Ave Maria Grotto

Ave Maria Grotto
Street address: 

1600 Saint Bernard Dr. SE
Cullman, AL 35055

Open Apr.–Sept. 7–7, Oct.–Mar. 7–5.

1600 Saint Bernard Dr. SE
Cullman, AL 35055

senior, group, AAA
Admission charged
American Express
Travelers Checks

125 miniatures of places from all over the world. Located on grounds of Alabama's only Benedictine abbey. Miniatures built by Brother Joseph Zoettl, O.S.B. (1878–1961).

Although this historic site is best known for an impressive shrine to Mary, my two personal favorites are the Tower of Thanks and the Tower of Babel. They stand near the beginning and near the end of the path through the hillside, respectively, and provide an interesting juxtaposition on your journey.

The biblical story of the Tower of Babel, of course, recounts the attempt of humans to build a tower to the heavens. To punish humans' hubris, the biblical God confused their language and scattered them across the Earth.

The Tower of Thanks, on the other hand, makes an incredible subtle statement of humility. Zoetl built it in gratitude for all of the support he received throughout years of building his sculptures.

No matter your degree of spirituality or secularity, in an age when all things can be (and often are) miniaturized, there's still something profoundly meaningful in Zoetl's work.

Admission Rates:
$ 8.00 Adults
$ 6.00 Senior, AAA members.
$ 5.00 Children ages 6 - 12


Mobility Impaired (all one level, no steps, ramps, toilet access from front of wheelchair, wheelchairs available, designated parking spaces)

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