Saturday, May 30, 2015



Erected for Pharaoh Ramses II (1297/1213 BC) and his son Mineptah at Heliopolis in Egypt in about 1250 BC

It is 23.30 m (76 feet) high

It was brought to Rome by Augustus and placed in the center of the Circus Maximus in 10 BC
The inscription still on the base remembers the dedication of the obelisk that Augustus made to the Sun

It was found in 1587 at the center of the Circus Maximus broken in three and it was restored and moved to Piazza del Popolo by Domenico Fontana (1543/1607) in 1589 for Sixtus V Peretti (1585/90)

When it was moved to Piazza del Popolo an inscription was engraved on the side facing the church of S. Maria del Popolo in opposition to the Augustan one: “Most august and more glad I rise before the sacred temple of her virginal womb from which during the reign of Augustus the Sun of Justice was born”

It was decorated in 1823 with the basins and the fake Egyptian lions by Giuseppe Valadier (1762/1839) who replaced the previous fountain by Giacomo Della Porta

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