"Lateran Obelisk (Obelisco Lateranense) at Piazza San Giovanni" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 14th July 2011
Lateran Obelisk (Obelisco Lateranense) is the oldest Egyptian obelisk in Rome, it is also the highest one: 32m without basement, 46m with the basement. It is made of red granite and was originally from the temple of Amon at Thebes, erected in the 15th century BC where it was dedicated to the Pharaoh Thutmose III. In 357 Constans II brought it to Rome from the valley of Nile with the ship built specially for this occasion. It was erected first in Circus Masimus. In 1588 Sixtus V had D.Fontana collocate this monument in the center of Piazza di S.Giovanni in Laterano. Close to this site for nearly one hundred years an equestrian monument to Marcus Aurelius stood which was transported by the order of Paul III and project of Michelangelo to piazza Campidoglio in 1538.
The most ancient and tallest of Rome's Obelisks is the obelisk of Piazza di San Giovanni in Lanterano. Behind of the obelisk is the "Palazzo Laterano" (Lateran Palace), and it's right is the Bacilica di San Giovanni in Laterano.
Because it was erected on the Laterna hill it was naturally considered to be the statue of Constantine, emperor who made the history of this hill, and it was called Caballus Constantini. The statue was transferred to modern piazza di S.Giovanni by Sixtus IV from its original position on the site of Hospital of St John, where the villa of emperor's mother stood. The so-called "Lateran Obelisk" is the tallest standing authentic obelisk in the world. This was originally at the Karnak Temple, Luxol, Egypt.
Lateran Obelisk (Obelisco Lateranense) at Piazza San Giovanni
Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano
00184, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Zone: Rione Monti (Colosseo - S.Giovanni - S.Maria Maggiore) (Roma centro)/ Rione Esquilino (Termini - Via Nazionale) (Roma centro)
Lateran Obelisk (Obelisco Lateranense) at Piazza San Giovanni is Shown By "Map L Zone" As "14"
Getting to Lateran Obelisk (Obelisco Lateranense) at Piazza San Giovanni:
Get off Manzoni Station (2nd stop from Termini, Subway Line A) or San Giovanni Station (3rd stop from Termini, Subway Line A), and walk a few minutes from either station. The site is the west of the "Palazzo Laterano" (Lateran Palace), and the north of Bacilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, which was the center of the medieval Catholicism. Ask anybody with saying "Obelisco" if you don't know the direction.
Bus: 16 - 85 - 87 - 117 - 186 - 218 - 714 - 650 - 673 - 850
Metro: Metro A San Giovanni