A tall, four-sided shaft of stone, usually tapering, that rises to a pyramidal point. A monolith is sometimes an obelisk. Often placed at the entrances of Egyptian temples in ancient times, obelisks continue to be favored as a shape for monuments in the Western world.(pr. AH-bə-lisk)Examples:G. Guerra, Procession of 1587 to Mark the Erection of the Cross at the Top of the Vatican's Egyptian Obelisk, engraving. One of Pope Sixtus's most ambitious projects was to move the Vatican's obelisk to its present position in front of Saint Peter's. Though Michelangelo refused this project ("What if it breaks?" he asked), Domenico Fontana carried it out. This engraving commemorates rituals that accompanied the erection, exorcism, and rededication of this obelisk.USA, Washington Monument, Washington, DC. The construction of this monument began in 1843, but wasn't completed until 1884. Rising 555 feet above the National Mall, as designed by architect Robert Mills, it remains the tallest building made of stone. This obelisk was first suggested by Washington, DC's master-planner, Pierre L'Enfant, as the centerpiece for America's capital city.