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|Native name |
French: Obélisque d'Arles
The Arles Obelisk in front of the Arles town hall (right)
|Location||Place de la République|
13200 Arles, France
|Height||15.26 metres (50.1 ft)|
With pedestal: 19.81 metres (65.0 ft)
|Rebuilt||March 26, 1676|
|Designated||1981 (5th session)|
|Part of||Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments|
|Region||Europe and North America|
|Official name: Obélisque antique|
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. It is part of a 1981-designated UNESCO world heritage site, the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments.
- Media related to Obélisque d'Arles at Wikimedia Commons
- Patrimony of the city of Arles: Obelisk (in French)
- 1909 detailed text about the Obélisque d'Arles (.pdf document) (in French)
- Photo of the Obelisk, at Flickr
- Obelisk of Arles
- Page about the Roman circus of Arles (in French)
- Another page about the Roman circus (in French)