Baghdad’s Monuments

Tuesday, 9th August 2005 by

During the 1980s Saddam committed money from oil revenues to build many over-the-top monuments around Baghdad. The most famous is the now toppled statue of Saddam (it's pretty hard to spot from the satellite photo) but most of the other monuments are still standing and make much better "top-down" viewing.

The Monument of the Unknown Soldier in Baghdad was dedicated to Iraqis lost in the Iran-Iraq war and supposedly represents a shield falling from the hands of a dying warrior. During the US occupation this was central to the "Green Zone" and used as the army headquarters.

To the west of the monument are the parade grounds. Each end of the parade grounds is marked by gigantic replicas of Saddam's arms holding swords, constructed partially from the melted down rifles of dead soldiers. Although most would agree that Iraq lost the war with Iran the hands were built to commemorate Iraq's supposed victory.

The Shaheed Monument was built to commemorate Iraqi soldiers killed in the Iran-Iraq war. The two large blue domes sit in the middle of an artificial lake, with an eternal flame at the centre.

Thanks: Matt, Doug, Keith T., Daniel, Todd Day, Sayf Sharif, Hans Masing, Sig