JUBILEE CULTURAL ROUTES

Agonale Obelisk

You are along the route: EGYPT THE EMPIRE THE POPES. THE CITY OF OBELISKS

obelisco agonale

Piazza Navona
Always visible.

Emperor Domitian ordered the shipping of this obelisk to Rome from the Egyptian city of Aswan, then, atypically, he had hieroglyphics carved for decoration and to sing the praises of the emperor. Domitian is depicted, between two gods, at the moment of receiving a crown. The exact location that Domitian had chosen for the obelisk is not known but the sanctuary of Isis in Campo Marzio was a likely destination. In the fourth century A.D. Emperor Maxentius had it moved to the Circus of his villa on the Via Appia. Collapsed in the middle ages, it was retrieved by Pope Innocent X Pamphili and placed in the centre of Piazza Navona, as part of the construction plans to celebrate his family, carried out in 1651 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Surmounted by the dove of the Holy Spirit and the coat of arms of the papal family, the obelisk became the centre of the famous Fountain of the Four Rivers.

How to get the step: Agonale Obelisk

Piazza Navona, 00186 Roma, Italy

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