Neo-Egyptian obelisk

Monument description : Neo-Egyptian obelisk

The monument is located in comune di Benevento in provincia di Benevento.

The Egyptian Obelisks of Benevento are two red granite monuments built under the rule of Emperor Domitian, between AD 88 and 89. The obelisks are positioned on both sides of the entrance to the Samnite city’s Temple of Isis, as evidenced by hieroglyphics.

One of the two obelisks is exhibited in the Arcos Museum and only retains two-thirds of its height; for a long time, it remained in the courtyard of the archbishop’s palace. In contrast, the obelisk in Piazza Papignano (relocated to the small square after 1872) is about 3 metres high and weighs 2.5 tonnes and is installed on a pedestal bearing inscriptions in Latin and Greek. The hieroglyphic inscriptions span the four sides of the monument and have been translated by several scholars.

Every 30 minutes from 7.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, the obelisk is illuminated by a beam of lights projecting its shadow and hieroglyphs onto the Paul V Palace; the projected hieroglyphs slowly fade, giving way to their translation.

Both obelisks are composed of the same inscriptions, shapes and material; both are made of red granite and rest on a thicker base.


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Piazza Papiniano, 82100 Benevento BN

Opening hours

Open daily - 24/24h


Free entrance

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