Why is Christ the Redeemer a World Wonder?

Christ the Redeemer World Wonder

This guy won over Angkor Wat

What are World Wonders?

The World Wonders, or Wonders of the World, depending on how romantic you wish to sound, refer to 7 different sites around the world that have been deemed worthy of such a title by an initiative begun in 2001 called 7NewWonders. There are many different lists, from the Ancient Wonders of the World to the New Wonders of the World, but this new list has been taken as the ultimate authority on the matter of “wonder”. This article seeks to find out why Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue is considered a World Wonder.


Which are the 7 New Wonders of the World?

Let’s start with the Wonders of the Ancient World, actually. The Seven Ancient Wonders of the World is a list of 7 grand monuments created thanks to the writings of ancient philosophers and travelers from the Hellenic area of the world. The list includes the following: the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes, and the Lighthouse of Alexandria. Of those in the list, only the Great Pyramid remains standing.

The New7Wonders list includes: India’s Taj Mahal, Mexico’s Chichen Itza, Christ the Redeemer, Rome’s Coliseum, the Great Wall of China, Peru’s Machu Picchu, and Jordan’s Petra. Now, if you consider the list carefully, you should come to the inquiring conclusion of: Why the hell is Christ the Redeemer on the New7Wonders list?


How the New Wonders of the World were Chosen

The New Wonders of the World are consider thusly because they were voted for. That’s correct; the 7 wonders are only labeled as such because they won a popularity contest. The Wonders themselves are excellent examples of human ingenuity and design, to be sure, but the fact that they were voted for has resulted in many, many worthy sites being deemed “not wonders”. The vote has also resulted in a farce: Christ the Redeemer on Rio de Janeiro’s Corcovado Mountain should not be among the New 7 Wonders of the world.

I sit here on a terrace looking at Rio’s iconic Christ statue. I wonder about it, and consider the exorbitant price they charge to enter. I wonder why it costs so much, and realize that it’s thanks to its label as a “Wonder”. Christ the Redeemer is the result of a good public campaign to garner votes. Voting was by telephone and online, and they say there was no way to control repeat votes. Brazil is a country of 200 million extroverts, and the fact that their Christ the Redeemer won shows that.


Comparing Christ the Redeemer to Other World Wonders

What makes Christ Christ the Redeemer different from the other wonders? Well, let’s take a peek, shall we? Chichen Itza is the third largest pyramid in the world, constructed by the Maya in perfect alignment with the stars to elicit a meaning far beyond the obvious grandeur. Rome’s Coliseum was the grand Roman capital of the gladiator, and the largest such stadium in ancient times. The Taj Mahal is a dominating white structure that creates a true sense of awe for all of its millions of visitors. The Great Wall of China stretches for thousands of miles and boasts the fact that it’s the only distinct human structure visible from space. Finally, Petra is a city built directly into the rock with age-old tools, and its main facade is alone quite remarkable.

Then, there’s Christ the Redeemer. It’s the world’s third largest Jesus statue, and was only built in the beginning of the 20th century. It’s a rather simple structure both in its engineering and design. The only thing that’s somewhat remarkable about it is its perch atop Corcovado, which offers the best views over Rio de Janeiro. However, it hardly deserves a title which places it among the likes of the latter “Wonders”.


Other Finalists for the World Wonder Competition

Just to put things into perspective, the following monuments, based on this semi-official competition, are not “wonders”, while Christ the Redeemer is: the Eiffel Tower, Hagia Sophia, Kiyomizu-dera, the Alhambra, Angkor Wat, the Acropolis, Stonehenge and Timbuktu.


Why do We Need Wonders?

It’s one of the fallacies of the human condition that we need things to be ordered for us. We can’t simply accept that so many wonderful things exist; no, we need to vote. We need to open the discussion to millions of people who have never left their countries and don’t have any idea that Christ the Redeemer, for example, is nothing compared to the Coliseum. Unfortunately, here’s yet another campaign by New7Wonders, as if the 7 New Wonders and the 7 Natural Wonders wasn’t enough, we now must dilute “losing” competitors by choosing 7 cities. So, this article might be attacking the fact that Christ the Redeemer is on the list, but the take-away lesson is really that, the New7Wonders lists should not even exist.


