Advantages One of the iconic 'must see' sights in the World
Disadvantages A long way from UK
CorcovadoThe famous iconic statue of Christ the redeemer blessing the city of Rio with his open arms is about 30 metres high and is on the top of the Corcovado Hill which is about 700metres high so it can be seen from many parts of Rio on a clear day. Once you are up on the Corcovado hill standing under the statue you have the most wonderful 360° view of the city of Rio de Janeiro provided there are no clouds hovering over the statue.
The statue was designed by the Brazilian artist Heitor da Silva Costa alongside the French sculptor Paul Landowski. The statue was built between the years 1926 to 1931 from donated funds. Mr da Silva Costa was the engineer overseeing the construction and the French sculpture concentrated on carving the face and hands of the statue.
We caught the funicular train up the hill through the wonderful forest which is not an original rainforest. It was planted by people employed by Emperor Dom Pedro II or Peter the Second who was a man wise before others of the time. He noticed that the hills around Rio were being over cultivated and this was causing flooding as well as soil erosion so he banned farming on the hills and stopped any further destruction of the rainforest. He employed thousands of people who spent their working lives planting rainforest trees on the hills overlooking Rio thus creating this rainforest for future generations.The train crawls up the Corcovado Hill steadily and at all times you are able to see the forest vegetation. We sat facing backwards going up which was a strange sensation and it felt like you were slipping off your seat most of the time. There is one stop before you reach the top but no-one got on or off so I’m not sure if it was a station or just so that they could do something to the train and line. Once you reach the top you have to show your ticket again and hang on to it as it is a return – if you lose it you pay again or walk down and it is a long way even downhill.
Keeping our fingers crossed we walked up the last few steps towards the statue. The clouds had cleared and we could see it in all its glory and it is really big. From a distance it looks spectacular but standing underneath it you can really appreciate the size, when you look up towards the face you get that slightly dizzy feeling and of course when the sun is bright I also have to shut my eyes which means I see nothing.There are escalators, two I believe that take you up the last few feet but when we first arrived they were not working so we had to use the traditional stairs. Fortunately we were not there in the main tourist season ( or so we were told) so although there were quite a few people up on the hill we were able to wander round and take photos that did not have a large number of total strangers making silly faces in them.
|Is it worth visiting?|
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