The Cosmos sculpture is one of the most well-known monuments in Jeddah, partly because it is located on a roundabout at one of the city’s busiest intersections and partly because of its enormous size. Constructed of steel and aluminum, Cosmos is the creation of German artist Ottmar Hollmann, who produced a dozen various works of art for Jeddah’s expansive beautification project. Soaring into the sky at an total height of over 44 meters (8-1/2 meters of which is the mound base), it is ranked as one of the world’s largest pieces of art. From start to finish, this awesome masterpiece took an astonishing seven years to complete and required the involvement of people from many countries. Hollman created the parts in Germany, which were then shipped to Jeddah for assembly. Some of the pieces were so large that just getting them from the port to the site involved major planning, such as temporarily removing some street lights and traffic lights in order to ease through some roads, as well as transporting the pieces in the middle of the night at a snail’s pace to prevent traffic jams.
The Cosmos astronomy theme is evident in all aspects of the work. The steel tubes represent the galaxy and orbits, while the large balls represent planets and are embossed with beautiful intricate designs with amazing details. The monument is also inscribed with a verse from the Qúran about the phases of the moon (blue and white Arabic script at the base). Even the huge mound base depicts the solar system in the form of a stunning colorful two million piece tile mosaic, which was created in Italy, shipped to Jeddah, and then was recreated by several Italian craftsman who worked for two months putting it together.
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wow! it is amazing
Amazing! I am interested with the calligraphy at the bottom. Do you have the full verse? What does it say?
Sorry, I don’t know what it says. If I can get my husband to try to read it and interpret it for me, I’ll post it here.
much appreciated, tq
Finally found the work of my grandfather and his two brothers!
Today I found some pictures of the transport from one album. Nice to see those old pictures. I am very proud of the work of my grandfather and his two brothers! Created at Staalbouw Brothers Huys Venlo Netherlands!
Hi Wesley – Wiim has more photos as well. I have sent him many of the photos I have also.
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I finally found the art work my dad and his 2 brothers created with Ottmar Hollmann.
Both steel constructions that are the bases for “The Sundial and Cosmos” were fabricated at Staalbouw Gebroeders Huys in Venlo, The Netherlands in the early 80’s.
Thanks for the great pictures that give me the opportunity to show my family where their work ended up.
They will be proud.
What an exciting honor to hear from you. If you have any more information, please let me know. And in the meantime, I will search through my photos to see if I have more of Hollmann’s work that I can post. Thank you so much for commenting!
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hi susie, alot of us expats here call that the phallopian tubes or overies lol great pics xx
This is amazing and it looks huge, right?
i cannot say enough how i enjoy all of the public art in jeddah. this peice is absolutely amazing…
as always thanks for sharing the background info and the great photos.
have a good wednesday.
this is wild. thanks for the background info too.
Very interesting post and I love your shot of the sculpture, nice!
what an amazing sight.
Sculptures in the major roundabouts in Arab countries are so often really spectacular. Nice post.
It’s so fascinating to see photos from a country that it’s highly unlikely that I’ll ever be able to visit. Beautiful statue, and very fitting for a Muslim country given the huge contribution Muslim scholars made to science.
This is a marvelous structure, so rare yet so beautiful.
Beautiful photo of great piece of art.
Very fascinating and interesting sculpture. I did post a statue/sculpture today too.
Wow, that sculpture (I guess it is sculpture) is amazing. I can’t believe I have never seen a picture of it before. Thanks.
The adventurous sculptures in the UAE make it a real draw! An open air gallery!
I agree with Janie. I’m also surprised to see such a modern and scientific sculpture in Jeddah. I’m more and more curious to discover Saudia Arabia but touristic trips are not allowed as far as I know.
That’s an interesting astrological sculpture. I really surprises me to see such modern art in Jeddah.
Susie: It looks like your country spares no expence when it comes to sculptures.
I’m always amused with the great arts that Jeddah has of foreign art masters. 🙂 And to add they are so elegant.
I wonder it isn’t so popular as it deserves. Thank you about your detailed caption and please, when you have chance to, take it more close. It’s so interesting.
What can I say It’s fabulous and just another wonderful write up. You do live in such a cutural diversity.
That is amazing and beautiful! And such a great shot! Thanks so much for the photo and the information! Fascinating! Have a great week!
Wow what an incredible sculpture, great pic.
Have a great week!
Regina In Pictures
Well, that was nice. Now tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day. Can folks in Saudi Arabia wear green tomorrow?
Absolutely beautiful and incredible. Seven years? I wonder what the Qur’an would have to say about astronomy.
It is really amazing! Great work! Beautiful and very interesting photo! Thanks:)