If you have been to Paris, you saw this monument, but did you know its history ?
The Obelisk of Luxor was installed on the center of the Concorde Square in 1836 by the King of France Louis-Philippe. It was a gift to King Charles X by Mehemet Ali, Viceroy and Pacha of Egypt.
The structure is made of pink granite, weighs 230 tons and is 23 meters high. It is dated from 12th century BC. The monument is covered by hieroglyphs that tell the story of Ramses II’s victories. The pedestal explains the amazing travel the Obelisk made from Egypt to France.
In the beginning of the XIX century, transporting 230 tons of granit on 9000 kilometers was not an easy task. A specific boat was built for the occasion, in Toulon. In 1831, the boat leaves France with a crew of 120 men and several tons of equipments. When the ship arrives in Luxor, the crew has to face a Cholera epidemic. In order to be able to transport it, the monolith is put inside a giant wooden safe. The Obelisk will be put down using a machine operated by 200 men, and then slipped inside the ship. After a long trip and many stops, the ship finally arrives in Paris, two years and a half after the moment it left Toulon.