JUBILEE CULTURAL ROUTES

Lateran Obelisk

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

obelisco lateranense

Piazza S. Giovanni in Laterano
Always visible.

The tallest obelisk in Rome (more than 45 m with the base), in red granite, was brought to Rome in 357 AD by Constantius II, son of the Emperor Constantine, who had taken it from the Temple of Ammon in ancient Thebes in Egypt, where Pharaoh Thutmose III had erected it in the fifteenth century BC. In order to transport it to Rome, a special ship capable of bearing the enormous weight of 230 tons had to be built. In Rome it was positioned on the spine (the balustrade around which the chariots turned during races) of the Circus Maximus, where Emperor Augustus had already located his obelisk, now in Piazza del Popolo. It was rediscovered on this site, buried and broken into three parts, by the architect Domenico Fontana in 1587 and, commissioned by Pope Sixtus V, it was then placed in Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, where, the following year the obelisk was mounted on a monumental plinth in the middle of a fountain.

How to get the step: Lateran Obelisk

Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano, Roma, Italy

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