Obelisk, Rome

Obelisk, Rome

Everyone always associates obelisks with Egypt, but today there are more of these slender monuments in Rome than anywhere else in the world, with eight ancient Egyptian ones and five ancient Roman ones. These monuments were raised usually as a single block in front of pyramids or Egyptian temples and they symbolized the sun god Ra. Ancient Romans often dedicated their to their current ruling emperor; these weren’t adorned with hieroglyphics.

The obelisk that stands in St Peter’s Square was brought from Egypt to Rome by the Emperor Caligula in 37AD and he had it set up in the center of his circus (later known as the Circus of Nero). Transporting obelisks was a difficult process and huge boats – “obelisk boats” – were specially constructed to carry them.

When Sixtus V became pope, he was determined to move the obelisk to the center of what was to become St Peter’s Square. The move was orchestrated by the architect and engineer Domenico Fontana, Giacomo della Porta’s assistant during the construction of the basilica. It took three weeks to move the monument on rollers and forty-seven cranes, 140 carthorses and over 1000 men to set it up in its new home. At one time a bronze globe, believed to contain the ashes of Julius Cesar, topped the obelisk, but Pope Sixtus V replaced it with his symbol of three mountains topped by a star.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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Obelisk on Map

Sight Name: Obelisk
Sight Location: Rome, Italy (See walking tours in Rome)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Rome, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Create Your Own Walk in Rome

Creating your own self-guided walk in Rome is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Vatican Walking Tour

Vatican Walking Tour

Consisting of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, the Vatican is the world’s smallest sovereign state, as well as a symbol (and headquarters) of the Roman Catholic faith. Although only 44 hectares in surface, one is amazed by the vastness of this place and the sheer size of everything. When gazing around in all directions, you realize how much can be achieved by people working in faith for...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Holy Sites Walking Tour

Holy Sites Walking Tour

As the cradle of the Catholic Church, one of the world's largest organizations, Rome has a large number of valuable, sacred places of worship. Crowded with architectural splendors from different periods of time, each of its churches and basilicas represent a significant part of culture and history.

Take this self-guided walking tour to discover Rome's magnificent religious heritage,...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.9 Km or 4.3 Miles
Spanish Steps to Trevi Fountain

Spanish Steps to Trevi Fountain

An established tourist mecca, today's Rome is hardly imaginable without two of its much loved attractions – the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. Magnets for tourists as they are, these two sights are connected to a number of other, not less worthy of attention locations, such as the Fountain of the Longboat or Piazza Colonna and its centerpiece, the Column of Marcus Aurelius, to...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour

"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour

A movie beloved by generations of people, "Roman Holiday" (1953) was filmed entirely in Rome and starred two of Hollywood's greatest icons: Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. The romantic comedy would go on to earn three Oscars, including a best actress trophy for Hepburn, who is entirely sympathetic in a role that could have been off-putting. The main storyline centers on a day of...  view more

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.0 Km or 5.6 Miles
Food Tasting Walking Tour

Food Tasting Walking Tour

Whether it’s a long lunch or a stop-off for an ice cream on an evening stroll, eating in Rome is a very social activity. Culinary traditions run deep here, and it may well be one of Italy’s most pleasurable cities in which to eat. Deli shops, prosciutterias, pizzerias, fornos (bakeries) and caffès are also very popular and offer a great alternative to a restaurant meal.

On this...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Rome Introduction Walking Tour I

Rome Introduction Walking Tour I

Legend has it that Rome was founded in 753 BC by twin brothers Romulus and Remus who were raised by a she-wolf. However, the pair argued about who had the support of the gods, and Romulus ended up killing Remus in a fight on what became Palatine Hill. Thus, Romulus named the city after himself and declared himself as king.

In a slightly less glorious account, Rome actually began as an Iron Age...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles

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