A Brief Introduction to Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer Statue


You’ve seen the marvelous giant statue of Christ overlooking Brazil, but do you know why it was put on top of Mount Corcovado? The history of Cristo Redentor (as it is called in Brazil) is fascinating. Anyone planning a trip to Rio de Janeiro must make plans to travel to the top to see this new Seven Wonders of the World up close.

With a city tour of Rio de Janeiro, you are sure to find out even more of its unique history as you travel the vibrant city with your tour group. To help you prepare, let’s look at some of the basics about this Brazilian art symbol.

Basic Facts

The Christ the Redeemer statue was designed by an engineer named Heitor da Silva Costa in 1920. However, it took nine years to build, as well as help from other artists and engineers. The statue stands 98 feet tall with Christ’s arms, either in a cross formation or a hug depending who you ask, spread 92 feet.

It is made of clay and tile with reinforced cement. However, the original materials are no longer available, so as the statue ages and needs renovations, it will continue to darken in color. At this point, there have already been multiple restorations to the statue as it has suffered from age and weather-related issues.

As it overlooks Rio de Janeiro, it is a popular tourist attraction. But, it is more than a tourist attraction. The statue is complete with a chapel at the base where visitors can pray or even get married beneath Christ’s outspread arms.

Why It Is Meaningful

The Christ the Redeemer statue was originally made because of concerns the Catholic citizens had about the state of the country. After the separation of Church and State in Brazil, the Catholic Church felt as though the country was headed towards more godlessness. To redirect the citizen’s hearts and focus, the Catholic Circle of Rio collected donations to have iconic statue designed and built.

Today, it is one of the most recognized statues in the world. It is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Tourists flock to the statue daily, but it is not simply to see the statue, it is also to see the amazing 360-degree view of Rio de Janeiro.

How You Can Visit It

There are multiple ways to see the Christ the Redeemer statue when you visit Rio. Tourists can walk or take a bus or taxi to the top of the mount. However, one of the most popular options is to take the tram. Additionally, renovations have included adding stairs, elevators, and escalators to make it more accessible to the masses. Again, you can learn more about the city and the religious significance of the statue by booking one of Strawberry Tours of Rio.

Where Else You Might Have Seen It

If you feel like you have seen this incredible work of art everywhere, then you are correct. The iconic Christ the Redeemer statue has appeared in numerous movies, television shows, and video games. It was also frequently shown during the 2016 Summer Olympic Games hosted by Rio.