When discussing the world’s tallest sculptures, many can name the Statue of Liberty (93 meters) in Manhattan, New York, USA or the Statue of Unity (182 meters) in Kevadia, Gujarat, India.
But few know of the following statues in China, some surpassing the aforementioned structures in height, setting new world records. Here’s a rundown of China’s top five loftiest sculptures, from the shortest to the tallest.
Guanyin of Nanshan, Hainan南山海上观音圣像
Measuring 108 meters high, this statue of Guanyin, a bodhisattva (comparable to the Western concept of ‘saints’), is located by the South China Sea.
As the world’s largest Guanyin statue, it took six years to build.The three-faceted statue represents three core elements of the generous bodhisattva: One side depicts Guanyin cradling a sutra, the second sees her holding a string of prayer beads, and the third shows her holding a lotus blossom.
Emperors Yan and Huang, Henan 炎黄二帝巨塑
Carved into the face of the Xiangyang Mountain by Henan’s Yellow River, this monument is the fourth-tallest statue in China at 106 meters high.Its construction, which took 20 whole years, finally came to a close in 2007 and cost 22.5 million USD.
The sculpture depicts two mythical Chinese sovereigns, the Flame Emperor and the Yellow Emperor, who are regarded as the initiators of Han culture.Today, proud Han people refer to themselves as ‘descendants of the Flame and Yellow Emperors.’
Ghost King Stone Carving, Chongqing鬼王石刻
Described by some as the “largest ghost” in the world, the Ghost King sculpture is carved into a mountainside in Fengdu Ghost City in Southwest China’s Fengdu county, Chongqing.At 138 meters tall and 217 meters wide, the Ghost King can be spotted from most parts of the city.
Spring Temple Buddha, Henan中原大佛
Made in the image of Vairocana Buddha, the second-tallest statue in the world stands at 208 meters high and is located in Henan, North-Central China.
The project — surrounding structures and all — cost a whopping 55 million USD, while the statue alone cost 18 million USD to build. The statue consists of 1,100 pieces of casted copper and weighs around 1,000 metric tons.
God of Longevity, Shandong 寿星巨雕
Holding a Guinness World Record as the largest stone carving in the world, this statue of the God of Longevity towers above the rest of the aforementioned statues at 218 meters high, bringing a new meaning to ‘head in the clouds.’
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