The majestic Christ of Havana
By Nina Pereira
Immense at the entrance to the Havana bay, the sculpture of the Christ of the Cuban capital blesses from its privileged location city dwellers and travelers who can appreciate it in its own location or from the coast of the historic sector of the Cuban capital.
Without the fame of Christ the Redeemer that rises on top of Corcovado, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Havana’s is one of the most visited places in the city by nationals and foreigners. The white image of Jesus, standing looking at the city, with one hand on his chest and the other raised, welcomes those who arrive by sea to the city, once they enter the bay of Havana.
The monument is part of an old architectural complex that characterizes the entrance to the fortresses of the Three Kings of the Morro, San Salvador de la Punta, the Royal Force and Saint Charles of the Cabin.
Erected 50 meters above sea level, it is made up of 67 pieces, it is 20 meters high on a base of three and over 300 tons of Carrara marble were used in it. The statue was created by the prominent Cuban sculpture artist Jilma Madera (1915-2000), considered the first woman in the world to carry out a work of such magnitude. The creator stayed for about two years in Italy, where she made the monumental piece, blessed by Pope Pius XII.
Inaugurated in its Cuban location of the seaside town of Casablanca, on December 25, 1958, the imposing Christ of Havana was declared a National Monument for its "exceptional artistic values and being an icon of high popular roots in the capital's identity."