Imagine standing in the shadow of a colossus, a towering figure carved not just out of stone, but out of the very bedrock of history itself. Such marvels have been a part of human craftsmanship since the dawning of civilization, with ancient artisans from the Old Kingdom of Egypt setting the benchmark with the Great Sphinx—a leviathan among sculptures at an impressive 20 meters in height. Your journey through the realms of these titanic figures begins with a reverence for their scale and the awe they inspire.
In recent decades, an ambition to reach even greater heights has taken hold, giving rise to new goliaths that command the landscape and chronicle our era’s artistic and engineering advancements.
These contemporary sentinels of cultural identity and heritage stand as proud emblems of the communities they tower over, connecting you to the narratives and accomplishments of distinct civilizations. As you delve into the stories of the world’s largest statues, prepare to be transported across time and space through the silent tales of these stone giants.
1. Motherland Monument (102 meters)
Behold, the towering figure of the Motherland Monument, an emblem of resilience born from the collective memory of wartime valor. Completed in 1981 in the historic city of Kyiv, this sentinel of stainless steel soars to a remarkable height of 203 feet, perched atop a museum that anchors her total stature to 335 feet. Weigh a hefty 560 tons, she is an unyielding symbol of the spirit that once fortified a nation during the tumultuous days of the Second World War.
2. Monument to the Founding Fathers
Carved directly into the mountainside, towering figures of Emperors Yan and Huang stand at an impressive height of 106 meters. Inaugurated in 2007, this monolith took two decades to sculpt. Nestled within the Yellow River Scenic Area, close to Zhengzhou, it honors two fundamental figures in China’s ancient lineage of leadership.
See Related: Largest Islands in the World to Visit
3. Guan Yin Statue (108 meters)
Standing at 108 meters, this embodiment of Guan Yin on Hainan’s southern coast reaches skyward, caressing the air of China’s beloved island. Your gaze would follow its ascent, as the Bodhisattva of Compassion presents a triad of faces; one invites the mainland’s energy, while the dual others serenely acknowledge the South China Sea. Carved into existence over six diligent years, 2005 marked the year this spiritual monolith graced the world.
4. Cristo-Rei (110 meters)
Standing on a gate-like pedestal at 110 meters tall, Cristo-Rei stands as a sanctified sentinel, mirroring its illustrious counterpart in Rio de Janeiro. Completed in 1959, this majestic statue extends 28 meters skywards, with its foundation soaring another 82 meters, permitting a sweeping gaze over Lisbon. You’ll find beneath its outstretched arms a viewing deck, inviting you to bask in the expansive embrace of panoramic vistas. While Cristo-Rei shares a silhouette with the renowned Christ the Redeemer, it simultaneously distinguishes itself as a beacon of spiritual guidance and artistic triumph.
See Related: Largest Aquariums in the World
5. Ushiku Daibutsu (120 meters)
Erected in 1995, the bronze statue known as Ushiku Daibutsu dominates the city of Ushiku’s skyline. Representing Amitabha Buddha, it ascends to a staggering height of 120 meters, making it the world’s third-largest statue of its kind. Your journey here isn’t just a visual treat—this colossus is engineered for interaction. Embark up to the viewing platform via elevator, situated well above ground, offering enlightening panoramas.
- Location: Ushiku, Japan
- Completion Year: 1995
- Statue Height: 120 meters (inclusive of the base and lotus platform)
- Material: Bronze
Embark on a reverential ascent within Ushiku Daibutsu, where art, history, and culture meet the sky.
6. Laykyun Setkyar (130 meters)
Amidst the central Myanmar landscape, the Laykyun Setkyar rises; its apex is at 130 meters, including a 13.5 meter regal base. Erected amidst the tranquility of Po Kaung Hills, near Monywa, this towering Buddha presides. Since its completion in 2008, it stands second in height worldwide, while a vast reclining Buddha since 1991 rests at its base, unrivaled in scale by any other.
7. Spring Temple Buddha (153 meters)
Standing among hills in China towers a testament to serenity: the Spring Temple Buddha. Your gaze is drawn upward to the imposing figure of Vairocana Buddha, which clears by a significant margin the canopies of other colossal creations worldwide.
- Total Height: 153m (including base and throne)
- Location: China
- Completed: 2008
- Depicts: Vairocana Buddha
The creation was in response to the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas, with each detail meticulously engineered to inspire awe and respect for both the figure it represents and the artistry it showcases. Envision yourself standing at the foot of this serene giant, looking up at the massive lotus throne upon which it serenely sits.