Some incredibly amazing statues have been built through the ages, most of which pay homage to deities, cult figures, conquests, ideologies, heroes and achievements. Many cities around the world are so crowded with small or medium-size statues that they have become part of the landscape and almost go unnoticed.
On the other hand, there are statues so imposing due to their size and design that they have become landmarks and tourist attractions.
Let’s now look at the world’s 10 tallest statues on pedestals.
1. Spring Temple Buddha, Vairocana Buddha, China
Total height 153 m (on a 20 m lotus throne and a 25 pedestal/building)
Built from 1997 to 2008, the statue depicts and is located in Henan China.
The whole project was estimated to cost about $55 million, of which $18 million was spent on the statue. It was originally estimated to consist of 1,100 pieces of copper cast, with a total weight of 1,000 tons. Beneath the statue is a Buddhist monastery.
The Spring Temple Buddha was named after the nearby Tianrui hot spring, where the 60°C water is renowned for its curative properties. The Foquan Temple was built during the Tang dynasty and houses the “Bell of Good Luck.” The bronze bell was placed on top of Dragon Head peak and weighs 116 tons.
2. Laykyun Setkyar, Buddha, Burma
Total height 130 m (on a 13.5 m throne)
The Laykyun Setkyar is the second tallest statue in the world at 116 meters. The statue represents Gautama Buddha and is located in the village of Khatakan Taung, near Monywa, Myanmar. Construction began in 1996 and was completed on 21 February 2008.
The solid section of the monument is said to enclose 7,350 relics and other holy materials.
3. Ushiku Daibutsu, Amitabha Buddha, Japan
Total height of 120 m (on a 10 m lotus throne and a 10 m pedestal/building).
The Ushiku Daibutsu statue is located in Ushiku, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, and was completed in 1993. An elevator takes visitors up 85 m to an observation floor. The statue depicts Amitabha Buddha and is made of bronze. It is also known as Ushiku ARCADIA (Amida’s Radiance and Compassion Actually Developing and Illuminating Area). It was built to commemorate the birth of Shinran, founder of the Jōdo Shinshū or “True Pure Land School” of Buddhism.
Some curious facts about the statue:
- Weight: 4,003 tons
- Length of left hand: 18 m
- Length of face: 20 m
- Length of eye: 2.55 m
- Length of mouth: 4.5 m
- Length of nose: 1.2 m
- Length of ear: 10 m
- Length of the first finger: 7 m
4. Guan Yin of the South Sea of Sanya, China
Total height of 108 m plus the pedestal
The statue is located at Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Memorial Monastery where the temples were built in a very characteristic architectural design. The huge golden statue, which measures some 120 meters, is the most prominent landmark in the southeastern side of Fo Gunag Mountain (Gunag Shan) Monastery.
Construction on Fo Guang Shan started in 2003 and took nine years to complete. The result is nothing short of fantastic, especially when you stop to consider that the entire complex was created through the support of thousands of temples and millions of benefactors from around the world. Eight pagodas comprise the front portion of the complex with a giant bronze Buddha statue located at the rear end of the complex.
6. Cristo-Rei (Christ the King), Almada, Portugal
Total height of 103 m (on a 82 m pedestal)
The Christ the King statue (called “Cristo Rei” in Portuguese) is a Catholic monument and shrine dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ overlooking the city of Lisbon in the central part of Portugal. The figure of Christ – comparable to the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro – forms a cross, with the arms extended out facing the city of Lisbon, as if to embrace the city.
The base of the statue has a public observation deck, at 82 meters offerig panoramic views of the city of Lisbon, the Tagus River and of the 25 de Abril Bridge.
It was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), after the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon visited that monument. The project was inaugurated on 17 May 1959, when Portugal was stilled ruled by the dictatorship of António de Oliveira Salazar.
The giant statue in cement was erected to express gratitude because the Portuguese were spared the effects of World War II. Construction started in 1949 and took ten years to complete, funded and supported by Apostleship of Prayer members.
The monument is erected on an isolated cliff top 133 meters above the sea, overlooking the Tagus River’s left margin.
7. Rodina-mat’, Kiev, Ukraine
Total height of 102 m (on a 40 m pedestal)
The Motherland Monument or, as it is commonly known, ‘Rodina-Mat’, is a monumental statue in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. The sculpture is a part of the Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Kiev. Designed by Yevgeny Vuchetich, the stainless steel statue stands 62 m tall upon the museum building with the overall structure measuring 102 m and weighing 560 tons. The sword in the statue’s right hand is 16 m long and weighs 9 tons, with the left hand holding up a 13 by 8 m shield with the State Emblem of the Soviet Union.
8. Awaji Kannon
Total height of 100 m (on a 20 m pedestal)
Awaji Island is in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, in the eastern part of the Seto Inland Sea between the islands of Honshū and Shikoku.
The World Peace Giant Kannon is actually part of the Heiwa Kannon Temple (heiwa meaning peace…), which was founded and funded by Toyokichi Okunai, a realtor who became rich dealing with office buildings, private apartments and business hotels in Osaka. The basis is a 5 storey building, 20 meters tall. The first floor was home to all kinds of religious exhibits as well as well as information about the famous Shikoku Pilgrimage. The other floors were stuffed with Mr. Okunai’s private collections – transportation, watches, china, art, armors. The fourth floor was home to a sightseeing restaurant, a banquet hall and a souvenir shop.
9. Statue of Liberty, New York, United States of America
Total height of 93 m (on a 47 m pedestal)
The largest statue in the United States was inaugurated on October 28th 1886.
The statue was constructed in France, shipped overseas in crates, and assembled on the pedestal on what was then called Bedloe’s Island. The statue’s completion was marked by New York’s first ticker-tape parade and a dedication ceremony presided over by President Grover Cleveland.
The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World) is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in the middle of New York Harbor, in Manhattan. The statue was designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and was a gift to the United States from the people of France. The statue is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom, who bears a torch and a tabula ansata (a tablet evoking the law) upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue is an icon of freedom and of the United States: a welcoming signal to immigrants arriving from abroad.
10. Guan Yu of Yuncheng, China
Total height of 80 m (on a pedestal of 19 m)
The Guan Yu of Yuncheng Guan Buddhist statue is erected at Yu Yuncheng, Shanxi.
The huge statue of Guan Gong, an ancient Chinese marshal from the Three Kingdoms Period (AD 220-280), in Yuncheng city, North China’s Shanxi province, is made of copper and measures 61 meters. It was built in 2010, becoming the tallest statue of Duke Guan in the world.
Guan Gong is also named Kwan Kong, Kuan Kong or Kong Chang. He was a famous Chinese general during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms era of China (206 BC – 220 AD). He always carried a Guan Dao sword. He is also the brother of the first emperor (Liu Bei) of the Kingdom of Shu. Guan Gong was very instrumental in establishing the Kingdom of Shu. He is respected as the epitome of loyalty, moral qualities and righteousness. Guan Gong is still being worshiped by Chinese people today.