April 05, 2016

Photo Essay: A Giant Christ Towers Over Tijuana

There are a lot of giant Jesus statues in the world...

...but there's a particular concentration of them in Mexico...

...and Tijuana is no exception.

Although a smaller version of the most famous giant Christ in the world, the "Christ the Redeemer" statue in Rio de Janeiro...

...this monument in the Los Alamos district, called "Cristo Rey," ("Christ the King") was uniquely made from resin and fiberglass.

His arms are outstretched to the sky and the city below as he's flanked by two bellfries atop the Catholic church of San Martin de Porres...

...the patron saint of mixed-race people and all those seeking harmony among the races.

Appropriately so in a border town between Mexico and the United States...

...where Mexicans are descended from both the country's indigenous people (like the Mexica, rulers of the Aztec empire) and the Spanish conquistadors...

...or some other multi-ethnic ancestral origins (including Arab-Mexicans, Afro-Mexicans, and even Asian-Mexicans.

The statue was completed in 1999, standing nearly 77 feet tall on its own (plus the height of the church and the elevation of the hill they're both perched on).

He's surrounded by a choir of angels...

...though they're looking a bit worse for the wear, missing arms and horns...

...and cracking under the elements.

In fact, you'd think they would have been there a lot longer than just 17 years.

The bluff seems to be crumbling right under the plaza that faces the Christ.

Until he falls—which seems inevitable scientifically and biblically—he's a beacon for those who need a beacon.

But remember: He is not Christ the Redeemer. He's just a king.

So if you're looking for redemption, Tijuana isn't the place to go.

At least, not yet.

Related Posts:
Photo Essay: Unwanted Christ in a Desert Park
Photo Essay: La Mona of the Tijuana Centennial

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