An obelisk is a four-sided stone pillar that tapers into a pyramid-shaped point at the top. These monuments originated in ancient Egypt but conquering Romans shipped many of these massive structures back to Rome where they still stand today.
|St. Peter's Square, Rome|
|The Vatican Obelisk|
The fountain in front of the Pantheon on Piazza della Rotonda features a much smaller obelisk.
|Piazza della Rotonda, Rome|
Not far from the Pantheon is my favourite obelisk. It stands on the back of Bernini's elephant in front of Rome’s only gothic church, Santa Maria sopra Minerva.
|Bernini's Elephant and Obelisk|
The Romans weren’t shy about making copies of antiquities they admired. The obelisk in front of Santa Trinita dei Monti church at the top of the Spanish Steps is a Roman copy. The original Egyptian obelisk is in Piazza del Popolo.
|The Spanish Steps, Rome|
The obelisk in Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers is also a Roman copy. This fountain is the centrepiece of Piazza Navona, one of Rome’s most popular squares.
|Fountain of the Four Rivers, Piazza Navona|
Today Rome has the most obelisks in the world and these ancient monuments mark some of the modern city’s greatest sights.
Next: "P" is for Peacock