A new statue in Brazil is reaching record heights. Cristo Protetor is surpassing the Christ the Redeemer statue as the tallest in Brazil.
Officially finished in April 2022, Cristo Protetor, which means “Christ the Protector,” stands at 143 feet tall. It’s located in Rio Grande do Sul, which is just under 1,000 miles southwest of Rio de Janeiro and its Christ the Redeemer statue. Famous sculptor Genesio Gomes Moura and his son, Markus, designed the statue, which weighs 1,700 tons and has a 128-foot-wide wingspan. Visitors will take an elevator to the statue’s heart, at about 112 feet in the air.
“It will be a glass opening where people will be able to film and photograph the Valley,” explained the project’s general supervisor Artur Lopes de Souza.
Work on the statue began in 2019 at the idea of the local mayor at the time, who has since died from COVID-19. Local businesses funded a majority of the project, even through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We did the work of Christ based on three words: faith, devotion, and gratitude,” explained Robison Gonzatti, deputy president of the Friends of Christ Association. “But the work took on a very large proportion. In a time of the pandemic, Christ came to add to people’s faith.”
There are two ways to measure the height of statues in the world, with and without pedestals. When considering just a statue’s height, without any pedestal, the new Christ the Protector is the tallest statue of Jesus in the world, standing at 123 feet. Christ the Redeemer in Rio is farther down the list, standing at 98 feet tall; however, once you add in the pedestals, Christ the Redeemer becomes taller than Christ the Protector. With pedestals, Christ the Protector drops to third place for the tallest statue of Jesus in the world.
Cristo Protetor is already garnering vast interest, with more than 37,000 people touring the statue during its construction. Officials were offering paid guided tours on the weekends and holidays. While the statue is now complete, it’s not yet open to tourists because the surrounding plaza is still under construction. Once the complex is complete in early 2023, it will have restaurants, shops, and multiple views of the new statue.
Local officials expect tourism to increase due to the new statue and surrounding complex. Brazil is home to some of the most beautiful places in the world, including this national park whose sand dunes turn into lagoons seemingly overnight. Here’s a guide on what to see and do in Rio De Janeiro, including a visit to the Christ the Redeemer statue, plus why you should consider visiting a different Christ statue in Lisbon.