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Victoria Embankment, WC2
Nearest Tube: Embankment
This granite obelisk is 60ft high and weighs over 180 tons. It dates from 1475BC when it was one of a pair that stood at Heliopolis. It was later moved to Alexandria where it stood for hundreds of years.
Then in 1819 Turkey, who at the time ruled Egypt, gave it to Britain. The biggest problem was how to transport the obelisk to the UK and it wasn't until 1877 that a solution was found.
In the event, the obelisk was towed across the oceans in an iron boat. The journey went smoothly until the Bay of Biscay when a storm nearly sank the obelisk. However it survived the storm and eventually reached the UK in January 1878.
The initial plan was to erect the obelisk outside the Houses of Parliament, but the site was deemed unsuitable and so it was erected on the Victoria Embankment. Various "time capsule" items were buried underneath it.
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