Visit the world’s largest elephant!
In the middle of Maximilianpark stands the glass elephant, the world’s largest jumbo! In 1984, the artist, Horst Rellecke, transformed the coal sorting house of the former Maximilian colliery into today’s walk-in sculpture on the occasion of North Rhine-Westphalia’s first regional horticultural show. Go Take the elevator up into the glass trunk and, from a height of 35 meters, enjoy a wonderful, panoramic view over the entire park area, the city of Hamm and the green Westphalian countryside.
Inside the glass elephant, you will also find a garden with ten movable art objects. Via a switchboard, you can electrically control the movements of nine of them. Their names really mean something: The “Palm Cleaner” really does clean palm trees, die “Praying Mantis” slowly climbs up a metal pole in a determined way and the “Thirsty Chicken” waters the plants all around it. In addition, you will find a “Trunk Plane”, a “Mechanical Miner”, the “Caterpillar Sisyphos”, a “Water Lily” and an “Elefantenbörse”. The copper-eating polyphemus spits out a small object of art, but it doesn’t get by without your muscle power.
The glass elephant in figures:
Length: 53 meters, Height: 35 meters, Width: 18 meters
Length of the tusks: 7 meters – Eye diameter: 2 meters
The viewing platform is located at a height of 29 meters.
The idea was conceived on 30 June 1981, when the artist, Dr. Rellecke, and his gallery owner met on the premises of the future garden show.
The coal sorting house of the former colliery “Maximilian” from the year 1902 serves as the foundation of the glass elephant.
The conversion into a glass elephant was carried out in 1983/1984 using a greenhouse construction made of steel and glass.
The trunk functions as the structural support for the head and is a glass elevator shaft. The emergency stairway/emergency exit is in the tail.
The artist: Dr. Horst Rellecke
Lighting: LED modules that are able to reproduce the entire colour spectrum. Every year, the glass elephant provides an exceptional setting for changing art exhibitions.
You can see a video tour of the glass elephant here!