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Ave Maria Grotto

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Address: St. Bernard Abbey, 1600 St. Bernard Dr. SE, Cullman, AL 35055
Phone Number: 256-734-4110
Website
Today
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Description: Four-acre park providing a natural setting for 125 miniature reproductions...
Four-acre park providing a natural setting for 125 miniature reproductions of historic buildings and shrines created by a Benedictine monk of the St. Bernard Abbey in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 142 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 71
    Excellent
  • 56
    Very good
  • 12
    Average
  • 0
    Poor
  • 3
    Terrible
More than what you expect

Stopped by here on a whim. Was it a surprise! Beautiful location. Wheelchair accessible, although it would be nice to have someone push. The first few displays are interesting... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 25, 2015
KC C
,
Dexter, KS
via mobile
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142 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dexter, KS
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
5 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2015 NEW via mobile

Stopped by here on a whim. Was it a surprise! Beautiful location. Wheelchair accessible, although it would be nice to have someone push. The first few displays are interesting. Miniatures made from everyday items. After the first few, you think "okay, so this is what this exhibit shows." Then you turn the corner and wham! Amazing is too small a... More 

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Madison, Alabama
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2015 via mobile

Ave Maria grotto was created by one of the brothers from the neighboring monastery. He has since passed, but his creativity lives on in the whimsical and historical models he built from pieces of whatever he could get his hands on! Case in point, the dome of St. Peter's square is made from a toilet float. You will get a... More 

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Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2015

I have been going to the Grotto since I was a little girl ( I am 62). When we had family or friends come to visit my mother always took them to the Grotto. We had many picnics there. If anyone is near Cullman Alabama it is will worth the visit!

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Huntsville, Alabama
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
26 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015

We visited Ava Maris Grotto as a family group on ten (ages 1 to 70) on Mother's Day weekend, 2015. It was a first time visit for all of us. I want to mention first that the Grotto participates in offering Groupons for reduced rate admission and that was very much appreciated -- and the main reason we chose to... More 

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Clarksville
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2015

Very interesting and meditative experience. The pictures on the grotto's website sum up what is there, but in person, they are all the more remarkable. The walk is rather steep. Manageable by wheelchair only with help or powered chair.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
9 attraction reviews
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2015

If you ever find yourself in the Cullman area this place is a must. The grotto represents a lifelong work of a wonderful man and his abilities are incredible. Having seen many of the places that he depics in his art it is amazing that he was able to re-create these miniature images with various donations from around the world.... More 

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Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2015

I was impressed with the idea that a monk was able to build these replicas of famous buildings/landmarks using common materials. It was interesting to see how his work progressively improved over the years.

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Chattanooga
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
31 attraction reviews
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2015

If you love folk art, this is a must-see experience. That one man created all this from junk is amazing.

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Cleveland, Georgia
Top Contributor
363 reviews 363 reviews
75 attraction reviews
158 helpful votes 158 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2015

I accidentally left a review of this place on the wrong site. I was amazed. Many recreations of mythological religious events and world sites as perceived by a human being, recreated with materials that he had at hand. It is wonderful!

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Granbury, Texas
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
8 attraction reviews
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2015

This was a total surprise and a site I never would have expected to find in Alabama. The location is beautiful and neat. The bookstore has a plethora of books and religious information available to the public. There is a small fee to go through the grotto. The weather did not permit going through the grotto, but I enjoyed driving... More 

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?