Oldest City in Iran
Shush in Khuzestan Province is one of the oldest cities in Iran. Shush is a city with dry and warm climate and experiences extremely hot summers with temperatures often rising above 53 degrees centigrade.
Located between the Karkheh and Dez rivers, Shush, which was known as Susa in ancient times, was the political capital of the Elamites. Achaemenid King Darius I (550-486 BC) revived the city after the Elamites, creating a grand winter palace for himself named Apadana which was damaged after the invasion of Persia by Alexander of Macedonia (356-323 BC).
Artaxerxes II (435- 358 BC) also built himself a palace near Apadana that has come to be known as Artaxerxes Palace or Shavoor Palace after the river flowing next to it.
Sassanid King Shapur II (309- 379 CE) destroyed the city to quash a rebellion by the Christian inhabitants of Shush and built another city in its place the ruins of which are known as Iwan-e Karkheh, meaning the vault or terrace in Persian, near Karkheh River .
There are several mounds, ruins and cemeteries in and around Shush such as Haft Tepe that have yielded valuable information about the history of the city and its ancient civilizations.
One of the main attractions of the city is the Shush Castle also known as Acropol Castle,. The castle was built by French archeologists as their base using bricks from Apadana Palace and Chogha Zanbil Ziggurat.
The city is also a popular pilgrimage site for Muslims and Jews alike as it holds the tomb of Daniel the Prophet, the protagonist from the Book of Daniel. It is said that after Cyrus the Great of Persia (576-530 BC) freed the Jews in 537 BC, Daniel came to Susa where he passed away in the 6th century BC.