Brazilian Town Builds Jesus Statue Even Taller Than ‘Christ The Redeemer’
Aerial view of Christ The Protector Statue at sunrise on April 21, 2021 in Encantado, Brazil.
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

A small town in southern Brazil has constructed a statue of Jesus Christ that is even larger than the famous “Christ the Redeemer” statue in Rio de Janiero.

Encantado, a town of about 23,000 people in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, nearly 1,000 miles south of Rio de Janeiro, unveiled the statue, known as “Cristo Protetor” or “Christ the Protector” on April 22. The project was funded by a local volunteer organization called the Associação Amigos de Cristo (Friends of Christ Association).

The Associação Amigos de Cristo de Encantado … announces that the first stage of the construction of the complex (the construction of the monument) is being concluded, lacking only the internal coating and its pedestal,” the organization said in a statement on its website. “In this first stage, so far more than 37,500 visitors have been able to see the Christ being built and have been able to contribute directly or indirectly to the project.”

The AACE added that the second phase of construction, which will build the surrounding structure and tourist complex around the statue, will begin soon, and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2022. Travel and Leisure magazine notes that the completed complex will have shops, restaurants, and other viewing points around the statue. “The city of Encantado and the entire region of Vale do Taquari is already preparing to offer more tourist attractions to all visitors that are expected,” AACE said on its website.

The statue stands at a total height of about 140 feet, making it more than 40 feet taller than the world-famous “Christ the Redeemer” statue in Rio de Janeiro, which is about 98 feet tall. The arm span from hand to hand measures at around 128 feet. The statue also has a heart-shaped opening in the chest area, which will be used as a viewing platform. Visitors will be able to take an elevator inside the statue up to the platform, where they will be able to look out on panoramic views of the town of Encantado, as well as Lake Garibaldi and the Taquari Valley. “It will be a glass opening from where people will be able to film and photograph the valley,” Artur Lopes de Souza, head supervisor of the project, said on the AACE website, as quoted by Travel and Leisure.

Without taking the pedestal into account, the statue measures 37.5 meters (about 123 feet) in height, making it the largest Christ statue in the world, the website states. Including the pedestal, it is the third largest Christ statue in the world, behind the Jesus Buntu Burake statue in Sulawesi, Indonesia, and the statue of Christ the King in Swiebodzin, Poland, the New York Post notes.

Construction on the statue began in 2019. The statue was the brainchild of local mayor Adroaldo Conzatti, who passed away from COVID-19 in March 2021. It was designed by sculptor Genesio Gomes Moura and his son, Markus. Construction was originally planned to be completed by the end of 2021, but the state government of Rio Grande do Sul extended that deadline through January 2022, the National Catholic Register reported. The complex is expected to open to visitors in 2023.

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