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The Obélisque d'Arles ("Arles Obelisk") is a 4th-century Roman obelisk, erected in the center of the Place de la République, in front of the town hall of Arles, France.

Arles Obelisk
Native name
French: Obélisque d'Arles
Arles Obélisque.jpg
The Arles Obelisk in front of the Arles town hall (right)
LocationPlace de la République
13200 Arles, France
Coordinates43°40′35″N 4°37′39″E / 43.67636°N 4.627594°E / 43.67636; 4.627594Coordinates: 43°40′35″N 4°37′39″E / 43.67636°N 4.627594°E / 43.67636; 4.627594
Height15.26 metres (50.1 ft)
With pedestal: 19.81 metres (65.0 ft)
Built4th century
RebuiltMarch 26, 1676
ArchitectJacques Peytret
Criteriaii, iv
Designated1981 (5th session)
Part ofArles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments
Reference no.164
RegionEurope and North America
Official name: Obélisque antique
Reference no.PA00081180
Obélisque d'Arles is located in France
Obélisque d'Arles
Location of Arles Obelisk in France



The obelisk is made of granite from Asia Minor.[2] It does not feature any inscription. Its height together with its pedestal is approximately 20 m.


Fountain and sculptures by Antoine Laurent Dantan.

The obelisk was first erected under the Roman emperor Constantine II in the center of the spina of the Roman circus of Arles. After the circus was abandoned in the 6th century, the obelisk fell down and was broken in two parts. It was rediscovered in the 14th century and re-erected on top of a pedestal soon surmounted by a bronze globe and sun on March 26, 1676.

Designed by Jacques Peytret, these ornaments changed in times of political regimes. During the Revolution, the sun was replaced by a Phrygian cap; under the Empire, the eagle replaced the cap; under Louis-Philippe, the royal sun took the place of the rooster hunting the eagle. Since 1866, the ornaments were permanently removed and replaced by a bronze capstone until a fountain and the sculptures around it were designed by Antoine Laurent Dantan in the 19th century.


This obelisk was listed on the 1840 inventory of historic sites in France.[1] It is part of a 1981-designated UNESCO world heritage site, the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments.[3][citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Mérimée PA00081180, Ministère français de la Culture. (in French) Obélisque antique
  2. ^ "L' obélisque d'Arles". Patrimonie de la Ville d'Arles. Archived from the original on 2014-01-06. Retrieved 2014-06-01. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ UNESCO. "Monuments romains et romans d'Arles". Retrieved 13 March 2011.

External linksEdit