Christ the Redeemer, the statue in Rio de Janeiro, is perhaps one of the most famous landmarks in Brazil. It is recognized by millions of people around the world and attracts many tourists that visit Brazil and Rio de Janeiro. The statue was originally made in France by the sculptor Paul Landowski. It was then shipped to Brazil where Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa and French engineer Albert Caquot worked to finish it. Finally, a Romanian sculptor named Gheorghe Leonida finished the face of the statue.
Construction on Christ the Redeemer started in 1922 and it was finally completed in 1931. The statue overlooks the city of Rio de Janeiro. When you reach the top of where Christ the Redeemer is based on Corcovado mountain, you can get a good view of much of Rio de Janeiro and it’s a very beautiful site to see indeed. Today, some escalators have been installed to make it easier to get up to the top of the mountain but you should still be prepared for a lot of walking & hiking up the mountain to get to the top. Also, because of Christ the Redeemer’s location on Corcovado mountain, it is hit by lightning several times a year.
Christ the Redeemer is also one of the largest statues of Jesus in the world. It has a width of 28 meters or 92 feet, and excluding the pedestal, it has a height of 30 meters or 98 feet. Including the pedestal, it has a height of 38 meters or 125 feet. You will also notice that Christ the Redeemer has his arms straight out – this is deliberate and represents a symbol of peace. Christ the Redeemer was funded by the Catholic community in Brazil and cost about $250,000 USD back then to build it, which is about $3.6 US million today.
Over the years, restoration has also been done on Christ the Redeemer. Lighting strikes, strong winds, and erosion gradually take its toll on the statue. In fact, in 2014, a lightning strike severely damaged the thumb of the statue. The statue has gone under restoration and various care taking over the years. In 1980, it was thoroughly cleaned before Pope John Paul the second visited Brazil. Further restoration work was conducted in the 1990s and also into the 2000s. Today, homes with a good view of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro can sell for a premium, compared to other homes in the same area without a view of the statue.
To this day, Christ the Redeemer is one of the most famous symbols in Brazil. In 2000, a campaign was started to choose “New Seven Wonders of the World” based on 200 monuments. In 2007, the winners were announced with Christ the Redeemer as one of the seven winners so it is now considered to be one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World,” sitting along side the other new wonders of the world, including Machu Picchu, Petra, Chichen Itza, Colosseum, the Great Wall of China, and the Taj Mahal. If you come to Brazil, we highly recommend that you visit this famous attraction in Rio de Janeiro!