Cleopatra's Needle

This obelisk was originally one of at least 9 obelisks erected by Tuthmosis III. In 12BC, the Romans moved two obelisks from the Temple of the Sun in Heliopolis to Alexandria and erected them in front of the Caesarium Temple. But this obelisk fell in an earthquake in 1301 A.D., Found lying on its side in the desert sands of Egypt, this obelisk of pink granite, made in Heliopolis around 1500 BC, was given to Britain by the government of Egypt in 1819 and erected in its present location on the banks of the Thames in 1877.

Cleopatra's Needle is located on the Thames Embankment in London close to Embankment underground station. The Obelisk was actually constructed for Tuthmosis III and is carved with Hieroglyphics praising Tuthmosis and commemorating his third sed festival. Later inscriptions were added by Rameses II to commemorate his victories.

The setting is neatly completed by two large bronze Sphinxes which lie on either side of the Needle. These are a very Victorian version of the traditional Egyptian original, but still look impressive

Cleopatra's Needle
Victoria Embankment

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