Backroads America: Grotto of the Redemption

Holy Row

Stations of the Cross, Grotto of the Redemption, West Bend, Iowa

Stations of the Cross, Grotto of the Redemption, West Bend, Iowa

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, 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.


art, backroads, Iowa, religion


Hi, Marie. I’d like to, with your permission, republish one of your photos of the Grotto in a small Catholic women’s magazine. If that’s okay, what attribution would you like me to include? Thanks very much.

Liked by 1 person

Hi, Katy. With pleasure. My name is Marie Friederichs. Could you send me a link to the magazine after published. I can send a higher quality file if you need. The files on my blog are pretty small. Thanks, Marie


Thanks so very much, Marie. You can see it at! It’s actually our first-ever issue and, in full disclosure, I failed to include photo credits when I first posted it at the beginning of the month. I realized my mistake and I’ve updated it with those that were missing. You’ll find your credit with your photo! All the best.

Liked by 1 person

Thanks, Katy. Wow, you have put a lot of work into your first issue. It is beautifully designed. I am not at all religious, though I love religious art and architecture. If you ever need photos for your travel column, let me know. I might have something you could use. I travel a lot. Best of luck. I will share your link with some of my Catholic family and friends. They might be interested.


Thank you so much! I’ll be glad to take advantage if the opportunity presents itself. And thank you for sharing the magazine! We are eager to grow readership.


Hello! I’d like to have permission to republish one of your photos of the grotto in a small Catholic women’s magazine. Please let me know what attribution you’d like me to include.


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