Standing 125 feet tall, the statue of Christ the Reedemer in Brazil overlooking Rio di Janeiro draws more than 2 million pilgrims a year all wanting to see one of the world’s most well known symbols for Christ close up and in person.

Originally, the statue was planned to hold a cross in His left hand, a globe of the world in His right. With the keystone being laid on April 4th, 1922, the design was changed to what we see today.

If it was made today, it would cost just under 3 million dollars to construct. A little over a hundred yeas ago, the Church organized a “Monument’s Week” in September of 1923 to raise funding to continue its construction.

Although its made of concrete, the statue is covered in countless soapstone tiles creating a giant mosaic. The workers who prepared the stones often wrote sayings on the backside, meaning the statue is full of hidden messages.

Believe it or not, that isn’t the most hidden secret of Christ the Redeemer.

In the middle of the chest of the monument is the Sacred Heart of Jesus. A little over 4 feet in diameter, it is the only part of the statue that projects inside.

Two of the building engineers actually placed a small glass container inside the heart containing their family trees, in what has been called “a demonstration of faith and gratitude.”

Editorial credit: R.M. Nunes /
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