Featured Reviews


Frequently mentioned in reviews: beautiful (13) time (11) Iowa (11) church (10) amazing (10) visit (10) free (10) Grotto (10) worth (9) small (9)
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  • 5/5 Joel C. 1 year ago on Google
    Largest grotto in the world and it does not disappoint. The artist was definitely dedicated to this project and it is worth visiting. The story it tells is a great reminder of the God we serve. Beautiful work of art. Be sure to check out the inside of the church, beautiful Christmas piece on the right hand side
    7 people found this review helpful πŸ‘

  • 5/5 Sarah C. 1 year ago on Google
    Stunning! Amazing! Beautiful! Awesome! Simply breathtaking! I found myself amazed at every turn! As someone who is a big fan of rocks, minerals, and geologic specimens, this was an amazing site to visit. We went on the free tour and there was so much to learn and see. It's well worth the visit to see everything there and I'm so happy we took the time to make the trip! It's a must if you are in the area!
    4 people found this review helpful πŸ‘

  • 5/5 Emmet M. 2 years ago on Google
    The Shrine of the Grotto was far beyond what I expected. All pictures in the world cannot do this place justice. The intricate stonework on display here is a must see and is well worth making a detour. The Grotto is free for all as the original creator intended which I think is a beautiful thing. Make sure to check out the museum to learn about the history of this beautiful place.
    3 people found this review helpful πŸ‘

  • 5/5 Debbi Z. 2 years ago on Google
    Fantastic and interesting. Even if you're not religious it's a great place to see. Just thinking how it was made makes it worth seeing. Go into the museum 1st and see where the stones come from and it adds to the amazement. Don't forget to see inside the church. Push the button on the right next to the grotto on the side to hear the story. It's by donation to enjoy. Nice picnic area and a campground with electric hookup for only $10.00 a night.
    3 people found this review helpful πŸ‘

  • 5/5 Crystal K. 2 years ago on Google
    This is a place I try to get to annually. It is a marvel in the middle of West Bend, Iowa. I brought out a relative who had never been here this trip and we are both rock hounds. She loved it!! The nest of baby birds in the main Grotto was fantastic and all the time and energy to transform piles of rocks from all over the world into what we see here today is still mind boggling. A must see if traveling through Iowa.
    2 people found this review helpful πŸ‘

  • 5/5 Katie A. 10 months ago on Google
    I've had this on my bucket list for a bit and never thought I'd actually make it. Now that we live on the road it was possible. There's even a campground here! $20 a night and electric hookup. Water and dump station also available. So not only am I able to see this during the day, but at night too! This place is magical! Awesome, amazing, stunning, gorgeous, peaceful, all of it. I'm so glad we made it. So much to see and take in. And the history behind this place makes it that much better. You can't miss this place if you're ever in the area, a must see. I'm giddy with joy lol. The lady in the gift shop was also so sweet. We enjoyed talking to her.
    2 people found this review helpful πŸ‘

  • 5/5 Christopher C. 1 year ago on Google
    Beautiful place to visit. There was no fee to park and walk around the grotto. There was also a campground nearby which appeared to be free or by donation. The restrooms were nice and clean. We visited on a Sunday and so it may have been busier than usual, but there was no problem walking around and snapping photos. A great place to have a picnic and spend an afternoon.
    2 people found this review helpful πŸ‘

  • 5/5 Stephanie D. 7 months ago on Google
    Very interesting place, quite eccentric. The statues were beautiful, as is the church. They had some very interesting places where you can learn about different rocks (geology), and where you can learn about the Father that created the place. All in all, I enjoyed my visit there, albeit a bit odd.
    2 people found this review helpful πŸ‘

  • 5/5 Laurie B. 1 year ago on Google
    Very beautiful and interesting! It was an unexpected gem of Iowa, lol. FYI there is no food, besides a small vending machine on site. There is bottle water you can buy in the small gift store. So come prepared! There is a small playground area for the kiddos and picnic tables so you can bring your own food for an out door lunch and viewing the amazing Grotto.
    2 people found this review helpful πŸ‘

  • 5/5 Amanda J. 10 months ago on Google
    I'm not religious in any sense, however I can appreciate craftsmanship and art. The level of talent and dedication to this amazing work is unfathomable. You absolutely have to see it to understand the magnitude of the entire place.
    2 people found this review helpful πŸ‘

