Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Susa, home to ancient emperors.

  Susa is located in south-west of Iran and it is known as one of the oldest cities in the world, founded 4000 years BC. According to the ancient documents, Susa has achieved urban planning and architectural design during Elamite, Achaemenid, Ashkanid, Sasanid and Islamic era. The ancient area of Susa, including Apadana (Achaemenid palace), Susa Jaame mosque and Islamic monuments, Acropolis hills and the French castle has been registered in UNESCO’s world heritage list in 2015. 

Susa during Elimate era:

  Traveling to Susa will take you back to 2700 BC, when it was chosen as the Capital of Elamite emperor, which has been a civilized and long standing emperor because of their high intelligence and the suitable climate of Susa that led to agriculture and animal husbandry. Some of remaining heritages, referring to Elamite era in Susa, are:

1. The remains of Susa, including artificial mounds, excavated 200 years ago.

The remains of Susa dating back to Elamite era.
2. The most important heritage dating back to Elamite era in Susa is “Choqazanbil” temple. This great monument has been constructed in 5 overlapping floors for worshiping “Inshoushinak”, the Elamite god. Today only 3 floors are remaining. There are some stone benches in front of this giant temple that were the place for sacrificing for the god. “Choqazanbil” is the oldest monument in Iran and the first world heritage of Iran that have been inscribed by UNESCO.

"Choqazanbil", the temple for worshiping Elimate god.

Susa during Achaemenid era:

 Achaemenid Empire, also called the first Iranian Empire, was founded by Cyrus the great king, on 550 BC and Susa was chosen as a residence for winter. There are some heritages in Susa that belong to Achaemenid era:

1. Daniel was a holy prophet, prisoned in Babel. There is a tale about Danial, being locked in the lions' cage, but the lions didn’t hurt him due to his holy spirit and that’s why he was called a prophet. Then he got rescued by Cyrus, the Achaemenid king. Daniel was able to predict and foresee and he was a trusted man in Achaemenid Emperor. Daniel the prophet passed away in Iran and got buried in Susa. His tomb is very popular among attractions of Susa because of the great architecture of the tomb with a conical dome and the interesting life story of Daniel the prophet.

Tomb of Daniel the prophet with a cronical dome.

2.  “Apadana” palace was built in Susa on 521 BC, ordered by the king Darius. The walls of this glamorous palace were made of adobes, ornamented with glazed bricks and the pillars (22 meters high) were made of stone. The ruins of this great palace are now available in Susa, including the pedestals and statues of two-head horses.

A two-head horse statue in Apadana palace in Susa.

 Susa during Ashkanid era:

 According to the inscriptions and the coins found in Susa, related to Ashkanid era, this city has been an economic center for trading merchandise through Karoun (Ulai River). Some samples of these coins, inscriptions, and many more ancient objects related to different centuries in this city, are now available in the museum of Susa established on 1966.

Susa during Sasanid era:

During Sasanid era, Susa was a center for trading silk and an educational center named “Jondi shapour” was founded in this city which is known as the oldest university of Iran. The rebellion in the city, which was happened during Sasanid era, was suppressed by Shapour II (The Sasanid king) with an army riding elephants but it led to the destruction of Susa.

Susa during Islamic era:

 Susa was once again an alive city in Islamic era but lost its glory when Ahvaz was chosen as the capital of Khuzestan province.

In 1897 a castle was constructed in city by French archaeologist (Jean-Mari de Morgan), who had come to Iran for archeological exploration and excavation in Susa. This castle is similar to medieval monuments in France and some of the glazed bricks of “Apadana” palace and adobes of “Choqazanbil” were used in constructing this castle.

The castle made by french archaeologists.

Today, Susa is not a political or economic center anymore and not the capital of any emperor but it is busy with hosting thousands of tourist every year, showing them the up and rises during 6000 years of rich civilization.
Visiting Khuzestan province and Sua, this ancient city, in recommended during November to April, because of the climate that goes so mild and cool. Uppersia is available for arranging your winter tour to southern Iran.

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