This obelisk was placed in the centre of the Circus Maximus by Emperor Augustus around the year 0. He had it brought over from Egypt and it now stands in the centre of the Piazza del Popolo in Rome.
The obelisk is made of a red granite and is still very imposing as it stands 23.91m tall (approx 70ft) which with the pedestal and decoration on top make it reach 36.43m (about 120ft). It originally belonged to the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses the II in the 13th Century BC.
When it stood in the circus maximus the obelisk was crowned with a sphere. During the course of history the sphere has been replaced with the Colonna family coat of arms (looks like dollops of ice cream) and a cross on top.
| More pictures of Ancient Rome | Read about the Circus Maximus in Rome | Chariot races at the circus maximus |
| Visit Ancient Rome and stay in one of our Rome Apartments |