"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace." - Ephesians 1:7
Particularly to those who harbor an inexplicable and irrational fear of heights, a trip to the pinnacle of Mount Corcovado is bound to rouse the kaleidoscope of butterflies in one's stomach, and at the very least, cover one's palms with a glistening film of sweat. A maximum of 345 passengers board the boxy, ribbon-red Trem do Corcovado. These modern, Swiss-made train carriages are perfectly safe, but the mechanical whirring and the rhythmic click-click-clicks as the train chugs up a set of sturdy tracks about 2.4 miles in length to a summit that is 2,329 feet above ground only adds to the suspense. But they say that what lies on the top of Corcovado makes the jarring trip up the mountain well worth its while, for this is none other than the home of the Cristo Redentor, one of the most famous statues in the world.
Others say this fabled monument is best appreciated after dark and from a distance, ideally from the crest of Sugar Loaf Mountain, the aptly-named loaf-shaped peak sitting opposite the Corcovado. Under the twinkling night sky, with Corcovado cloaked by layers of lingering fog, the glowing figure seems to float above the constellation of city lights, like the city's very own North Star, guiding and guarding over the maze of modern buildings and classic "shanty towns" of Rio de Janeiro.
But the Cristo Redentor is far more than just a princely statue or a tourist trap for urban explorers and adrenaline addicts. As one of the masterminds behind the statue once described the masterpiece, it is a "monument to science, art, and religion." Padre Omar, the rector of its chapel, called it "a religious symbol, a cultural symbol, and a symbol of Brazil." So significant and irreplaceable is the statue to the locals that modern artists continue to pay homage to the iconic landmark through graffiti art, elaborate murals, and intricately detailed sand sculptures on the Copacabana beach. Many of the Catholic Brazilian youth have also chosen to ink their skin with exquisite tattoos featuring the statue, from minimalist and standalone shoulder or arm pieces to massive chest and full back tattoos.
Christ the Redeemer: The History and Legacy of the Western Hemisphere’s Most Famous Christian Monument chronicles the events leading up to the monument's conception, its construction, and the great architects and engineers behind the majestic monument. It also examines the legacy of this iconic Brazilian landmark. You will learn about Christ the Redeemer like never before.