English » The Vigeland Park » The Monolith

The Monolith

On the highest point of the park, on the Monolith Plateau, rise circular stairs towards the Monolith. The figural part, with 121 figures, is 14.12 m and the total height, including the plinth, is 17.3 m high. The Monolith was carved from one single granite block, hence the name (mono: one, litho: stone). Whereas the melancholy theme in the fountain is the eternal life cycle, the column gives room to a totally different interpretation: Man's longing and yearning for the spiritual and divine. Is the column to be understood as man's resurrection? The people are drawn towards heaven, not only characterised by sadness and controlled despair, but also delight and hope, next to a feeling of togetherness, carefully holding one another tight in this strange sense of salvation.

In 1947 the installation of the 36 figure groups on the Monolith Plateau began. Vigeland started the work on these granite groups around the first world war and finished them in 1936. As in the Fountain, the principal theme is the cycle of life, in which Man is depicted in a variety of typical human situations and relationships. Access to the Monolith plateau is via eight figural gates in wrought iron. These gates, depicting Man in all ages, were designed between 1933 and 1937, whereas the execution was not finished until after the death of the artist.