- In the centre of St Peter's square, the Vatican obelisk stands between 2 enormous fountains and four cast-iron lamp posts. It stands on four bronze lions and was placed in the square by Domenico Fontana for Pope Sixtus V. It was brought to Rome from Alexandria in Egypt in 37 AD by Caligula who used it to decorate Nero's circus. Many legends arose around the enormous monolith. It is said that while it was being raised, in total silence, a certain Bresca (who realised the cords were breaking) prevented it falling by shouting the famous phrase, "Water on the cords". Even more famous is the story that the tip of the obelisk held the ashes of the cremated Julius Caesar in the bronze globe that is now to be seen in the Capitoline museums. Now the tip of the obelisk is crowned, 41 metres up, by a relic of the Holy Cross.
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