About Cleopatra's Needle:
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- 98%History Buffs
User Reviews (10 Reviews)
- Cleopatra's NeedleMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsFamily Travelers+ 4Sep 21, 2013
I remember reading about Cleopatra's needle in a book as a child. The obelisk was placed in an iron casing that was temporarily lost at sea during a storm. I've see its sister in Central Park as well.Recommended for:History Buffs
- Cleopatra's NeedleMember ofLocal CultureFamily TravelersFoodies+ 2Jul 05, 2012
The London needle is in the City of Westminster, on the Victoria Embankment near the Golden Jubilee Bridges. It is close to the Embankment underground station. It was presented to the United Kingdom in 1819 by the ruler of Egypt and Sudan Muhammad Ali, in commemoration of the victories of Lord Nelson at the Battle of the Nile and Sir Ralph Abercromby at the Battle of Alexandria in 1801. Although the British government welcomed the gesture, it declined to fund the expense of transporting it to London.
The obelisk remained in Alexandria until 1877 when Sir William James Erasmus Wilson, a distinguished anatomist and dermatologist, sponsored its transportation to London at a cost of some £10,000 (a very considerable sum in those days). It was dug out of the sand in which it had been buried for nearly 2,000 years and was encased in a great iron cylinder, 92 feet (28 m) long and 16 feet (4.9 m) in diameter, designed by the engineer John Dixon and dubbed Cleopatra, to be commanded by Captain Carter. It had a vertical stem and stern, a rudder, two bilge keels, a mast for balancing sails, and a deck house. This acted as a floating pontoon which was to be towed to London by the ship Olga, commanded by Captain Booth.