Monuments reveal

Story behind monument

Iowa miracle Grotto of the Redemption

Iowa miracle Grotto of the Redemption

Iowa miracle Grotto of the Redemption

Iowa miracle Grotto of the Redemption

Wonderful Grotto decorated with religious sculptures, monuments and statues, filled with spirituality in the state of Iowa is like the eighth wonder of the world. Anyway, the ads say so, and who would argue with them? The Grotto of Redemption is next to the small US town of West Bend (Iowa), where the landscape rarely disturbed by anything larger than granaries. And if anywhere else in the world there are grottoes, than this one is certainly the King of grottoes. The author of the miracle – German American priest and architect Paul Dobberstein. He began construction in 1912, and finished in 1954.

Iowa miracle Grotto of the Redemption

The statue of Jesus at the entrance. The Iowa miracle Grotto of the Redemption

Born in Germany, Father Paul Matthias Dobberstein (September 21, 1872 – July 24, 1954) emigrated to America in 1893. The story has it, that while a student at St. Francis Seminary, he became seriously ill with pneumonia. This, as you probably know, was at a time when there was no penicillin. The student was seriously ill and realizing the seriousness of his disease, fervently prayed and vowed.
He promised to honor the Blessed Virgin after the restoration of health. And apparently, he kept it, although he spent all his life on that.

Monument to talented priest, architect and geologist Father Dobberstein

Monument to talented priest, architect and geologist Father Dobberstein

Paul Dobberstein was assigned to the parish in 1898. He, almost immediately, began to spend all his spare time on digging the foundation and made it for 3 years. For the next ten years he had stored plain and precious stones. He worked with minerals, crystals and concrete. Apparently, Paul studied geology in college and became an expert in minerals.

The actual work began to take shape in 1912, without the aid of any drawings. He had an assistant named Matt Szerence. After graduating from high school in 1912, Szerensce agreed to co-sponsor and that led ultimately to the fifty-two years of intensive work.

Two people collected materials relentlessly, sometimes traveling by their railway trolley to faraway places, to bring home the goods – interesting stone or minerals.

In fact, they processed almost one hundred cars of rock and stone, and, in addition they had to select, store, and place the vast majority of them, each in its proper place in a harmonious structure.

They spent winters making the outlet of the crystals, which used for the grotto in the summer. They built and built and built. And got an extraordinary panoramic beauty of 9 caves and scenes from the life of Christ, creating a redemption story through the maze of religious wealth. Grotto, the history of redemption, the veneration of the Holy Mother, and so on, are all interwoven in the tapestry of gilded stone.

So, they had completed all the work by hand until 1947, when they finally got an electric lift. No wonder, people call the work of father Paul Dobberstein and his assistant Szerence the Eighth wonder of the world. The Grotto of Redemption – religious shrine, located in the West – Bend, Iowa, in the Roman – Catholic Diocese of Sioux – City. Conglomerate of nine caves, depicting scenes from the life of Jesus, the grotto contains a large collection of minerals and petrifaction and is considered the largest grotto in the world.

The Shrine of the Grotto of the Redemption is a religious shrine located in West Bend, Iowa, in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sioux City. A conglomeration of nine grottoes depicting scenes in the life of Jesus, the Grotto contains a large collection of minerals and stones and is believed to be the largest grotto in the world.

Iowa miracle Grotto of the Redemption

website