Go to the list of all the Obelisks
Large Map

Boboli Obelisk

Present Site:  Boboli Gardens (Giardini di Boboli), Florence
(Behind of Pitti Palace (Palazzo Pitti))
N 43°45'50.7"(43.764075) E 11°15'03.5"(11.250969)
Pharaoh:  Ramses II (New Kingdom 19th Dynasty, Reigned 13 Century BC)
Measurement:  4.87 meters high
Weight:  Unknown
Stone:  Red granite

About The Site:
Boboli Gardens is the vast garden behind of Pitti Palace, in Florence, Italy. The Palace was begun the construction in 1457 by Luca Pitti, a Florentine banker. After that, the owner has changed to Medici Family, and then Habsburg-Lothringen Family. The Palace was repeatedly expanded and rebuilt during those periods, and became the current large building in late 19th Century.
A part of the Palace is now The Palatine Gallery (Galleria Palatina). Many fine arts are exhibited at there, e.g. Raphael's Madonna della Seggiola, Rubens' The Four Philosophers (Quattro filosofi), and others. You should appreciate them if you have time.

Boboli Gardens is behind of Pitti Palace. Boboli Gardens is a vast park, which has 45,000 m² in total area, spread with its many up and downhills.
From this Boboli Gardens to Uffizi Gallery (Galleria degli Uffizi) are connected with a long dedicated passageway "Vasari Corridor" ("Corridoio Vasariano"). The corridor is opend for about 3 months a year, and you can see the inside if you participate the local tour.

Pitti Palace Pitti Palace

How To Get There:
Boboli Gardens is located at the south side of famous Ponte Vecchio on Arno River, about 1.5 km south of Firentze Santa Maria Novella (Firenze SMN), which is the central station of Florence. From the station to south direction, you reach the Arno River, and Ponte Vecchio which is many souvenir and jewelry shops on the bridge. Ponte Vecchio is a famous sightseeing spot, so you can find it on every travel guidebook.
You can see the Pitti Palace, about 200 meters after crossing the Ponte Vecchio.
You can buy the admission ticket only Boboli Garden, not entering into the museums in the Palace. After entering the gardens, the obelisk can be seen in the middle of the front of the Greek style amphitheater.

About The Obelisk:
This obelisk is a pair with Dogali Obelisk, and one of obelisks which were originally erected for the Sun Temple in Heliopolis by Ramses II. It's considered that the obelisks were transported to Rome from Heliopolis in around the era of Emperor Claudius of 1st Century. This obelisk was discovered underground at near the Piazza della Minerva. The site was an important temple in the Roman Empire Era, Iseum (the Temple of Isis) had been there. Therefore, this obelisk would probably used for Iseum. After excavation, this obelisk was erected in the garden of the "Villa Medici" (Medici House) in Rome (Close to Spagna Station of Metro Line A). Then it was moved again to the current location, Boboli Gardens in Florence by Medici Family in 1790. A copy of this obelisk now stands in the Villa Medici garden.
The obelisk is well conserved, particularly on the south face, the inscription remains finely. The horus name and birth name of Ramses II can be read clearly. However, the inscription ends in the middle of sentence, the lower part of the obelisk have been lost, we understand that the obelisk is shorter than the original length.
Also, when we can see and watch a picture well, this obelisk is a little inclined to the north. Not inclined whole with the pedestal (foundation stone), but the pedestal is set upright, the obelisk is tilted at the junction of the obelisk.

Notes For Pictures:
The Pitti Palace is visited by many tourists, and it's ticket office is always very crowded. If you want to skip the line, walk forward about 200 meters passing through the front square of Pitti Palace, there is an another entrance for Boboli Gardens. You can buy a ticket including the Pitti Palace as well. Waiting people here is much less when compared to the admission ticket counter of the front of Pitti Palace.
Florence is very hot in Summer more than Rome, in August of 2013 and 2014 that I have visited here, due to the scorching sun of summer, people who visit the Boboli Gardens at the back of the Palace was very small. Some tourists were taking pictures with the obelisk, but it has not been little attention.

boboli_south2.jpg
South Side

boboli_east.jpg
East Side

boboli_west2.jpg
West Side

boboli_north2.jpg
North Side

August 13, 2013 by Hiroyuki Nagase   (For high definition image, please click the picture)

Copyright Hiroyuki Nagase nagase@obelisk.org and Shoji Okamoto okamoto@obelisk.org