basilica of st. john lateran


The Lateran Obelisk is an ancient Egyptian obelisk, and the largest obelisk in the world. Originally weighing 455 tons, it collapsed and was rebuilt in 1587 with the remaining pieces. Unfortunately it was a whopping 4 meters shorter than before, and only weighing around 330 tons.

Originally from the temple of Amun in Karnak, it was pillaged and hauled to Alexandria with the intention of brining it to Constantinople. It would never make it there, and instead was moved to Rome after a few decades to decorate the Roman Circus Maximus.  With the collapse of the Roman empire, the Obelisk found itself across from the Lateran Palace and the basilica of St. John Lateran, where it remains to this day in Rome.

PSA, cathedral is NOT a word that simply means “big church!” The word cathedral is derived from the latin cathedra, which means “chair,” because it is the seat of the local bishop. In any diocese there is only ONE cathedral. For instance, Rome has many large, beautiful churches but only one cathedral - the Basilica of St. John Lateran, which is the seat of the Bishop of Rome, otherwise known as the pope!

don’t use the word cathedral if you just mean big church