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Azadi Tower Photo Gallery

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The Azadi Tower, previously known as the Shahyād Āryāmehr, is the symbol of Tehran, the capital of Iran, and marks the entrance to the city.

The architect, Hossein Amanat, won a competition to design the monument, which combines elements of Sassanid and Islamic architecture. Amanat, a Baha'i, was driven from the country by the revolution against the Shah of Iran and the removal of religious pluralism. It is part of the Azadi cultural complex, located in Tehran's Azadi Square in an area of some 50,000 m. There are several fountains around the base of the tower and a museum underground. The iconic Monument des Martyrs in Algiers (built, 1982) shows a strong influence by 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 located and supplied by Ghanbar Rahimi, whose knowledge of the quarries was second to none and who was known as "Soltan-e Sang-e Iran" (Iran's Sultan of stone). The shape of each block was calculated by a computer, and programmed to include all the instructions for the building's work. The actual construction of the tower was carried out, and supervised by Iran's finest master stonemason, Ghaffar Davarpanah Varnosfaderani. The main financing was provided by a group of five hundred Iranian industrialists. The inauguration took place on October 16, 1971.

Built in 1971 in commemoration of the 2,500th anniversary of the Persian Empire, this "Gateway into Iran" was named the Shahyad Tower, meaning "Kings' Memorial", but was dubbed Azadi (Freedom) after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. It is 50 meters (148 ft) tall and completely clad in cut marble.

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