Take the time to come and see a local icon in Barrancabermeja, the spectacular Cristo Petrolero statue. This wrought-iron statue overlooks the city from the banks of the Magdalena river and is an ode to local Columbian folklore.
The art of an oil worker
The Cristo Petrolero was constructed by Fernando Fernández, who worked as a mechanic for the company Ecopetrol. It has the unique and devout sculptural style from the Barrancabermeja people and represents Jesus Christ the Redeemer.
Fernández enjoyed painting as a hobby since he was a child and had always been interested in arts. After visiting Roma and witnessing different sculpture styles, he came up with the idea of doing a resurrected Jesus in the Miramar swamps.
He was in charge of the design of the statue but also collaborated with other 15 workers during the construction. They would travel in canoes with all the different parts and slowly assemble the figure. He worked on mostly the head and face, which was the most difficult part to complete.
One of the funny anecdotes is that during the construction one of the legs was assembled upside down. Fernandez noticed it in one of the canoeing travels.
Honoring local workers
The name of the statue translates to "The Oil Worker's Christ" and is a tribute to the oil industry in the area, which is so important to the local economy in Barrancabermeja.
The Cristo Petrolero statue is one majestic landmark in the area that you shouldn't miss. Stroll down to the statue and take some pictures.