The Raising of the Vatican Obelisk
On September 10th, 1586, an ancient Egyptian granite obelisk was erected in Piazza San Pietro (St Peter's Square). It was the first time in more than a thousand years that an obelisk had been erected in Rome.
The 'Vatican' Obelisk originally stood on the south side of St Peter's Basilica. It was moved the short distance to the piazza, at the behest of Pope Sixtus V (r. 1585-90).
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My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
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