The town of Encantado in south Brazil will likely not feature in your travel bucket lists. In fact, you may not even have heard of its name. However, all of this is poised to change.
On April 22, 2022, the town completed a statue of Christ that is taller than Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Christ the Redeemer. Encantado’s statue, called Christ the Protector, is 43 metres (141 feet) tall, nearly five metres taller than Rio’s. Among monuments dedicated to Christ, only a 249-foot structure in Mexico (currently under construction) and a 172-foot one in Poland are taller than Encantado’s. It is set to become an integral part of the town’s plans to attract tourists, moving forward.
However, the statue, designed by sculptor Genésio Gomes Moura and his son, Markus Moura, will be open for public viewing only in 2023. While work on the statue has been completed, a surrounding tourist complex is still being made. According to Reuters, the statue is made of concrete over a metal structure, and is located on a hill overlooking the town. Visitors will be able to enjoy the surrounding views from a heart-shaped glass window set in the statue.
Work on the statue, which Robison Gonzatti (Vice President of the association that sponsored the statue) termed as the “largest Christ in the world”, began in 2019. The idea was initially proposed by local politician Adroaldo Conzatti who sadly passed away in March 2022 due to COVID-19. Currently, there are plans to develop a park, shops and restaurants and more viewpoints in the area.
Encantado lies close to Brazil’s borders with Argentina and Uruguay. It is hoped that the statue will revive significant interest in the area. The signs are promising enough. Even when it was being built, an estimated 37,500 people watched the construction of this 17,000-ton colossal statue in guided tours. And while it remains to be seen what the actual benefits turn out to be, for now, curious visitors will have to be satisfied with sightseeing visits to the statue which are permitted during Saturdays and Sundays.