Sanctuário do Cristo Rei: Um Monumento dePaz
King Christ’sSanctuary: A Monument for Peace
The Santuário do Cristo Rei ( in English Christ, the King Sanctuary) is a landmark for Lisbon and particularly to Almada. It isa Catholic monument on the left bank of Tagusriver, overlooking Lisbon, capital of Portugal, on the other bank. It is located in the civil parish of Pragal, in thecity of Almada,in District of Setúbal, Lisbon Region. It is a national monument.
It was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,after Cardinal Cerejeira, the patriarch of Lisbon, had been impressed by the visit tothe Brazilian monument in 1934. The construction of Cristo-Rei was approvedon a Portuguese Episcopate conference, held in Fátima on April 20, 1940,as a plea to God to release Portugalfrom entering World War II.
Therefore, the building of such an amazingmonument was to be seen as a tribute to the fact that Portugal hadbeen spared from getting involved in both the Spanish War and the IIWW. Theconstruction started in 1950 and it was fully supported by Catholic donationsonly. When it was inaugurated on May 17, 1959, Portugal wasunder a dictatorship and being ruled by the President of the Council António deOliveira Salazar, whose institutional relations with the Portuguese CatholicChurch were tense.
The base of the monument, by architect António Lino, is in the form of agate, standing 75 m (246 ft) tall. At the top is a statue of Christ the Redeemer, designed bysculptor Francisco Franco de Sousa, 28 m (92 ft)-tall. The monument stands 113meters above sea level At the base ofthe statue is an observation deck (altitude: 184 m / 604 ft) providingpanoramic views of the city of Lisbon, the Tagus river (in Portuguese: RioTejo) and of the 25 de Abril Bridge (in Portuguese: Ponte 25 de Abril).It has become the most popular sightseeing site in Almada.
Thebuilding has been recently upgraded. Today the sanctuary has accommodationfacilities for groups of pilgrims, conference rooms, canteens, shops andcafeteria. It is usual and fashionable practice to hold wedding or baptismalparties in a tent in the premises.
How to get there
By car (through the 25 de Abril Bridge) , by train (in Pragal station)or by ferry boat (called "Cacilheiro") crossing Tagus river from Caisdo Sodré (Lisbon) to the port ofCacilhas, city of Almada, followed by a short bus trip.
Natural sights nearby
If you’re a sea lover, visit the beaches within a few miles: Costa daCaparica, Trafaria, Sesimbra, Tróia Peninsula, Portinho da Arrábida and Cape Espichel., among others. Within a shortdrive the Castles of Palmela, Sesimbra or if you fancy something green, theArrábida mountain.