HISTORY AND CURIOSITIES

It is impossible to imagine a trip to Rio de Janeiro without a visit to Christ the Redeemer. Located atop Corcovado Mountain, the monument is the best known Brazilian image in the world. Every year, more than 600 thousand people are taken to Christ the Redeemer by the centennial Corcovado Railway, the oldest tourist attraction in the country.

Inauguration in 1884

Besides being dazzled by the most beautiful landscapes of the Marvelous City through the windows of the train, the passenger takes a ride through Brazil's history. Inaugurated in 1884 by Emperor Pedro II, the Corcovado Train has taken popes, kings, princes, presidents, artists, and scientists on its cars.

 

It is also an ecological ride. The train crosses the largest urban forest in the world: Tijuca National Park, a piece of the Atlantic forest, considered an example of nature preservation.

 

And those who travel on the Corcovado Railroad help maintain the forest: the train is electric and, therefore, does not pollute; in addition, part of the proceeds from ticket sales goes to the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBIo) for forest conservation.

Corcovado Railroad:

The Corcovado Railroad was the first electrified railroad in Brazil. Inaugurated in 1884 by D. Pedro II, it is older than the Christ the Redeemer monument itself. In fact, it was the train that, for four consecutive years, transported the pieces of the monument.

 

At the time, the steam train was considered an engineering miracle for running 3,824 meters of railroad on totally steep terrain. But in 1910 the trains were replaced by electric machines, and more recently, in 1979, when Esfeco took over the railroad, more modern and safer models were brought over from Switzerland.

Christ the Redeemer:

 

Rio's postcard had its cornerstone laid in 1922 and the inauguration on October 12, 1931. Christ the Redeemer, symbol of the City of Rio de Janeiro, was elected as one of the New Seven Wonders of the Modern World, in a vote carried out over the internet and by cell phone messages, organized by the New Seven Wonders Foundation, from Switzerland, among 21 participating monuments from all over the planet.

 

And the choice was well deserved. From the top of its 38 meters - and the 710 meters of Corcovado Hill - the Christ is the image of faith and friendliness of the carioca people and completes 82 years in 2013. Since 2000, when it received new lighting, the monument and its accesses have been undergoing a revitalization process. The highlight was the inauguration of the mechanized access in 2002, with panoramic elevators and escalators.

Tijuca National Park:

Located in the heart of the city, just minutes from most of Rio's neighborhoods, is the world's second largest urban forest replanted by man. The reforestation was a pioneering initiative in all of Latin America, done in the 19th century, after years of intense deforestation and planting, mainly of coffee. With about 3,200 hectares, it has the great advantage of blending hundreds of species of fauna and flora only found in the Atlantic Forest.

 

The Tijuca National Park has nooks and crannies and historical attractions that are worth a visit, such as: Cascatinha, Capela Mayrink, Mirante Excelsior, Barracão, Gruta Paulo e Virgínia, Lago das Fadas, Vista Chinesa and Açude da Solidão, points frequented by entire families on weekends.