The ancient city of Susa is known as one of the centers of ancient civilizations throughout the world. The city is one of the oldest and most famous cities of Iran situated in Khuzestan province in south of the country. Susa had been an artistic, industrial, commercial and political center in ancient Iran and because of its special position Susa was chosen as religious capital city of the Elamite kingdom for thousands of years and it was also used as the winter capital city during the Achaemenid Empire. After the fall of the Achaemenid dynasty, the importance and glory of the city was destroyed and it became a small village. Susa city along with the tomb of Daniel the prophet situated in the city as well as its nearby hills are national monuments of Iran with registration number 51 on September 15, 1931. Susa was listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015. The Susa Cultural Heritage Case includes Shapur Palace, Apadana Palace, Eastern Gate, Hedish Palace, Fifteenth City, Achaemenid Village, Shush Jame Mosque and a collection of Islamic buildings, the Acropolis Hills and the French Castle.
The Apadana Palace
The Apadana Palace of Susa was the winter palace of the Achaemenid kings and the main palace of Darius I. The palace was built by the Achaemenid king Darius the Great in ancient city of Susa around 6 BC. The walls of the palace are made of clay and brick with brick facade and its columns are made of stone. Its interior walls are covered with glazed brick and feature immortal Guard soldiers, winged lions and lotus flowers. Important parts of the palace caught fire during Ardashir I ( 2 BC) and rebuilt during Ardashir II ( 2 BC). Eventually this palace, like other Achaemenid palaces, was completely destroyed during Alexander’s invasion. After centuries the remain of the palace was pulled out from under ground after digging in the middle of the 19th century and was registered as National Heritage of Iran with registration No. 3981 on Oct. 02, 2001.
Chogha Zanbil temple is the greatest architectural work left by the Ilam civilization. The temple is an ancient Elamite complex in the Khuzestan province of Iran. It is one of the few existing ziggurats outside Mesopotamia. It is located approximately 30 km (19 mi) southeast of Susa and 80 km (50 mi) north of Ahvaz. In 1979, Chogha Zanbil became the first Iranian site registered on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Haft Tappeh (Seven Hills), located 15 kilometers to the south of the ancient city of Susa, is one of Iran’s most significant archeological sites. Its history goes back to the 15th century BC.
Mass Tomb of Seven Hills
The royal arched tomb in Haft Tapeh is a brick, crescent-shaped brick building. It was destroyed by Assyrian army of Banipal.
Susa Palace (French Castle) on The Historical Hills of The Acropolis
Shush Castle (French: Château de Suse) is located in the ruins of the ancient city of Susa (Shush) in the Khuzestan Province of Iran. It was constructed by French archaeologist Jean-Marie Jacques de Morgan in the late 1890s, as a secure base for archaeological exploration and excavation as well as for the residence of French archaeologists near the tomb of Daniel the Prophet in Susa on the historical hill. These hills are well- known for the famous statue of Queen Napier Swaston , the famous Susan pottery mug in pea color, the role of the goat and Hammurabi law (The Law of Hammurabi – the symbol of Mesopotamian civilization). The excavations of ancient work in the hills of Susa were headed by Jacques de Morgan in 1897. The Hammurabi’s Law was taken to France by Jacques de Morgan and it is now kept at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
The Hammurabi tablet
Hammurabi Tablet or Hammurabi Code of Law, which is considered the oldest human code. The work was conquered by the Elamite conquerors after the conquest of Babylon as a precious trophy and displayed as a sign of their brilliant victory along with other Mesopotamian masterpieces in the Acropolis of Susa. This historical work was founded by Jacques de Morgan by his excavation’s team and was given to French archaeologists as a trophy. It was transferred to France and placed at Louvre museum in Paris. However, they later made a replica of it and donated it to the Iranian government, which is now housed in the Susa Museum.
Tomp of Daniel
The Tomb of Daniel is the burial place of the prophet Daniel. Various locations have been named for it, but the tomb in Susa, Iran (Persia), is the most widely accepted place due to it is mentioned by Benjamin of Tudela (1130 – 1173), who was a medieval Jewish traveler who visited Europe, Asia, and Africa in the 12th century, in his book of The Travels of Benjamin, which is an important work not only as a description of the Jewish communities, but also as a reliable source about the geography and ethnography of the Middle Ages. The Jews do not accept Daniel as a prophet, but because of his deeds the Jewish Rabbis consider him as one of the most prominent Jews among Babylon’s captives. Many stories were written about his deeds in his captivity in the first century AD. Some of Christians also recognize Daniel as a prophet. Although not mentioned in the Qur’an, Muslims and Islamic sources consider him a prophet.
Susa Museum is one of the most important historical museums of Iran. It is inaugurated in Susa Palace in year 1966. The valuable historical objects from different historical periods of Iran are kept in this museum.
Susa Wind Park or Cultural Heritage Park
Shush’s Wind Park is a green area at the entrance to Shush nearby the transit road. This park is a free accommodation for guests in holidays of Nowruz ( Iranian New Year ) as well as a place for Shush people to enjoy their leisure time and exercise.
Souvenir of Susa
Susa’s souvenirs mostly includes handicrafts like painting on pottery, painting on wood, gilding, wood inlaid , pottery, marquetry and embroidery.
Susa’s weather is mostly warm and dry. In the center of the city, the highest temperature in the summer is above 50 degrees Celsius, and the lowest temperature is 2 degrees Celsius above zero.