The World’s Most Spectacular Obelisks
Notable obelisks from around the world.
Obelisks were built in order to honor or commemorate important people or events in history. Here’s a list of the most notable obelisks from around the world.
Cleopatra’s Needle from the River Thames, London
Cleopatra’s Needle in Paris at the Place de la Concorde
Cleopatra’s Needle, Central Park, New York
Three of the most popular obelisks in the world are the so-called Cleopatra’s Needles. They are a trio of obelisks in London, Paris, and New York City. Each is made of red granite, stands about 21 meters (68 ft) high, weighs about 180 tons and is inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphics. They were originally erected in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis on the orders of Thutmose III, around 1450 BC. The inscriptions were added about 200 years later by Ramesses II to commemorate his military victories. The obelisks were moved to Alexandria and set up in the Caesarium – temples built by Cleopatra in honor of Mark Antony – by the Romans in 12 BC, during the reign of Augustus, but were toppled some time later. This had the fortuitous effect of burying their faces and so preserving most of the hieroglyphs from the effects of weathering.
Obelisk of Pharaoh: Egypt
Ancient Egypt had built numerous obelisks but most of them were either destroyed or transported elsewhere in the world. One of the few that remained is the Obelisk of Pharaoh Senusret I. It is located in Al-Masalla area of al-Matariyyah district in Heliopolis, Cairo.
Obelisk of Thutmosis III: Turkey