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.