Cristo-Rei in Lisbon

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The Sanctuary of Christ the King (Portuguese: Cristo-Rei) is a Catholic monument and shrine dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ overlooking the city of Lisbon, Portugal. It was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and inaugurated on 17 May 1959. At that time, Portugal was being ruled by the authoritarian President of the Council António de Oliveira Salazar, and it was on his orders that the Cristo-Rei was built.

The monument was built on the left-bank of the Tagus river, facing Lisbon on the other bank. Its location is at coordinates 38º40'43" N 9º10'17" W, in the civil parish of Pragal, in the city of Almada, in the District of Setúbal, Lisbon Region. It is also a national monument.

The base of the monument, designed by architect António Lino, is in the form of a gate, standing 82 m (209 ft) tall. At the top is a statue of Christ the Redeemer, designed by sculptor Francisco Franco de Sousa, 28 m (92 ft)-tall. At the base of the statue is an observation deck (altitude: 82 m / 209 ft) providing panoramic views of the city of Lisbon, the Tagus River and of the 25 de Abril Bridge. It is located on the left riverbank.

The construction of Cristo-Rei was approved on a Portuguese Episcopate conference, held in Fátima on 20 April 1940, as a plea to God to release Portugal from entering World War II. However, the idea had originated on a visit by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro in 1934, soon after the inauguration of the statue of Christ the Redeemer in 1931.

Construction started in 1949 and took ten years to complete. It was founded and supported by Apostleship of Prayer members. There are inside two chapels: the "Chapel of Our Lady of Peace" and the "Chapel of the Confidants of Jesus" (where there are relics - for public veneration - of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, Saint John Eudes, Saint Faustina Kowalska and Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart, all related to the revelations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus).

Pope Benedict XVI flew over the shrine in his apostolic visit to Portugal in May 2010.


Accessible by car (25 de Abril Bridge). By train (in Pragal station). By ferry boat (called "Cacilheiro" / Tagus river (Rio Tejo)): near the port of Cacilhas, city of Almada.

Other Statues

  • Christ the Redeemer is similar to the statue built in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Christ the Redeemer is also similar to the statue built in Garajau, in Madeira.
  • The Cristo Rei of Díli is a similar statue built in East Timor, a former Portuguese colony.

See also

  • List of statues by height
  • Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima

External links