In South America the statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooks Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Perched on top of the Corcovado Mountain, Christ the Redeemer statue is visited by thousands of people on a daily basis.
Christ the Redeemer is the largest of all art deco Statues in the world. The monument is also the fifth largest constructed statue depicting Jesus Christ in the world. The construction began in 1926 and took five years to complete. It measures an impressive 30 meters tall, sits on a pedestal that is 8 meters high and has an arm span of 28 meters. The statue is located at the highest point of the 700 meter tall Corcovado Mountain and weighs 635 tons. The statue is made of soapstone and reinforced concrete. Soapstone is resistant to climate changes and tough weather conditions. The price for the construction of the statue is believed to have been around $250,000.
The designer of the statue was a Brazilian named Heitor da Silva Costa. Christ the Redeemer was sculpted by a French man named Paul Landowski. The arms of the statue are stretched out to resemble that of a cross. The statue’s inauguration took place on October 12, 1931.
Christ the Redeemer’s history shows the statue to be synonymous with the city of Rio de Janeiro. The statue is an icon for the people of Rio de Janeiro and symbolizes Brazilian Christianity. At the tip of the Corcovado mountain, the statue is symbolic of the hospitality and the warmth of the Brazilian people. Just like Jesus was said to be welcoming of the downtrodden, the people of Brazil are said to welcome all people who come to them with open arms.
As of July 7, 2007, the statue was classified as one of the “new” Seven Wonders of the World. People flock to Rio de Janeiro to marvel at the immensity and positioning of the statue.
Why It Was Constructed
Requests for the construction of a religious statue in Rio de Janeiro were made as far back as the 1850’s. These requests were however turned down. It was not until 1921 that a monument fundraiser took place in the city and donations were collected for the building of a statue. It took much consideration to decide what type of statue should be built.
Visiting the Site
Initially, in order to visit the modern day site of the Redeemer statue, there were a total of 220 steps that needed to be scaled. However, now if you wish to take an easier route, there are elevators and escalators in place that will take you to the statue while allowing you to take in the natural beauty of the surrounding area. There is also a chapel house nearby that is dedicated to the statue. It was a present from the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro and was donated on the 75th anniversary of Christ the Redeemer’s construction.