Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Świdbodzin, Poland

Once my delayed train finally arrived in Berlin I met up with Claudia and her parents and we headed off to see the world's tallest statue of Jesus.

Świdbodzin is a small town in western Poland with a population of around 22,000 inhabitants. 

It's 130 km (81 miles) east of Berlin and 195 km (121 miles) northwest of Wrocław.

The town was part of Germany, known as Schwiebus, but was ceded to Poland at the end of WWII.  The Germans were expelled and Poles were moved in.  

I suppose that there's a few sights to see in the town but we only went to see Jesus.  After five years the world's tallest statue of Jesus was completed on 6 November 2010.  It's even larger than the Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.

The statue is made of concrete and fiberglass.  It is 33 meters (108 feet) tall and the crown is another 3 meters (9.8 feet) tall. 

The idea for this came from a retired Polish priest with the hope that the statue would become a pilgrimage site and reinforce Roman Catholicism in Poland.  The project cost about $1.5 million and was funded entirely by contributions.

One of my best memories from grad school was a study trip to Brazil.  While in Rio I went on a helicopter ride with Steven and Brian and we flew around Jesus' head.  So it was pretty difficult for me to grasp that this one is 3 meters taller.

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