Christ the Redeemer (por. Cristo Redentor) – a colossal statue of Jesus Christ on top of Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It has a height of 30 meters, and arms extended horizontally cover 28 meters. The statue, made of reinforced concrete, lined with mosaics from thousands of triangular soapstone tiles, stands on a square stone base, about 8 meters high, which itself is located on a deck on top of the mountain. The statue of Christ the Redeemer is the largest art deco sculpture and the most recognizable landmark of Rio de Janeiro.
This statue has an amazing variety of names. Formally known as the Christ the Redeemer, translated from Portuguese by Cristo Redentor, it is better known as the Christ Rio or Rio Statue, which is evidence that there is only one statue in the imagination of the Rio peoples that is recognizable among all. To speak of the statue of Rio is to speak of the redeeming Christ, period. Even if the city has thousands of other statues. Located on Mount Corcovado, it is naturally called “Christ Corcovado”, “Statue of Corcovado” or even “Corcovado”, while this name denotes the mountain on which it is located, and not the statue itself.
In the 1850s, Vincent priest Pedro Maria Boss proposed to place a Christian monument on Mount Corcovado in honor of Isabelle, Princess Regent of Brazil and the daughter of Emperor Pedro II, but the project was never approved. In 1921, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro proposed to build a statue of Christ on a peak 704 meters high, which will make the statue visible from anywhere in the city. Citizens applied for permission to build the statue on Mount Corcovado.
Permission was granted, and on April 4, 1922, the foundation stone was solemnly laid to commemorate the centenary of Brazil’s independence from Portugal, although the final design of the monument has not yet been selected. In the same year, a competition was held to search for a designer and engineer. Hector da Silva Costa was chosen based on his sketches of the figure of Christ holding a cross in his right hand and a globe in his left.
In collaboration with Brazilian artist Carlos Oswald, Silva Costa later changed the plan; Oswald is credited with the idea of a standing pose of a figure with his arms wide apart. The French sculptor Paul Landowski, who collaborated with Silva Costa in the development of the final design, was noted as the chief designer of the head and hands of the figure. Funds were raised privately, mainly by the church. Under the supervision of Costa, construction began in 1926 and lasted for five years. During this time, materials and workers were transported to the top by rail.
After the construction was completed, the statue was consecrated on October 12, 1931. Over the years, it underwent periodic repairs and reconstructions, including thorough cleaning in 1980, in preparation for the visit of Pope John Paul II to Brazil, and major repairs in 2010.
Escalators and panoramic elevators have been added since 2002; earlier, to get to the statue itself, tourists climbed more than 200 steps as the last leg of the trip. In 2006, in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the statue, the chapel at its base was consecrated in honor of Our Lady Aparecida, patroness of Brazil.
One of the seven wonders of the world!
“7 Wonders of the Modern World” was nominated after a vote organized by the New Seven Wonders Foundation, created by Swiss businessman Bernard Weber with a private marketing company. Therefore, this is a private initiative with a commercial purpose, which has absolutely nothing to do with UNESCO. The statue of Christ the Redeemer is one of the 7 wonders of the modern world.
Here is a list of the new seven wonders of the world:
- the great Wall of China
- The ancient city of Petra
- Statue of Christ the Redeemer
- Machu Picchu
- Aztec Pyramids in Chichen Itza
- Roman Coliseum
- Taj Mahal