Christ the Redeemer statue is the most iconic symbol of Brazil. Standing tall in Rio de Janeiro, it has been a major tourist attraction for decades now. The story of how the statue came into existence and the facts surrounding it are interesting. In this post, MomJunction presents 25 facts about Christ the Redeemer that will leave you in further awe of this grand monument.
1. Where is Christ the Redeemer?
Christ the Redeemer is a statue atop the Corcovado mountain in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. The Corcovado mountain lies to the west of the city’s center and is within the Tijuca National Park. One can see the peak of the Corcovado mountain from various parts of the city.
2. How tall is Christ the Redeemer?
The statue stands at 30m (98ft). The pedestal (base of the statue) has a height of 8m (26ft). It brings the total height (base+statue) to 38m (124.7ft).
3. What is the weight of the Christ the Redeemer statue?
The approximate weight of the entire structure is 700 tonnes.
4. When was the Christ the Redeemer statue constructed?
The foundation stone of Christ the Redeemer was laid in the year 1922. Though the construction began that year full-fledged development is said to have started in 1926 and lasted until 1931.
5. Who built Christ the Redeemer?
A priest named Pierre-Marie Boss, also called Pedro Maria Boss, first envisioned placing a Christian monument on top of the Corcovado mountain around the year 1859. In 1922, Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa and Brazilian artist Carlos Oswald designed the statue. Oswald is credited with the final pose of the Christ with open arms. Paul Landowski, a French sculptor, worked on creating the statue.
The statue was thus a collaborative effort of Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, Brazilian artist Carlos Oswald, and French sculptor Paul Landowski.
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6. What is Christ the Redeemer made of?
The statue’s base is made of reinforced concrete. The exterior structure is made of soapstone that is placed on an internal reinforced concrete frame. Soapstone is easy to carve, which enabled the sculptors to create several fine details of the clothing on the statue. The stone is durable and can withstand harsh weather.
7. How to get to Christ the Redeemer statue?
Tourists can reach the peak of Corcovado mountain through a narrow road that passes through the forest of the Tijuca National Park. Alternatively, they can take the railroad called Corcovado Rack Railway. There is also a walking trail that goes all the way to the top of the mountain. Once you reach the summit, several escalators take you up to the base of the statue.
8. How long are the arms of the Christ the Redeemer?
The outstretched arms of Christ the Redeemer span 28 meters (92 feet).
9. When was the statue opened to visitors?
The statue was officially inaugurated on 12th October 1931.
10. How many people visit Christ the Redeemer every year?
The statue gets nearly 2 million national and international visitors each year.
More Amazing Facts About Christ The Redeemer
- Railways were used to transport building materials to the top of Corcovado mountain.
- The original design proposed by engineer Heitor da Silva Costa was a pose of the Christ standing with a cross in one hand and a globe in another. Later, the Brazilian artist Carlos Oswald changed the design to Jesus standing with arms wide open, a symbol of peace that seemed more appropriate for the location.
- It is made to withstand wind speeds of up to 250kmph (155mph).
- The hands and the head were the only parts of the statue not made in Brazil. They were made in Paris and were transported to Rio de Janeiro.
- There are several lightning rods (also called lightning conductors) on top of the arms and the head of the statue. These rods protect the statue by conducting lightning away from the statue and towards the ground.
- The head of the statue alone is said to weigh about 30 tonnes.
- Tourists had to climb 200 steps to reach the base of the statue before the introduction of escalators in the year 2002.
- Christ the Redeemer statue was chosen as one of the seven wonders of the modern world in the year 2007.
- The first major restoration of the statue happened in the year 1980 when Pope John Paul II visited Brazil. The statue was also heavily restored in the year 2010. Stones for restoration came from the quarry from where the original stones for the statue were collected.
- Soapstones procured from the quarry in recent times are of a darker shade, because of which the restored sections of the statue appear slightly dark on close observation. Brazilian archaeological experts say that the statue will get darker with further restoration projects in the future.
- It has been struck by lightning several times, with severe hits in the years 2008 and 2014. The 2008 lightning hit damaged the statue’s head and fingers. In 2014, one of the fingers was lost when a bolt of lightning hit it.
- A chapel at the base of the statue was constructed in the year 2006. One can get married at the chapel too!
- The art style used in designing Christ the Redeemer statue is called Art Deco style. It is characterized by straight lines and simple shapes. Christ the Redeemer is the largest Art Deco-style structure in the world.
- Christ the Redeemer is lit every night with about 300 energy-efficient LED lights. It makes the status visible from great distances. In 2010, the statue was illuminated with green and yellow light representing the colors of the Brazilian soccer team.
- The Christ’s pose is often considered to depict a cross. However, it is most likely to suggest a “hug” and that the Christ embraces everyone. The pose and the statue itself have now become a national and international symbol of peace amd harmony.
Christ the Redeemer has been attracting visitors for several decades and continues to do so even today. The statue is an archaeological treasure of Brazil and also part of the rich human history. No wonder it is part of the new wonders of the modern world.
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Have you visited Christ the Redeemer? Tell us in the comments what you found fascinating about this grand statue.