Since it is available from the very beginning of the game, the Monument will likely be the first building you construct in your Capital. After sending a Scout or two to explore the land, raise a Monument to jump-start your empire's Culture generation and begin working your way through the Civics tree.
Civilopedia entry Edit
Since humans seem to be a forgetful sort – or perhaps just egotistical – they put up monuments to commemorate all kinds of things – “important” people, events, military victories, deities, or even fictional characters (such as that to Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens). They seem to especially like to stick them up in the middle of cities, so everyone has to see them and walk or drive around them. Monuments come in all shapes and sizes, beautiful and horrid. Triumphal arches, columns, obelisks, memorials and cenotaphs can be found in almost any large urban metropolis, supposedly infusing the inhabitants with civic and national pride. Or, as is usually the case, serving as nesting places for pigeons and recognizable backgrounds for tourist snapshots.