khashayar), and their successors. There are no words to describe this beautiful Palace which was later on burnt down by Alexander the not so Great. One of the most interesting features of Persepolis is a gate called the Gate of All Nations, also known as the Gate of Xerxes. The gate contains the figure of a creature with the head of a human, body of a lion, wings of the eagle and the legs of a bull which represent the four signs of the Zodiac and was used as a welcome gesture to all the nations from the four corners of the world, for these constellations covered the four corners of the night sky. The Egyptions had the four sons of Horus the Sun God representing the same idea. Also this gate bears inscriptions in three languages which implies that you should be kind to travelers and must respect other people's cultures, and idea that today the "civilized" first World countries try to imply. This great sense of hospitality is still popular among Persians, infact it is one of their best characters. Another representative of the Persians hospitality is one of the best kept reliefs along the staircases of the Apadana Palace. There are 23 different scenes representative of 23 different countries during the blooseming years of the Achaemenian Empire. The relief shows the way that the representatives of these countries dressed, the weapons they carried and the treasury that they brought from their homelands to please the King of Persia. In a sense you could compare the hospitality of Persians with the way that Homer discribed Greeks in his Odessey.
The Gate of all Nations is one of the most amazing sites I have ever visited. It is at the for front of an even greater monument, the Persepolis. You can visit the pictures I took over the summer!
Perhaps the United Nation should put a replica of the Gate of All Nations at their entrance in New-York.

To see the pictures of the Gate of All Nations reffer to the following links: