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Title: Monolith  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Listed buildings in Burnley, Phobos monolith, List of largest monoliths in the world, Obelisk, Sayhuite
Collection: Geomorphology, Monoliths, Outdoor Sculptures, Rock Formations
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


A monolith is a geological feature consisting of a single massive stone or rock, such as some mountains, or a single large piece of rock placed as, or within, a monument or building. Erosion usually exposes the geological formations, which are often made of very hard and solid metamorphic or igneous rock.

In architecture, the term has considerable overlap with megalith, which is normally used for prehistory, and may be used in the contexts of rock-cut architecture that remains attached to solid rock, as in monolithic church, or for exceptionally large stones such as obelisks, statues, monolithic columns or large architraves, that may have been moved a considerable distance after quarrying. It may also be used of large glacial erratics moved by natural forces.

The word derives, via the Latin monolithus, from the Ancient Greek word μονόλιθος (monolithos), from μόνος ("one" or "single") and λίθος ("stone").


  • Geological monoliths 1
    • Africa 1.1
    • Antarctica 1.2
    • Asia 1.3
    • Australia 1.4
    • Europe 1.5
    • North America 1.6
      • United States 1.6.1
      • Canada 1.6.2
      • Mexico 1.6.3
    • South America 1.7
    • Extraterrestrial 1.8
  • Monumental monoliths 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • External links 5

Geological monoliths

Large, well-known monoliths include:




Savandurga, India from the northern side
Sangla Hill, Pakistan



Penyal d'Ifac, Spain

North America

United States

Beacon Rock, Washington viewed from the west
Stawamus Chief as seen from Valleycliffe neighborhood in Squamish, British Columbia



South America

El Peñón, monolith in Colombia, located in Antioquia.


Monumental monoliths

A structure which has been excavated as a unit from a surrounding matrix or outcropping of rock.[5]

See also


  1. ^ López Domínguez, Leonor (May 2001). "Villa de Bernal and its Magic Mountain". México Desconocido #291. 
  2. ^ "Peña de Bernal - Bernal - Queretaro" (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 November 2008. 
  3. ^ Cava Northrop, Laura; Dwight L. Curtis, Inc. Let'S Go, Natalie Sherman, Raul Carrillo (2007). Let's Go Mexico: On a Budget. Macmillan. p. 370.  
  4. ^ Escobar Ledesma, Agustín (1999). Recetario del semidesierto de Querétaro: Acoyos, rejalgares y tantarrias. Conaculta. p. 75.  
  5. ^ "Glossary". 

External links

  • Regarding Uluru/Ayers Rock and earlier representations of it as the largest monolith:,,
  • 10 Largest Monoliths in the World, touropia
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