  • 5/5 Sony 2 years ago on Google
    Spectacular place! Doesn't matter if you are a Christian or not, this is awe inspiring and a work of art. Wish they had more church services. We camped in the grassy campground by the parking lot. The tour is a must. We would go back again. 30 amp, dump station, restrooms, showers, water fill-up, picnic tables, playground. $20.00 camping.
    1 person found this review helpful πŸ‘

  • 5/5 Raychel R. 2 years ago on Google
    We had a great time at the Shrine of the Grotto of Redemption even though it was negative 13 outside here in Iowa 😳 We will definitely be going back in the summer thing and really check it out. The gift store was closed for the month of January which was a huge bummer I wish I would have checked online but it was still an awesome site. Would definitely recommend.
    1 person found this review helpful πŸ‘

  • 4/5 Virginia L. 1 year ago on Google
    It was a really nice experience. My children, 16 and 8, and I had a good time. They have restrooms. They have a little Eatery with hot dogs ice cream roast beef sandwiches and walking tacos Plus drinks. We spent about 4 hours there. They have a museum and they have a precious rock and stone collection. They have tours every hour between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.. they have a campground area right next door and a pond for picnicking. The admission was free! They do have free will donation boxes set up.
    1 person found this review helpful πŸ‘

  • 5/5 ENDTHEINFINITE 1 year ago on Google
    In a recent trip across the entire United States, this place was easily thr most amazing surprise and absolute best "Roadside Attraction". From the beautiful small town it inhabits to the kind staff and the general atmosphere it set the stage so peacefully for what comes next... Potentially the greatest monument to Christianity I have ever seen in my entire life. With each and every gem, stone, and who knows what else all hand pieced together to make this mesmerizing Castle to the glory of God. You could go here every year and possibly never cover every inch. From gorgeous statues to immersive and passionate paintings of the stations of the cross. There simply is no reason to not make this as a pilgrimage for all followers of Christ.
    1 person found this review helpful πŸ‘

  • 5/5 Mike S. 1 year ago on Google
    Very interesting. Beautiful, creative and well done. Free to visit. Offers snacks, free bathrooms, free parking. Very nice stop when wandering America. Nice the people do this here. I went to pray... why Jesus followers are always the worst people to others. Look deep at yourself folks, you're sick. Religious people suffer from mental illness but even so you should go see this... Hard to express online, need to see in person.
    1 person found this review helpful πŸ‘

  • 5/5 gwen t. 1 year ago on Google
    Beautiful display of creativity in a small town in the middle of Iowa! Well worth the drive as it's out of the way. The Grotto is next to a beautiful Catholic church in West Bend, Iowa

  • 5/5 Alissa G. 8 months ago on Google
    Super cool to see! There were LOADS AND LOADS of fluorite, amethyst, quartzes, other crystals and petrified wood. It was all put together very uniquely and a joy to behold!

  • 5/5 Katie O. 10 months ago on Google
    One of the most peaceful and tranquil free areas I have experienced. It wasn't very busy when I arrived. There was a mini tour going on but the grottos are quit large, so avoiding other interactions is quite easy.

  • 5/5 Porchelvi S. 10 months ago on Google
    Awesome place to spend time with family and friend. The architecture was breathtaking and kids enjoyed that too. You must visit if you are in Iowa.

  • 5/5 Shea M. 10 months ago on Google
    You will not want to miss this. It is worth the time to make the trip. The museum and tour are all free. Donation boxes are on site.

  • 5/5 Elizabeth S. 7 months ago on Google
    I love this place! I’m not sure how the new age hippies have missed this, but maybe it’s how far it is from everything. Regardless it’s stunning!! Don’t let the pictures fool you, 100% of this shrine is made of crystals and fossils. Truly beautiful and the artistry is unmatched. Got to meet and hang out with the caretaker, a super interesting guy. After the tour see if he’s around for a good convo! Lots of camping ground space, some right in front of the shrine, better sites off to the left side of the shrines plaza.

  • 5/5 Joan B. 7 months ago on Google
    Absolutely amazing and beautiful. Plan to spend a little time to tour and see the gift shop. Tours are offered, schedule ahead...or just do your on tour. Visit the church next door as well. Free admission and you can picnic at the area plus nice clean restrooms.

  • 5/5 Audrey K. 7 months ago on Google
    I’m not religious, but this grotto appeals to the little crow in me that loves shiny things and fun rocks. It feels like a magical space. Boo to the Columbus shrine though, it has not aged well.

