Obelisk of the St. Peter’s square

Ancient Egyptians were the first people to fashion monuments in the form of obelisks. It first appeared between 3100 BC and 2686 BC. Obelisks were considered sacred to the sun god because each day the first rays of the sun reflected from its pyramid-shaped tops.

IMG–I took this photo from the St. Peter’s Dome

The obelisk standing in the center of the St. Peter’s square was built c. 2494 BC – 2345 BC in Heliopolis, Egypt. It was hewn from a single block, 25.31 m. (83 ft) high on a base 8.25 m (27 ft) wide, with the base it is 14 meters (134.5 ft) high.

In 1586, Pope Sixtus V decided to move the Obelisk to the St. Peter’s Square. On September 10, 1586, Domenico Fontana began this massive project; and it took four months to complete. The entire operation utilized 900 men, 140 horses, and 44 winches.

obelisk_erection

obelisk_erection_1

— The above pictures are from the Wiki Commons

Notes:

Three moves of this Obelisk:

  • Emperor Augustus (c. 63 BC – 14 AD) ordered to move it to the Julian Forum of Alexandria.
  • In 37 A.D., Emperor Caligula transferred the obelisk to Rome.
  • In 1586, Pope Sixtus V ordered the re-erection.

 

31 thoughts on “Obelisk of the St. Peter’s square

    • Thank you, Valerie! They both were made in Heliopolis, but 1000 years part. If I’m not mistaken the Cleopatra’s Needle may be related to the one in Paris.

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  1. So interesting post. I live nearly 20 years nearby a small town in Finland where there was an obelisk. It was planned so late as in 1956. Not so big because it was only 14 meters high, but anyway it was obelisk.

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      • thank you for your Rome Obelisk informations, Amy:
        “…The obelisk standing in the center of the St. Peter’s square was built c. 2494 BC – 2345 BC in Heliopolis, Egypt. It was hewn from a single block, … In 1586, Pope Sixtus V decided to move the Obelisk to the St. Peter’s Square… The entire operation utilized 900 men, 140 horses, and 44 winches…”

        Like

  2. Pingback: tagged O: orchids | my sweetpainteddreams

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