Christ of the Abyss | Underwater Statue in Italy

Many of you are probably familiar with the underwater statue of Jesus called the Christ of the Abyss.

Key Largo is a heaven for nature lovers and home to a marine reserve in America. The ocean life is filled with magnificent tropical fish as far as your eyes can see.

However, there is something much more important statue alongside marine life. The statue lies at an approximate depth of 25m at Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

The Christ of the Abyss keys statue is the third bronze sculpting of sculptor Guido Galletti’s “II Cristo Degli Abissi,” translated in English to Christ of the Abyss and called the Christ of the Deep. The 8.6-foot sculpture was placed in 1965; its extended arms have reached upward from its base, rising so close to the top that the snorkelers and divers can view the water statue easily.

Christ of the Abyss Florida statue is apparently a replica of the same-named statue in the Mediterranean Sea, which casts from the same mold. In 1954 The Christ of the Abyss Italy statue was placed in the water off Genoa as a tribute to the seamen lost at sea.

Christ of the Abyss History

One of the places that attract the most visitors in the Keys has got to be the “key largo dry rocks.” In fact, many don’t know the place by that name; they simply call it “the statue.” because it is the location of the Christ of the Abyss statue. The statue weighs around 2000 pounds and is 9 feet tall.

It was a gift from the Italian manufacturer of dive gear. A sculptor named Guido Galletti built two statues after World War II. He wanted to build one statue underwater off the coast of Italy.

The only problem was that he did not have enough bronze material, so their navy broke off a couple of propellers, and he made a statue that went off the coast of Puerto Fino in 1954.

In 1960 Galletti built the same statue in the same mold, and they placed it under the water in 1965. It was donated to the underwater society of America. This was to celebrate the establishment of John Pennekamp Rovia state park.

Christ of the Abyss Florida
Christ of the Abyss Florida

Back in the 1960s, guys who were the pentagon park managers were given this beautiful 12-foot-high bronze sculpture of Christ. For a moment, they couldn’t accumulate an idea as to where to sink this statue. The water wasn’t shallow enough, so the divers and snorkelers could enjoy it. They also wanted it in a place rich with corals, and they didn’t want to put it out underwater desert; they wanted it to be a centerpiece for a thriving reef, so they chose Key Largo dry rocks.

It’s a very intriguing reef because it is circular instead of elongated, and most reefs are in keys.

Floating buoys confine the whole reef area. The backside of the reef is excellent for Christ of the Abyss snorkeling; beautiful and shallow. On the front side of the reef, you get 25-30 feet of water and beautiful firm roof formations that divers can work and out.

Because people have gone there so much, the fish are less sensitive to the presence of the divers and snorkelers, which is quite impressive.

Any inner reef, not particularly this one, won’t have the visibility on any given day that the outer reefs will. That’s just the function of the benefit of the gulf stream.

Some days you get 60-80 feet on the statue and the Key Largo dry rocks, which are special days.

Christ of the Abyss Original Story

  • It’s original story lies in Fruttuoso, Italy. The original statue was submerged in San Fruttuoso water at a depth of approximately 15 meters. On the 22nd of August 1954, they placed the statue in the water, initiated by an Italian diver Duilio Marcante. He wanted the statue of Christ under the water in remembrance of his friend Dario Gonzatti, who died during a dive at the same spot a few years prior.
  • Guido Galletti constructed the Christ of the Abyss at San Fruttuoso, Italy. The arms lifted upwards as a sign of prayer. The statue is 2-5 meters high and weighs 260 pounds without the pedestal. Following the death of Dulio Marcante, a plate was placed at the base of the statue to honor his memory.
  • The statue was reinstated in 2003 to prevent fouling and corrosion and to reattach the hand that an anchor broke off. The statue was back in the water in 2004 with a new platform.
  • Moreover, if you decide to dive into the water where the statue is situated, you will discover what you seek and the British ship that sank during the Crimean War.
christ of the abyss key largo map
Image Credit: Wilfred Hdez


Christ of the Abyss meaning

The Christ of the Abyss is a statue of Jesus Christ made of bronze by Guido Galletti. You can find it in the Mediterranean Sea, off the Italian Riviera, between Camogli and Portofino near San Fruttuoso. The statue is placed underwater.

Image Credit

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  2. The Christ of the Abyss Key Largo on the travel trip

  3. this post is about Key Largo is amazing, great information.

  4. It looks impressive! I would like to scuba dive here to see the Christ of the Abyss closer.

  5. This was one of three reefs that we visited. Saw lots of fish and beautiful coral in good shape. Enjoyed the trip.

    • Thank you for choosing Mysterious Trip to explore the reefs of Belize! We’re glad you enjoyed your trip and saw so many fish and beautiful coral. Thank you for choosing us and we hope to welcome you again soon.

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  8. Very nice Sir. It’s very helpful to me Thanks A lot.

  9. That’s a Great sign! Good Luck
    to the Future, AND thanks.

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  25. It appeared that someone had attached a small box to the base of the statue.

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  27. I swam around it, admiring the detail of the workmanship, when I noticed something strange.

  28. I took as much treasure as I could carry and headed back to the surface.

  29. It was a beautiful day in Key Largo, and the clear blue waters were a perfect backdrop for the underwater sculpture.

    • Thank you for choosing to visit Key Largo and experience our beautiful underwater sculpture garden, Miclbap. We’re glad you enjoyed your day here and the clear blue waters were a perfect backdrop for the sculptures. Thank you for letting us know, we hope you’ll come back soon!

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    • Thank you for your kind words Curtis! We’re glad you enjoyed the blog and found it useful. We’ll do our best to continue publishing great content like this. 🙂

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