How tall is the Christ the Redeemer statue (Significance of the statue)?

Christ the Redeemer statue is the most famous landmark in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The statue is recognized worldwide as a symbol of Christianity. It attracts millions of believers and non-believers to Mount Corcovado yearly. It is one of the most photographed monuments, and it is the fourth largest statue of Jesus worldwide after Christ the Protector in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, Christ the King in Świebodzin, Poland, and Christ of Peace in Cochabamba, Bolivia. You may be wondering, how tall is the Christ the Redeemer statue?

The Christ the Redeemer statue is 98 feet tall without the pedestal. This is an equivalent of 30 meters. The statue’s outstretched arms span 92 feet, which is an equivalent of 28 meters. It has a 26 feet pedestal which makes the entire statue, including the pedestal, 38 meters, which is 124 feet.

It weighs 635 metric tons and is located in Tijuca National Park on the Peak of Corcovado Mountain, 2300 feet. The statue faces the city of Rio de Janeiro. This being one of the most famous statues in the world, questions like who built the statue? When and why was it built? And what the significance of the statue may arise. To find out answers to these questions and more, keep on reading.

Who built the statue?

The Christ the Redeemer statue was built by a Brazilian engineer, Heitor da Silva Costa. He did this in collaboration with a French engineer Albert Caquot. A Romanian sculptor, Gheorghe Leonida, sculpted the face of the statue, and Paul Landowski, a French sculptor, created the statue.

In the 1850s, Pedro Maria Boss, a Vincentian priest, came up with the idea of constructing a Christian monument on Mount Corcovado in honor of Princess Isabel for freeing enslaved people, but this idea was dismissed.

In 1920, the Catholic Church made a second proposal to build a landmark statue on the mountain. They organized an event to collect donations and signatures to aid in the building process. Most of the donations were given by Brazilian Catholics, and the movement was propelled by what was perceived as Godlessness in society.

Several designs were considered. Some of them included the statue of Christ with open arms, a representation of the Christian cross, and a statue of Christ holding a globe and a pedestal. The original design of Christ the Redeemer was a colossal image of Christ holding a globe in one hand and a cross in the other. The project organizers accepted this design but later changed it to what we see today: an image of Christ with widespread arms. The organizers settled on a universal symbol of peace.

Heitor da Silva Costa, a local engineer, and artist Carlos Oswald were tasked with designing the statue. Paul Landowski was tasked with the creation of the work. He modeled the statue in clay before it was translated to concrete.

Models of diverse sizes were constructed to determine a suitable one. Coast Hisses did all the calculations. Pedro Viana and Heitor Levy assisted him.

A group of engineers sat down and looked at the work submitted by Landowski. They figured reinforced concrete would be a better material compared to steel. The concrete used in this construction was outsourced from Sweden. The outer layer of the statue was made of soapstone.

The statue was constructed using reinforced concrete, which was deemed more sustainable than other materials like steel. Soapstone was used to create the external parts of the statue as it is considered more resistant to extreme weather conditions and is also malleable.

The material and people who worked on the monument’s construction were transported by trains to Corcovado.

Due to the high location of the statue, it is prone to be hit by lightning. In 2008 the statue was struck by lightning, and the Rio de Janeiro government took the initiative to repair the affected areas and replace the outer soapstone layers.

There have been other major restoration works on the statue, which involved replacing the mortar, cleaning, changing the soapstone layers, repairing the internal structure by replacing the iron and making the statue waterproof.

How tall is the Christ the Redeemer statue
When and why was the Christ the Redeemer built? See below

When and why was the Christ the Redeemer built?

The construction of the Christ the Redeemer statue began in 1922. The work went on for nine years. The construction ended in 1931. The ground-breaking of the construction was on 4th April 1922, when the first stone was laid. The monument was opened on 12th October 1931, marking its completion.

During the opening ceremony, there were plans to light up the statue remotely from Rome through a battery of floodlights by Guglielmo Marconi, a shortwave radio inventor. Unfortunately, the bad weather that day deterred this from happening, and the lights had to be activated on-site.

The Christ the Redeemer statue was built to celebrate 100 years of independence from Portuguese rule. It was a commemoration to celebrate 100 years of being a republic. Around this period, other countries such as the United States and France erected statues to celebrate the centenary of their independence. In 1922, Brazil began a mission to build an iconic statue to celebrate this.

The other reason the Christ the Redeemer statue was built was to promote Christianity. It was a form of evangelization for Brazil in order to strengthen religion. The Catholic Church orchestrated the construction of The Christ the Redeemer statue. This was an opportunity for the church to increase its religious impact in the public sphere.

What is the significance of the Christ the Redeemer?

The Christ the Redeemer statue is a national symbol of the Brazilians, representing both the religious and cultural values of the people of Brazil.

According to Nora Heimann, chair of the Art Department at Catholic University, the Christ the Redeemer statue is a connection between the classic image of Christ on the cross as depicted by Europeans and the modern style of Christ, which is less representative.

The statue has open arms, which represent Christ’s acceptance of everyone. It represents Christ’s love for the human race and the peace that He brings. This is also a representation of the warm and welcoming nature of Brazilians to visitors.

The statue’s construction was to declare that Rio de Janeiro is a Godly city. It was also a symbol to reclaim Rio de Janeiro from the secular world.

It commemorates 100 years of Brazil’s independence from Portuguese rule, thus symbolizing Brazil’s stability and a century of independence.

Culturally, the statue represents Brazilian’s artistic nature which is evident in Graffiti, sculptures, tattoos, and the celebration of the Brazilian carnival.

The statue was erected to signify Jesus’ watching over the people of Brazil and as a reminder of their sacred duties. This was after the country went into turmoil in the late 1800s when the government transitioned from a monarchy to a republic.


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