In a small garden between the main railway station and Piazza dell Repubblica stands an obelisk that was originally erected in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis by the pharaoh Ramesses II (r. 1279-1213 BCE).
Following the conquest of Egypt by the emperor Augustus, the obelisk was moved to Rome, where it stood outside the Temple of Isis. It was unearthed by chance in 1719.
In 1887 the obelisk was incorporated into a monument to the 548 Italian soldiers, who had lost their lives at the Battle of Dogali (in the war between Italy and Ethiopia). The monument, which was inaugurated on June 5th, once stood in front of Stazione Termini, Rome’s main railway station.
In 1924 the Dogali Obelisk, as it had come to be known, was moved to its present location.
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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