Flying over Rio de Janeiro - Stock Image

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Corcovado, meaning "hunchback" in Portuguese, is a mountain in central Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The 710-meter (2,330 ft) granite peak is located in the Tijuca Forest, a national park. Corcovado hill lies just west of the city center but is wholly within the city limits and visible from great distances. It is known worldwide for the 38-meter (125 ft) statue of Jesus atop its peak, entitled Cristo Redentor' or "Christ the Redeemer".

Local engineer Heitor da Silva Costa was chosen to oversee the construction of the new monument, to be designed by French monumental sculptor Paul Landowski. A group of engineers and technicians studied Landowski's submissions and the decision was made to build the structure out of reinforced concrete instead of steel, more suitable for the cross-shaped statue. Costa and Landowsky decided to make the outer layers of the statue out of Soapstone, because of its malleability and good resistance to extreme weather. The Corcovado Rack Railway proved essential to the building effort, as it was the only way to get the large pieces of the statue to the top of the mountain.

The idea for erecting a large statue atop Corcovado had been around since the mid 1850s, when Catholic priest Pedro Maria Boss requested financing from Princess Isabel to build a large religious monument. Princess Isabel did not think much of the idea, which was completely dismissed in 1889, when Brazil became a Republic, with laws mandating the separation of church and state.

The monument was inaugurated on October 12, 1931, by president Get
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