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Azadi Tower

Written by Super User. Posted in Tehran historical sites

Azadi Tower

By:H.Shams

Standing guard like a post at the gates of Tehran, Iran, is the impressive Azadi Tower (Freedom Tower), which was built in 1971 and consists of eight thousand white marble blocks. A combination of Islamic and Sassanid architectural styles, the fifty-meter-high tower recalls the formation of the Persian Empire and is an interesting combination of modern and ancient cultures.

The tower is part of the cultural complex of Azadi, located on the 50,000 square meter Azadi Square of Tehran, which consists of a museum and several fountains.

The arc rises from Azadi Square, which reflects the Elburz (Alborz) mountain range north of the city. Although not as wonderful as the snow-capped peaks of Mount Damavand, it is a 148-foot masterpiece of polished marble that marks the entrance to this historic city.

The audio - video hall of the complex, which was designed on the Iranian geographical map, shows the regional characteristics of Iran as far as cultural, lifestyle, religious and historical monuments are concerned. A mechanical conveyor allows visitors to visit the hall in complete comfort. Some art galleries and halls have been given temporary fairs and exhibitions.

The architect, Hossein Amanat, won a competition for the design of the monument, which combines elements of Sassanid and Islamic architecture. It is part of the cultural complex Azadi, which is located in the square of Azadi Square in an area of approximately 50,000 m². There are several fountains around the base of the tower and a museum subway.

The iconic monument of Martyrs in Algiers (built, 1982) shows a strong influence of this monument, in its general design as well as its details.
Built with white marble stone from the Esfahan region, there are eight thousand blocks of stone. The stones were all occupied and supplied by Ghanbar Rahimi, whose knowledge of the quarries was unmatched and was known as "Soltan-e-Sang-e-Iran". The shape of each of the blocks was calculated and programmed by a computer to contain all instructions for the work of the building. The actual construction of the tower was carried out and supervised by Iran's finest master Steinmetz, Ghaffar Davarpanah Varnosfaderani. The main financing was provided by a group of five hundred Iranian industrialists. The inauguration took place on 16 October 1971.

It was built in 1971 to commemorate the 2500th anniversary of the Persian Empire. This "Gateway to Iran" was called the Shahyad Tower, which was called the "King's Memorial" after the 1979 Iranian Revolution . Originally intended To remind the coming generations of the achievements of modern Iran under the Pahlavi dynasty, it has become a symbol for the revival of the country. It is 50 meters (148 ft) in size and completely clad in polished marble.

The entrance of the tower is directly under the main vault and leads into the Azadi Museum on the ground floor. The black walls, the pure, sober lines and the proportions of the whole building create a deliberately strict atmosphere. Heavy doors open onto a kind of crypt where the lighting is dampened. The shock is immediate. The lighting seems to appear there

from the shovels placed here and there, which each contain a unique object. Gold and enamel pieces, painted pottery, marble, the warm nuances of the miniatures and the painted paintings shine like the stars under the black marble walls and the half-darkness of the concrete fabric that forms the ceiling of this cave of miracles. There are about fifty pieces selected from the finest and most precious in Iran. They are in very good condition and each represents a certain period in the history of the country.
The place of honor is occupied by a copy of the Cyrus cylinder (the original is in the British Museum). A translation of the wedge-shaped inscription on the cylinder is written in golden letters on the wall of one of the galleries leading to the audiovisual section of the museum. Opposite, a similar plaque lists the Twelve Points of the White Revolution. Next to the Cyrus cylinder, a magnificent gold plaque commemorates the presentation of the museum to the Shah by the mayor of Tehran.

Among the earliest examples of the history of Iran are square stones, gold foil and terracotta tablets from Susa, covered with wedge-shaped characters of astonishingly strict geometry. Pottery, ceramics, lacquered porcelain (such as the beautiful blue and gold plate from the 17th century Gorgan), a lighted Koran and some extraordinary miniatures mark milestones in the annals of the country up to the 19th century Painted panels from the collection of Farah Pahlavi.
The original exhibition, designed in 1971, was replaced by a new one in 1975, which invited visitors to discover the geographical and natural diversity of Iran with its basic historical elements. The landscapes and works of art, the faces and achievements, calligraphic poems and technical ventures, the life and the hopes of a population were shown by their ancient miniatures and the smiling study of the Iranian generation of children. This creative "sound and light" performance, designed by a Czechoslovak company, required 12,000 meters of film, 20,000 color tablets, 20 film projectors and 120 slide projectors. Five computers operated the entire system.