‘Jumping for joy on the Grapa Hill of Rio de Klin’

November 9, 2019

EUROPEAN UNION: Lenka from Slovakia, Dragomir from Kazazhstan, Karen from Colombia and myself sychronised this jump for the camera next to the Rio de Klin statue and it was a one take jake, not after numerous attempts.


HEAVENLY VIEW: This is the view from the top of Grapa Hill looking out onto the village of Klin also of the Orava Dam, town of Námestovo and villages of Vavrečka and Suchá Hora.


REASSURING PRESENCE: The figure of Christ the Redeemer figure at Klin was made by carver Peter Ganobjak weighs 23 tonnes and was erected in 2007. Its hands are directed towards the town of Orava.



PAPAL ADDITION: The statue of John Paul II prostating before the Christ the Redeemer is different to the iconic original in Rio, which is just the figure with its hands held out.


A MINIATURE version of the Christ the Redeemer status in Brazil dominates the skyline in an area of Northern Slovakia.

I was taken there by my friend Lenka Daisy as part of my week away in Northern Slovakia and Southern Poland but I wasn’t expecting what I saw.

‘Klin landmark is one of two Rio replicas’

This copy of the world-famous landmark can be found near the Orava Dam and rises on a hill called Grapa at a height of 686 metres. There is another replica of the Christ Redeemer Statue of similar size in Lisbon, Portugal.

The height of the status is nine metres and its hands have a range of seven metres. In total the structure weighs 23 tonnes and was put in its present position in 2007. The hands are directed outwards to the town of Orava.

The original in Rio de Janeiro is 98 feet tall – smaller than some might think – and it has a 26 feet pedestal. Architects and builders set about its construction in 1922 and it took nine years to complete, being done in 1931.

The statue looks out to views of the village of Klin, but also of the Orava Dam, town of Námestovo and villages of Vavrečka and Suchá Hora.

‘Everyone was happy on the hill’

Whilst up there, it was noticeable how everyone around was relaxed and joyful and whatever disappointments or successes were in the back of anyone’s minds, they had temporarily forgotten those woes and were enjoying the beauty that was in front of them.

‘Perhaps the UK needs a similar symbol of hope’

When driving up the hill towards, there are many lay-bys where some folks would park up and walk up whilst we decided to travel up to the farthermost part of the hill were cars could reach.

Back here in the UK, with all the floods and negativity that we face from time to time, it would be nice to have a similar replica to this statue built in somewhere like Glastonbury, which has the oldest recorded church in the British Isles, including the Republic of Ireland. This is the Wattle Church of St Mary’s in Glastonbury Abbey

‘Replica has only been in place for past 12 years’

The architect of this idea is local entrepeneur Josef Straka, who comes from the nearby town of Klin, which is why the statue is called Rio de Klin. The man who created the statues is local carver Peter Ganobjak.

Where Rio de Klin differs to the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil, is a two and a half ton sculpture of the late Pope John Paul II kneeling in prayer towards to the Statue with its hands opened outwards. The Statue of the late pope was added in 2009, so both these projects are very recent creations.

There are what are called Fourteen Stations of the Cross – prayer stations – are lined up wall to wall in front of the statue. Under the statue of the Late Pope and Christ the Redeemer is a Chapel of Divine Mercy.

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