Vatican Obelisk

VaticanObeliskIt is seems strange to find an Egyptian obelisk standing as the center piece of St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City. What is even more interesting is the journey that it took to get here.

Little is known about its original placement or which Pharaoh ordered its initial construction.

According to, it was quarried in Egypt and most likely stood in the city of Heliopolis. It may have been erected as early as 2400 BC.

What is known for sure is that it was moved to Alexandria under Emperor Augustus in 32 BC. According to PBS, it was then moved to the center of the Roman Circus by Emperor Caligula in 32 AD. Legend has it that St. Peter was put to death in the Circus. This legend is most likely the reason why the obelisk was moved and made the center piece of St. Peter’s square in 1586.

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