Saturday, June 2, 2012

Icon - The Statue of Christ the Redeemer

by Leighton Gage

The first proposal to build a statue on the peak of Corcovado (the name means “hunchback” in Portuguese) goes all the way back to the mid-1850’s, but found no favor with the royal family of the time.

The second proposal, the one that ultimately resulted in what we have today, was made in 1921, by a group of religious laymen in Rio de Janeiro.

And it wasn’t a government project. It was financed by donations from Brazilian Catholics.

Initial proposals included a Christian cross and a statue of Jesus with a globe in his hands.

Construction of the winning design, in reinforced concrete covered with soapstone, took nine years and cost the equivalent of $3,000,000 in today’s U.S. dollars.

You can get there by tram...

...or by road.

Inside there’s a metal stairway that offers access to every part of the interior, and there are viewing ports in the hands and the head, but they’ve long been closed to the public because of the strong winds that blow almost constantly at that height.

The breadth of the statue from fingertip to fingertip is 28 Meters (92 feet).

The granite peak on which it is built, is 710 meters (2,329 ft) above sea level.
The statue and the pedestal add an additional 110 meters (361 feet).

Here’s the view you get from the base of the statue.

You can still spot the head and extended arms from a distance of more than 20 kilometers at sea.

I have.

And hope that, someday, you’ll be as lucky.

And, oh, did I mention?
It just happens to be on the cover of my current book:


Jaden Terrell said...

Leighton, you make me want to put on my travelin' shoes. I always learn something fascinating from your posts.

Leighton Gage said...

Thank you kindly, Jaden.
It's so nice to know that somebody out there appreciates learning about this kind of stuff as much as I do.
Lack of much response to these posts has led me to believe that I might be boring people.
And I have been seriously considering giving it up.

Jaden Terrell said...

No, no, no, Leighton. Please don 't do that. I think there are a lot more people reading than commenting--and there are a number of people, like me, who don't come by every day, but leave their responses in clumps. I try to comment on everything--eventually.

I love your posts, and I suspect I'm only one of many.

We need to figure out how to get people commenting, don't we?