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The Luxor Obelisk In Paris

When you are on holiday in France you will come across many old monuments, but if asked what is the oldest monument in Paris then most people will actually come up with the wrong answer.

It is probably considered a bit of trick question, because the oldest monument in Paris called the Luxor Obelisk has only been there since the 1800's and yet it is actually well over 3000 years old!

The obelisk itself was originally one of a pair that were positioned outside the temple of Luxor and the other one is still in its original place, but through the efforts of Jean Baptiste Apollinaire Lebas it was to be presented as a gift to King Charles X by the Egyptian viceroy Méhémet Ali.

The Luxor Obelisk

- The Luxor Obelisk
- Place de la Concorde
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The Luxor Obelisk in Paris

Before this incredible obelisk even arrived in Paris King Charles X had already abdicated from the throne and King Louis Philippe took over. King Louis Philippe presented a large clock to Méhémet Ali in return for the obelisk, and this is still in place in the clock tower of the mosque, which is at the summit of the Citadel of Cairo.

The Luxor Obelisk that derived from the temple of Ramses II at Thebes is located in the centre of the Place de la Concorde, which is actually the largest square in Paris and it was first installed in 1836.

It was then King Louis Philippe, who was known as the Gentleman King, that was pleased to replace the original statue that stood in its place, which was just a reminder of the bloodshed and atrocities that had previously taken place at Place de la Concorde.

This incredible monument in Paris stands well over 22 metres tall and made of reddish pink granite it weighs over 200 tons and is engraved with hieroglyphs that depict the rule of pharaohs Ramses II & Ramses III.

The effort it took to get this monolith in place was tremendous and due to this it stands on a pedestal that portrays the procedures and devices that were used to erect the Luxor obelisk.

Originally, the obelisk had a pyramidion on the top and historians believe that this was stolen back in the 6th century and when it was re-erected in France people were urging the French government to restore this as well.

This of course never happened at the time, but in 1997 the French President Jacques Chirac agreed to back the project of putting a pyramidion back onto the top of the monolith, so now when you see the Luxor Obelisk you get to see the shining top, which in itself is over 3 metres high.

The pyramidion is made of bronze and gold leaf and was added in the May of 1998 as part of the celebrations to mark Franco-Egyptian relations and some feel that it seems almost too new and shiny compared to the rest of the monument, but at the same time, is also now known as the most cheerful obelisk in the world for what it represents.

The Place de la Concorde has a lot more to see than just the obelisk and is a place to explore the history of Paris and its heritage, and for anyone visiting this incredible city, they must take the time to see this monument.

The Luxor Obelisk

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