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The Grotto of the Redemption
West Bend, Iowa
The Grotto of the Redemption is the life work of Fr. Paul Dobberstein a Catholic Priest (1872-1954). For a decade, he gathered rocks and precious stones from around the world and began construction in 1912. For 42 years, he created hundreds of intricate rock settings that form the walls and ceilings of this Grotto. Matt Szerence, a parishioner, and Fr. Louis Greving, the next Catholic pastor in West Bend, worked side-by-side with Fr. Dobberstein and furthered the work after his death.
importantThis is one of the biggest pages on this web site with the most photos. The photos have been pre-loaded to show up faster, BUT they may still take awhile to load. However, this is a very unique place and worth spending the time viewing these photos.

Statue of Fr. Dobberstein, erected in 1992, to commemorate the 80th anniversary of
Fr. Dobberstein beginning construction of the Grotto in 1912.

Statue of Fr. Dobberstein
This is the largest grotto in the world. It has 9 separate grottoes, each depicting a scene in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The Grotto is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
sign - Welcome to the Grotto of The Redemption
entry to the Grotto of The Redemption
entry to the Grotto of The Redemption
entry to the Grotto of The Redemption
the Grotto of The Redemption
the Grotto of The Redemption
the Grotto of The Redemption
the Grotto of The Redemption
the Grotto of The Redemption
the Grotto of The Redemption
the Grotto of The Redemption
the Grotto of The Redemption
the Grotto of The Redemption
the Grotto of The Redemption
the Grotto of The Redemption
the Grotto of The Redemption
the Grotto of The Redemption
A CLOSE-UP OF THE COLUMN AT THE LEFT
close up of the Grotto of The Redemption
the Grotto of The Redemption
the Grotto of The Redemption
cross at the Grotto of The Redemption
the Grotto of The Redemption
statue at the Grotto of The Redemption
statue at the Grotto of The Redemption
Then the two RV Gypsies came across an area with red roses dedicated to the loss of visitor' loved ones.
red roses dedicated to the loss of visitor' loved ones.
red roses
red roses
So Karen and Lee bought a rose for their beloved son Brian Lee Duquette.
card - in loving memory of Brian Lee Duquette
Lee Duquette with the rose for Brian Lee Duquette
crying face clipartThe rose and card in loving memory of Brian Lee Duquette
the rose and card in loving memory of Brian Lee Duquette
the rose and card in loving memory of Brian Lee Duquette
The rose sticking up in the middle is in loving memory of Brian Lee Duquette
the rose and card in loving memory of Brian Lee Duquette
the rose and card in loving memory of Brian Lee Duquette
St. Michael, the Archangel - statue represents the conquest of good over evil. Here, good is St. Michael, the Archangel and evil is the devil being crushed under the foot of Michael.
the Grotto of the Redemption
close of of the wall
statue
statue
statues at the Grotto of the Redemption
the Grotto of the Redemption
the Grotto of the Redemption
the Grotto of the Redemption
the Grotto of the Redemption
the Grotto of the Redemption
the Grotto of the Redemption
the Grotto of the Redemption
shells
Moses with the 10 Commandments
Here stands Moses giving to the world the Ten Commandments of God. A young man is asking Jesus through the 8-foot question mark on the ground, "Good Master, what good shall I do that I may have life everlasting?" Jesus answers him with the words on the wall, "If thou wilt enter into life - keep the commandments."
Moses with the 10 Commandments
Moses with the 10 Commandments
This grotto contains stalactites centered overhead with many rosettes, and rock clusters found on the walls
stalactites centered overhead with many rosettes
13th Station / Calvary
The statue on the 40-foot high mountain-like structure is similar to Michelangelo's Pieta which is in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. It shows Mary holding the body of Christ after it was taken down from the cross. Beneath the cross is a 36-inch cross-section of petrified wood from Arizona.
statue on the 40-foot high mountain-like structure
Mary holding the body of Christ
Mary holding the body of Christ
Mary holding the body of Christ
Mary holding the body of Christ
Mary holding the body of Christ
Lee Duquette looking at Mary holding the body of Christ
Grotto of the Redemption
Grotto of the Redemption
Grotto of the Redemption
Grotto of the Redemption
Grotto of the Redemption
Grotto of the Redemption
Grotto of the Redemption
stautes
statues
statue of our Risen Savior with Mary Magdalen at His feet.
statues
statue of our Risen Savior with Mary Magdalene at His feet.
staute of Adam
Pardise lost
jesus
John sleeping in the garden
roses and stautes
angel statue
roses
Jesus Being Laid in the Tomb
Greeting Angel - In the Grotto of the Resurrection there is an empty tomb with an angel pointing to the lid of the tomb on which is written: “He is risen, He is not here.”
Jesus Being Laid in the Tomb
Greeting Angel
fireplace and statues
Grotto
Grotto
Grotto
Grotto view of the pond
Stable in Bethlehem -This grotto is made of 65-tons of petrified wood from Montana and the Dakotas and shows the traditional manger scene of Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus. Fr. Greving erected this grotto in 1956 and the statuary arrived in the early 1970's/
Stable in Bethlehem
Stable in Bethlehem
Stable in Bethlehem
Stable in Bethlehem
angel
Grotto
Grotto
Lee Duquette
Just a few photos of the many intricate rock and shell settings that form the walls and ceilings of this Grotto.
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings
intricate rock and shell settings

Some of the arches on the museum behind the Grotto - built by Fr. Greving in the 60's and 70's. The exterior walls are done in polished agates from all over the world. It took 16-years of cutting and polishing on these agates alone.

arches on the museum
arches on the museum
arches on the museum
arches on the museum
arches on the museum
arches on the museum
arches on the museum
staute by the church
Sts. Peter and Paul's Catholic Church and a waterless fountain in front of the Church,.
Lee Duquette and  a waterless fountain in front of the Church,.
a waterless fountain in front of the Church,.
close up of the fountain
Sts. Peter and Paul's Catholic Church
Sts. Peter and Paul's Catholic Church
sign - Sts. Peter and Paul's Catholic Church
The Christmas Chapel Built in 1927, and located inside Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, this grotto represents the birthplace and the Nativity of Our Divine Savior. Specimens that Fr. Dobberstein considered too delicate to withstand the weather and changing seasons were incorporated into this grotto. Of particular note is the 300 pound Brazilian Amethyst inset in the wall above the Christ child.
inside Sts. Peter and Paul's Catholic Church
A few of the beautiful flowers in front of the Grotto
flowers
flowers

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