Monument to the Fallen of Dogali – Rome, Italy - Atlas Obscura

Monument to the Fallen of Dogali

An ancient Egyptian obelisk is now used to commemorate fallen Italian soldiers. 


The Monument to the Fallen of Dogali (Monumento ai Caduti di Dogali) is a memorial, located in Rome, dedicated to  the fallen Italian soldiers of the Battle of Dogali.

This battle was fought in 1887 between Italians and Ethiopia in modern-day Eritrea, during the Italian colonial expansion in East Africa. It was deemed a humiliating defeat for the  Italy, which lost about 500 soldiers in Dogali.

The monument consists of an obelisk on top of a base surrounded by four markers with the names of the fallen soldiers. Also known as the “Dogali Obelisk,” the sculpture is said to date back to Egypt in the 13th century BCE. Erected by pharaoh Ramses II, it was likely originally located in the city of Heliopolis. In the late 1st century CE, it was moved to Rome by Emperor Domitian and was buried sometime thereafter. It was unearthed by archaeologists in 1883.

The monument was dedicated in 1887, just a few months after the battle, sparking an argument about the necessity of such a tribute for a military defeat. Initially located in front of the Termini Station, the monument was moved to its current position near the Baths of Diocletian in 1925.

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