Thousands of years ago, stone columns were created to replace wooden ones that were susceptible to fire and rotting. Despite their original purpose, simply to bear the load of the roof overhead, they have since become works of art. They are also a symbol of wealth and prestige and are a standard feature of many capitals, palaces, and homes of the wealthy.
If you mention columns to most people, images of ancient Rome and Greece probably come to mind, but Egypt is also one of the first places to use columns as well. In fact, during our time in Egypt, we found the columns there to be some of the most interesting features of the temples that we visited. Obviously, there is nothing like walking in the Acropolis in Athens and seeing the columns on those ancient temples as well. Walking through the Roman Forum in Rome is literally a path that takes you through a series of ancient columns, some standing and some fallen.
Regardless of where you find them, columns are an interesting piece to any architecture. Whether you consider them to be structural or artistic in nature, they are often the only thing to survive the ravages of time.