Photographer's Note

Arms Wide Open

On the summit of Corcovado Mountain, the Cristo Redentor, Christ the Redeemer, statue towers over Rio and seems to embrace the entire city. The statue’s wide open arms are a symbol of the warmth of the Brazilian people. It is Rio’s most recognizable landmark. The statue is very beautiful especially at night when the lights shine on it and make it appear pure white.

Heitor da Silva Costa designed the statue and it was sculpted by Paul Landowski, a French monument sculptor of Polish origin. Construction took nine years, from 1922 to 1931 costing approximately $250,000. The statue itself, made of reinforced concrete and soapstone, is 98-feet (30 meters) tall. The head alone weighs 30 tons. It was shipped from France, hauled up the mountain by rail, assembled, and attached by supporting pillars. The pedestal base on which the statue stands is 26 feet (8 meters) high. There is a small chapel in the base which can accommodate 150 people. The monument was officially opened on October 12, 1931 and marks the centennial of Brazil’s independence.

In February of 2008, the statue was struck by lightning during an electrical storm. The storm caused severe damage in Rio, blowing down trees in several neighborhoods, but the statue was left unharmed because soapstone, the material forming the outer layers of the statue, is an insulator.

Pope John Paul II, Pope Pius XII and Albert Einstein are some of the famous people who visited Corcovado. It is an impressive site to see.

This post is for my friends Sandy and Eric, who are not members of TrekEarth, but regularly and enthusiastically view my TE pictures.

Workshop I - Statue's Head

Workshop II - The Full Statue

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Additional Photos by Betty Jones (BWJ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 458 W: 0 N: 919] (3094)
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