Obélisque d'Arles

Monument in Arles

Obélisque D’Arles

The Arles Obelisk, a Roman monument from the 4th century, stands proudly in the Place de la République, directly in front of the Arles town hall, France. Crafted from granite sourced from Asia Minor, this obelisk is unique for its absence of any inscriptions. Including its pedestal, it reaches a height of around 20 meters.

History of Obélisque d’Arles

The obelisk, initially erected during the reign of Emperor Constantine II within the spina of Arles’ Roman circus, faced neglect after the 6th century, leading to its collapse and subsequent division into two pieces. It was unearthed in the 14th century and reassembled atop a pedestal, which was then crowned with a bronze globe and sun on March 26, 1676.

Jacques Peytret designed the pedestal’s decorative features, which varied with the political climate. The original sun decoration was replaced by a Phrygian cap during the Revolution, an eagle during the Empire era, and a royal sun under Louis-Philippe’s rule. From 1866 onwards, these elements were replaced with a bronze capstone, until the 19th century when Antoine Laurent Dantan designed a surrounding fountain and sculptures.

Conservation Recognized in the 1840 inventory of historic sites in France, the Arles Obelisk is also part of the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments, a collection of sites designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.

The Obélisque d'Arles appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Arles!

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Visiting Obélisque d'Arles


24 Hours



Address: Obélisque d'Arles, Place de la République, Arles, France
Duration: 20 minutes

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