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Ismoil Somoni was the national hero of Tajikistan, and after who the country's currency is named. Considered a national hero the statue was erected in 1999, celebrating the 1000th anniversary of the Samanid state from 819 to 999.
The giant statue is topped in gold and located in Dushanbe city's heart, at friendship square. It is 13 metres high with a surrounding arch that stands at 43 metres with a golden crown at the top. The seven-star sceptre he is holding represents one of the many Tajik legends and the two lions on either side of the arch believed to be related to Asiatic lions.
Ismoil Somoni ruled Bukhara in 865 and upon his brother's death, became ruler of Transaxiana. As a military leader, he had many successful engagements against Saffarids, expanding his Empire. Friendship Square is a popular gathering point for locals and tourists alike.
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