Decorated Roundabouts

When we moved to Saudi Arabia in 1998 I was struck by the amount of roundabouts in the cities there. Of course, we had roundabouts in Germany but they were utilitarian, barren traffic circles. In Saudi, and particularly in Jeddah, they were showcases of … well, art I guess (realising that art is in the eye of the beholder). Sometimes HUGE pieces of art. Have a look on the search engine of your choice and you’ll know what I mean. And it makes sense in a city of more than 4 millions with many illiterates to have these monuments. Instead of telling somebody to turn left on Falasteen Street, you’d rather send them to go to the “spaghetti and meatballs” and then go past the “flying carpet” until you see the “Dali camel” (PS: The camel isn’t really by Dali but it was certainly inspired by him.)

Around the time we moved back to Germany, the idea of roundabouts had caught on in Germany and they seemed to propagate. Most of them are simply softly elevated bumps, often covered with flowers and/or stones. But some seem to have taken ideas from Jeddah. albeit on a smaller scale.

Here are just a few examples.

St Martin of Laudenbach
the scythes of Böblingen
the rusty owl of Viernheim

the frog orchestra of Laudenbach

Photographing Public Art Challenge

5 thoughts on “Decorated Roundabouts

    1. I think so, too. The whole town (a small town, a bit bigger than a village) is decorated with frogs. It goes back to a time when the neighbouring villages called the inhabitants of Laudenbach “frogs” and they ran with it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s