Photo by Age Fotostock/SuperStock

The great stairway at Persepolis, in present-day Iran, leads 60 feet up to the Gate of All Lands, which is guarded by colossal winged bulls on the outer (western) side and humans on the inner side. This photo looks south to the columns of the Apadana (audience hall) and to the Palace of Darius beyond the columns. In “Why Darius Built Persepolis”, author Ali Mousavi suggests that the citadel was created as an emblem of royal power.