There are certain landmarks that we take for granted. They’re simply there. But in reality they’re works of art. One of these landmarks is the instantly recognizable Christ the Redeemer (or Cristo Redentor in Portuguese) statue in Rio de Janerio, Brazil. With the Olympics in Rio fast approaching, this seemed like a great time to highlight this incredible landmark slash work of art on My Must See List.
Considered one of the “new” 7 Wonders of the World, Christ the Redeemer statue depicts Jesus standing with his arms outstretched. It sits overlooking Rio on a peak of the Corcovado mountains in Tijuca Forest National Park, the world’s largest urban forest. Made out of soapstone and reinforced concrete, the statue is 98 feet tall with an arm span of 92 feet wide. The Big Guy has even more drama as he sits on a 26 foot high pedestal.
While Christ the Redeemer may stand in Brazil, it has the fingerprints of many nationalities on it. The statue was designed by Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa and then sculpted by a Polish-French artist by the name of Paul Landowski. The face of Jesus was the work of Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida.
About five years ago, a major restoration project was undertaken on the statue. But the roots of the statue go back much farther. The idea of a religious statue in the Corcovado range can be traced back to the 19th century. Work didn’t begin on today’s statue until 1922. Nine years later work was completed. The cost, at that time, was US$250,000.
So why is this massive statue on My Must See List? I have a great fondness for statues and to create one on this great a scale is simply impressive. The simplicity of the design speaks volumes. What’s more, the aerial photos of the statue overlooking the busy city and the Guanabara Bay are breathtaking.
For those looking to visit Christ the Redeemer statue, there’s an official website that provides information. The statue opens at 8 am and there are several ways to access the peak be it by foot hiking Trail Parque Lage or by train. Price varies depending on the method of transportation taken. For safety reasons, make note to be careful to only use officially identified methods of transportation.
Looking for more Must Sees? Check out previously featured locations!
Top photo from Cristo Redentor Official Facebook page, bottom photo by Mariordo (Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz) – Own work, CC BY 3.0.