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Christ The Redeemer Statue, Rio

Updated on October 7, 2014

Christ the Redeemer

Without a doubt, the symbol of Rio de Janeiro is Christ the Redeemer, which is a statue of Jesus Christ that overlooks Rio. Construction on the iconic Brazilian statue finished in 1931, and in 2007, Christ the Redeemer was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It is generally considered the largest art deco statue on Earth.

Public domain photo courtesy Wikimedia

Public domain photo courtesy Wikimedia


History and Background

The notion for a statue sitting on top of Mount Corcovado was first mentioned in the mid 1850s, when a Catholic priest asked for backing from Princess Isabel to construct a massive religious symbol. The Princess nixed the idea in 1889, when Brazil officially became a Republic, with laws ordering the separation of church and state. The next push for a large monument-type statue was made in 1921 by the Catholic Circle of Rio. The group spearheaded a function called 'Monument Week' to collect donations and acquire signatures to support the construction of the statue. The monetary gifts came mostly from Brazilian Catholics. Some of the ideas considered for the monument included a likeness of the Christian cross, a statue of Jesus holding a globe in his hands, and a pedestal symbolizing the world. The statue of Christ the Redeemer with spread arms was chosen.

Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa was the statue's designer, and it was sculpted by Frenchman Paul Landowski. Several technicians and engineers mulled over Landowski's ideas and it was decided to build the monument out of reinforced concrete, which is more suitable than steel for the cross-shaped structure. The outer core is made of soapstone, picked for its durability and ease of use. Construction took nine years, from 1922 to 1931. The statue was opened on October 12, 1931, at the cost of $250,000. The monument was meant to be lit by an array of floodlights triggered remotely in Rome, but bad weather blocked the signal and it had to be lit by local workers in Rio.

The monument was struck by lightning during a violent thunderstorm on Sunday, February 10, 2008. The storm damaged parts of Rio, but the statue was left undamaged because soapstone, the material forming the outer layers of the statue, is an insulator. In October 2006, on the statue's 75th anniversary, Archbishop of Rio Cardinal Eusebio Oscar Scheid consecrated a chapel under the statue. This allows Catholics to celebrate weddings and baptisms on the site.

Creative Commons photo courtesy Flickr/bossa67

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The statue measures 130 ft tall, including its 31 feet pedestal, and 98 ft wide. It weighs 635 tons and is located at the peak of the 2,300 ft Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking the city of Rio.

Creative Commons photo courtesy Mariordo


'CTR' is struck by lightning several times a year and is equipped with lightning rods. Most strikes only cause very little, if any, damage.

Creative Commons photo courtesy Wikimedia/Alv

CTR Flyover

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Any Thoughts on This Hub? - Feel free to comment here.

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    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      Neat to read about this amazing statue. I'd heard of it but never looked at this much information about it before. Super great.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Wow! Good information.

      Thank you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I saw a picture in the Miami Herald newspaper of this statue and the article was saying that the statue was still standing after a horrible earthquake in Brazil. Ever since then I've been fascinated by this statue.

    • DonMiguel1 profile image

      DonMiguel1 5 years ago

      I want to visit Brazil!

    • profile image

      GrammieOlivia 5 years ago

      It warms my Brazilian heart, thanks for a nice job......

    • profile image

      djroll 5 years ago

      I really enjoyed this lens. Thanks for taking your time to share it.

    • TACTCI LM profile image

      TACTCI LM 5 years ago

      Great lens about Christ the Redeemer! Great images of CTR!

    • MrsPotts profile image

      MrsPotts 5 years ago

      I enjoyed the history of the statue and the beautiful pics.Thank you for sharing it!

    • Phillyfreeze profile image

      Ronald Tucker 5 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      Enjoy reading the history of the Christ the Redeemer statue...until now I always thought the statue sat a top the the popular "Sugar Loaf Mountain tourist attraction.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 5 years ago

      I didn't know the history behind this statue. thank you! Blessed.

    • GoldenTvMemorie1 profile image

      GoldenTvMemorie1 6 years ago

      I've been to Brasil 3 times now and once there felt drawn to Cristo Redentor. Now back in the UK and planning my next trip. The pull of the statue/Rio and Brasil as a whole are very strong. I am not in the slightest bit religious but that statue - there's something about it. :-) Thanks for bringing back such happy memories for me.

    • profile image

      VillaDejaBlue 6 years ago

      Nice lens

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 6 years ago

      This looks so cool. I hope to go there someday!!

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 6 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      That iconic statue has called me for a long time. One of my friends died shortly after visiting Rio and flying around the Christ the Redeemer, and ever since I have wanted to see it myself.

    • jvsper63 profile image

      jvsper63 6 years ago

      Wonderful lens, the statue photo is amazing!!!

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 7 years ago from Canada

      Beautiful Christ the Redeemer statue Rio pictures. Blessed!

    • joanhall profile image

      Joan Hall 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      Love the photos on your lens. Throwing some Squidoo Mardi Gras beads your way.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 7 years ago

      That picture is amazing. That and a book I read by Eugene Robinson Coal the Cream may get me to go there!

    • profile image

      Suzane89 7 years ago

      The seventh wonder which is located in Corcovado in Brazil is an eyecatching spot. The statue is 120 ft tall. This statue is a symbol of Christianity and is a benchmark of Brazil. The statue reveals the message that Jesus has opened his arms to embrace the whole city of Brazil.

    • stacy mcdaniel profile image

      stacy mcdaniel 7 years ago

      Amazing photos and I love the flyover video. I would love to go there someday.

    • profile image

      Sunset48 7 years ago

      Nice lens, Rio is such an amazing city and the view from CTR is incredible!

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 8 years ago

      Interesting lens with some great pictures.. I didn't know it was built in the early 1900s as I only ever heard of it quite recently.