May 26th, 2016 by admin
I have always been more interested in the lesser known tourist attractions. You can keep the Plymouth Rock or the Grand Canyon, give me something quirky like the World’s Biggest Ball of Yarn or a cool roadside mural. I have been taking a week off every summer and going around the country visiting cool landmarks for years now and it is always a delight. This time I went to see the Ave Maria Grotto. Even though it is located in my home state, it’s too far to drive so I found a few lovely hotels in Alabama near Cullman where the Grotto is located. The hotel I stayed at was top notch, great quality, it wasn’t ritzy but then honey you know neither am I.
Being so close to the site I was able to visit several times and get loads of pictures. Ave Maria is made up of over 100 miniature reproductions of classical buildings and religious sites. It is a wonder to behold. It is located in an old quarry beside St. Bernard Abbey and apparently it was constructed by a monk years ago. That monk paid attention to all the details. He used all kinds of materials, just whatever he could get his hands on by the looks of it.
My favorite part of all the whole site was St. Peters Church in Rome. It is absolutely perfect. I visited 4 times while I was in Cullman, so I could get the chance to visit all 125 of the structures but I kept going back to St. Peter’s. I must have 20 pictures of just that building on my phone, from a dozen different angles.
I had a lot of fun visiting Cullman, not just at Ave Maria but also at the Civil War Museum. Such a sober subject could never be termed fun but it was very educational. There are lots of learning opportunities in this part of the state and I hope to visit again real soon.
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