The Monument to the Unknown Soldier
The Monument to the Unknown Soldier (Arabic,نصب الجندي المجهول) is said to be inspired by the glorification of a martyr from the Iran–Iraq War, built in 1980 in central Baghdad when the war began. In 1986 the national square of Iraq, Great Celebrations square, was built near the monument, and in 1989 the Victory Arches were added to celebrate the "victory" of the war on Iran. The Monument represents a traditional shield (dira¹a) dropping from the dying grasp of an Iraqi warrior. The monument also houses an underground museum.
The artificial hill is shaped like a low, truncated cone of 250 m diameter. It is surrounded by slanting girders of triangular section that are covered with marble. Red granite, stepped platforms of elliptical form lead to the dome and cubic sculpture. The steel flagpole is entirely covered with Murano glass panels fixed on stainless steel arms and displaying the national flag colours. The cantilevered dome is 42m in diameter and follows an inclination of 12 degrees. Its external surface is clad with copper, while its inner surface features a soffit finished with pyramidal modules alternating steel and copper. The promenade is covered by a semi-circular, flat roof supported on a triangular steel bracing. The roof is covered with a copper sheet and the soffit displays V-shaped panels of stainless steel and Murano glass.
The cube beneath the shield is made of seven layers of metal, said to represent the seven levels of Jannah in the Islamic faith. Inside the layers of metal are sheets of red acrylic, said to represent the blood of the slain Iraqi soldiers. The cube itself is connected to the underground museum by a long shaft with windows that allow light to shine in from above. Inside the museum, visitors can look up at the ceiling and see through the openings leading to the cube above.
The underground museum is not currently lit, except for the light that shines in from the windows above and through the doors (when opened). Visitors must bring their own flashlights to view the now-empty cases that once held numerous war relics.
Visits to the monument are allowed during daylight hours, although visitors must ask for permission from the Iraqi soldiers who guard the monument before approaching the monument.
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