Persepolis, an ancient Persian town, is situate in South Persia, in a fertile plain watered by the Bendemir (ancient Araxes). Founded by Cyrus or Cambyses, it became one of the capitals, and was the burial-place of the kings, as well as containing the royal treasury. It was surrounded by three granite walls of sixteen, forty-eight, and sixty feet respectively, and had brazen gates. Alexander the Great conquered it in 331 B.C., and the town, with the exception of the palace and treasury, was pillaged. Alexander is said himself to have set fire to it. In the Middle Ages the kings resided here. Among the existing remains are the Chel Minar (forty columns), part of a marble building put together without mortar, a fluted column fifty feet high, and a palace hewn in the marble. The entrance is guarded by composite animals nineteen feet high, and there are fine bas-reliefs of ceremonies, processions, etc.