We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Improve this listing
Sponsored by:
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Get directions
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
Open now
See all hours
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.
read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 138 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 67
    Excellent
  • 56
    Very good
  • 12
    Average
  • 0
    Poor
  • 3
    Terrible
Ave Maria Grotto visit

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... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed April 22, 2015
John S
,
Clarksville
Add Photo Write a Review

138 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Clarksville
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2015 NEW

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
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
9 attraction reviews
38 helpful votes 38 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Chattanooga
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
30 attraction reviews
47 helpful votes 47 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Cleveland, Georgia
Top Contributor
356 reviews 356 reviews
75 attraction reviews
152 helpful votes 152 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!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Granbury, Texas
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
8 attraction reviews
67 helpful votes 67 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
New Market, Alabama
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
46 attraction reviews
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2015

Im not going to knock it, it just wasn't all that I expected. But it only cost $5 to get in, so here's my take. It's easy to maneuver thru for people with mobility issues and unless you stop and ponder each piece for a long while, you can go through it in way less than an hour. I took... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Birmingham, AL
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
7 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2015

This place is really neat. If you are in Cullman looking for something to do the Grotto is definitely worth checking out.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Allenton
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2015

We made a side visit to the grotto after seeing it on a travel sign along the highway. We are so glad we did! It was truly amazing and very interesting and intricate! We would recommend a stop by visit whenever traveling in that part of Alabama. The resident cats are very friendly and follow you around and the man... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Grand Blanc, Mi
Top Contributor
189 reviews 189 reviews
68 attraction reviews
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2015

The miniature towns, shrines, attractions, homes, cities and so on that this man Brother Joseph did over the years are displayed in a beautiful outdoor setting. Very interesting and unusual

Was this review helpful? Yes

Travelers who viewed Ave Maria Grotto also viewed

 

Been to Ave Maria Grotto? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Ave Maria Grotto and other visitors
2 questions
Ask a question

See all questions (2)

Questions? Get answers from Ave Maria Grotto staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
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?