Christ the Redeemer

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by parramore on November 26, 2000

Undoubtedly part of what gives Rio her strange charm.

In trying to decode the statue's mystique, I'm put in mind of the famous scene depicted on the Temple of Zeus in Olympia. Above a band of drunken, brawling centaurs, the figure of Apollo looms, coolly enforcing his calm rationality over wine-sodden pandemonium. High on Corcovado mountain, the Catholic Apollo gazes over the 'city without shame,' thanks to the efforts of the Catholic Church to assert itself amid political turmoil and aetheism in the 1920's.

Walking around the streets of Rio, I found myself often caught by the beauty and mysteriousness of the Redeemer. Each glimpse invites a moment of contemplation on the healing power of spirituality, as well as the dominance of poweful religious bodies. But to climb the steps to see the thing face to face is to truly realize its power. The uncanny effect of clouds moving behind the enormous statue make it appear to be flying through the air when you stand very close. There are very few places I've been to--the Temple of Posiedon at Sounion comes to mind--where the spiritual force of a deity is so powerfully expressed. The photos I've included here represent different moods of this most fascinating monument as I saw them. They also represent my excitement at learning Photoshop.

Christ the Redeemer is accessible by car, organized tours, by taxi or on foot. Unless you have a strong stomach, avoid the public bathrooms at reststops along the steps.

Christ the Redeemer Statue (O Cristo Redentor)
Corcovado Mountain
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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