Massive Jesus statue rejected in Bad Reichenhall

Proposed plans to erect a more than 50 metre (164 foot) tall statue of Jesus on a Bavarian peak have been overruled by the Bad Reichenhall city council. Even the clergy in the heavily Catholic region were against the statue.

Massive Jesus statue rejected in Bad Reichenhall
Jesus! Photo: DPA

On Thursday evening the council rejected entrepreneur Harry Vossburg’s plan to top the 1,613-metre Predigstuhl (“Preacher’s Pulpit”) peak with the huge statue, according to daily Abendzeitung.

Bavarians that live in the Alps would rather find their religion “in the small things,” council member Stefan Kantsperger said of the Jesus statue that would be 17 metres taller than the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Architect Ludwig Angerer der Ältere, who designed the project for Vossburg, presented a model of the super Jesus that included a church in its interior during the city council meeting. “It would be big enrichment for the state and for Christendom,” he told the paper. “But Bad Reichenhall has always been a bit arrogant.”

The project would have been financed by €2 million in donations, and was meant to increase tourism in the area. But Catholic officials found the idea distasteful, according to Bavarian broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk.

Protestant church officials were also against the colossal Jesus. “A chapel fits in better with our mountainous Bavarian landscape than a mammoth Jesus,” Thomas Roßmerkel, a state evangelical spokesperson told the broadcaster this summer.

Developer Vossburg was not present at the city council meeting, but told the Abendzeitung it was “too bad” that his statue was rejected, adding that he’ll look for possibilities in other states.