Souvenirs from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Christ the Redeemer Statue is a massive 38-meter high Art Deco masterpiece which is located in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil at the top of the Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park. Overlooking the city with its protective open arms, the Christ the Redeemer Statue (or Christo Redentor in original Portuguese) symbolizes world peace and its beauty is captured now on a resin fridge magnet souvenir. The idea of the statue dates back to the 1850s when the Catholic Priest Pedro Maria Boss suggested the construction of a religious monument inside Rio de Janeiro but never managed to raise the funds. The Catholic Circle of Rio re-invented the project in 1921 and through massive public donations from the Catholic community the monument was eventually funded. Among the suggested designs for the statue, a cross and a statue of Christ holding a globe were all rejected in favor of the Christ with His 28 meter long open arms.
Christ the Redeemer Statue at its Best and Worst
Despite being designed by the Brazilian Heitor da Silva Costa, the French sculptor Paul Landowski was contracted to carve Christ the Redeemer Statue and the monument was finally completed after 9 years and inaugurated in October 1931. Soapstone and reinforced concrete were used as resistant materials for the construction still major restorations took place prior to the 1980 visit of Pope Paul II. Elevators were added in 2003 to improve access to the platform and two major restoration works took place in 2008 (to repair minor damages brought by a violent lighting) and 2010 (for the general maintenance of the statue’s interior when a lighting system has also been added at the base of the statue). In 2010, an episode of severe vandalism affected the Statue and shocked public opinion. The mayor labeled it as a ‘crime against the nation’ thus stressing the Monument’s national symbolism.
Reaching the Christ the Redeemer Statue
To reach this splendid monument, you can choose to take a taxi which will bring you right to the top or catch one of the picturesque red trains which goes up the hill in less than 20 minutes to let you marvel at the stunning overview of the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro with its famous Copacabana, Leblon and Ipanema. There are only 220 steps between the top of the statue and its base and escalators are also available. In October 2006, during the 75th year celebration, the Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro officially opened a chapel within the monument for Catholic baptisms and weddings. For an unforgettable experience of Rio de Janeiro, the Tijuca Forest National Park offers wonderful surroundings for walking and camping and beautiful views of Sugar Loaf Mountain and Rio’s picture perfect beaches.
Christ the Redeemer Statue in a New Light
In March 2011, a new lighting system was implemented by Traxon Technologies in a partnership with OSRAM to give the statue a new modern feel. It was designer Peter Gasper’s project to create a spectacular visual effect for the visitors by using bright LED lights. A smart energy efficient lighting system was created around the base of the statue and using various distance of focus centers, the stunning individual details of the statue were put under a new light. The installation can be programmed via the Internet or mobile phones and it’s a glimpse into the Statue’s new role of shinning over future generations. Its magical natural beauty won its proud title of one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.