Sunday, June 4, 2023

Cali’s Cristo Rey statue

Colombia’s third largest city Cali is best viewed from above. The vantage point from Cristo Rey, the country’s largest statue of Christ, is beautiful and well worth the trek for visitors to the city.

The statue is the largest of its kind in Colombia, although it may not remain so for long, and is the tenth tallest Christ statue in the world.

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At 21 meters high, not counting the 5 meter pedestal, the statue weighs more than 464 tons and can easily spotted from the downtown valley.

The romantic view makes this a favorite spot for Cali couples to hang out. Many ride up on their motorcycles and meander around the statue and accompanying altar, or simply go behind the statue to a small playground to make out.

The statue was started by sculptor Gerardo Navia and finished by Italian Alideo Tazzioli, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the War of a Thousand Days in which Liberals and Conservatives fought a bloody civil war.

Although Cristo Rey is easily spotted, it’s surprisingly hard to find. You can walk, but the uphill trek will take well over an hour for a fast walker. For 2,000 pesos ($1.40) you can take one of the decommissioned army vehicles which serve as public transport in Cali, although it can be a long wait to catch one up to Buena Vista. For 10,000-15,000 pesos ($5-$7) you can catch a taxi from downtown directly to the statue.

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