I lived in Lisbon for 27 years. And in all that time it never crossed my mind to visit Cristo Rei on the other side of town in Almada.
It was not until Noah start asking who was the man with wide arms just across the bridge, and why on earth have we never been there, that I started to question why! Why have we never been there?
We are not into religion but hey this is an iconic monument of my city and I have never paid the deserved attention to it. Quite bizarre, really!
Don’t you love how your own children challenge and push you to do different things?
Anyway, so we took the kids to Cristo Rei to find out more about it and it’s truly impressive! 110m high the big man with wide arms (as Noah called Cristo Rei before finding out more about it) standstill overlooking the glorious Lisbon city and its river – Rio Tejo (Tagus River).
The monument is remarkable and worth a visit! Again, it only shows how children can really push us to do things and see things differently too.
Is Cristo Rei in Lisbon the same as in Rio de Janeiro?
The statue of Cristo Rei (Christ the King) was inspired by a visit made by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in 1934.
Standing tall with its robed arms outstretched, Cristo Rei was erected in 1959 and modelled on the famous Cristo Redentor in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.
It’s a national sign of gratitude that Portugal was spared involvement in the ravages of World War II and also to show the close ties between Portugal and Brasil.
Cristo Rei is visible from most parts of Lisbon and beyond, striking 82 metres high on its angular pedestal overlooking the south bank of the Tejo (Tagus) River.
Is there anything inside Cristo Rei?
We thought it was just a statue, so it was a bit of a surprise to find out that there are plenty of things inside. There are a library and a bar, two chapels (Capela de Nossa Senhora da Paz and Capela dos Confidentes de Jesus), with religious relics that you can see inside. Quite impressive.
Cristo Rei Viewing Platform
More than simply being a very impressive monument, the Santuario Nacional de Cristo Rei Lisboa is also a viewing platform; you can go up in the monument, to gain a nice vantage point over the bridge and the river below.
You can’t actually go all the way up to the top of the statue, but you can go to the viewing platform, which is on top of the pedestal, 82 meters above the ground.
A lift will take you almost all the way up: when you exit the lift, you’ll be in the gift shop. After climbing the final flight of stairs, you’ll finally make it to the viewing platform, where you’ll be able to enjoy the absolutely stunning panoramic view.
Where is Cristo Rei?
The monument of Cristo Rei is actually not in Lisbon, but in Almada, a neighbouring city. The two cities are separated by Rio Tejo, the Tagus river, and connected by the 25 de Abril bridge.
FAQ’s about Cristo Rei
The journey by public transport is not difficult, requiring a scenic ferry ride and inexpensive bus.
To reach Cristo Rei, take the breezy commuter ferry from Terreiro do Paço ferry terminal to the sleepy seaside suburb of Cacilhas (€1.25, 15 minutes) then bus 101 (€1.45). You can also drive there.
The Cristo Rei monument is open every day between 9:30am and 7pm (summer) or 9:30am to 6pm (winter).
Entry to the Cristo Rei complex is free, and the lift to go to the top of the statue costs €6.00/€3.00 (adult/child).
The best view of the surrounding area is from up the viewing platform. However, you don’t have to go up.
The Santuario Nacional de Cristo Rei Lisboa is a massive 110 meters high statue of Jesus, built on a cliff. the pedestal is 82 meters high, and the statue of Christ the King is 28 meters high