Today was our last adventure before school starts. Just an hour from here is West Bend, IA where the Grotto of the Redemption is located. Reed’s twin sister, Myra, loves rocks so we invited her to go along.
This is the view from the parking lot of the grotto that covers a city block.
Here’s a better picture from the cover of a pictorial book I purchased in the gift shop.
Father Paul Dobberstein (1872-1954) started construction of the Grotto in 1912. He labored 42years, winter and summer, setting ornamental rocks and gems into concrete.
This place is unbelievable! I was here when I was a kid but to see it again as an adult is awesome. Reed and Myra loved it and I enjoyed watching them admire all the rocks. West Bend is a very small farming community and the whole town pitches in to watch over the Grotto. Can you believe vandalism is not an issue? And yet it is open year round and operates totally on donations. The Grotto is actually lit at night until 10pm.
Each Grotto, another word for cave, depicts part of the whole story of the fall of man and of his redemption through Christ. The work was all done by hand using precious and semiprecious stones and minerals from around the world.
These rocks that look like roses form the stairs that go nowhere because as Father said, you can’t get to Heaven on a bed of roses. We learned that interesting fact during the tour.
Next door is the church where Reed and Myra posed for a picture.
Inside the sanctuary is the Christmas Chapel completed in 1927 and considered Father Dobberstein’s finest work. It is composed of materials from every state and from nearly every country in the world. Because of this it was constructed inside to protect it from the harsh Iowa winter weather.
The big round ball is a petrified mud ball from a river in Oklahoma!
Wouldn’t you love to see this view out your window from across the street?
This photo has a camouflaged subject – there is a nest of baby barn swallows about halfway up and a bit to the left. Do you see them?
This was our last adventure for the summer. I’m going back to my sewing, Reed is going to 5th grade and fall is around the corner. Thanks for going along on our adventures – I’m looking forward to some quiet days.