Explaining the Impact of Social and Political Currents of 1921-1978 on the Formation of Contemporary Memorial Tombs of Iran

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran.

2 Professor of Architecture, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

3 Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and Restoration, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

4 Associate Professor of Architecture, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


Problem statement: Architecture, which is an integral part of a culture, arises from social and political contexts of each society. Use of monumental tombs in some geographical regions forms an important part of the civilization of a country. Considering the religious significance of these buildings in Iran, after the advent of Pahlavi, a new insight into architecture of memorial and monumental tombs was formed, which is mainly due to social and political contexts of the years 1921 to 1978. Knowledge about this context, and the way it has been created, can provide a better appreciation of how memorial tombs have been formed in this period.
Research objective: This research aims to investigate the influence of political and social currents of 1921-1978 on the creation of contemporary monumental tombs of Iran.
Research method: In this research, first, case studies were selected after field visits. Then, through library studies and document analysis, the political and social currents of the period contemporary with these buildings were analyzed using a historical-interpretive methodology, and the influence of these developments on the society was studied. This research investigates what political and social currents influenced the creation of monumental tombs of 1921 to 1978, and how these currents influenced the architecture of monumental tombs.
Conclusion: Analysis of available documents demonstrates that social and political developments in the first Pahlavi era including westernism, anti-religionism and an attempt towards national unity had a direct influence on selection of people that were memorialized by the monuments as well as the structure and shape of the monuments. Also, as these developments continued in the second Pahlavi period, they influenced the architecture of monumental tombs through the cultural context formed as a result of the relevant developments. In addition, compared to the previous period, design of these buildings were more influenced by the architects’ personal approaches and global society’s developments in art, leading to a change in form and details.


