💥On 4 September 1917, during World War I, a bomb from a German air raid landed near the needle. In commemoration of this event, the damage remains unrepaired to this day and is clearly visible in the form of shrapnel holes and gouges on the right-hand sphinx.
🗼Cleopatra's Needle in London is one of three similarly named Egyptian obelisks and is located in the City of Westminster, on the Victoria Embankment near the Golden Jubilee Bridges.
Made of red granite, the obelisk stands about 21 metres (69 ft) high, weighs about 224 short tons (203,000 kg) and is inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphs.
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🎩 It is close to the Embankment underground station. It was presented to the United Kingdom in 1819 by the ruler of Egypt and Sudan Muhammad Ali, in commemoration of the victories of Lord Nelson at the Battle of the Nile and Sir Ralph Abercromby at the Battle of Alexandria in 1801. Although the British government welcomed the gesture, it declined to fund the expense of transporting it to London.
🏺 Cleopatra's Needle is flanked by two faux-Egyptian sphinxes, designed by the English architect George John Vulliamy. The sphinxes are cast in bronze and bear hieroglyphic inscriptions that say netjer nefer men-kheper-re di ankh, which translates as "the good god, Thuthmosis III given life".
🏜 The inscriptions on the two side columns commemorate military victories of Ramesses II, while the middle column contains an older inscription of Thutmose III
The obelisk was originally erected in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis on the orders of Thutmose III, around 1450 BC. The material of which it was cut is granite, brought from the quarries of Aswan, near the first cataract of the Nile.
🐆 These sphinxes appear to be looking at the Needle rather than guarding it, due to the sphinxes' improper or backwards installation. The Embankment has other Egyptian flourishes, such as buxom winged sphinxes on the armrests of benches.