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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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