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El Cristo de La Habana Review

Sometimes referred to as El Cristo de Casa Blanca for the eastern Havana municipality above which it stands, the 18-m (59-ft) Carrara-marble colossus by Cuban sculptress Jilma Madera is said to be the largest open-air sculpture ever created by a woman. It was unveiled in 1958, a year before the Revolution and a year after the student assault on Fulgencio Batista's Palacio Presidencial. It's said that Batista's wife, praying for her husband to escape the shootout alive, vowed to erect a statue of Christ like that in Rio de Janeiro if her prayers were answered. Batista survived, and the statue was built while he tortured and murdered political opponents—especially students—with renewed brutality. For this reason, there's a certain official coldness toward the site. Certainly the sculpture itself is less interesting than the views (from its base) of the harbor and La Habana Vieja and the ambience of the park—a popular local picnic spot—that surrounds it.

    Contact Information

  • Address: Carretera de Casa Blanca, Habana del Este, Havana
  • Phone: No phone
  • Cost: Free
  • Hours: Daily 10–10
  • Location: Habana del Este

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