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

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Rome, Italy within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Obelisk on Map

Sight Name: Obelisk
Sight Location: Rome, Italy
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: Vatican Walking Tour  

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.
Old Rome Walking Tour

Old Rome Walking Tour

Take this tour to explore Old Rome: Ponte, Parrione and Regola, the 5th, the 6th and the 7th rioni (districts) of the city. Ponte, Parrione and Regola are 3 of the remaining 14 historic districts of Rome, they comprise the territory between the Piazza Navona and the river Tiber, and are bordered on the south by the Piazza Farnese. They are home to several museums, like Rome's City Museum, as well as Palazzon Altemmps, Fountain of Neptune and much more.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 km
Vatican Walking Tour

Vatican Walking Tour

Vatican City is a landlocked sovereign city-state consisting of an enclave within the city of Rome, it is the smallest recognized independent state in the world. The Vatican is one of the most sacred places in Christendom, it attests to a great history and a formidable spiritual venture. Although only 44 hectares in overall surface, the Vatican features several worthwhile places to see, such as St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 km
Trastevere Walking Tour

Trastevere Walking Tour

Take this tour to explore Trastevere, the 13th rione (district) of Rome, located on the west bank of the Tiber, south of Vatican City. Its name comes from the Latin "trans Tiberim", literally "beyond the Tiber". Although the rione was established during the times of ancient Rome, it grew and formed as a true part of the city in the Middle Ages, as a result it is characterized by narrow, cobbled streets and medieval buildings.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Museums Walk

Museums Walk

As an ancient and cultural city, Rome is packed with museums which demonstrate its value in the world of culture and civilization. When it comes to art, Rome contains the most significant artifacts in the world, including sculptures, paintings, pottery, and porcelain; all hidden within the splendid palaces of the city. Take the following tour to better acquaint yourself with the splendors of Rome.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 km
Pigna & Sant'Eustachio Walking Tour

Pigna & Sant'Eustachio Walking Tour

Pigna and Sant'Eustachio are two historic rioni (districts) of Rome, located near the city center. They are home to several famed landmarks of antiquity, notably the Pantheon. Take this tour to explore Sant'Eustachio, the 8th rione of Rome, and Pigna, the 9th rione.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 km
Ancient History Walking Tour

Ancient History Walking Tour

The glory of Ancient Rome is known throughout the entire world and each year millions of tourists travel to Rome to visit its ancient sites. Rome's historic center is packed with so many landmarks and works of art, that it would take days to see it all. The following tour offers you a walk by the most remarkable, must see sites in Rome's ancient center.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km

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