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Christ the Redeemer
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrChrist the Redeemer, also known as Cristo Redentor, is a 98 feet high impressive statue of Jesus Christ that stands right at the top of Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro. Including its pedestal at the bottom, it’s about 130 feet tall with its arms stretching at about 92 feet. Standing at 2,300 feet over the city, Christ the Redeemer is without a doubt a huge fascination for tourists from all over the world. Reinforced concrete was utilized in order to build the inner framework of the statue while the outer layers are completely made up of soapstone. Carioca mountain range, situated at the southeast part of Brazil, offers an enticing view of the city of Rio de Janeiro, South Atlantic Ocean as well as the Sugarloaf Mountain.
HistoryThe idea of this great monument originated somewhere in the 1850s by Pedro Maria Boss. It was a joint desire of Father Boss and the Catholics to build a monument right at the top of the mountains that could watch the entire city of Rio de Janeiro, and what else could have served better as a “watcher” than the statue of Jesus Christ himself. Princess Isabel, acting as then provisional head of the state, was approached in order to fund the project. While she was amused in the beginning, the funding however stopped at a later stage for reasons which are still unknown to this date.
No further improvements were made to the project until the 20th century. It was not until 1921 that the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro pour life back to the idea of the statue of Christ the Redeemer. Only this time, the source of funding was going to be the donations from numberless Catholics residing, not only in the city of Rio de Janeiro, but all over Brazil. A specific week was designated for the sole purpose of collection of donations and incredibly, it acquired enough funds to at least begin with the project. However, the donations did not stop until the completion of the entire project.
Heitor da Silva Costa and Paul Landowski, who were the engineer and sculptor behind this wonder respectively, began working on the project in 1926 and introduced the world to the largest art deco statue which now enjoys thousands of tourists every year from all over the world.
A recently built chapel at the base of this monument, which was built to celebrate its 75th anniversary, seats about 150 people and is the perfect location for a number of ceremonies ranging from weddings to baptisms.
Facts About Christ The RedeemerWhile the list of amazingly incredible facts about this symbol of Brazilian Christianity may be huge, some of the most conspicuous attributes of it may include and are not confined to the following:
- The statue is by far the largest art deco in the entire world.
- The statue weighs around 635 tons.
- The statue is considered a symbol of not only Rio de Janeiro but of the entire of Brazil.
- Christ the Redeemer is the world’s 5th largest statue of Jesus.
- One of the designs initially suggested for the statue was that of Jesus standing on a pedestal with the globe in his hand.
- The love of Jesus for all humanity is the literal elaboration of the statue’s design.
- Sweden holds the privilege of providing the stones which were utilized in order to build this statue.
- The inauguration ceremony of the statue was held on October 12, 1931
- $ 250,000 USD was spent in order to build the statue in 1931 which roughly sums up to about $3.5 million USD of today.
- Each of its piece was constructed separately then brought to the top of the mountain in order to erect it.
- The arms of the statue points towards the south (right arm) and the north (left arm) of the city of Rio de Janeiro.
- The statue is hit by several lightning strikes every year with its soapstone exterior acting as an insulator and preventing permanent damage. The lightning strike in 2008 however, damaged the fingers, eye brows, and head of the statue for which appropriate restoration procedures were initiated by the government. Sweden provided the stone for restoration procedures as well.
- In 2010, the statue suffered an instance of vandalism when a house painter painted graffiti all over its head and right arm. The culprit however, was later caught.
- Escalators, elevators as well as walkways were introduced in 2003 that enabled tourists to reach the platform that the statue stands on.
Visit To Christ The RedeemerThere is no argument over the fact that Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro is synonymous to the Eiffel Tower in Paris or probably the Statue of Liberty in New York City. The symbol of the city captivates a number of tourists, either to rehabilitate the sense of spirituality or simply relish the spectacular views.
Once you have reached the top of the mountain, it is only 220 steps further until you get to the platform. With the elevators and escalators installed as mentioned earlier, taking those steps has also been made obsolete. However, it is indispensable to mention here that the area around the statue is completely congested which makes it next to impossible to capture a picture of the statue without a dozen of other tourists. A huge number of tourists would still be found lying on the ground in order to get the best possible angle. Nothing disappointing though, since the view of beaches, forests and cityscapes stretching to thousands of miles are there to save the day. In all honesty, the view is more than a compensation for the lack of pictures.
How To Get To The StatueReaching the monument is an adventure within itself. The three popular modes to take include car, tram, and by foot. If you are not looking to waste a lot of your time, taking the tram which takes you all the way to the top within 20 minutes through the Tijuca Forest is probably going to be the most commendable choice.
One must get to the station of Rua Cosme in order to catch the tram that departs every half an hour throughout the week between 08:30 AM – 07:00 PM each day. In order to reach the tram station, the metro bus service is the most preferred option among the tourists.
You will be charged $43 BRL per adult and around $21 BRL for children while children under six travel for free via the tram. It is to be kept in mind that the aforementioned price includes a round trip with access to the monument.
If you would like to take an even faster route, hiring a taxi with the driver waiting for you as you tour the monument is perhaps a better option. In order to give you a better idea, hiring a taxi from Ipanema will cost somewhere around $20 BRL and takes about 15 minutes to get to the statue of Christ the Redeemer.
It is also possible to contact a travel guide and organize a tour of the complete city for about $150 BRL per person. Hiking trails are also available if you are looking for an adventure that takes around two and a half hours in order for you to get to the statue.
TipsWhile there isn't much that can ruin your tour to Christ the Redeemer, taking into account the following tips can ensure the time of your life during your visit.
- Since the tickets are non-refundable, it is wise to check the weather beforehand. Clear weather is highly recommended for your tour to the statue of Christ the Redeemer.
- Congested crowds are to be expected. But since most of them are tourists, taking pictures with your partner or the family shouldn't be a problem as there are plenty of people who would be happy to assist.
- It may take a while before you can get your ticket so bring a book with you in order to pass time may be a good idea.
- If waiting isn't your style, you may want to talk to the fellow travelers and bargain a price to hire a taxi for a round-trip. It doesn't only save money but will also enable you to make new friends.
It is of prime importance to mention as the concluding remarks that while in Rio de Janeiro, you must also visit a number of other tourist attractions which may include the Sugarloaf Mountain, Theatro Municipal Do, Prainha Beach, Petropolis, and Sao Bento Monastery.
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Author: Wajeeh93. Last updated: Jan 21, 2015