Tourist Attraction in Baghdad: Al-Shaheed Monument
Al-Shaheed Monument, also known as the Martyr's Memorial, is a monument in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, dedicated to the Iraqi soldiers who died in the Iran-Iraq War. However, now it is generally considered by Iraqis to be for all of the martyrs of Iraq, especially those allied with Iran and Syria currently fighting ISIS, not just of the Iran-Iraq War. The Monument was opened in 1983, and was designed by the Iraqi architect Saman Kamal and the Iraqi sculptor and artist Ismail Fatah Al Turk. During the 1970s and 1980s, Saddam Hussein's government spent a lot of money on new monuments, which included the al-Shaheed Monument. The monument consists of a circular platform 190 meters in diameter in the center of an artificial lake. On the platform sits a 40-meter tall split turquoise dome, which resembles the domes of the Abbasid era. The two halves of the split dome are offset, with an eternal flame in the middle. The shells are constructed of a galvanized steel frame with glazed turquoise ceramic tile cladding which was pre-cast in carbon fiber reinforced concrete. The interior is oculant, being that under the Iraqi flag, there is an open hole, or oculus, providing light below. The rest of the site consists of parks, a playground, parking lots, walkways, bridges, and the lake. The monument is located on the East side of the Tigris river, near the Army Canal which separates Sadr city from the rest of Baghdad. A museum, library, cafeteria, lecture hall and exhibition gallery are located in two levels underneath the domes.