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Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman, Alabama

Situated among the lush wooded hills of Cullman, Alabama, lies a world of miniature creations carefully crafted of recycled materials.  Built by Brother Joseph Zoettl, it was dedicated on May 17, 1934 and named Ave Maria  Grotto.  It is visited by more than 35,000 people every year.

Walk around the park-like path and you will see miniature shrines, abbeys, basilicas, Herod’s Gate, Noah’s Ark, a dragon, and other eclectic works of art.

Here are some pictures that I took last week on an overcast day:

statue of angel

replica of church

miniature building replica

miniature church or castle in Cullman, Alabama

Carmel Mission miniature replica in Cullman

St. Anselmo in Rome miniature creation in Cullman, Alabama

miniature version of Basilica of St. Agnes in Cullman, Alabama

statue grotto

Brother Joseph Zoettl

Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman, Alabama

Miniature Herod's Gate in Cullman

miniature buildings

Catholic statue

miniature church

Chipmunk crossing

Take a quick peek at the trailer from the movie Brother Joseph and the Grotto – it will give you a glimpse of the life of the man behind the grotto:

Ave Maria Grotto is open 9 to 5 every day except for Christmas.   Tickets are $7 for adults, $4.50 for children ages 6 – 12, and $5 for seniors and AAA members.    It is a short ride off of Interstate 65 in North Central Alabama.

What is your favorite off-the-beaten-path attraction?



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Sunday 27th of July 2014

That is amazing! A gorgeous display of a small world, I'll have to take the kids there!


Saturday 26th of July 2014

i have visited there and think this is a good example of folk art....interesting