Tehran, Mar. 15 (Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency) - The ancient palace of Artaxerxes II of the Achaemenid dynasty, in Susa, will open its doors to visitors and tourists for the first time ever in the upcoming holidays of Iranian New Year, Norouz.
The palace, which dates to 2500 years ago, was accidentally discovered in the historical site of Susa, Khuzestan, before the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and after few restorations was left unattended for several years.
According to head of the Friends of Susa Heritage Society, Fereidoun Sagvand, who initiated the opening as a means to attract to the site Norouz travelers, the site was restored and cleaned with a 6 million Toman budget (some 7000 US Dollars) and the barbed wires put around the site in 1994 were removed.
The palace which is nearly one hectare has 36 stone pillars, all decorated with lotus flowers.
Before the Islamic Revolution, local farmers working on the land found a wall, triggering the excavations leading to the discovery of the historical palace. Jean Perrot, the French archaeologist heading the Susa excavations at the time and the Iranian team supervised by Mahmoud Kordavani unearthed the palace, carrying out only some minor repairs.
The oldest sugar cane plant of Iran, dating to the Islamic times, is also located near the site.
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