  • 5/5 Tanya B. 1 year ago on Google
    If you ever go to Iowa this place is a must see ! The collection of rocks and minerals are amazing , the time the builder put into creating this sacred place is in itself devotion at it's best . The story behind him building this magical place is detailed step by step as you walk through the paths that tell the story about Jesus . Even if your not religious I still highly suggest visiting .

  • 5/5 Minnie H. 1 year ago on Google
    This place was truly a work of art, the beauty of this place can't be captured by the photos I've taken. The shrine was built with precious stones, petrified wood and other rare materials, Highly recommended.

  • 4/5 Joan W. 1 year ago on Google
    After a nice graduation party in Iowa, we took our time going home to sight see a bit. 1st thing we saw after driving on small, narrow winding hiways, was THE GROTTO OF THE REDEMPTION in West Bend Iowa. The Grotto was a fantastic and Sacred place. It took 47 years to complete, and buildings are adorned in precious stones, ores, various fossils, shells ,corals, and petrifications. Museum has all of those stones etc., classified and marked, so one can learn about the materials. But the life and death of Jesus, and the sacred heart, portrayed in art, was nothing short of spectacular.

  • 5/5 Prim I. 11 months ago on Google
    Was this worth the hour plus from Des Moines? Questionable. It’s definitely a site to see and pretty magnificent. The history behind it is every more fun. The Grotto is set in a neighborhood next to a Church. Free but welcomes donations. It’s made up of so many different types of rocks and elements- really is a sight to see. It’s beautiful. The visit takes about 15-20 minutes depending on how long you linger. There’s a gift shop. The church is worth visiting, the inside is beautiful.

  • 5/5 Mona Beth F. 2 years ago on Google
    I visited The Grotto Of Redemption in West Bend Iowa November 22, 2021 on This afternoon after completing my last road survey While we were close enough, we drove to see and experience this fabulous piece of art! Let me just say, this is a place that when visiting? You'll want to spend hours! Not just 45 minutes like I did! This place was absolutely mesmerizing, and breathtaking. I found myself gasping while taking it in and absorbing what time, love and dedication was involved in creating one of the most incredible pieces of art I've ever laid my eyes upon.

  • 5/5 Johnathan B. 1 year ago on Google
    Beautiful place! I would recommend starting at the small grotto of the rich young man, Jesus and the Law, and moving into the Stations. After going all the way up to see the Cross and Pieta, go back down and meditate with Jesus being laid in the Tomb. On the other side of the Cross is a Resurrection Shrine and lastly Jesus with the Sacred Heart and St Michael crushing the Enemy. Behind and below the Resurrection Shrine is a Nativity and Holy Family home in Nazareth. One of the most breathtaking grotto shrines is the Nativity of Jesus INSIDE the Church! It's breathtaking! If you can help it, don't miss that one!! Personally, as a devout Catholic, I think as long as you're not being distracting, it's even okay to visit the shrine in the middle of services (Mass/Adoration/etc, as long as it's not a wedding or funeral or something like that). May you be richly blessed by a Pilgrimage and or visitation to this amazing place!

  • 5/5 Nancy I. 1 year ago on Google
    What an amazing experience! Couldn't believe the dedication it took to build this work of art, and devotion! Camped for one night in the larger lot. Quiet and peaceful. The smaller camping area is behind the church complex and is nearer to the restrooms. Restrooms and shower were clean and well taken care of. Camping was $20.00 per night.

  • 5/5 Lori Jean K. 1 year ago on Google
    Wow!! Never saw anything like it. A must see. The craftsmanship is incredible. I said my stations at sunrise. So beautiful there. Pictures do not show all the stones. Just incredible. There is a small campground behind the grotto too. It's free but there are donation boxes there. There us are restrooms and a small pond with a fountain. Also a shop and rock room I think it was called. Very overwhelming the time it took and the beauty of it all

  • 5/5 Clifford C. 2 years ago on Google
    Very beautiful at night. Great atmosphere for a prayer and the sculpting of the stone is amazing. A must see for anyone passing through the area.

  • 5/5 Seth M. 2 years ago on Google
    Our visit was fantastic. They gave a very informative tour to our church group and answered all our questions. Our kids enjoyed hearing about where the rocks came from. The facility was very clean and the staff was friendly. This will definitely be a place we visit more often.

  • 5/5 Bren S. 2 years ago on Google
    Beautiful and so cool to see everything he used to build this is Grotto. You won't be sorry you went. Check out the church next door also very pretty. It's worth the drive to see it..


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  • Accessibility
    • βœ“οΈ Wheelchair-accessible car park
    • βœ“οΈ Wheelchair-accessible entrance

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