Events & Festivals

10 Monuments Dedicated to Religious Figures

Bigger or smaller, with stunning architectural designs or just a simple structure we decided to cover those memorials dedicated to important religious figures. Should their monuments be any different, bigger or shinier than the others, just because they were somehow closer to God? Let’s find out together. Here are our ten picks.

A noble Danish archbishop, Absalon is still one of the most conspicuous and interesting figures of the Middle Ages. A great churchman but also a great warrior, Absalon is renowned as the founder of Copenhagen, which in 1167 was known as Havn (harbor). Vilhelm Bissen built the monument who faces Archbishop Absalon sitting aloft on his rearing horse, in 1902. It’s close to the St. Nikolaj Church in Copenhagen.

Considered to be one of the noblest “products” of Belgian Christianity, Saint Gerard de Brogne descended from the Dukes of Lower Australia. As a child he was raised in a military environment but later on he had to choose the religious path. His first big spiritual change was to build a large church from his family chapel. The monument was erected in 1959 to celebrate a millennium after his death and is located just in front of the church in Brogne.

Lecturer of philosophy, Fra Junipero Serra was a Franciscan born in Mallorca, Spain, that got beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1988. It was the first step to his canonization. His funny statue is located at a rest stop on I-280 and overlooks the Crystal Springs Reservoir below. It may not be the best (most beautiful) statue you’ve ever seen but it has something special. Maybe he’s trying to say “Go for a swim! And fast!”

Born to wealthy landowner parents, Saint Anthony the Great was an Egyptian Christian saint who dedicated his life to the poor. Known as a prominent leader among the Desert Fathers, at the age of 24 he followed Jesus’ words and sold all his properties and used the money to help those who were in need. On the fun part, Saint Anthony the Great has fought against evil living in a tomb for several years, to make sure he can overcome boredom, laziness, and the phantoms of women. That’s what made him, patron saint of gravediggers. His monument is located in Malta, and faces the saint preaching with his pig.

The famous statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, may not need any more explanations. Located at the peak of the Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park, it is an impressive symbol of Christianity that stands 40 meters (130 feet) high. That’s what makes it the tallest statue of its kind in the world and one of the most beautiful icons of the city. The monument was designed by local engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, while Paul Landowski – a French monument sculptor – worked on building it from 1922 to 1931. The total cost was $250,000. In 2008, lightning struck the statue of Christ the Redeemer and though it caused a violent electrical storm that lead to falling trees and havoc in the city, the monument is unscathed.

Much could be said about Pope John Paul II, but mostly he is known for his kindness. He was against contraception and homosexual acts because he called them great sins, but also against abortion which he considered an “unspeakable crime”. Pope John Paul II is also famous for his travels in more than 110 countries, mainly because that always included extremely large crowds, some amongst the largest ever assembled in human history. There are many monuments dedicated to Pope John Paul, but one of the most beautiful of them all is in Plock.

Saint Therese de Lisieux was a Roman Catholic cloistered Carmelite nun, canonized as a saint soon after dying young, at the age of 24. Admired by generations of Catholics who used to call her, the “Little Flower”, Saint Therese de Lisieux is famous for being the patron saint of AIDS sufferers, aviators, florists, illness, missions and flowers. The sculpted monument dedicated to her is located on Rue Esplanade, in Montreal, Canada.

Roman Catholic bishop (Archbishop of Liverpool), Derek Worlock, and high-profile bishop of the Church of England, David Sheppard, are emblematic figures in England, because they strove for many years to bring the two diverse sides together. Located on Hope Street in Liverpool the monument features the life-sized portraits of the two, dressed in their priestly robes and standing on a circular bronze plinth flush to the pavement. It sure looks like two doors, which, too bad, won’t work.

Saint George was a soldier in the Guard of Emperor Diocletian in the Roman Empire and one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, and is considered the biggest patron saint of all times, “ruling” over a wide range of professions, organizations and disease sufferers. Among all countries in the world Russia is praising Saint George the most, with his figure appearing on the country’s coat of arms. His statue at the Moscow War Memorial was created in bronze by Zurab Tsereteli, a very controversial Russian-Georgian painter, sculptor and architect, and faces him on a horse, slaying a dragon.

Saint James the Just also known as James the Protector, was the first Bishop of Jerusalem and an important figure in Early Christianity. James wasn’t just one of Jesus’ disciples, but more. Brother, cousin, no one can tell for sure, but they were surely relatives. St. James is also famous for being the patron saint of La Antigua and more than 200 other towns in Guatemala and throughout Latin America, celebrate him on July 25. On the Hill of the Cross, in Antigua Guatemala, there’s a monument dedicated to him with the apostle riding a horse, wearing boots, a helmet, a collared robe and carrying the standard for Spain.

Images courtesy of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

2 Comments for "10 Monuments Dedicated to Religious Figures"

Donald C. Brown says on August 6th, 2009 at 12:44 am:

In my many miles of travel the most impressive Statue of Fra. Serra and the little Indian Boy in front of the Church, overlooking the Marina in the Capitol of Majorca.

tanya says on July 9th, 2010 at 5:38 am:

very beautiful!


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