Piazza del Popolo--Egyptian obelisk and Porta del Popolo

Egyptian obelisk, about 1300 B. C. E.

The Piazza del Popolo is a large oval plaza north of the central city. On its north side the Porta del Popolo (originally the Porta Flaminia) leads to the Via Flaminia. An Egyptian obelisk occupies the center. This obelisk, taken from the Sun Temple in Heliopolis by Emperor Augustus, was first set up in the Circus Maximus but moved here in the late 16th century.


Fountain and "Egyptian" lions

These elements were added when the square was redesigned in the 19th century. See also the churches of Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto.

Porta del Popolo, 1562; 1655

Originally called the Porta Flaminia, this gate was designed by architect Nanni di Baccio Bigio in the mid 16th century. Later in the 17th century the inside of the gate was decorated by Bernini. The top of the gate pays tribute to Pope Alexander VII, whose coat of arms had six stylized mountains and a star.

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© 2005 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

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