Argentina: statue of Christ the Redeemer.

Argentina: statue of Christ the Redeemer.

The statue of Christ the Redeemer was erected in March 1904 on the Bermejo Pass in the Andes. This is where the Argentine-Chilean border passes. The monument became a symbol of peace between the neighboring countries, which were able to resolve a very serious conflict over their borders.

In the early twentieth century, Pope Leo XIII sent a series of messages to these countries urging them to make every effort to promote peace and understanding in the name of Christ. The Bishop del Carmen Benavente used all means at his disposal to exclude any future conflict between the two nations and formally promised to erect a monument to Christ the Redeemer to symbolize a peaceful coexistence between the two nations.

The seven-meter-high statue was created by the Brazilian sculptor Mateo Alonso from old weapons that were left in Argentina after the war of independence against Spain. It was exhibited in a school in the capital. The exhibition was visited by the head of the Mothers’ Association, Angela de Oliveira César de Costa, and suggested that the monument be placed on the border, once the conflict had been formally resolved.

Argentina: Statue of Christ the Redeemer - Picture 2

Argentina: statue of Christ the Redeemer.

Angela had firsthand knowledge of the conflict, her brother, who was a general, made serious preparations for the war. Her acquaintance with the president of the country, Julio Roca, helped her attract the interest of the two governments in the project.

In 1902 the countries signed a peace treaty called the May Pacts .

Mrs. de Costa conducted an extensive fundraising campaign and worked with prominent religious figures to petition the authorities to move the statue and install it on the legendary trail on the border. It was along this trail that one of the leaders of the war for the independence of the colonies from the Spanish crown, General Jose Francisco de San Martin (1778 – 1850), led his troops down in 1817.

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In early 1904, the bronze monument was transported in parts by rail (1,200 km) to the village of Las Cuevas. Then they were loaded on mules, which helped to overcome the ascent of about 4 km. to the top of the mountain.

A month later, under the direction of engineer Conti, the granite pedestal (weight 4 tons, height 6 m, designed by Molina Civita) was completed. The pedestal represents the hemisphere of the Earth.

Argentina: the statue of Christ the Redeemer - Photo 3

Argentina: statue of Christ the Redeemer.

In the construction were involved a hundred workers . Mateo Alonso personally supervised the whole process.

The statue was facing the border, as if it was watching over the tranquility of both countries. Christ holds a cross in his left hand and with his right hand he blesses the people of both countries.

In March 1904, more than three thousand people from Chile and Argentina gathered for the unveiling ceremony. Commemorative plaques were erected. The inauguration was attended by the commanders of the armies of these nations, recently set to war. A volley was fired from several cannons. The presidents of the countries, for various (good) reasons, were not present. Their official representatives were foreign ministers. The ceremony was also attended by the highest religious figures of the two countries.

In 1916, a violent storm broke the cross, but it was restored in a very short time.

In 1993, strong winds and earthquakes damaged the stability of the statue. The Argentine authorities provided the necessary amount of money from the budget to repair the statue and the buildings used as weather stations.

Argentina: the statue of Christ the Redeemer - Picture 4

Argentina: statue of Christ the Redeemer.

In 2004, the presidents of the two countries, Néstor Kirchner and Ricardo Lagos, visited the statue. Television channels in many countries broadcast this meeting, which symbolized not only the anniversary of the monument, but also the rigorous implementation of the peace agreements.

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Every day hundreds of tourists from all over the world come up to the statue. On the pedestal one can read the words of Bishop Ramón Ángel Jara in 1904: “These mountains would sooner be destroyed than the peoples of the two neighboring countries would break the peace, for their oath was made at the feet of Christ the Redeemer.

Andean Christ, Argentina and Chile

The monument to Christ the Redeemer was erected on March 13, 1904 at the border of Argentina and Chile as a sign of unity between the two peoples.


The history of the monument, erected in the Andes at an altitude of 3,854 meters above sea level, began in the late 19th century during a time of fierce confrontation between the two countries of the American continent. The leaders of Argentina and Chile had been unable to decide on the limits of the border for a long time and decided to solve the problem through armed conflict.

The problem was of concern to many, and Pope Leo XIII and numerous peacemakers called for peace by the authorities of the two warring countries. The bishop of the Cuyo region, Marcelino del Carmen Benavente, proposed the creation of a statue of Christ the Redeemer, which would be a symbol of peace and well-being. The cultist’s proposal was accepted.

The statue was created by the sculptor Mateo Alonso, and was placed on display in the patio of the Lacordaire School in Buenos Aires. Later it was decided to place the statue of Christ the Redeemer at the border of the two countries on the slope of the Andes, a proposal made by Angela de Oliveira César de Costa, president of the Association of Christian Mothers.

After the signing of the peace treaty between Chile and Argentina in 1902 (Pact of May), it was decided to place the statue in the province of Mendoza on the path on which General San Martín stepped with the liberating army in 1817.

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The monument to Christ the Redeemer is a structure consisting of a six-meter granite pedestal and a seven-meter statue of Christ. The Redeemer holds a cross in one hand and gives a blessing to the two nations with the other. There are several plaques that tell people about the need to live in peace and kindness.

View 360°

Andean Christ, 360° Panorama


Andean Christ on the map. Coordinates: 32°49′30″ South 70°04′14″ W

Andean Christ – PHOTO








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