National Sanctuary of Christ the King

Lisbon, Portugal

National Sanctuary of Christ the King

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The Sanctuary of Christ the King (Portuguese: Santuário de Cristo Rei) is a Catholic monument and shrine dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ overlooking the city of Lisbon situated in Almada, in Portugal. It was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil, after the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon visited that monument. The project was inaugurated on 17 May 1959, while Portugal was ruled by the authoritarian President of the Council of Ministers António de Oliveira Salazar who gave his final permission for the project. The giant statue in cement was erected to express gratitude because the Portuguese were spared the effects of World War II.

The construction of the Christ the King monument was approved in a Portuguese Episcopate conference, held in Fátima on 20 April 1940, as a plea to God to release Portugal from entering World War II. However, the idea had originated earlier on a visit of the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro in 1934, soon after the inauguration of the statue of Christ the Redeemer in 1931.




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