|Built:||1300 B.C. (original)|
|1836 (placed in Paris)|
In 1831, a French Naval engineer arranged to swap the Obelisk for a large clock that was eventually placed in the clock tower of the Mohammed Ali Mosque. The Obelisk was presented to King Charles X by Egyptian viceroy Méhémet Ali. While the gift was graciously accepted, the task of moving the 200+ ton monument presented a unique challenge. It was loaded onto a large barge and shipped to Paris via the French paddle ship “Sphinx”. After arriving in Paris in 1833, the monument was erected in the Place de la Concorde in 1836. The shiny gold cap–a ‘pyramidon’- was added in 1998. It is believed that a gold pyramidon was part of the obelisk during its original installation in Egypt but was stolen around 600 B.C. by Assyrian or Persian invaders. By adding the cap, it is believe that the obelisk has been restored nearly to its original glory.
The obelisk itself has several hieroglyph inscriptions near the top. These are believed to depict pharaoh Ramses II making offerings to Amun-Re, the ”King of the Gods”. Three additional columns of hieroglyph are shown on each of the four sides of the obelisk and denote praise of Ramses II.
If You Go:
The Place de la Concorde is located between the terminus of the Champs-Élysées and the Tuileries Garden. The Fountaines de la Concorde are directly adjacent and the various major public sculpture are in the near vicinity. This is a must see for tourists visiting Paris.
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