The Cristo Redentor is a site that you will not want to miss when visiting Rio De Janerio . Known as one to the seven wonders of the modern world, this towering statue can be seen from all over the sprawling city. Located on top of the highest peak in the city area, it is visible from most any location. The statue is one of the best-known landmarks in South America and is one of the symbols of the city of Rio de Janeiro , represents Jesus Christ standing with outstretched welcoming arms.
At a height of 710 meters, the statue of Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) is certainly one the world's best-known and most visited monuments. The Statue its self is stands 98 ft. tall, weighing 1,145 tons (2.5 million lbs.) and with an arm span of 92 feet. The statue is made up o f mostly s oapstone that was chosen to withstand the weather and decay . The statue sits on top of Corcovado Mountain ( Hunchback Mountain ) with a peak that is 709m high, located in Tiguca National Park located in the city limits of Rio .
From the top of Corcovado there is a 360-degree view of the city enabling you to see it from all over the city. In turn, from the top of Corcovado , at the base of the statue, you can see the entire city. It is easy to point out other popular tourist spots such as Sugarloaf Mountain, Copacabana, Ipanema, the Jockey Club, the Maracana Stadium, and the Botanical Gardens, as well as a great view of the Rio skyline.
The statue originally conceived by the artist Carlos Oswaldo in 1921 in a different form. The statue seen today was designed by the engineer Heitor da silva Casta and sculpted by Polish sculptor Paul Landowski. In 1922, a signed petition featuring more than 20 thousand names requested the construction of the statue. Construction started in 1926 and was completed in 1931. President Epitácio Pessoa the permission for the erection of the statue. On April 4, 1992 the foundation stone was laid for the monument a top Corcovado Mountain and later inaugurated on October 12, 1931 . The statue was inaugurated on the 12 October 1931. At the time it was completed, Cristo Redentor was the largest art deco monument in the world. The statue is now 73 years old and has gone under renovation several times including the latest finished in 2002.
Cristo Redentor was conceptualized to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of Brazils independence. It was not for another five years before the project begin officially. Originally, the statue was sculpted in France and later shipped in pieces by boat to later be assembled a top of Corcovado Mountain . To get the large pieces to the top of the mountain, the existing railroad was expanded to accommodate for the large load. Now, visitors can take this train all the way up to the top of the mountain to see the statue. The Catholic Church owns the small area where the statue stands and the rights to the monument. Landowski, the sculptor, gave the rights to the monument after the completion.
The Cristo Redentor is a must see for all Rio tourist, it is a cheap activity for the whole family As of January 20th, 2003, tourists are not faced with the 220 steps that lead up to the Statue of Christ. A number of elevators and escalators were installed, instead of forcing people to make the ascent on foot. Besides providing greater comfort, these additions also made access possible to the elderly and the physically handicapped. This was the second phase of the plan that began in 1999 when the Statue was totally overhauled, with the addition of special projection and new lighting. Some Rio residents still visit the statue on a regular bases. Some have called visiting the statue a spiritual moving experience, because of the statues mammoth size and breath taking view of the city.