An icon of Rio de Janeiro..
Symbol of Brazilian Christianity..
Part of new seven wonders of the world..
This statue stands tall at the Corcovado Mountain near the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. In Portuguese it is known as Cristo Redentor. You must be wondering what is so great about the statue. The greatness of the Statue comes from understanding the message that it sends out. If you notice – the statue of Christ is standing with its arms open, showing that he loves all and he is ready to accept and embrace anyone who comes to Him. From afar the statue also looks like a cross. Another symbol of Christianity.
While the statue coveys a great emotional message it also a man-made architectural wonder. Ready to know more interesting facts about it?
Why was the statue built? Who thought of building it? In the 1850’s the Barzilians demanded that a religious statue be built in Rio, a demand that was rejected. After sixty years again in 1910, the Archdiocese (large district overseen by an archbishop) of Rio de Janeiro held a monument week. Large donations were collected to build a religious statue. The statue of Christ was chosen after a lot of thinking and the foundation was put on 22nd April, 1922 which also happened to be the day of Brazilian Independence. A Brazilian designer Heitor da Silva Costa designed the statue and it was sculpted by a Frenchman Paul Landowski. The statue was constructed in 5 years and the monument was inaugurated on October 12, 1931.
The statue is built of soapstone (a metamorphic rock rich in magnesium) and concrete – it was built in small bits and pieces. Since it was to be built at the top of the mountain the Corcovado Rack Railway was used to lug the large stones to the site. It costed $250,000 to build it.
Christ the Redeemer Statue is the tallest religious statue in the world with 30 metres (98 ft) tall, not including its 8 metres (26 ft) pedestal, and its arms stretch 28 metres (92 ft) wide. There is a small chapel at its base. The chapel is used for baptisms and small weddings. After climbing the mountain you have to climb 220 steps to reach the statue. However, technology has made it much easier, there are now escalators and elevators to help the visitors who are unable to climb the stairs.
The best time to visit is at night when the statue is lit up by flood lights. The flood lights make the statue look like it is magically flying in the air. At that time you can also get a supreme view of Rio’s night-lights and its downtown.
Guess what is the busiest time to visit the statue? Easter and Christmas Eve! Obviously, Ha!