Here are a few websites you might be interested in:

15 Responses

  1. Sameer Nargolkar says:

    Completely agree with this! The voting was a farce. Angkor Wat should be the 7th wonder of the world and not this. Was done to appease the Western World perhaps.. ?! Who knows..

  2. Katie says:

    I’m in Cambodia right now touiring Angkor Wat. Very upset that Christ the Redeemer stole the spot from Angkor Wat. If this one is a wonder of the world, should Statue of Liberty be also a wonder of the world? It’s basically the same size, only Statue of Liberty much older. The whole popularity vote process is an insult to true wonders of the world.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Where is Machu Picchu?

  4. Sarah says:

    I’m also of the mind that Angkor Wat should be the seventh. Or at least Stone Henge. This is a list of wonders and the other six leave me with a sense of wonder as they were all built before modern times. I respect the engineering of the Christ but it doesn’t leave me wondering.

  5. bishop says:

    even Machu Pichu deserves to be on the list of wonders

  6. Sha says:

    Man, I’m just reading this now and can agree with the other commentrers. Wonders are wondrous, not this. The statue of Christ shouldn’t have been on the list. And for it to beat out stone henge?! Seriously? ?

  7. grim reaper says:

    to all the haters on the chat, it was a VOTE!!!! so when it was voted, it beat the others. just because you disagree doesnt mean it has to be removed

  8. bob says:

    Only so called wonder to be built using modern power equipment. Christ the redeemer is a fraud vote and the world doesn’t recognize it as a wonder.

  9. simply me says:

    simply you cannot please everyone. the fact that some place has much longer history doesnt mean that it deserves the title more than any other spot. besides, it’s not only about the structure itself. it’s about the environment, surroundings, it’s about what it gives to people who look at it. and Christ Redeemer gives hope to many people all over the world who climb the Corcovado mountain to experience the proximity of this great statue. Saying that something deserves the title and something doesn’t is not right. Besides, who said Cambodians couldn’t vote for their Angkor Wat? If you want to blame someone, start with blaming yourself poor Cambodians. Too lazy to vote, were you? lol

    • K says:

      Then the new World Trade Center or Dubai tower should be on it.

    • Ashok says:

      200 million people voting for christ the redeemer is a lot. But 200 million is far less than 1.1 billion people. The taj mahal in india is a marvelous structure and represents an interersting story of love. The downside is thats its a muslim Mughul monument in a hindu majority nation. There are 1.1 billion hindus in india. Many Hindus in india are agitated that the taj mahal is the face of the nation instead of one the the hindu temples in their country that are marvelous in their own rights. Angkor Wat was orginally built as a hindu temple for Lord Vishnu. Then it changed to a buddhist temple but still has hindu roots to it. If india can keep the taj mahal but also get Angkor wat (The largest religious complex on earth and formerly hindu temple) then I think Christ the redeemer would be kicked off the list as 1.1 billion potential votes from india is bigger than 200 million potential votes in Brazil.

  10. Kat says:

    Just wondering why did you leave out Macchu Picchu? which is a new world wonder and rightfully so. I’ll never forget how I felt when I discovered “the motherland calls” a far more gorgeous and larger statue than Christ the Redeemer. I was today years old when I discoverered the unity statue which dwarfs the christ one by about 100 m. What a complete sham- due to bias and corruption no doubt. Makes you think- one of these things is not like the other!

  11. John says:

    The fact that this list of 7 Wonders of the Modern World was selected by voting shows that it’s nothing more than a popularity contest. Angkor Wat should be a 7 Wonder of the World – it is the largest religious structure in the world. It’s design mirrors cosmic and religious symbolism. As quoted by a historian, Angkor Wat is “grandeur is than anything left to us by the Greeks or the Romans”. The Christ the Redeemer status should NOT be a 7 Wonder.

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