Cleopatra's Needles

None of these obelisks has any real connection with Cleopatra; they all date from around 1450 BC, and were already over a thousand years old in her lifetime. The one that's now in Paris was originally at the entrance to the Luxor Temple, where its twin still stands; the other two were originally in the city of Heliopolis, which is now on the outskirts of Cairo, and were moved to Alexandria by the Romans in 12 BC.

The Parisian needle is slightly larger than the other two – 23 metres (75 feet) compared with 21 metres (69 feet).

© Haydn Thompson 2017