Monday, September 16, 2019

XXIX - Christ the Redeemer

XXIX - The  Christ

If you have seen more than one photograph of Rio, chances are it was of the mountain that overlooks the city with the statute of Christ. Sitting atop Mount Corcovado, is the statute that was designed by Paul Landowski  and built by Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa. The construction took 9 years, from 1922 to 1931. It is made of reinforced concrete and soapstone. One more fun fact - it is listed as one of "New 7 Wonders of the World".

(this is not my photo)

The thing that surprised me was that it is Art Deco in design. The statute is 98 feet tall above the 25 foot tall pedestal it sits on.

To get to the statute, you drive part way up the mountain to a station where you board a venicular that takes you up to the top. 

Actually it takes you to the base of a large staircase that winds its way up to the statute. As you make your way to the top, there are restaurants and shops on each landing. 




And there are the views. Mount Corcovado is only 2300 feet tall but it still provides incredible vistas of the city below.


And the surrounding mountains.


As I have said before, I am scared of heights, therefore I was not thrilled with idea of standing on the terrace below the pedestal of the Christ. The statute is so tall (123 feet total base to top) that it is hard to get a photo of the entire Christ while standing at the base. 


Our original idea was to take a early morning tour (at dawn) of the Christ. However, we learned after we had made our plans that the park no more allowed such tours. Therefore we went to see it during the late afternoon. My only disappointment was that because we did not get to be at top at dawn, we missed those spectacular photographs of the sunrise and the mist coming over the mountains. 

Oh, and we probably could have avoided the obnoxious tourists taking selfies making it very difficult to photograph the Christ without having them in the picture.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

XXVIII - The Cathedral

XXVIII - The Cathedral

Of all the things I saw in Rio, there was one item, one place, one landmark that I knew nothing about - the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian. This church was designed by Edgar de Oliveira da Fonseca. It's unique design was inspired by the ancient Mayan pyramids found in South America. 



The church named for St. Sabastin, the patron saint of Rio, measures 348 ft in outside diameter and 315 diameter inside. It rises up 246 ft (almost 5/6 the length of a football field. 


Inside there are 4 stain glass windows, each 210 ft tall. 


I have visited many of the grand cathedrals in Europe, Ecuador, and the United States.  While, I loved the cathedrals in France, none were as unique as this one. Standing inside surrounded by the 4 huge colorful windows is impressive. It seats 5,000 (and has standing room for 20,000).

Just like Christ the Redeemer, the cathedral is too large to truly photograph the entire inside. (That and the tourists stumbling over us taking selfies - totally self unaware.)