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 in Rome, Italy, in the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded on 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.

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Sight 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.
Monti and Celio Walking Tour

Monti and Celio Walking Tour

Take this tour to explore the Monti and Celio rioni (districts). Celio is the 19th rione of Rome, its coat of arms features an elephant headdress with golden tusks on a silver background, in memory of an African bust that was found in via Capo d'Africa. Monti is actually the first rione, its name literally means "mountains". Monti's coat of arms consists of three green mountains on a silver background, since the rione originally encompassed the Esquiline and the Viminal Hills, and parts of the Quirinal and the Caelian Hills.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 km
Colosseum to Pantheon Walking Tour

Colosseum to Pantheon Walking Tour

The say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” and that undoubtedly implies appreciating the enormous historical and architectural richness of the city, often – and rightly so – referred to as “eternal”. Stretching from Colosseum to Pantheon, this 3km-walk invites you to explore the most notable attractions of the Italian capital, including the Arch of Constantine, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum, Capitoline Hill and more.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 km
Old Rome Nightlife Tour

Old Rome Nightlife Tour

Rome may not be known for having the kind of cutting edge nightlife found in cities like Berlin or London, guests to Rome will still find that solid party atmosphere that lasts all night long, with a more casual, unpretentious crowd. This Old Rome Nightlife Tour includes the best nightspots the city has to offer, where guests will be sure to have a great night of dancing, mingling and great cocktails.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 km
Pinciano Cultural Walk

Pinciano Cultural Walk

Pinciano is the 3rd rione (district) of Rome, it is located in the north of the city, close to the Aurelian walls. Pinciano is home to the Pincio Gardens, an impressive park within the city of Rome. Take this tour to explore the Pinciano rioni and visit such famous sites as the Galleria Borghese, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, National Etruscan Museum, and Bioparco.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour

"Roman Holiday" Movie Walking Tour

"Roman Holiday" (1953) is a movie, filmed entirely in Rome and beloved by generations of people. Starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, the film won three Oscars, giving Hepburn a boost to her glorious film career. The main storyline centers around a day of freedom in the beautiful Italian capital for an otherwise duty-bound Princess Ann. Take the following tour to live the happiest day of her life in Rome!

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.9 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

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