3 star rating: Worth doing 125 Reviews

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  • Address: St. Peter's Square, Vatican City, Italy

Rome ATTRACTIONS See all

Vatican Egyptian Obelisk Tours

The cityscape of Rome is characterized by numerous obelisks. They have a strong decorative effect, but the meaning behind these monuments dates back to the ecclesiastical influence of centuries past and is supposed to demonstrate the power of the church and the glory of the popes—a connection between our world and the world of the gods. It’s said that the higher the obelisk, the closer it is to god. 

The Vatican Egyptian Obelisk, often simply called the Vatican Obelisk, is situated in the middle of St Peter’s Square and, standing 84 feet (25.5 meters) high, it’s the second-largest of the 13 remaining obelisks in Rome. It has survived two millennia of world history and was brought from Heliopolis to Rome on the order of Caligula in 37 A.D. as a demonstration of power. In ancient times, it was located in the center of the Circus of Nero, but was moved in 1586 to the famous St Peter’s Square, which was built around it later on. 

The obelisk draws the eye immediately, standing strong in the middle the piazza. It has done so for 2,000 years, as it is the only obelisk that hasn’t toppled since Roman times. According to legend, a metal globe on the top was supposed to hold the ashes of Julius Caesar and a relic from the cross from Jesus himself. The former was proven false, but the second claim? Nobody knows.

Practical Info

The Egyptian Obelisk lies smack in the middle of St Peter’s Square, one of the most important plazas in Rome. To get to the obelisk, take the Metro line A to the Ottaviano San Pietro stop, from where it is  just a five-minute walk down the Via Ottaviano. The best view can be had near the fountains.

Tours & Tickets

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No-Wait Dedicated Access: St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour, Rome, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

No-Wait Dedicated Access: St. Peter's Basilica Guided Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 197 Reviews

See the best of St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City on a comprehensive 1.15-hour walking tour. Led by a knowledgeable Vatican guide, your tour starts with a ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: Flexible

From USD $32.04
Rome by Night Tour, Rome, Skip-the-Line Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Rome by Night Tour

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 484 Reviews

Sit back and relax on a 2-hour night sightseeing tour of Rome. While traveling by air-conditioned coach around Rome’s ‘centro storico,’ Ancient Rome and ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $54.59
Papal Audience Ticket at Vatican City, Rome, Night Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Papal Audience Ticket at Vatican City

4 star rating: Recommended 416 Reviews

Bookings are essential if you'd like to attend a Papal Audience with Pope Francis I at the Vatican. Tickets are free of charge but they are limited and you ...  Read more

Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $32.04

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