Holy Defense Museum - Tehran

Museum of the Islamic Revolution and Holy Defense

In the great city of Tehran, on the historical hills of Abbasabad and near the Tehran Book Garden, lays one of the most modern and largest museums in Iran; the Garden-Museum of the Islamic Revolution and Holy Defense. The museum building is in a valley garden with elements and plants to give a conceptual and symbolic atmosphere.   

The museum’s main goal is to introduce the Islamic Revolution of Iran and to narrate the eight years of the imposed war of the Ba’athist regime of Iraq against Iran, by presenting a small part of the epic of the zealous nation of Iran during the Revolution and the Sacred Defense through exploiting the latest media technologies in the world.

The Garden-Museum of Sacred Defense features:

  • Providing most tangibly displayed content, epic spirit and knowledge of sacred defense in the form of the latest dramatic, interactive and integrated technologies,
  • The possibility of updating and dynamism in the production of different scenarios based on the concepts of sacred defense using hundreds of screens,
  • Information kiosks equipped with touchscreens to get detailed information about the oral history of the Holy Defense era, based on the speeches of the commanders of the eight years of the Holy Defense, as well as credible national and international documents,
  • Using a well-equipped and powerful database for storing and retaining information and documents of the Holy Defense including photos, videos, multimedia, documents, and maps,
  • Utilization of smart surveillance systems,
  • Refreshing and exciting 18-hectare space with special facilities for reception and leisure, various exhibitions of art and cultural works related to the sacred defense,
  • As well as special arrangements for the passage of veterans and people with disabilities in all open and closed spaces.
  • This museum, with its unique architecture, is a combination of the main building consisting of eight halls (8,000 m2), and a large garden (18,000 m2), therefore known as one of the largest museums in the country. The museum’s main building consists of eight halls namely; Astana (the beginning), Heirat va Haqaniat (Wonder and legitimacy), Defa (Defense), Aramesh (Peace), Shahadat (Martyrdom), Pirozi (Victory), Saranjam (Final), and Parvaneha (Butterfly).

Talar-e Astana (The Hall of Beginning)

Astana Hall consists of two main sections; the Risheh (Root) corridor, where the glorious historical period of Iran up to the Islamic period is displayed, and the Astana corridor that describes the Iranian people’s struggle with the Pahlavi regime until the arrival of Imam Khomeini in Iran. The Astana Hall is a threshold for entering the seven halls. The historical events and monuments are amazingly displayed through many screens and monitors in the Hall. 

Talar-e Heirat va Haqaniat (The Hall of Wonder and legitimacy)

The works in the Heirat va Haqaniat Hall represent the shock and perplexity of the Iranian people who went through since the beginning of the imposed war and all the bitter events that took place during that period. A big image of Saddam Hussein tearing up the Security Council resolution regarding the Iran-Iraq border shows the starting point of the imposed war against Iran. The wall of Saddam coup calendar (1920-1980), images of Iraqi aggression on Iran soil before the official declaration of war (1978-1980), a model replica of Khorramshahr city Grand Mosque, the bombardment room including a 7-minute video of the Iraqi airstrikes on Iran soil, the wall of Iraqi nationwide attack images, a simulation of Khorramshahr city after the war, and a replica of the Abadan oil refinery built using real pieces left over from the war are among the works in the Heirat va Haqaniat Hall.  

Talar-e Defa (The Hall of Defense)

The hall displays works that show the courageous and vigorous defense of the people after the start of the imposed war. Among the amazing works illustrated in this hall are the documents and images of the news boycott of the Iraqi invasion of Iran by the Western media, Imam Khomeini’s full support for the people in the imposed war, hot and cold trenches, and an LED screen on a curved wall displaying Imam Khomeini’s commands and instructions.

Talar-e Aramesh (The Hall of Peace)

This hall shows a period of war in which people and warriors have come to terms with and reached some kind of internal peace. It shows the inner peace and domination of the people and defenders with the existing conditions. During this period, the warriors took the initiative and defended the homeland with engineered and technical processes.

