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A Tale of Two Monuments

By Linda Tancs

London’s oldest monument is Cleopatra’s Needle at Victoria Embankment.  And no, it has nothing to do with Cleopatra and, aside from its shape, has nothing to do with a needle.  Erected in London in 1878, it’s younger than Monument, constructed in the 1670s to commemorate the Great Fire of 1666.  The Needle, however, was erected in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis on the orders of Thutmose III around 1450 B.C.  In that respect, at least, it is the oldest monument.  But, alas, there’s no view from the top.  For that, head over to the other Monument (via Monument Underground), where a 311-step trek to the balcony will net you amazing views and a certificate to boot.


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