It’s a quintessential image of Rio (other than fruit hats and samba dances) and can be seen from most places in the city. Cristo Redentor, or Christ the Redeemer, stands atop Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro.

The fifth largest statue of Christ in the world, it stands 130 feet tall (including the pedestal) and 98 feet wide at the widest stretch of the arms and hands.

Constructed between 1922 and 1934, it has become a world-recognized icon of Christianity in Rio. During the day, the white-stone statue shines in the sunlight, while at night it glows from the artificial illumination shining up from its base. Truly spectacular, day or night.

We visited the statue in August, traveling on a Monday after all the tourists from the weekend had left. We drove up to the statue, avoiding the train a short distance from the top of the mountain. There were no lines waiting to get into the park, though there were crowds at the top. That was no big deal: the statue is so tall, you have to look up, anyway, and there is plenty of space along the rails to get a stunning 360-degree view of the city.

Our city guide, Neyla, said that she has had only a couple of tourists resist visiting the statue, on the grounds that they aren’t Christian. “What a ridiculous idea,” Neyla exclaimed to us, saying that the statue was a symbol of Rio, of hope, of all that is good about people. “It’s not just for Christians. It can speak to all people.” She then illustrated that the arms of Christ point to the two things that Brazilians love above all things: the beaches and the soccer stadium.

Following are photos from our trip. Enjoy.