Posted by: Abby Rhodes | March 24, 2010

Rewind: Corcovado/Christ the Redeemer

With the WIU Wind Ensemble Brazil Tour now a successful venture to be recorded in history books, it’s time to catch up on some posts lost along the way.  An incredibly busy tour schedule that left just small amounts of precious downtime, coupled with precarious Internet access, forced us to prioritize our blogging.  In the next few days, look for photos and information highlighting other important, or just plain funny, portions of our trip.

Alexandra O'Donnell and Tim Holl mimic Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue on Corcovado

Say the word, “Rio,” and a host of iconic images come to mind.  Many people will think first of the Christ the Redeemer statue, which towers atop the 2,400 foot Corcovado peak, its arms outstretched as if embracing the city and its people.  Brazil claims to have the world’s largest Catholic population, though we learned its devoutness is challenged each Sunday by “three Bs”:  ball, beach, and beer.  Despite the contradictory perspectives, the concrete and soapstone behemoth has been one of Rio’s top tourist attractions since 1931.

Visitors utilize a train, elevators/stairs, and an escalator to access the nearly 80 year-old statue

To access the Christ-of-stone, visitors first take a train through an Atlantic forest, a rare opportunity for city folk to experience flora akin to the varieties found in Brazil’s rain forests.

Train through Corcovado's Atlantic forest

When the railway ends, the stairs, elevators, and escalators begin, transporting tourists through the final stages of their ascent.  Those who elect to take the stairs get sneak peaks of breathtaking views that will construct an incredible panorama at the top of Corcovado.

View of Rio from Corcovado

In light of some battering by Mother Nature sustained in February, Christ the Redeemer is now undergoing reconstruction, hence the scaffolding surrounding the structure.

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