Obelisk

Cleopatra's Needle

Cleopatra’s Needle

Probably the strangest monument in Central Park is the 71 foot, 244 ton Obelisk, or Cleopatra’s Needle. Easily the oldest man made object in the park it is located in what is now a secluded bower directly behind the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The obelisk was erected in Heliopolis around 1500 BC and was moved to Alexandria around 12 B.C. by Rome’s Augustus Caesar. By then, the lower corners of the stones had been broken off, so the Romans had bronze supports in the form of sea crabs placed under them. (Two of the original crabs are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the other two were stolen in Egypt.) There it remained until 1879 when it was shipped to the United States. This was either as a gift of the Khedive of Egypt, who offered it to the U. S. as a token of good faith to help stimulate economic relations between the two countries. Or it was swiped by William H. Vanderbilt against the wishes of the Egyptians. It depends on who you ask.

Even more unlikely than the actual presence of the monument in Central Park is the monumental moving job undertaken to get it here. Stand at the bottom and look up and imagine taking it down, putting it in a ship in 1879, sailing across the ocean and up the Hudson and than moving across town, (The cross town journey alone took more than 4 months!), and then setting it upright again on Greywacke Knoll, its present site. The installation was completed in 1881. This Herculean feat was accomplished by a U.S. Navy engineer, Lieutenant-Commander Henry Honeychurch Gorringe.

Location: East Side drive at 81st Street

The nickname “Cleopatra’s Needle” has in fact nothing to do with Cleopatra, but was a self serving tribute to Egypt’s Thutmosis III

Walking Tour Overview

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Book Risk Free: Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
  • Free reschedule or full refund in case of bad weather
  • Tickets: Both printed and mobile tickets accepted

The walking tour covers all most beautiful sights of the southern half of Central Park. You will walk through some of the 58 miles of trails the park has to offer passing a lake, rocky outcrops, bridges, arches, sculptures and more.
This tour takes you off the beaten path to sights both the bikes and pedicabs cannot reach - book here.

Bicycle Tour Overview

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Book Risk Free: Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
  • Free reschedule or full refund in case of bad weather
  • Tickets: Both printed and mobile tickets accepted

The bicycle tour provides a complete journey through 843 acres of Central Park, guaranteeing that you will see the most out of any tour available. Your tour guide will provide background information, historical insight, and point out some of the most photogenic sites for you to capture photos!
This tour covers about six miles in a casual, smooth pace with lots of stops for walking and photos. It's the ultimate way to discover Central Park - book here.

Pedicab Tour Overview

  • Duration: 1 hour, 2 hours or 3 hours
  • Book Risk Free: Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
  • Free reschedule or full refund in case of bad weather
  • Tickets: Both printed and mobile tickets accepted

The most comfortable way to explore Central Park. No need to walk or peddle - just sit, lay back and enjoy beautiful views and insightful commentary.
This is a private tour for you and your party. A complete, relaxed, and personalized experience of Central Park. You can choose from 1 hour, 2 hours or 3 hours tour options.  Custom pick up/drop off spots are available too - book here.

Combination Tour Overview

  • Duration: 2 hours or 3 hours
  • Book Risk Free: Free cancellation up to 48 hours in advance
  • Free reschedule or full refund in case of bad weather
  • Tickets: Both printed and mobile tickets accepted

The Combined Pedicab & Bicycle Tour is ideal for parties when one part part prefers to ride their own bikes, and another part prefers the comfort of the pedicab – on this tour all the group will stay together and have stops for walking and group pictures - book here.


About Central Park

Find all the information you need to enjoy your visit to New York City's iconic Central Park.


Things To Do

From The Philharmonic on the Great Lawn to Shakespeare in the Park to SummerStage, Central Park offers an endless array of things to do, see, hear - and, with two full service restaurants and several cafes, taste.  You can visit The Shakespeare Garden, take in a performance at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, take a ride on the Carousel - or just sit and people watch at Bethesda Terrace!


Contact Us

Contact Info

5th Ave. 
New York, NY, 10028

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