Visible from most parts of Lisbon and beyond, the imposing statue of Christ the King (Cristo Rei) stands a striking 82 metres (270 feet) high on its angular pedestal overlooking the south bank of the River Tagus.
Standing tall with its robed arms outstretched, it was erected in 1959 and modelled on the famous Cristo Redentor in Rio de Janeiro.
One of Portugal’s most iconic landmarks, Cristo Rei is said to have been built by the Portuguese government as a symbol of thanks for not having suffered any casualties during World War II, in honour of a promise made by the Portuguese bishops.
Other accounts suggest that it was originally erected to mark the close ties between Portugal and Brazil, the land its navigators stumbled upon at the turn of the 16th century.
Today it stands not only as Lisbon’s most prominent landmark but an ideal vantage point from which to photograph the city spread right out along the northern shores of the Tagus Estuary.
Without doubt, one of the most enjoyable ways for city-based visitors to reach Cristo Rei is to take one of the regular ferries crossing the Tagus from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodré boat station to Cacilhas and then catch a bus to the monument from there.
For an even more exhilarating experience, why not share a taxi with others to enjoy the thrill of going over the giant 25th of April suspension bridge, and get the ferry back.
Need more sightseeing ideas for your next visit? Why not listen to or download the Portugal Travel Show, the podcast for people planning a trip to sunny Portugal…