A 262-foot-long statue of Christ on the cross rests atop a chapel at a religious theme park.
Until recently, we were under the impression that the largest crucifix in the world was a 28-foot-tall statue of Jesus in Indian River, Michigan. The towering “Cross in the Woods,” the work of American sculptor Marshall Fredericks, was built in 1959 to serve as daily inspiration for those who lived far from the nearest church. Today, thanks to the wonders of social media, we learned that the designation “largest crucifix in the world” may in fact belong to a statue in South America. In the town of Huila, about ten miles outside the city of Neiva, Colombia, a gargantuan 262-foot-long crucifix rests atop a chapel at a religious theme park and tourist destination called the “Blood of Christ Spiritual Park (Parque Espiritual La Sangre de Cristo).”
According to the website Diario del Huila, during Holy Week and other important days on the Catholic calendar, the park attracts religious tourists, who, in addition to attending Mass at the chapel under the giant Christ sculpture, come to enjoy the region’s natural beauty, and the theme park’s other attractions.Guests can visit a replica of the Colombia’s San Agustin Archaeological Park, kayak in the park’s lake, and visit a replica of an Egyptian temple and a pre-Columbian museum. They can also enjoy an artificial waterfall, fishing, zip-lining, and hiking, and they can even stay for free in cabins that can accommodate four people.
Alas, if you are planning to go yourself, information on hours and tickets is a bit hard to come by on the internet. Diario del Huila suggests calling the park’s administrator directly, and helpfully supplies his cell phone here.
One note: since the crucifix in Colombia is actually lying flat rather than standing perpendicular to the ground, the Michigan “Cross in the Woods” crucifix may in fact be the tallest in the world even though, measured from head to toe, the theme park statue is clearly taller.