Obelisk of Luxor
In the 19th century, the Egyptian government gave two obelisks to France. One—the Luxor Obelisk—was taken from the entrance of the Luxor Temple and transported to Paris in 1833. The second never left the country and was formally given back to the Egyptians in the 20th century. The Luxor Obeliskis a striking monument, thanks to its ornate carvings, its size (it weighs in at 250 metric tons), and its gold capstone (which was added to the landmark in 1998). It occupies pride of place in Place de la Concorde, Paris’ largest public square and site of the revolution’s most infamous guillotine executions.
Today, the Luxor Obeliskis a celebrated symbol of the city and of peace. It can be viewed on hop-on hop-off bus tours; on walking, bike, and driving tours; or explored independently.
Things to Know Before You Go
The original pedestal of the Luxor Obeliskis currently on display in the Louvre; its current pedestal includes gold inlaid diagrams that show how it was transported.
The Luxor Obelisk was scaled (without ropes or gear) by French urban climber Alain Robert.
Necessary viewing for history buffs and amateur Egyptologists, the Luxor Obeliskfeatures hieroglyphics that tell the tale of celebrated pharaoh Ramses II.
How to Get There
The Luxor Obelisk, situated in Place de la Concorde in the 8th arrondissement, is located in the heart of the city. Take Métro line 1, 8, or 12 to Concorde, or use bus line 24, 42, 52, 72, 73, 84, or 94. Alternatively, the landmark can be accessed by car, on foot, or by Vélib’ bike.
When to Get There
Place de la Concorde and the Luxor Obeliskare both free to visit and are accessible to the public 24/7. There’s no bad time to appreciate the landmark’s beauty, though it’s particularly attractive at night, when it’s illuminated.
Egyptian Antiquities at the Louvre
The Luxor Obeliskis situated conveniently close to the Louvre; plan to visit both in one day for an Egypt-themed tour of the city. The Louvre’s collection includes a number of priceless Egyptian artifacts, from carvings and papyrus scrolls to mummies and canopic jars (not to mention the obelisk’s pedestal).
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