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Azadi Tower, Tehran, Iran

Each city has a building, which is symbolizing it. The symbol of Iranian capital, Tehran, is The Azadi Tower (the Tower of Freedom). This monument is located in the western part of Tehran and is also known as the western gateway to the city.

This white massive tower, which reminds inverted English letter “Y”, is the result of the hard-work and creativity of several hundred people. Among the list of these people on the first place is the architect of the building Hossein Amanat. In 1966, Amanat, at the age of 24, created the architectural plan of the tower. Amanat’s project won the competition, held to choose a plan for a building, which would represent the glory of Iranian monarchy. Another noteworthy person in the list of Azadi tower’s creators is Ghanbar Rahimi, known as the Iranian Sultan of Stone. He found and supplied all the 8 thousand blocks of white marble stone used for the construction of the monument. The blocks of stone were being transported from Isfahan, which is nearly 440 kilometers far from Tehran.

Construction of the building was co-financed by around five hundred Iranian industrialists.

Originally the Azadi Tower was designed as the symbol of Iranian monarchy and was completed in 1971 - on the 2500th anniversary of Persian Empire. Its initial name was King Memorial (in Persian Shahyad Aryamehr). Ironically, less than 8 years later the Shahyad (Remembrance of the Shahs) square, on which the Azadi Tower is situated, became the ground of wide anti-governmental protests, leading to the overthrow of Iranian Shah and Creation of Islamic Republic of Iran. Fortunately the monument was not destroyed after the change of the political system. It was renamed to Freedom tower and the Shahyad square was accordingly renamed to Azadi (Freedom) square. For more than 40 years these square has been the main place for rallies and protests. In 2009 the protesters (this time against the government of Islamic Republic) were gathering on the same square. Thus, the Azadi tower has justified its second and current name and has become the symbol of freedom for Iranians.

The tower is 50 meters tall. The architecture of the building combines different architectural symbols from different periods of pre-Islamic and Islamic history of Iran. From outside it is white, with blue mosque style paintings under the central transition part of the tower. Inside the tower a large museum is located. The Azadi Mueseum has numerous halls with temporary and permanent exhibitions from different historical periods of Iran. From the windows of Azadi tower’s highest grounds beautiful panorama of Tehran can be seen.

The walls of the Azadi Museum are made from black stone; its doors are massive and impressing. The first emotions of the visitor, entering the museum, are awe and reverence. The creators of the tower had an intention to impress the visitors with the sublimity of the building and they have, without any doubt, succeeded in it.

By Anna Pambukhchyan,


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