It is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. It is approximately 40 meters tall and stands upon the peak of the 700 meter Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park. It was chosen for its biblical presence over the city. It is a symbol of Christianity in Rio de Janeiro and all of Brazil. It is the Christ the Redeemer statue.
The idea for the statue actually goes back to the mid 1850’s. Princess Isabel however did not wish to give funding for the project. Finally the church received enough donations after a petition in 1921 to begin construction with a little help from the Vatican in Rome.
Carlos Oswaldo was the first to come up with rough sketches of the statue. Although many designs were presented, they finally decided on the Christ the redeemer with open arms. A local named Heitor da Silva Costa designed the statue. Paul Lndowski, a French sculptor, was commissioned to actually create the statue. After careful review, it was decided that the statue should be constructed of reinforced concrete instead of steel to make it stronger. After nine years of construction the statue was finally unveiled on December 11, 1931. Construction in total ended up costing about 250.000$ US which in today’s terms would be the equivalent of just over $3 million. The left arm of the statue points to the north zone of Rio de Janeiro and the right arm of the statue points to the south zone of Rio de Janeiro. (more…)