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Ave Maria Grotto, Cullman

4.7
Must see · Religious Site · Landmark
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Ave Maria Grotto, in Cullman, Alabama, is a landscaped, 4-acre (16,000 m2) park in an old quarry on the grounds of St. Bernard Abbey, providing a garden setting for 125 miniature reproductions of some of the most famous religious structures of the world. It was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage on February 24, 1976, and to the National Register of Historic Places on January 19, 1984.
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Ave Maria Grotto reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
409 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • We make it a point every year to come and see the Christmas lights. There is just something peaceful about walking through the miniatures and lights at night with Christmas music playing. We also... 
    We make it a point every year to come and see the Christmas lights. There is just something peaceful about walking through the miniatures and lights at night with Christmas music playing. We also...  more »
  • My husband and I were on a road trip and this was a planned stop. There were religious and non religious miniature buildings along a nice, quiet walking path. The path does have an incline, but no.....  more
    My husband and I were on a road trip and this was a planned stop. There were religious and non religious miniature buildings along a nice, quiet walking path. The path does have an incline, but no.....  more »
  • I don't know what inspired Brother Joseph to create 125 miniature reproductions of some of the most famous religious structures of the world, but the result is quite impressive. It's worth a... 
    I don't know what inspired Brother Joseph to create 125 miniature reproductions of some of the most famous religious structures of the world, but the result is quite impressive. It's worth a...  more »
Google
  • The grotto is a classic folk art spot associated with a monastery in Alabama everyone should visit. The art is laid out along a loop through an old quarry. There are plaques with information on each. The path is paved with significant hills going in and coming out. The gift shop offers fresh baked goods made at the monastery. Definitely walk over to the chapel to join the monks chanting prayers.
  • First time visiting and loved it. Beautiful little garden! We enjoyed it very much. They also offer discount for first responders. Definitely recommend getting there early before it gets busy. Most likely will go back to visit. Have a camera ready because you will want memories from this place.
  • Walked trail at night. Awesome sights each was structured to be exact copies. We also road the night horse and buggy tour. I recommend this visit be on your bucket list. Going again soon. Mother and daughter trip.
  • Beautiful grotto and history!! I was amazed by how well everything is preserved outside and the immaculate details of each building and structure that was built. The grotto is about 2 blocks in length and a self-guided tour. It was $9 with AAA membership discount.
  • After hearing about this place for years, I finally checked it out. The miniature structures are absolutely gorgeous and so ingenious. You've never seen anything like it because the materials are so eclectic. Glass, shells, jewelry, various stones and pieces of broken plates and pottery are all combined to form these extraordinarily unique replicas. Brother Joseph Zoettl created all of these structures by himself, before the internet and without formal artistic training. Just incredible. I also bought some cinnamon raisin bread baked by the monks. It's yummy!

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