The statue of Christ the Redeemer on top of the Corcovado mountain(hunchback), which is situated in the heart of Tijuca National Park in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, has become synonymous with Rio de Janeiro. Brazilians are known for their warmth and hospitality just like Christ was said to be messiah of the downtrodden, people of Brazil welcome people with open arms.
Since Christ the Redeemer statue has always evoked interest among people and now as on 7th July 2007, monoment is one of the new 7 wonders of the world, people of all faiths have flocked to Rio de Janeiro to have a look at the massive statue which is 125 ft tall and weighs 700 tons. The distance between his two arms is 28mts.
The outstretched arms and the body looks like a cross. The statue of Christ the Redeemer or Cristo Redentor was designed by a Brazilian Heitor da Silva Costa and sculpted by a Frenchman Paul Landowski. The statue was constructed in 5 years and monoment was inaugurated on October 12, 1931.
CHRIST THE REDEEMER
Right from the 1850's there were requests to erect a religious statue which was vetoed. Then again in 1921 the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro held a monument week where donations were collected to erect a monument. After many considerations the statue of Jesus with open arms was chosen. The foundation stone to construct the statue was laid on 22nd April 1922, the day of Brazilian independence.
The Christ the Redeemer was built in bits and pieces. After all the pieces were built it was transferred to the top. The statue of Christ the Redeemer is built out of reinforced concrete. Soapstone is used for the outer layer which gives it a smooth finish and it is more resistant to external climatic conditions. It costed $ 250,000 to build the Christ the redeemer. The Corcovado Rack Railway helped in transferring the hugepieces of the statue on top of the mountain.
The Statue of Christ the Redeemer has 220 steps to be climbed for a closer visit. Technology has made things easier for the people. Escalators and elevators with a scenic beauty of the surroundings are now installed. So Christ the Redeemer waits there with his open arms, waiting to hug everyone, one hand pointing to the North and the other one to the South, welcoming all with his warmth, after people go uphill in the miniature red train that goes through the Atlantic Rainforest up to the base of the statue and seeing the spectacular beauty of Rio on the way. On the 75th anniversary of the statue the Archbishop of Rio dedicated a chapel housed in the base of the statue.
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