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The best independent guide to Lisbon

LisbonLisboaPortugal.com

The best independent guide to Lisbon

Cristo Rei, the Christ Statue of Lisbon

The Cristo Rei is one of the most iconic monuments in Lisbon.
The statue of Christ stands high above the southern banks of the Tejo Estuary, and depicts Christ with arms raised, blessing the city. Cristo Rei dates from the 1950s, and its construction represents Portugal's religious gratitude for avoiding the horrors of World War Two.

Cristo Rei statue lisbon and ferry

The ferry to Cacilhas passing in front of the Cristo Rei statue

Since its consecration in 1959, Cristo Rei has been an important Portuguese pilgrim destination, and today is a major religious centre for the diocese of Setubal. Lisbon's Cristo Rei has many similarities to the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio, and the Brazilian statue was the original inspiration.

For visitors, the main draw of the Cristo Rei is the 80m high viewing platform and the amazing panoramic views over Lisbon and the Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge. Cristo Rei makes for an enjoyable excursion from Lisbon and is often the sole reason to cross to the southern side of the Tejo Estuary.

The journey by public transport is not difficult, requiring a scenic ferry ride and inexpensive bus. This article will provide a tourist guide to the Cristo Rei and includes details about travelling there.
Related articles: Lisbon introTop 10 Lisbon

cristo rei statue lisbon

The Christ statue stands at the top of a 75m tower, and the hill it was constructed on, is the highest point of the region

Tourist guide to the Cristo Rei, Lisbon

The Cristo Rei monument is set within a sprawling complex of pilgrimage buildings and gardens, which overlook the Tejo Estuary and the suspension bridge. These grounds are free to visit, and due to their large size, never get to crowed with tourists.

Insight: The views from the cliff tops are just as good as from the top of the monument and are better for selfie/portrait photos with the bridge in the background.

The admission fee to the viewing platform is €6.00/€3.00 (adult/child), and an express elevator whisks visitors up the 82m. On exiting the lift, visitors are greeted with a surprisingly large religious gift shop, and it is a further flight of stairs to the viewpoint.

Once at the top, the view is simply breath-taking. On a clear day, the high vantage point makes it possible to see the Serra de Sintra hills 24km to the north-west and the Serra de Arrabida 27km to the south.

Ponte 25 de Abril bridge   lisbon

Some of the best views of the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge are from the Cristo Rei viewpoint

The Cristo Rei monument is open every day between 9:30 and 19:00 (summer) or 9:30 to 18:00 (winter). For further details, please see the Santuario Nacional de Cristo Rei website:
cristorei.pt/horarios

At the base of the monument is the simplistic Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Paz and this chapel is free to enter. For refreshment, there is a large café that serves basic meals, snacks and drinks.

Insight: One of the curiosities of the gardens is the constant low buzzing sound, and this originates from the traffic crossing the mesh surface of the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge.

Cristo Rei is a popular and important pilgrimage destination, for details about large group pilgrimages, please see this webpage which contains contact email:
https://cristorei.pt/

Cristo Rei, Lisbon

Travel to the Christ Statue of Lisbon

The journey to the Cristo Rei requires a ferry ride and bus ride, and has a total travel time of less than 45minutes.

The first stage of the journey is the ferry from the Cais do Sodré ferry terminal to Cacilhas. This route takes 15minutes and is very scenic as it passes next to the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge.

The Cais do Sodré ferry terminal is connected to the green metro line (last stop) and is just a short walk from the Baixa district. A single ferry ticket costs €1.30 and is charged to the Viva Viagem ticket, the ticket used by the whole of the Lisbon public transport network.

The Lisbon to Cacilhas ferry

The orange ferries that connect Lisbon to Cacilhas

There are approximately three ferry departures per hour, with many more at rush hour. The latest timetable can be seen on the Transtejo e Soflusa (TTSL) website:
http://ttsl.pt

In Cacilhas, the ferry terminal is connected to the bus and tram station, and this is where the bus to Cristo Rei departs from.
Tip: While in Cacilhas, do visit the magnificent Fernando II Gloria, Portugal's last sail-powered ship.
Related articles: Lisbon ferries

The bus to the Cristo Rei statue

101 bus waiting at the Cristo Rei bus stop, the building to the rear is the Pavilhão Multiusos do Rosário

The second stage of the journey is to take the 101 (or 101a) bus from Cacilhas bus station up to the monument. Cacilhas bus station is next to the ferry terminal, and the depart bay is well signed.

Between 9am-5pm, there are at least two departures every hour, and during the summer (and weather permitting) there is an additional open-air bus service, referred to as 101a. A single ticket costs €1.45, and the ticket is purchased from the driver. The bus 101 route takes about 15 minutes and terminates at the entrance to the Cristo Rei complex.

It is possible to walk from the Cacilhas ferry terminal along the dock front and then ride the Elevator da Boca do Vento (free) up the cliffs to Cristo Rei. What should be a very scenic and enjoyable walking route is not.

The clifftop section from the Elevator da Boca do Vento to the Cristo Rei is surprisingly long (2km) and just passes through bland residential estates. The lower riverside path is lined by many abandoned and graffiti-ridden warehouses and is not a pleasant walk.
Related articles: Lisbon to Cristo Rei (full guide)

Dom Fernando II e Glória sailing boat

The lovingly restored Dom Fernando II e Glória; Portugal's last sailing warship which was launched in 1843

How about a small group tour?

One of the best ways to discover Lisbon and to meet fellow travellers is to join a guided tour. We have worked with Getyourguide.com for the last six years, and some of the best tours of Lisbon include:

History of Cristo-Rei Lisbon

The Cristo Rei statue was constructed during a deeply religious period of Portugal's history, by a population who were grateful for avoiding the horrors of the Second World War. This religious outpouring was embraced by the nationalistic dictatorship lead by António Salazar and encouraged by the church.

The original inspiration for Cristo Rei came when Cardinal Patriarch visited Rio de Janeiro in 1934. It took until the late 40s, to allocate the funds to start construction, which began in 1950. It took nine years to complete and was inaugurated on the 17th of May 1959.

The statue of Christ the King is 28 meters tall and is perched upon a reinforced concrete pedestal that stands at 75 meters. The monument is constructed on the highest point of the Almada region and is 133m above sea level. The monument lies within the diocese of Setubal, but the statue's construction was funded by the Catholic Church of Lisbon.

Cristo-Rei Statue for limited mobility

The entire complex is on a flat summit, and there are gravel paths connecting all of the key sights and buildings. Unfortunately, the final stairs between the gift shop and the viewing platform has no accessibility lift, but the view from the top of the cliffs is just as good. The ferry and bus to Cristo Rei have ramps or low flooring, and the entire journey is possible with limited mobility.

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