Visiting the Cristo Redentor border monument, Chile and Argentina: 4000 metres high in the Andes mountains
More than 100 years of peace commemoration near Uspallata Pass
This is a memorable monument, not least because of the great effort and long travel up winding, mountain roads which it takes to reach it. The statue of is situated near the Cristo Redentor Tunnel (1) and the Uspallata Pass (Spanish: Paso de Uspallata ), sometimes known as Paso del Bermejo, high in the Andes mountains, through which the border runs between Argentina and Chile. This international border actually runs through the statue and this was precisely significant because it was intended to signify the peaceful good-neighbourliness of these two Latin American republics which, together, occupy much of the southern portion of the Continent.
The monument dates from the year 1904. The sculptor was Mateo Alonso and the statue weighed 4 tonnes. In 2004, Argentinian and Chilean Presidents Kirchner and Lagos held a ceremony commemorating the monument's centenary. Las Cuevas is the nearest populated locality to the monument.
Somewhat exceptionally for these travel articles, I am including two national flags: those of both Chile and Argentina, since each country has an equal claim to the location. Because of the constraints of the technology, and for this reason only, one flag appears above the other, but no particular significance should be attached to this order, otherwise (2).
A late 19th century political map of South America has also been included; given its obsolete character, no particular contemporary significance should be attributed to any inaccuracies which it may display, but close observers will see that some of the borders marked differ from contemporary boundaries.
Indeed, 19th century Latin America was noted for its boundary disputes and relations between Argentina and Chile were no exception, but this monument marks a mutual resolution for the two countries to solve their differences through amicable negotiation.
Travellers may recall that there is a well-known visitor attraction in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, also known as Cristo Redentor; by way of differentiation, the mounument by that name on the Argentinian-Chilean border is often referred to as 'Cristo Redentor de los Andes', i.e, of the Andes (Mountains).
(1) Cristo Redentor Tunnel is also known as The Liberators' International Pass (Spanish: Paso Internacional Los Libertadores ).
(2) A similar situation arose in my hubpages on the Statue of Liberty, where I exceptionally included both the State flag of New York and that of New Jersey, because both states can lay claim to the statue's location; again, no particular agenda was otherwise intended by the inclusion of both flags in the order given.
How to get there: LanChile flies to Santiago de Chile and Aerolineas Argentinas flies to Mendoza, Argentina. Tour options for visiting Cristo Redentor include tours arranged from Mendoza. I reached the monument and departed along the same route again, but travellers making an onward journey over the international border should check with appropriate consular sources regarding any visa requirements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date travel information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
Other of my hubpages may also be of interest
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- Visiting Rio and its Sugarloaf Mountain: Brazil's almost unparalleled scenery
- Visiting Montevideo's historic Cerro fortress: the looming past, and fine views
- Visiting New York City: views of the Statue of Liberty, on Liberty Island
- Visiting the Arctic Watershed near Northern Ontario's Kenogami Lake: historical boundary of Rupert's