The Obelisk, also known as Cleopatra's Needle, was built some 3,500 years ago, making it the oldest man-made item in Central Park and New York City's oldest outdoor monument. It is a limestone pillar with a granite top, about 31 feet (9.4 meters) high.
It was brought to America in 1874 when the park was being developed by James Miller Parker. The obelisk was given its current name because it was thought to be a representation of an Egyptian idol called "Cleopatra's Needle."
Today, tourists can climb up inside the obelisk for a view of the city. It has been reported that you can see all the way from Manhattan to Brooklyn from the top!
The original inscription on the side of the obelisk reads: "To the glory of Egypt, Pharaoh Zoser built this temple for his mother, Nefertari. His father, Osiris, died when Cleopatra was only a child. When she became queen, she had this monument erected in her name."
However, this was written by Europeans, not Egyptians themselves. The actual inscription in ancient Egyptian reads: "King Zoser did this for his noble wife, Queen Nefertari. Her father, the great Osiris, died when she was a little girl.
Cleopatra's Needle (Obelisk) The Obelisk was built at Heliopolis, Egypt, north of modern-day Cairo, circa 1425 BCE. It is located across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Greywacke Knoll, a rocky slope. The needling process began when wood was inserted into the holes once occupied by the ancient spikes. Today, the needle obelisk stands about 35 feet high.
The obelisk was transported to Alexandria, where it stood for over 300 years before being moved to its current location in the middle of the city's park. There, it became a symbol of freedom because it was brought there by Cleopatra when she decided to move her capital to Alexandria.
Today, the obelisk can be found in the center of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. It is one of the most important relics in the museum and many tourists visit it every year to take photos with it.
In addition to this, there is also a small obelisk in Washington, D.C. This one is located in front of the National Cathedral and was originally sent as a gift to George Washington after his victory in the French and Indian War. However, since then it has been moved to its present location through various events including the Civil War.
Finally, there is another smaller obelisk in London called the Monument to the Great Fire of London.
Obelisks, called tekhenu to the ancient Egyptians, originally arose approximately 2300 BCE in Old Kingdom Egypt (2649–2150 BCE). These buildings, distinguished by a four-sided square base that tapered into an isosceles pyramidion at the top, were originally employed as burial monuments to signify rebirth. The word "obelisk" comes from the Greek oberon, which means "upper world."
During the Middle Egyptian period(1700–1100 BCE), more than 300 such structures were erected throughout Egypt. They are believed to have been used as markers for boundaries or centers of authority. Some authors suggest that they may also have been used as viewing points on tombs or temples.
The first known example of an internationalized monument is the Great Sphinx at Giza. It was commissioned by Pharaoh Khafre around 2500 BCE and is considered one of the early prototypes of today's worldwide icon, the monument.
The first known example of an American obelisk is the Washington Obelisk, which was raised in 1829 in Washington, D.C. It was designed by French sculptor Jean Baptiste Pigalle and made of gilded bronze.
The term "obelisk" is generally applied to large statues, but this usage is not consistent across time and place.
The ancient Egyptians created the first obelisks. They were cut from stone and put in pairs at temple doors as holy items representing the sun deity, Ra. The oldest known Egyptian obelisk is now in Vienna and it dates to about 394-391 BC.
The Greeks later built more than 20 obelisks for their own cities and countries. The tallest and best-known Greek obelisk is in Alexandria, Egypt. It was built in 250 AD by the architect Pytheos and consists of three sections of which only the base remains today. The height of this obelisk was originally about 45m (150 feet) but now only 15m (50 feet) remain due to damage caused by earthquakes over the years.
In 1586, King Henry VIII of England ordered the building of an obelisk in memory of his wife Catherine of Aragon. The project was completed that same year by Michelangelo who also designed the king's tomb. This Italian-made obelisk is still standing in London's Green Park.
In 1668, Charles II of England had two stones taken from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and shipped to England to be used as garden decorations. One of these is still located near Buckingham Palace and the other one is located in St. James's Park in London.
During the Roman Empire, the Romans were so fascinated with Egyptian obelisks that they brought hundreds of them to Rome. These obelisks are what make up most of the world's collection of obelisks.
After the fall of the Roman Empire in Europe, knowledge of how to build obelisks disappeared until the 17th century, when Italian artists such as Giacomo della Porta and Giambattista della Verna learned how to carve them. These two artists worked in Italy and their work is used to create many of the obelisks found today in countries around the world.
Obelisks have been used in society as symbols of power, authority, and victory since they were first created. In addition, they have been used as clocks, thermometers, weather indicators, and even weapons (such as the Turkish bow).
There are several different types of obelisks available today, including columbaria (which are also called pyramids), cornerstones, hybrid structures, keystones, minarets, pylons, steeples, and totem poles. Some people also call obelisks war memorials because they're often placed on top of graves as a way for families to keep contact with their loved ones.