Most people are familiar with the famous monument in Rio de Janiero, Brazil of Christ the Redeemer atop Mount Corcovado, but are unaware that the small island of Madeira had their 15-metre tall Christ the King statue completed four years earlier in 1927.
The statue in Garajau on the south coast of the small Portuguese island, Madeira, is a representation of Jesus Christ with open arms and the Sacred Heart facing the ocean. The statue was created by French artists George Serraz and Pierre Charles Lenoir in memory of the area’s history. In the past, non-Catholics who died were thrown from the cliffs because only Catholics were allowed to be buried on the island until 1770 when the British Cemetary of Funchal was constructed for non-Catholic Christians.
The viewpoint is about eight kilometres from the capital, Funchal, and offers spectacular views of Funchal bay, Garajau reserve, Caniço de Baixo, the Atlantic and the Ilhas Desertas (Madeira’s uninhabited islands). At the bottom of this bold cliff are a black pebble beach and a bar that can be reached by cable car or a thrilling zigzag car ride down a narrow, one-lane road with traffic running in both directions. Like everywhere on this breathtaking island, the view from the Miradouro do Cristo Rei is a vision of natural, undisrupted beauty.