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Iran: Golestan e Shohada

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Golestan e Shohada | Iran | Asia

[Visited: April 2001]

The Rose Garden of Martyrs is the last resting place for soldiers who died in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. A war which eventually did not result in anything very concrete, except for several hundreds of thousands of casualties. The cemetery is a grim reminder for some of those soldiers. The noise of the city seems far away here. Orderly lines of tombs make up this cemetery of thousands.

Picture of Golestan e Shohada (Iran): Golestan e Shohoda cemetery Esfahan

But, as the name implies, the soldiers resting here are not just seen as victims of a brutal war. Much more, they are regarded as heroes who fought for a just cause and who died a useful death. The war was actually a quite convenient instrument for Ayatollah Khomeini to muster support for his new reign - he came to power in 1979. His importance for their battle becomes clear at nearly every tomb. While you can see the picture of a soldier on one side, you can see the face of Khomeini on the other.

Picture of Golestan e Shohada (Iran): Golestan e Shohoda cemetery Esfahan

At the end of our walk through this labyrinth of the dead, we are ushered into a tent by an Iranian. He lifts a flap and we see tables with books, and the sidewalls covered by picures. Pictures of the war. Some of them gruesome, some of them smiling soldiers making a victory sign. At the end, our Iranian guide shows us a few books. Decapitated soldiers, dismembered, one picture is more horrific than the other. In the end also the Iranian starts to tremble. With a silent excuse we escape from the horrors of war into the reality of Esfahan sunshine.

Picture of Golestan e Shohada (Iran): Khomeini at Golestan e Shohoda cemetery Esfahan
Picture of Golestan e Shohada (Iran): Golestan e Shohoda cemetery Esfahan
Picture of Golestan e Shohada (Iran): Golestan e Shohoda cemetery Esfahan
Picture of Golestan e Shohada (Iran): Golestan e Shohoda cemetery Esfahan

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Golestan e Shohada (Iran). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Golestan e Shohada.
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