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10 Charming Facts about Christ the Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer is one of the most famous monuments in South America – in fact, this towering spectacle of Jesus Christ, in Rio, is well-known to many who’ve never even seen it up close! What’s more, people from all over the world travel every year to see it and admire it. But, how much do you know about this important statue? Here are some fun facts about Christ the Redeemer to keep in mind.

1. You’ll find Christ the Redeemer in the heart of Rio, Brazil.

As the name suggests, Christ the Redeemer is a colossal statue of Jesus Christ built in an Art Deco style. It stands atop Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park, looking over the city of Rio de Janeiro – and it’s one of Brazil’s best-known landmarks.

2. Making the statue was a collaborative effort between engineers and sculptors alike.

Christ the Redeemer was designed by Heitor da Silva Costa, a Brazillian engineer, and sculpted by Paul Landowski of France. The face alone, believe it or not, was created by Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida. Leonida’s something of a legend in his homeland – he returned home to create more work you can see up at Bran Castle, close to Brașov.

3. It took the sculpturing team nine years to design and build.

Construction of the Redeemer statue began in 1922 and completed in 1931. It was inaugurated on October 12, 1931, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Brazil’s independence. In 2031, it’s likely the statue will receive honors all over again for Brazil’s second centenary.

Christ the Redeemer aerial view

4. The statue stands almost 100 feet tall… without its pedestal!

Christ the Redeemer stands at around of 30 meters in height (98 feet). It also has an additional 8-meter (26 feet) height thanks to its pedestal, making the total height 38 meters (125 feet)! That’s about two-thirds of the height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, or about twice the length of a standard ten-pin bowling lane.

5. The statue stretches out to almost 100 feet, too.

The famous open arms of Christ the Redeemer stretch 28 meters (92 feet) wide! They symbolize an embrace of the city and its people. While impressively wide, the Redeemer’s wingspan is still only two-fifths the span of that of a Boeing 747 airline.

6. It designed to be bright white and seen from afar.

Christ the Redeemer is built out of reinforced concrete and soapstone tiles. It’s these materials that give the statue its distinctive bright white appearance.

7. It is considered one of the Seven (modern) Wonders of the World.

The Redeemer is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It was declared so in a global poll conducted by the New7Wonders Foundation in 2007. Others named in the poll include Mexico’s Chichen-Itza, the Great Wall of China, and India’s Taj Mahal.

8. It was positioned so that it could be seen from all over the city, not just from above.

One of the most famous things about the Redeemer statue is its position. The location of the statue was chosen because of its visibility from various parts of the city, making it an iconic symbol of Rio de Janeiro. It is situated at an elevation of 710 meters (2,329 feet) above sea level, providing breathtaking panoramic views of Rio.

9. The Redeemer underwent restoration in the past three decades.

In 2010, the statue underwent a major restoration and cleaning process. The goal was to remove accumulated dirt and grime and repair weather-related damage.

10. UNESCO recognizes it as a heritage site.

In 2012, UNESCO designated the cultural landscape of Rio de Janeiro, including Christ the Redeemer, as a World Heritage Site. The same year, Xanadu in China and India’s Western Ghats received accolades, too.

Christ the Redeemer as seen in Rio de Janeiro at night
Christ the Redeemer as seen in Rio de Janeiro at night

FAQs about Christ the Redeemer

Why is Christ the Redeemer so famous?

Christ the Redeemer is famous for its incredible size and the design and work that took place to create it. Its position overlooking Rio de Janeiro also provides incredible views of the city.

How did they build Christ the Redeemer?

Construction on Christ the Redeemer started in France, before being shipped to Brazil to be remade and reinforced.

Can you walk inside Christ the Redeemer?

It is possible to climb up Christ the Redeemer from a staircase inside. You can then go to its head and arms. However, this access is strictly for maintenance purposes!

Further reading:

Do you know any fun facts about Christ the Redeemer? Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on August 10, 2023. Suggest an edit

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