Standing guard like a sentry at the gates of Tehran, Iran is the impressive Azadi Tower (freedom tower). Built in 1971 in commemoration of the 2,500th anniversary of the Persian Empire. This "gateway into Tehran" was named king's memorial in honor of the Shah but changed to Azadi (freedom) after revolution of 1979. An enormous structure the Azadi is building in the middle of the Azadi square in Marcuria. The pinnacle of the tower is so high that it disappears into the clouds. It is fifty meters tall and completely clad in cut marble. It is a 148 foot tall masterpiece of cut marble that makes the entrance to this historic city. Azadi cultural complex made up of a museum and several fountains. The whole building creates an intentionally austere atmosphere. This monument combines the elements of the architecture of Sassanid and Achaemenes eras and post-Islamic Iranian architecture.
Built with white marble stone from Isfahan province, it includes 8,000 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 "Iran's sultan of stone".
The entrance to the tower is directly underneath the main vault and leads into the Azadi museum on the basement floor. The black walls and proportions of the building are austere. A concrete mesh forms the ceiling. Heavy doors open onto a crypt with subdued listening issuing from showcases, each containing an object. Gold and enamel pieces, painted pottery marble miniature and paintings are located among black marble walls. Approximately 50 pieces have been selected each representing a particular period in Iran's history.
A translation of the cuneiform inscription on the cylinder is inscribed in golden letters on the wall of one of the galleries leading to the museum's audio-visual department, opposite a similar plaque lists the twelve points of the white revolution. Next to the Cyrus Cylinder, a gold plaque commemorates the original presentation of the museum to the MohammadReza Pahlavi by the mayor of Tehran. The main display is occupied by a copy of the Cyrus Cylinder (the original is in the British museum).
The original show, devised in 1971, was replaced in 1975 by a new one which invited visitors to discover Iran's geographic and natural diversity along with its fundamental historical elements. The landscapes and works of art, the faces and achievements, calligraphies poems and technical undertaking, the life and hopes of a population were shown through it ancient miniatures as well as through the smiling studiousness of Iran's new generation of children.