As the country with the largest community of Roman Catholics in the world, a statue of Jesus Christ probably seemed most emblematic of the country when contemplating a monument in the early 1900's.
Perched upon the peak of Mount Corcovado, the statue can be seen from all over the city. An omnipresence that can provide a sense of peace for inhabitants of a city that is chaotic times. At least that was part of the initial goal of Cristo's creators- for the Christ with arms wide open to be a symbol of peace. To see Cristo Redentor /Christ the Redeemer up close, it's a 20 minute ascent up Mount Corcovado via tram. Or visitors can take a group van or drive a private car/taxi, or hike for two hours up the trail through Tijuca National Park. Once you're on the monument, you're rewarded with panoramic views of the Marvelous City. See how the city got its moniker with a panoramic view of Sugar Loaf, Copacabana and Ipanema, the Rodrigo de Freitas Lake, the dense forests of the Serra da Tijuca Mountains, the Maracanã Stadium, Central Rio and Guanabara Bay all at once. A nice backdrop to do the touristy-but-requisite Redentor pose at of one of the "New Seven Wonders of the World".