"Cleopatra's Obelisk" Cleopatra's Needle Tip by ATXtraveler

Cleopatra's Needle, London: 21 reviews and 46 photos

  Cleopatra's Needle - Egyptian Obelisk on Thames
by ATXtraveler

Long before I ever became interested in the history of Egypt (which occured thanks to Sarah), I travelled to London on a Rugby World Cup trip. Although at the time, I did not find the history of this statue interesting, in retrospect it is neat to say I have seen this obelisk in person. After visiting Karnak, Luxor and Cairo, I can honestly say I have seen plenty of Obelisks now, and while not the most impressive... I did find it intriguing that one of them is now located in London, on the banks of the Thames.

It has a long history for bringing this obelisk to London, which took nearly 80 years. The British first began to consider appropriating this obelisk, after the French were defeated at the Battle of Alexandria in 1801. British Sir Ralph Abercromby acquired the obelisk from Egypt. [Other source says it's Nelson's victory over the French fleet at the Battle of the Nile in 1798. But I think this would be an wrong information.] Finally in the 1870s, the soldier-turned-writer General James Alexander took up the cause, and then he did serious efforts for this collection. Other people, particularly an engineer named John Dixson and a millionaire Sir James Erasmus (Sir Erasmus Wilson ?) performed important roles for this transportation project. After much negotiation and preliminary work, this obelisk was loaded aboard a special barge and departed Alexandria, on September 21st, 1877.

For more of the story, please click on the link below. Information courtesy of Shoji Okamoto.

Address: Off the tube at Embankment Station
Directions: Nearest Tube, Embankment. Near Savoy St.
othercontact: Sokamoto31@aol.com
Website: http://members.aol.com/Sokamoto31/london.htm

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Feb 23, 2005
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