Talar-e Shahadat (The Hall of Martyrdom)

The Shahadat hall is mostly in respect to the sacrifice martyrs of the war. The design of the most important part of the hall, the Ashura Hall, which depicts the eight years of perseverance and self-sacrifice of Iranian people, is inspired by the great movement of Ashura. Shahadat Hall also honors the veterans and the missing soldiers of the imposed war. 

Talar-e Pirozi (The Hall of Victory)

The Pirozi Hall introduces Saddam Hussein’s foreign supporters and displays pictures from the newspapers showing the happiness of the people for the victories, images displaying the atmosphere of the last days of the war. Besides, the hall exhibits the 598 Resolution of UN and the correspondence made by Saddam Hussein and the leadership and President of Iran regarding the resolution, and a rope artwork symbolizing Saddam’s fate.

Talar-e Saranjam (The Hall of Final)

The Saranjam Hall narrates the results and consequences of the eight years of the war. The hall also narrates the last days of Emam Khomeini through the reconstructed section of Hosseinieh Jamaran, the place where most of Imam Khomeini’s speeches took place and images of Imam in hospital, the farewell of the family with Imam at his funeral, reading of Imam Khomeini’s will by Ayatollah Khamenei.

Talar-e Parvaneha (Hall of Butterflies)

The Hall of Butterflies is at the right of the entrance of the museum welcoming visitors by presenting the personal belonging of the victims of the war found on different battlefields and by introducing the martyrs and freed captives of the war and displays the works inherited from them. This hall is a small manifestation of the greatness of the dignity of martyrs. The initial part of the Hall of the Butterflies is dedicated to the sculptures of the commanders and influencers of the glorious era of the holy defense. The arrangement of the sculptures along with 313 butterflies in different dimensions is such that it amazingly shows the celestial ascension of the martyrs. 3D images of the Sacred Defense commanders are on display via 72 glass monitors in the 3D gallery section of the hall.  The Veterans Meeting Studio is also another part of the Butterfly Hall. This is a place to meet and have intimate conversations with the Veterans, and Freedmen of the Holy Defense.

In addition to the main building works, more spectacular attractions are also presented in the vast space of the museum garden valley among its 400 species of resistant evergreen medicinal plants:

The flag tower

The flag tower of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which raises a flag measuring 42 by 42 meters with a height of 210 meters, is the tallest in the world.

Khorramshahr Grand Mosque

This mosque is a symbol of the Khorramshahr Grand Mosque, a mosque that was the stronghold of warriors during the imposed war. The architecture of the Grand Mosque is consistent with the real example, which makes the visit more tangible. In addition to the mosque’s architecture for better spatial arrangement, special three-dimensional lighting is displayed on the building to show the destruction of the mosque at that time.

Sarsara Nama-e Moqavemat (The Resistance Panaroma Dome)

The Resistance Panorama Dome is the large blue dome next to the Museum of Sacred Defense, a spatial arrangement of Khorramshahr known as the blood and resistant city, from before and after the war. The building consists of two floors; the base floor is a cultural and war-related products shop, and the upper one is a 360̊ screen (Panorama) with special effects showing war-related movies.

The light festival at the lake

A combination of water, three-dimensional images and sound create a symphony of war and color. Inside the lake in the garden, there are more than 100 fountains. Working at night, they light up and amazingly display images of warriors on a curtain of water. This is a spectacular festival of water, light, and music with a spectrum of 16 million colors.

The laser show

As another attraction, the Tehran Museum of Scarred Defense holds one of the most powerful lasers in the world by the lake. The Laser astonishingly displays writings such as Eid greetings, martyrdom, etc. on the Alborz Mountains from 20 km away.

Tomb and memorial of the martyrs

At the western part of the museum is the tomb of seven anonymous martyrs and two identified martyrs. The design of this memorial is such that it shows the ascension of the martyrs well.