New York, New York: Cleopatra's Needle

A 70-foot-tall, 3,500-year-old outdoor Egyptian obelisk that in fact has nothing to do with Cleopatra.

Address:
1000 5th Ave., New York, NY
Directions:
In Central Park directly behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Enter the park just north of E. 79th St. at 5th Ave./Central Park West. Follow the path behind the Museum to the obelisk.
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Visitor Tips and News About Cleopatra's Needle

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Cleopatra's Needle.

Cleopatra's Needle

This obelisk is 70 feet tall, and at 3,500 years old, it is the oldest outdoor monument in New York City. It was a gift from Egypt and erected in Central Park in 1881. A bronze casting translates the hieroglyphs for us non-Egyptologists. Cleopatra's Needle was commissioned by Pharaoh Thutmosis III around 1450 BC -- so the Queen of the Nile actually had very little to do with it.

[Mike Gassmann, 06/08/2019]

The Needle was a essentially a bribe given to America by 19th century Egypt to stay out of its internal affairs. America's richest man, William Vanderbilt, paid for the shipping -- and he lived in New York City. The Needle weighs 238 tons.


Nearby Offbeat Places

Whispering BenchWhispering Bench, New York, NY - < 1 mi.
Giant Alice in Wonderland SculptureGiant Alice in Wonderland Sculpture, New York, NY - < 1 mi.
Imagine Memorial at Strawberry FieldsImagine Memorial at Strawberry Fields, New York, NY - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Ruins of the New York State Pavilion, Queens, NY - 7 mi.

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