SkyWatch: The Illuminated Globe (Daytime)

This is one of the most impressive and beautiful works of public art in Jeddah. It is called The Illuminated Globe and was designed by Spanish architect Julio Lafuente, who is credited with creating more than two dozen amazing art pieces for the City of Jeddah. This globe sits in the middle of an enormous roundabout of a very busy intersection, so photographing it is difficult because stopping the car near it to plan a shot is not an easy task. The surface area of the globe itself is an incredible 600 square meters. It is constructed of stained glass and steel and is illuminated from within at night – and it is spectacular when lit. The stained glass and the steel frame were fabricated in Italy at a cost at that time of more than $1 million, not including the cost of the roundabout base it sits on. The design is such that it accentuates the center of the Islamic world – Makkah. Because of the severe heat Jeddah experiences in the brutally hot summer months, the glass and steel construction had to allow for expansion in the heat. There is also a small crescent moon shaped sculpture (a symbol of Islam) which accompanies the globe on the same roundabout. To see what this magnificent work of art looks like when it is lit up at night, please see this previous post.
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About SusieOfArabia

American woman now living in hubby's homeland of Saudi Arabia
This entry was posted in Art, Landmarks, Middle East, Photo, Religion, Saudi Arabia, Sculptures and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to SkyWatch: The Illuminated Globe (Daytime)

  1. owlfarmer says:

    The shot makes the globe look like it’s floating in the sky–probably what the artist intended, but still a surprising effect. This is a great addition to the skywatch experience, so thanks!

  2. Geogypsy says:

    Wow Susie, that is a spectacular sculpture. I once made a stained glass globe only it was only about 18 inches across.

  3. Christy says:


    It’s great that something like this is out on the street for all to see as they drive by. Much better than sticking it in a museum.

    Thanks for the link to, and for the picture of, the Illuminated Globe at night!

    Is there any place, near the globe, to park the car – get out – and look at it? I think it would be nice to study while not moving.

    • If you go out at a time when traffic is not heavy, it would be possible to pull over and stop to get a better look. My situation doesn’t lend itself to much flexibility to do this. I cannot drive (women cannot drive here), and I don’t have a driver like many women here do, so I must rely on my husband to take me places – and he absolutely hates to drive. Time is always a factor because my husband freaks out when he is out at prayer time and he’s in a big rush to get home. My husband has taken me out a few times specifically to take photos (my hobby), but it is always for a limited time frame. There are still many sculptures in Jeddah that I have never seen or gotten to photograph.

      • Christy says:

        My question wasn’t to suggest you get out of the car and take pictures from various angles. I hope I didn’t sound critical or unappreciative of what you’ve posted? If I did, it was unintentional.

        I really like the picture & I was just curious.

        I don’t think I’d last long living as a female in Saudi Arabia. I’d go up the wall with all the restrictions.

        You’re great to sacrifice so much for your husband!

      • No problem, Christy – I was just trying to explain the challenges of trying to take photos here. Not being able to drive myself is the main barrier, but taking photos in and of itself is also a challenge because people here are paranoid of having their picture taken. It is a very restrictive society and not easy to do much of anything around here…

  4. Darcel says:

    Stunning is right!

  5. Judy says:

    This is a fantastic shot! Just beautiful.

  6. Awesome globe sculpture! I’m dumb-founded! No shortage of coooool art in Jeddah!

  7. Steffi says:

    Wow…stunning photo!

  8. ladyfi says:

    A mosaic sculpture? It’s amazing!

  9. luna miranda says:

    what an amazing sculpture! it must look incredibly beautiful when lighted.

  10. This is beautiful! I went back to the previous post to see it lit up at night. Fantastic, and cool to see the crescent moon in that photo, too.

  11. Fishing Guy says:

    Susie: That is just a wonderful piece. Thanks for sharing it with SWF.

  12. Carver says:

    Wow, the illuminated globe is remarkable. So beautiful and such detailed work.

  13. J Bar says:

    Perfect view of Australia there too. This globe is great.

  14. Jacob says:

    Hi Susie! You’ve shown some spectacular sculptures before, but this takes the cake, so to speak! I suppose people get used to it and it doesn’t interfere with their driving. I’d probably drive right into a light pole trying to get a closer look!

    So, two questions: How DID you get this shot without getting run over? And, is there any chance we’ll get to see it all lit up?

    • Every time I drive by these sculptures, I try to take pictures from the car. Sometimes we’re going slower than other times – in heavier traffic I get better shots because traffic slows down. It also depends on what lane we’re in too! I did provide a link at the end of my test for the previous post I had published with it lit up at night, but maybe it’s not very noticeable, so here it is.

  15. Erin says:

    this is indeed impressive and would love to see it illuminated…you must capture that for us some time.
    as always…i so enjoy visiting.
    have a fab weekend.

  16. Chiara says:

    Beautiful! Thank you for featuring this, and including the link to the lit up one! Both are splendid and you captured them well.

  17. Jossie says:

    What a marvellous piece of art.

  18. Absolutely incredible and stunning! Wow! Amazing! Hope you have a lovely weekend, Susie!


  19. Rune says:

    Wow..this is a beautiful pictures!

  20. diane garwood says:

    I remember seeing this one when I was there. Only in the daytime though, so I didn’t recognize it all lit up. Either way it is marvelous! Thanks, Susie 🙂

  21. elle says:

    This is HANDS DOWN my favorite sculpture in Jeddah. It reminds me of my childhood 🙂
    It is that much more gorgeous when it is illuminated during the night time.

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