This enormous statue is the most famous monument in Brazil and one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. Located in Rio de Janeiro, Christ the Redeemer, or Cristo Redentor in its native Portuguese, looks down over the city from the top of a mountain deep in a national park. So, whether you are planning a trip, doing some research, or are just curious, here are some of the most interesting facts about Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.
7 Interesting Facts about Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro
1. Christ the Redeemer is on top of Mount Corcovado
Christ the Redeemer is a statue of Jesus Christ, located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It sits atop Mount Corcovado, which means “hunchback” in Portuguese. This 2310 feet (704 metres) granite peak is a part of the Carioca Range. It is nestled in the Tijuca Forest National Park, a rainforest within the city’s boundaries.
2. It was a Brazilian/French collaboration
The Roman Catholic archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro commissioned the statue. Polish-French sculptor Paul Landowski created the statue. Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa built the statue in collaboration with the French engineer Albert Caquot. Romanian artist Gheorghe Leonida created the statue’s face. The original sketch was of Christ carrying a large cross in one hand and a globe in the other. The statue earned the nickname ‘Christ with a ball’. In the end, after surveying the land, a design was decided upon of Christ with his arms wide open in an Art Deco style.
3. It took nine years to build
Construction started in 1922 and finishing in 1931. It is made from reinforced concrete and 6 million soapstone tiles. Soapstone is a type of metamorphic rock. The soapstone came from a quarry in Ouro Preto in eastern Brazil. Christ the Redeemer is 30 metres (98 feet) high, excluding its 8-metre (26 feet) pedestal. The statue’s arms stretch 28 metres (92 feet) wide. It weighs 635 metric tons and is the largest Art Deco statue in the world.
4. Christ the Redeemer is a world wonder
In 2007, the public voted Christ the Redeemer onto the list of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It made the cut from 21 finalists.
5. Christ the Redeemer is targeted by lightning
Lightning frequently hits Christ the Redeemer. However, the statue’s numerous lightning rods divert most of these strikes. Although, just before the 2014 World Cup, lightning damaged the back of the statue’s head and a fingertip. Officials scrambled to repair the statue before the first game kicked off.
6. You can marry at Christ the Redeemer
Looking for a unique wedding venue? You can marry your loved one beneath Christ the Redeemer. There is a small Catholic chapel at the base of the statue. The chapel is dedicated to the patron saint of Brazil – Nossa Senhora Aparecida (Our Lady of Aparecida).
7. You can take an escalator to the staute
Every year more than 2 million people visit the famous landmark. To get to the statue, most people take the Corcovado train. This is a centenarian eco-friendly electric train that makes its way through the forest. For years, you had to climb around 200 steps from the train station to reach the statue. However, in 2003, officials installed a series of escalators and elevators to make the journey easier.