If you are ever near West Bend, Iowa, you must try to visit the Grotto of the Redemption. It is a worthwhile detour, regardless of your religious affiliation or lack thereof. Father Paul Dobberstein, a German immigrant, began construction of the grotto in 1912 and continued building for 42 years. He collected materials for years before beginning construction. According to iowabeautiful.com, the Grotto is “a complex of nine different grottos in West Bend, Iowa, each one portraying a different scene from the life of Christ. The fourteen Stations of the Cross are also depicted. The grottos were built using stones and gems from all over the world. It was started in 1912 and now covers nearly a whole city block. The materials used in its construction are considered to be the world’s most complete man-made collection of minerals, fossils, shells, and petrifications in one place.”
I will have a longer post about the Grotto soon.