The Best Guide to Lisbon

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Cristo Rei, the Christ Statue of Lisbon

The statue of Cristo-Rei is one of Lisbon’s most iconic and prominent landmarks that stands on the southern bank of the River Tagus. From the high pedestal the statue of Christ has his arms out-stretched as if in a motion of blessing Lisbon. For visitors the viewing platform at the base of the statue provides amazing views over Lisbon and the visit can be combined with a ferry ride across the river.

Christ Rei lisbon

Christ Rei statue as viewed from the base of the statue

Cristo-Rei Lisbon Tourist Tourist Guide

The entrance fee to Cristo-Rei is €4.00/€2.00 (adult/child) and the monument is open every day between 9:30 and 19:00 (summer season) or 9:30 to 18:00 (winter season). It is free to visit the ground level view point and the Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Paz.

Inside the statue an express elevator whisks visitors to the observation platform, at 82m, just below the main statue and it is from here that some of the greatest views of Lisbon can be had. The statue and views from Cristo-Rei are often the sole reason that tourists cross to the southern bank of Lisbon so only visit when the weather is clear and bright.

Travel to the Christ Statue of Lisbon

The journey to the statue requires a short ferry ride and bus ride but the total travel time is less than an hour. The ferry ride is an enjoyable activity providing a different view of the Lisbon coastline. The ferry departs from Cais do Sodré train station and metro station (last stop on the green metro line).

The ferry ticket costs €1.25 and is charged to the Viva Viagem ticket, the ticket used by the whole of the Lisbon public transport network. There are approximately three ferry departures per hour with many more at rush hour. The 15 minute ferry journey terminates at Cacilhas ferry terminal.

Lisbon suspension bridge

The Lisbon suspension bridge as viewed from the top of the Christ Rei statue

From the ferry terminal cross over to the connected bus station and catch the 101 bus. The regular bus service departs on the hour and 30 minutes past the hour between 9:00 and 18:00 every day. Cacilhas bus station is well organised and each bus route is labelled above the bus stands. The return bus ticket costs €2.00 and the paper ticket (not Viva Viagem) is purchased from the driver. The bus 101 bus takes 20 minutes and terminates at the entrance to the Cristo Rei statue. If there is a delay waiting for the bus go and visit the Fernando II Gloria, Portugal’s last sail powered ship which is beautifully resorted.

christ statue

The christ statue is high above Lisbon

History of Cristo-Rei Lisbon

The Cristo-Rei statue was constructed during a deeply religious period of Portugal's history, by a population who were grateful for avoiding the horrors of the Second World War. This religious outpouring was embraced by the nationalistic dictatorship lead by Salazar and encourage by the church. This important religious significance of the Cristo-Rei Christ Statue has continued through to today and the site is an important pilgrimage destination but most foreign visitors go for the impressive panoramic views over Lisbon.

The Cristo-Rei statue is traditionally thought by the Portuguese as being constructed to thank the church for keeping Portugal out of the Second World War but the original inspiration for Cristo-Rei came before the war when Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon visited to Rio de Janeiro in 1934. The common believe behind the construction of the statue arose because it took until after the war, in the late 40s, to allocate the funds to start construction. The project started in 1950 and it took nine years to complete being inaugurated on the 17th May 1959.

Facts and Figures For the Christ Statue

The statue of Christ the King is 28 meters tall and is perched upon a reinforced concrete pedestal that stands at 75 meters. Each of the arches of the base tower are oriented to the directions of the compass rose. The monument is constructed on the highest point in the district of Almada and is 133m above sea level. The monument lies within the diocese of Setubal but the statues construction was funded by the Catholic Church of Lisbon.

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The Best Guide to Lisbon