The Grotto of the Redemption is located in West Bend, Iowa, and is the self-proclaimed “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Construction of the Grotto started in 1912 by Father Paul Dobberstein. While battling pneumonia, he promised the Virgin Mary that if he were to recover he would build her a shrine and the Grotto became his shrine. Currently, there are nine separate grottos depicting various scenes from the life of Christ. There are also plans for a tenth grotto to be built as soon as there is money.
Did I mention that The Grotto of the Redemption is covered with all sorts of rocks and minerals? I am talking giant chunks of quartz, amethyst, and petrified wood. It is the most bizarre thing I have ever seen.
Supposedly the second largest piece of amethyst is inside the church next door. The tour guide also claimed that there is a replica of Michelangelo
on top of one of the grottos. However, she was either lying, very confused, or very stupid because it isn’t anything like the Pieta in St. Peter's.