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Haystack Not Included

Cleopatra’s Needle, crafted during the reign of Pharaoh Thutmose III in the city of Heliopolis and later inscribed with stories of Ramessess II’s military victories, but perhaps the most interesting thing about this obelisk is the fact that it has absolutely nothing to do with Cleopatra. The only thing this beautiful obelisk has to do with Cleopatra was simply that she chose to move it Alexandria. So how did this amazing artifact come to call the Victoria embankment home? Well in 1819 the rulers of Egypt and Sudan gave the obelisk to the British government to commemorate the victories of Lord Nelson and Sir Ralph Abercromby. However when the British saw the shipping invoice they decided their gift should remain in Alexandria a little bit longer. Fifty eight years later Sir William James Erasmus Wilson decided that no longer should this gift remain in Alexandria and he foot the bill. After a bit of a shipping delay, the ship sank, Cleopatra’s Needle arrived in London safe and sound.

Open in Google Maps: Victoria Embankment, London WC2N 6

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