Christ the Redeemer is more than just its height. Nothing says a big symbol quite as huge as Cristo Redentor or Christ the Redeemer overlooking Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This monumental art deco is not only towering by its height, it is practically the largest symbol of the Christian faith you can never find elsewhere. Not even in either Vatican or Rome. As its name implies, this human-figure statue with its arms wide open is essentially the depiction of Christ himself as embodying the cross.
However, apart from its locale, there is a side about this sky-high effigy that is not 100% Brazilian—the iconic structure itself was built by few artists, only one of which is Brazilian by birth. The design of the figure was originally conceived by a French sculptor named Paul Laudowski but was built by a Brazilian engineer, Heitor da Silva Costa, with the help of fellow engineer, Albert Caquot. Meanwhile, the face of the statue was sculpted by a Romanian sculptor, Gheorgie Leonida. The erection of the graven image was completed between the years 1922 to 1931.
While many tourists see Christ the Redeemer as an attraction to be in when in the city, Brazilians close and afar view this magnificent structure as a symbol of their nation and of peace. Christ the Redeemer, after all, is not considered a sacred relic but only of religious significance among Christians.
Although seeing Christ the Redeemer up close is already breath-taking enough from the ground, the real awe-inspiring moment of the visit is by being at the exact same level as the sculpture itself. It is at this height that you would see the seamless totality of the city’s diverse and oftentimes contrasting qualities—the expensive-looking apartments, the favelas, the literally unhoused, a number of football stadiums and the Guanabara Bay dotted with its scattered islands.
Unless you are riding on a high-flying vehicle at an elevation higher than Christ the Redeemer itself, this is something which mostly only birds see at their flight or when perched hundreds of feet high above seawater—a very thrilling and spectacular experience for us humans. You can almost literally sum up the existing status quo in Rio by being at shoulder-height with the mammoth figure itself.
In case you are wondering, having to climb the tall figure is actually possible and something which few tourists had done before. But climbing the Christ the Redeemer Statue is totally crazy – there’s nothing to hold on to. I will never do it!
Corcovado Mountain where Christ the Redeemer stands is Rio de Janeiro’s most visited tourist attraction, so anytime of the day it is a busy day here. So when is the best time to visit Corcovado to avoid the crowds? Visit the place on early mornings or late evenings.
For something as remarkable feat as Christ the Redeemer, it was given the honor of having been included in the list of New Seven Wonders of the World. The statue of Christ the Redeemer is amazing. How such a massive thing got there? Well, that’s one of the many reasons why visit Corcovado and see the towering iconic statue close range.
Getting to Christ the Redeemer by Train
Though you can get to Christ the Redeemer by van, renting a car, hiking and biking, but still, the most convenient, most scenic and most exciting way to get to Christ the Redeemer is by the eco-friendly electric train at Corcovado train station.
Getting to Corcovado Train Station by bus
– If you are coming from Av. Presidente Vargas, take bus line 422 (towards South Zone)
– If you are coming from Leblon, take bus lines:
581 – Circular 1 (Leblon – Cosme Velho, via Copacabana / Urca / Largo do Machado)
582 – Circular 2 (Leblon – Urca, via Botanic Garden and Rebouças Tunnel)
583 and 584
– If you are coming from Copacabana, take bus line 583
– If you are coming from Novo Rio Bus Station, take bus line 118 – Troncal 8, (via Mauá Square)
Getting to Corcovado Train Station by metro or subway
Take a subway and disembark at Largo do Machado station. From the station, take the bus that goes to Cosme Velho and then jump off in front of Church of São Judas Tadeu, the Corcovado train station is right there.
How much does it cost to get to Corcovado? Should you book in advance? Check here.