I saw this fountain in front of a luxury condominium as I passed it on my way home from the Aventura Mall last Saturday. Normally, I hadn’t given it any thought other than noticing it’s attractiveness. However, this time I began to think of the importance of the obelisk and the lions throughout religious history. I knew obelisks held religious significance in many ancient cultures, particularly ancient Egypt. It also occurred to me that it was part of our nation’s history in the form of the Washington Monument. After research, I discovered that in Egyptian mythology, the obelisk represented the sun god Ra. The Romans borrowed the idea of the obelisk filling the city of Rome with their beauty. Over the years the obelisk became a symbol in Christianity as evidenced by it’s use as the centerpiece of St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City.
The lions shown on the fountain are also of religious significance. In Christianity, lions have been used as a symbol for Jesus because they are viewed as majestic and powerful. The more negative aspects of lions are also represented in the Bible through a comparison to the Devil. Lions are known for devouring their prey much like Satan. There are also references in the Book of Daniel which give an account of Daniel being saved in the lions’ den by God. Lions are used as symbols in many major religions of today and those of the past; the ancient Egyptians, Greek and Roman mythology, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism all have depicted lions as religious symbols or even gods.