It is known that the gate was built by Xerxes, the son of Darius, from the inscription incised on its lateral stone in three languages of Elamite, Babylonian and Persian. In this inscription, the power of the empire, and the blessing of the god of Ahura Mazda are mentioned, and the gate itself is referred to as the Gate of All Nations.

The gate originally formed a square chamber surrounded by the roof and walls supported by four stone columns, and at present, two of the columns and the lateral stones of the front and back doorways only remain.

The stairway of the great terrace leads one to his formal gate supported by two human-headed winged bulls carved on the stones. It is guarded at east and west by vast bull-link colossi closely akin to the bull figures of Assyria. The entrance is through the western doorway. Winged bulls guarding each entrance to the Gate stand on a pedestal more than a meter high and are themselves over five meters high.

Beyond this point the delegations went straight on, turning right at the Gate-House and thence into the Throne Hall whereas the Medes and Persians turned right across to the Apadana, through the Tripylon and finally into the Throne Hall.