Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rising 125 feet above the peak of Corcovado Mountain and overlooking the neighborhoods and beaches of Rio de Janeiro, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, O Cristo Redentor
, is 700 tons of reinforced concrete and soapstone. The idea for this unique statue was born in the late 1850s in honor of Princess Isabel, but the project never got underway. The idea was resurrected in 1922 to honor the centennial anniversary of Brazil's independence from Portugal. The statue was finally constructed by French sculptor Paul Landowski (with designs by local engineer Heitor da Silva Costa) over nine years, ending in 1931. In honor of its 75th anniversary, the landmark was consecrated a chapel, allowing Roman Catholics to celebrate baptisms and weddings there. Musical accompaniment
: We suggest you accompany your visit with music from Stan Getz and João Gilberto's seminal album Getz/Gilberto, especially the track "Corcovado."