Christ the Redeemer Fast FactsLocation: Rio de Janeiro Brazil, Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park Design style: Art Deco Composition: Reinforced concrete and soapstone Created: Between 1922 and 1931 Height: 99 feet tall on 31 foot pedestal on 2,300 foot mountain Width: 98 feet wide Weight: 635 tons Cost: $250,000 (in the 1920’s; equivalent of 3 million dollars today)
History of the Statue
The idea of a statue in Brazil depicting Jesus Christ as a significant religious monument originated in the 1850’s by Pedro Maria Boss, a Catholic priest. The idea didn’t progress at the time because Princess Isabel rejected it.
The idea was resurrected in the 1920’s and funds were collected to begin construction.
Other ideas including a cross, Jesus holding a globe, and Jesus standing on a globe. Eventually, the depiction of Christ with open arms was selected, an image which signifies peace, and is also in the shape of a cross.
The statue’s designer was Heitor da Silva Costa; it’s sculptor was Paul Landowski, a European artist of Polish and French decent.
Christ the Redeemer in Recent History
The statue is consistently maintenanced to safeguard it from natural elements. It has also undergone more extensive restoration in recent decades.
Beneath the statue is a chapel where baptisms and weddings have been performed since 2006. The statue was struck by lightning in 2008 and underwent repair.
In 2010 the statue was spray painted by a vandal, an act condemned by local Catholics and politicians. In the same year, the statue was lit in green and yellow, Brazil’s national colors, in support of the nation’s soccer team in the World Cup.
Links for Religion in Brazil
- Christian Beliefs
- Christianity Fast Facts
- Christian denominations comparisons chart
- Catholic / Protestant comparison chart
- Christianity / Islam comparison chart
- All religions comparison chart
Return to Religion by Country index page.