Azadi Monument, Tehran
Tehran’s most famous architectural symbol is the Azadi (“Liberty”) Monument in Azadi Square. It was constructed in 1971 as part of Mohammad Reza Shah’s celebrations to commemorate 2,500 years (by his own count) of Persian monarchy and was hence named the Shahyad Tower. It was given its current name after the 1979 revolution which saw all indications of the former regime stripped from streets of the city.
The 50m tower, clad entirely in cut marble, is said to combine Islamic architecture and the earlier Sassanid style. Situated near Mehrabad Airport, it was the first sight to welcome visitors to Tehran for many years before international flights were recently redirected to the new Imam Khomeini Airport near Qom.
The basement floor houses a museum and cultural centre and the roof can be accessed by elevator. Though it retains great affection among Iranians, the Azadi Tower is now in competition with the 435m Milad Tower for its place as the symbol of the city.