Cleopatra's Needle is the popular name for each of three Ancient Egyptian obelisks re-erected in London, Paris and New York City during the nineteen the century? The obelisk in London and New York are a pair, and the one in Paris is also part of a pair originally from a different site in Luxor, where its twin remains. Although all three needles are genuine Ancient Egyptian obelisks, their shared nickname is a misnomer, as they have no connection with Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt, and were already over a thousand years old in her lifetime. The London and New York 'needles' were originally made during the reign of 18th Dynasty Thutmose III. The Paris 'needle' dates to the reign of 19th Dynasty Ramesses II and was the first to be moved and re-erected. The New York "needle" was the first to acquire the nickname , "L'aiguille de Cleopatra" in French, where it stood in Alexandria.
The London and New York Pair are both made of red granite, stand about 21 metres (69ft) high, weigh about 224 tons and are inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphs. They were originally erected in the Egyptian cit of Heliopolis on the orders of Thutmose III, around 1450BC. The granite from which they were cut was brought from the quarries of Aswan, near the first cataract of the Nile. The inscriptions were added about 200 years later by Ramesses II to commemorate his military victories. The obelisks were moved to Alexandria and set up in the Caesareum - a temple built by Cleopatra in honour of Mark Antony or Julius Caesar - by the Romans in 12BC during the reign of Augustus, but were toppled some time later. This had the fortuitous effect of burying their faces and so preserving most of the hieroglyphs from the effects of weathering.
London needle showing hieroglyphs:
New York's needle in Central Park
The Paris Needle is in the Place de la Concorde. The centre of the Place is occupied by the giant Egyptian obelisk decorated with hieroglyphs exalting the reign of the pharaoh Ramesses II. Along with its twin (still in situ), it once marked the entrance to the Luxor Temple. The ruler of Egypt and Sudan, Mudammed Ali, presented the 3,300 year old Luxor Obelisk to France in 1826. King Louis-Phillipe had it placed in the centre of Place de la Concorde in 1833 near the spot where Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette had been guillotined in 1793. Given the technical limitations of the day transporting it was difficult - on the pedestal are diagrams explaining the machinery used for its transportation. The red granite column rises 23 metres high, including the base and weighs over 250 tonnes. Missing its original cap, believed stoken in the 6th century BC, in 1998 the government of France added a goldleafed pyramid cap to the top of the obelisk. The obelisk is flanked by two fountains constructed at the time of its erection on the Place.
The Paris OIbelisk was described as "l'Aiguille de Cleopatre" by 1877, but the London obelisk was referred to as Cleopatra's Needle as early as 1821, suggesting the nickname came from the pair located in Alexandria. However, the Paris obelisk is now more often referred to more formally as "the Luxor Obelisk".
There is lots more detail about the obelisks on Wikipedia if you are interested to learn more.