Friday, June 29, 2018

Behind A Garden Wall: The Ave Maria Grotto - Cullman, Alabama

I love amiable spaces indoors and out. The Ave Maria Grotto is a new discovery for me. It is described as follows:

Known throughout the world as "Jerusalem in Miniature," is a beautifully landscaped, four-acre park designed to provide a natural setting for the 125 miniature reproductions of some of the most famous historic buildings and shrines of the world. The masterpieces of stone and concrete are the lifetime work of Brother Joseph Zoettl, a Benedictine monk of St. Bernard Abbey. Begun as a hobby, with various materials he could find, and infinite patience and a remarkable sense of symmetry and proportion, Brother Joseph re-created some of the greatest edifices of all time.

Though new to me, it is well-known. So much has been written about the history of Ave Maria Grotto, as well as having been featured on videos, that it makes no sense for me to reprise what others have said so well. I will simply post photos I captured during my recent visit.

Brother Joseph's creche

Japanese Maple - Acer palmatum

View into the valley

Intricate column built of found objects

Hosta variety


Shrine to Pope Pius XI

St. Peter window and cockle shells

Montserrat Monastery, Spain




Elevated bird house


St. Kateri Tekakwitha, Native American saint


Fanciful pipe organ

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years. Rev. 20:1,2






St. Peter's Basilica

Hillside clusteer


Ave Maria Grotto


Hanging gardens of Babylon





Have you visited the Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman, Alabama? What did you think? Are you planning to visit? We'd love to hear from you. Let us know in the comment section.

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