The recent invention and successive commercial introduction of monolithic silica columns has motivated many scientists from both academia and industry to study their use in HPLC. The first paper on monolithic silica columns appeared in 1996. Currently about 200 papers have been published relating to applications and characterization of monolithic silica columns, including monolithic capillaries. This review attempts to give an overview covering various aspects of this new column type in the field of high throughput analysis of drugs and metabolites, chiral separations, analysis of pollutants and food-relevant compounds, as well as in bioanalytical separations such as in proteomics. Some of the applications are described in greater detail. The numerous publications dealing with the physicochemical and chromatographic characterization of monolithic silica columns are briefly summarized.