By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – For the first time ever, the public is able to visit one of Rio’s most iconic landmarks, the Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) statue, after sunset. Initially opened on May 30th-June 1st and on June 13-15th from 6PM to 9PM, it is a test run for its 24-hour shifts during this year’s World Youth Day.
On its first nighttime opening, the statue will display a new lightning system designed by German artist and Rio resident for the last 62 years, Paul Gasper. The special illumination will light up the Paineiras path that leads up to the Christ, as well as the Corcovado platform, on which the 40m statue stands.
A symbol of Catholicism which has come to represent the Cidade Maravilhosa, the statue is sure to become a pilgrimage site during World Youth Day in July.
From the top of the Corcovado mountain, visitors have an unparalleled view of the city by day. Taking in the sights by night is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Tickets are available for purchase online for R$26.
Access to the Corcovado via train or bus was changed on May 21st. The ticket booth below the train stations has been closed, so that visitors wishing to make their way up to the landmark must now buy their tickets online for either the train from Cosme Velho or the buses that leave from Largo do Machado, or at Rio’s Tourism Board in Centro.
These changes were made due to safety issues in the area. In past years, illegal buses offered unsuspecting tourists rides up to the statue and in April, a a van filled with German tourists was robbed as it made its way across the Tijuca Forest, home to the Corcovado.
Last month, government forces occupied the favelas that sit under the statue. These new initiatives are seen as an effort to shore up safety in one Rio’s most visited landmarks ahead of the upcoming mega events the city is hosting in the next few months.
Read more (in Portuguese)
* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.