Dickeyville Grotto, Dickeyville

4.6
The Dickeyville Grotto is a series of grottos and shrines in Dickeyville, Grant County, Wisconsin, Wisconsin, United States. It is located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 151 and Highway 35. Most of the site's concrete structures are covered in shells, stones, tiles, wood, glass, gems and geodes donated by area parishioners. The site is visited by 40,000 to 60,000 visitors per year.HistoryThe Dickeyville Grotto was built by Father Mathius Wernerus, the pastor of Dickeyville's Holy Ghost Parish, from 1920 to 1930. It was renovated between 1995 and 1997. The site includes the Grotto of the Blessed Virgin, Christ the King Shrine, Grotto of the Sacred Heart, the Eucharistic Altar, the Holy Ghost Tree, the Patriotism Shrine and the Crucifixion Group.Although most of the site's components are religious in nature, the Patriotism Shrine includes depictions of Columbus, Washington and Lincoln. According to Anne Pryor, a cultural anthropologist, this shrine was erected to demonstrate the patriotism of Catholics; Protestant Americans of the time believed that Catholics' allegiance to the Pope conflicted with their allegiance to the United States.The Dickeyville Grotto was perhaps inspired by the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Iowa which Paul Dobberstein began in 1912 and continued to work on until his death in 1954. Father Wernerus attended St. Francis Seminary and may have also been influenced by Dobberstein's first grotto which is found on seminary grounds.
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Dickeyville Grotto Reviews
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  • The priest who designed this was truly gifted with vision to see in his mind what he wanted. It must have been an amazing amount of time to collect all the different stones and shells in this place. i...  more »
  • We were travelling to the great river road for a drive and stopped here. It is a shrine constructed by a Priest who finished his work in 1930. It's an amazing example of outsider art that has endured ...  more »
  • Very nice place to visit. It was hot the day we were there but took a short trip around the Grotto. Very beautiful. Well worth the stop.  more »
Google
  • Grade A roadside Americana. If you're traveling through the Tri-State area then you should stop by. The labor of an eccentric priest, the grotto intertwines symbols and heroes of the faith as well as a sheltered outdoor altar. Antique glass, shells, rocks, crystal specimens and petrified wood are combines with cement to create this colorful example of sacred art. From here venture up to Potosi for a bite and a brew before crossing over the Crossville ferry.
  • Not a religious person but it was still really cool to walk around and look at every thing. If you're into crystals and shells you could spend hours looking at all of them and there are bonus pieces of pottery and antique pieces mixed in.

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