Iran at last plans to construct the Pasargadae Museum near the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great in early 2005, after a quarter of century break, Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency reported.
The museum is part of a grand plan to reorganize the historical complex and public and private organizations will be engaged, said Alireza Ghaedian, head of Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization in the southern province of Fars.
The museum is slated to open its door in the spring of 2005 after a 25-year-long hiatus. Its original plan was the brainchild of Hussein Amanat, a distinguished Iranian architect who had some landmarks including Tehran's Freedom Tower under his belt. He started his daunting task in 1975, but it was interrupted after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Prior to his death, Cyrus the Great founded a new capital city at Pasargadae in Fars and established a government for his Empire. Pasargadae covered an area almost 1.5 miles in length and included palaces, a temple and the tomb of the king of kings. The city was built on the site where King Cyrus defeated the leader of the Medes, Astyages, in 550 BC.
The heart of Pasargadae is the citadel, which is known as Tall-i-Takht or 'throne hill'. It overlooks a garden in the south, and the palace complex itself. This consists of two smaller units: the residential palace and the many columned audience hall. The audience hall or Apadana can be approached from the south-east; the visitor first has to pass a gate and then has to cross a bridge over the river Pulvār.
The small tomb of King Cyrus is situated a little to the southwest. It was venerated by later rulers, the Macedonian king Alexander the Great, who ordered restorations in January 324 BC. The tomb of Cyrus' successor Cambyses was never finished.
Even though King Darius built a new capital, Persepolis, 43 kilometers downstream along the river Pulvar, Pasargadae remained an important place, probably as the religious capital of the Achaemenid empire where the inauguration of the kings took place.
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