Holy Obelisks, Batman!
Rome Travel Blog› entry 9 of 16 › view all entries
Rome has more obelisks than Egypt!
I think this is a pretty well known fact, but Rome has a total of 13 obelisks throughout the city, that's six more than their country of origin! Now, I didn't exactly make it my mission to see each and every one, but I saw quite a few of them, all by accident!! I think my best obelisk story is the one involving the Minerveo Obelisk that stands in the piazza della Minerva in front of the Santa Maria sopra Minerva. So here goes....
After wandering away from the Pantheon (marvelous experience and a whole 'nother blog!) we stumbled upon the Minerveo Obelisk, a small obelisk as far as obelisks go, that rests on the back of a completely adorable elephant designed by Bernini. There was a temporary chain linked fence erected in front of it so a few of the pictures I took of it were through the links, but at there was an opening in the fence we walked through to take a closer look and better photos.
Okay so back to my original train of thought.
the Lateran Obelisk: This is the grandaddy of all the obelisks in Rome. Coming in at 105.6 feet tall it's the largest authentic Egyptian obelisk in Rome (and the world actually). You'll find this biggie in the Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano next to the bacilica of the same name (which is also where you will find the original bronze doors to the Curia, (found in the Roman Forum) the home of the Senate.)
the Vatican Obelisk: Obviously this one is found at the Vatican, in the Piazza San Pietro (St. Peter's Square) to be exact.
the Piazza Navona Obelisk: again the name states the obvious. You'll find this one in the Piazza Navona atop the Fountain of the Four Rivers.
the Piazza dell'Esquilino Obelisk: This obelisk has a twin! You'll find this one located behind Santa Maria Maggiore. It stands at 48.5 feet. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of this one but I passed it everday I was in Rome, as we needed to pass it to get to our hotel.
the Piazza del Quirinale Obelisk: This is the Piazza dell'Esquilino obelisk's twin. Only 4 inches shorter it rests atop a pedestal flanked by two horses and men or "horse tamers". Apparently this is located in front of the official residence of the Italian President, which I didn't know at the time.
the Sallustian or Trinita dei Monti Obelisk: Located at the top of the Spanish Steps.
the Rotunda Obelisk: located in the Piazza della Rotunda in front of the Pantheon. this obelisk is also situated on top of a fountain much like the one in Piazza Navona. (my picture of this one isn't very good, but at least you can see it.)
and the last but not least....
the Minerveo or Piazza della Minerva Obelisk: * see above story for location.
And that concludes my personal tour of obelisks! There are 5 more to discover so get lookin'!!