In the cities of London, Paris, and New York, stands three remnants of a civilization that still instils amazement and wonder, a feeling of awe and mystery. Named ‘Cleopatra’s Needle’, these three ancient obelisks, weighing 220 tons each, were transported across oceans and re-erected at each site, a testament to the will of man.

As history goes, obelisks are said to resemble a petrified ray of the sun-disk – an important icon to the ancient Egyptians. The London and New York ones are actually a pair, with both made of red granite and stand around 69ft high, inscribed with hieroglyphs. Originally, the pair stood in the city of Heliopolis, erected under the orders of Thutmose III around 1450 BC – making them over 3000 years old!

The London Needle is located in Westminister, on the Victoria Embankment near the Golden Jubilee Bridges and in close proximity to the Embankment underground station. Presented to the United Kingdom in 1819 by the ruler of Egypt as commemoration of the victories of Lord Nelson and Sri Ralph Abercromby, the monument is steeped in history both ancient and new. Whilst accepting the gift, the British government refused to fund transport expenses until Sir William James Erasmus Wilson took upon the task and finally brought it to its new home in 1878.

Interestingly, the Needle is flanked by two sphinxes cast from bronze that face the obelisk rather than guarding it. Another story surrounding the Needle can still be seen in person, as during World War I a bomb from a German air raid landed near it. To this day, the damage has not been repaired in commemoration of the event, and visitors can still see shrapnel holes and gouges on the right hand sphinx.

If you are in the area, and need flats for rent in London, look no further for London Holiday Studios. Holiday lets London apartments are located only 15 minutes tube ride from the Needle and also easily accessible by bus. Featuring all the facilities you need for the perfect urban exploration adventure, including a modern fitted kitchen that ensures the best self catering accommodation London, central heating, TV, CD and DVD player along with unlimited WiFi, is your prime choice for holiday lets London.

Posted in Accommodation, Travel

Tags: , ,