Abrahamian, E. (2014). A History of Modern Iran (Sh. Khajiyan, Trans.). Tehran: Dat.
Abrahamian, E. (2015). Iran between Two Revolution (A. Gol-mohammadi & M. E. Fattahi-ye Vali-laie, Trans.). Tehran: Ney.
Agheli, B. (2008). Chronology of Iran (1896-1979). Tehran: Goftar.
Al-e-Ahmad, J. (1978). On the Service and the Treachery of the Intellectuals (Vol. 2). Tehran: Kharazmi.
Al-e-Ahmad, J. (1986). Gharb-zadegi [Westoxification]. Tehran: Amirkabir.
Amin, S. H. (2004). A Rich Record: The Cultural, Political and Societal Transformation of Iran during Pahlavi’s era. Tehran: Iran-shenasi Encyclopedia.
Ashouri, D. (2005). Danesh-name-ye Siyasi [An Encyclopedia of Politics]. Tehran: Morvarid.
Atabaki, T. (2006). Men of Order: Authoritarian Modernization under Atatürk and Reza Shah (M. Haghighat-khah, Trans.). Tehran: Qoqnoos.
Azghandi, S. A. (2004). History of Social and Political Development in Iran (1941-1979). Tehran: Samt.
Bahar, M. (1992). Tarikh-e Mokh’tasar-e Ahzab-e Siassi [A Concise History of the Political Parties] (Vol. 1). Tehran: Amirkabir.
Bahrololoomi, H. (1956). Karname-ye Anjoman-e Asar-e Melli [Proceedings of the National Monuments Association]. Tehran: Entesharat-e Anjoman-e Asar-e Melli.
Bani-masoud, A. (2009). Me′mari-ye Mo′aser-e Iran [Iranian Contemporary Architecture]. Tehran: Honar-e Me′mari-ye Gharn.
Bemanian, M. (2006). Avamel-e mo′aser bar sheklgiri-ye me′mari va shahrsazi dar dore-ye Pahlavi-ye avval [Factors affecting architecture and urban development in Pahlavi the first period]. Modarres-e Honar, (1), 1-8.
Colvin, H. (1991). Architecture and the After-life. London: Yale University Press.
Cottam, R. W. (1992). Nationalism in Iran (F. Sarlak, Trans.). Tehran: Goftar.
Daeipour, Z. (2007). Bastan-gerayi ya shiveh-ye melli (moghayese ba neokelasik-e Oroupa) [Antiquity or national style (compared with European Neoclassicism)]. Rahpooye-ye Honar, (4), 68-72.
Daniel, V. & Tajdar, G. (2016). Hafeziyeh va She′re Godard, Tafsir va Ta′vil-e Me′mari-ye Hafeziyeh [Hafezieh and the Poet of Godard: Interpretation of Architecture of Hafez Tomb]. Tehran: Doran-e Tahavvol.
Derakhshan, K. (1999). Anjoman-e asar va mafakher-e farhangi: Cheraghi fara rah-e shenakht-e farhang-e in marz-o-boum [Society for the appreciation of cultural works and dignitaries:], Ketab-mah-e Kolliat, (21), 9-15.
Parizadeh Estiyār, S. (2015). Me′mari be sabk-e yadmani va khastgah-e farhangi-ye an [Memorial-styled architecture and its cultural appeal]. International Conference on Sustainability in Architecture and Urban Development, Masdar City, UAE.
Eslami Nodooshan, M. (1979). Bar Iran che gozasht (3): Edareh-ye Iran ba farhang-e gheyr-e-Irani [what about Iran (3): Managing Iran with non-Iranian culture]. Ettelaat, (15771).
Ghari-pour, M. (2005). Mosahebeh ba Hooshang Seyhoun [Interview with Hooshang Seyhoun]. Abadi, (48), 130-133.
Hadidi, M. (1998). Pahlavi-ye dovvom va nemouneh-ye andisheh-ha-ye bastan-gerayaneh (negahi be asnad-e jashn-ha-ye 2500 saleh-ye shahanshahi) [Pahlavi the second & examples of ancient ideas]. Iranian Contemporary Historical Studies, (5), 103-188.
Hekmat Shirazi, A. (2000). Rahavard-e Hekmat [Travel Accounts]. M. Dabir-Siaqi (Ed.). Tehran: Society for the Appreciation of Cultural Works and Dignitaries.
Homayoun Katouzian, M. (2005). The Political Economy of Modern Iran: Despotism and Pseudo-Modernism (M. Nafisi & Azizi, K. Trans.). Tehran: Markaz.
Cole, J. Y. & Reed, H. H. (1997). The Library of Congress: The Art and Architecture of the Thomas Jefferson Building. New York: Norton
Kiani, M. (2004). Me′mari-ye Pahlavi-ye Avval [Architecture of Pahlavi the First]. Tehran: Institute for Contemporary Historical Studies.
Miller, D. (2004). On Nationality (D. Gharayagh Zandi, Trans.). Tehran: Tamaddon-e Irani.
Mokhtari Taleghani, E. (2011). The Heritage of Modern Architecture of Iran. Tehran: Iran Cultural Studies Press.
Naderi, E. & Seifnaraghi, M. (2006). Research Methods and its Evaluation in Human Sciences. Tehran: Badr.
Nassaj, H. (2013). Comparative analysis of the Westernization in Iran and Turkey under Reza Shah and Ataturk. Strategic Research of Politics, 2(5), 101-130.
Nazari, A. (2007). Nationalism and Iranian identity - case study: first Pahlavi era. Public Law, 9(22), 141-172.
Rahmani, A. (2005). Germany: National Interests and Security of Islamic Republic of Iran (Vol. 1). Tehran: International Studies and Research Institute.
Sanasarian, E. (2005). The Women’s Rights Movement in Iran: Mutiny, Appeasement, and Repression from 1900 to Khomeini. Tehran: Akhtaran.
Seddigh, I. (1977). Karname-ye “Anjoman-e Asar-e Melli” [Proceedings of the “National Monuments Association”]. Yaghma, (350), 505-510.
Shahpur Shahbazi, A. (1999). Ferdowsi, Abu’l-Qāsem: iii. Mausoleum. Encyclopædia Iranica, (IX), 524-527.
Shayegan, D. (1992). L’Asie face a l’Occident. Tehran: Bagh-e Ayeneh.
Smith, A. D. (2004). Nationalism: Theory, Ideology, History (M. Ansari, Trans.). Tehran: Tamaddon-e Irani.
Sobat-sani, N. (2014). Investigation of effective factors of Iranian contemporary architecture (1961-1978). Armanshahr Architecture & Urban Development, 6(11), 49-60.
Tabibi, S. J., Maleki M. & Delgoshaei B. (2016). Writing Successful: Theses, Dissertations, Research Projects and Scientific Articles. Tehran: Ferdos.
Takmil Homayoun, N. (2006). Education in Iran. Tehran: Iran Cultural Studies Press.
Yahaghi, M. J. (1994). Tarikhcheh-ye Aramgah-e Ferdowsi [History of Firdausi’s Tomb]. Mashhad: Pazh.