Christ the Redeemer: Five Interesting Facts

Christ the Redeemer is on the bucket list of many travelers, and some might find it daunting to visit with small children…. nope, not us, we didn’t think twice about taking our traveling circus to see this sacred statue. We learned a lot when we visited, and I wanted to share some unique Christ the Redeemer facts that we learned.

This iconic statue overlooks Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and has a very rich history that dates back to its completion in 1931.  Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa came up with the idea for the status, which was created by French sculptor Paul Landowski.  This monumental statue was built to commemorate the centenary of Brazilian independence and as a symbol of peace and unity.

It was built on top of 700-meter high Corcovado Mountain and from there, you can see almost the entirety of Rio de Janeiro below. When you think about other famous statues like the Statue of Liberty in the United States or the ancient Colossus of Rhodes in Greece, Christ the Redeemer stands out for a couple of reasons. First, it has a strong spiritual meaning (obviously). And second, it fits in perfectly with the nature around it, from the green forests to the blue skies. Even though it wasn’t built that long ago, it’s already one of the most important symbols of Christianity and the culture of Brazil, making it one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Facts about Christ the Redeemer, Rio, Brazil

Christ The Redeemer: Basic Facts

  • Christ the Redeemer stands 98 feet tall (this doesn’t include the 26 ft pedestal) high above the mountains overlooking Rio de Janeiro, and the arms stretch to 92 feet wide.
  • Christ the Redeemer is located in the Tijuca National Forest, at the top of the Corcovado Mountain and is considered an icon of Rio de Janeiro and Brazil.
  • Christ the Redeemer is (only) the 5th largest statue of Jesus in the world. Who would have guessed?

Here are 5 interesting facts about Christ the Redeemer in Rio:

1. Reaching Christ the Redeemer

To reach the statue of Christ the Redeemer, we took the electric cogwheel trolley which was the most scenic route. We climbed slowly up the Corcovado mountain through the tropical forest of Tijuca National Park.

Once we reached the top, we had the option of taking an elevator or 222 steps up to the statue. Given the number of Caipirinha’s Hot Hubby and I had enjoyed, I made the executive decision we’d all climb the steps. The view from the top was magnificent and unbelievable, and I didn’t realize the statue is so high that you are sometimes above the airplanes.

christ the redeemer, Rio, Brazil with kids

2. The Statue is Also a Church

The statue has a small chapel at its base. The chapel is used for baptisms and small weddings.

3. Christ the Redeemer’s Arms

The statue’s right arm points to Ipanema Beach and its left arm points to Maracana, the world’s largest soccer stadium.

christ the redeemer, Rio, Brazil with family

4. Christ the Redeemer at Night

At night the statue is lit up by flood lights and the flood lights make the statue look like it is levitating.

Christ the redeemer, Rio, Brazil with your children

5. A Wonder of the World

Christ the Redeemer was voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. More than 100 million people voted on the New Seven Wonders of the World from a list of 21 finalists. Christ the Redeemer made the cut, along with the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu (read about our trip to Machu Picchu), and the Roman Colosseum.

Christ the redeemer, Rio, Brazil family fun
I had to capture the moment of them getting along… call it divine intervention, but whatevs.. I’ll take it!

Why was it selected as a Wonder of the World?  A few good reasons!

Symbolic Significance – Christ the Redeemer is a powerful symbol of peace and Christianity, representing the welcoming and open-hearted nature of the Brazilian people. Its open arms are seen as a gesture of embracing all who visit, regardless of their faith. Architectural Marvel: Constructed between 1922 and 1931, the statue is an engineering feat, especially considering the time period and its location atop the 700-meter Corcovado Mountain. The use of reinforced concrete and soapstone for the outer layers showcases innovative architectural techniques and materials.

Cultural Impact – The statue has become an iconic representation of Rio de Janeiro and Brazil on the global stage, embodying the cultural vibrancy, natural beauty, and spiritual depth of the country. It draws millions of tourists each year, making it one of the most recognizable and visited landmarks in the world.

Integration with Nature – Unlike many other monuments, Christ the Redeemer is seamlessly integrated into its natural surroundings, offering stunning views of Rio de Janeiro, including its beaches, forests, and urban areas. This harmonious blend of human creativity and natural beauty enhances its appeal.

What makes Christ the Redeemer really special isn’t just how it looks or what it represents; it’s also about the peaceful feeling you get there and the amazing views you can see. All of this makes it different from other big statues, marking its place as a truly unique spot among the world’s most famous landmarks.

Christ the Redeemer is definitely worth visiting!

About The Author

Samantha

I’m a travel and health writer, digital brand consultant, breast cancer survivor, and supermom to two boys! I keep it real and share stories of raising an active family, life after a cancer diagnosis, and family travels around the world! Each story is shared with my dry, and sometimes naughty sense of humor.

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