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Making the journey the destination upper midwest

The Grotto of the Redemption - West Bend, IA

upper midwest regions

central canada, illinois, iowa, missouri, nebraska, north dakota, south dakota, wisconsin

calendar of events (Contact area CVBs for complete calendars)

central canada Aug 3-16 Folklorama, Winnipeg 800-665-0234 Aug 15-

Canadian National Exhibition,

Sep 1 Toronto 416-263-3813 Sep 5-7


Aug 16-17 50th Chicago Air and Water Show, Chicago 312-744-0576

The Grotto of the Redemption – West Bend, Iowa

The inspiration and life work of Fr. Paul Dobberstein (1872-1954) and often called the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’ and described as a ‘Miracle in Stone’. The Grotto represents a vast collection of minerals and stone portraying scenes in the life of Christ. The theme of Redemption gives unity to this sacred space. Adjacent to the Grotto is Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. The Christmas Chapel in the church is considered to be Fr. Dobberstein’s finest work. It contains a Brazilian amethyst that weighs over 300 lbs. A 22-foot bird’s-eye maple, hand carved altar which won first place at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, graces the sanctuary. Allow 3 hours at the Grotto for group tours.

other inspiring spires & grottos in the upper midwest

The Black Madonna Shrine & Grottos Eureka, MO The Grotto is a galaxy of dazzling mosaics and multi-colored rock sculptures constructed with sea shells and costume jewelry. Brother Bronislaus built the grottos by hand, without the use of power tools.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis St. Louis, MO In 1912 installation of mosaics in the interior began. It was completed in 1988 and contains 41.5 million glass tesserae pieces applying over 7,000 colors. Covering 83,000 square feet, it is the largest mosaic collection in the world.

Chapel in the Hills Rapid City, SD An exact replica of the famous Borgund stavkirke, of Laerdal, Norway built in 1150. A visit to the gift shop is a must. It is an authentic Norwegian storehouse, complete with grass roof!

Dwight Assumption Parish, Chapel & Grottos Dwight, NE The chapel, which seats only 4 people, is one of the smallest in the world and is still functional today. It also features rock gardens, fountains and grottoes built in the 1930s.

National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows Belleville, IL There are 200 beautifully landscaped acres of gardens, devotional areas, an outdoor Amphitheater, the Shrine Church, the Lourdes Grotto, Station of the Cross, the Millennium Spire, Visitors Center with a restaurant and gift shop and the Shrine Hotel.

Old St. Vincent’s Church Cape Girardeau, MO This is a beautiful example of 15th century; Italian Renaissance Architecture built in 1853. The church features unusual medieval-design plaster masks portraying characters from the “Miracle and Mystery Plays.”

Paul & Matilda Wegner Grotto Sparta, WI One of the more striking works is a glass and concrete re- creation of the couple’s fiftieth wedding anniversary cake.

St. Andrew’s Roman Catholic Church Thunder Bay, CA A church based on the Romanesque style. It can be seen in the round arched windows, stepped buttresses and simple rectangular floor plan. A central tower with a pyramidal roof, rises 117 feet, and is topped with a cross.

St. Joseph’s Ukrainian Catholic Church Winnipeg, CA Completed in 1963 and has the First Class Relics of Blessed Bishop and Martyr Vasyl Velychkovsky, in the shrine chapel. A museum is also located in the church.

Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe La Crosse, WI Started by the Swing family, in 1995. Included, on these 100 acres of beautiful woodlands, are The Pilgrim Center, Mother of Good Counsel Votive Candle Chapel, Outdoor Stations of the Cross and Meditation Trail.

Strawbale Church Arthur, NE Built in 1928 from baled straw, which was then plastered inside and out, this church is the only one of its kind in the United States.

Trinity Heights Sioux City, IA Located on a wooded 70 acres, visit this unique pilgrimage site for all faiths and explore all the things they have to offer.

Trinity United Church Thunder Bay, CA Constructed of rough-cut stone, this structure is an example of the Late Gothic Revival style. The unusual tower features very narrow windows, four buttresses, each capped with a pyramid shaped finial, and an extremely sharp hexagonal spire.

Twin Spires Cathedral St. Joseph, MO The church’s noticeable architectural traits are the twin spires that rise high above the downtown skyline and are visible from many miles away.

Aug 29- iowa

Sept 1-2, Iowa Renaissance Fair, 8-9, 15-16 Des Moines 515-262-4100

Nov 21-30 Quad City Arts Festival of Trees, Davenport 563-324-FEST

Nov 28- Tannenbaum Forest 2008,

Dec 21 Amana 800-579-2294 missouri

Sep 26-28 Kansas City Oktoberfest, 816-421-2341

Nov 1-Jan 1 Ozark Mountain Christmas, Branson 417-334-4084

Nov 28-29 Christmas Arts and Crafts Show, Lebanon 417-532-4642


Sep 19-21 Grand Duke Alexis Rendezvous, Hayer Center 308-286-3463

Oct 4-5

Omaha North Hills Pottery Tour, 402-456-7669

Dec 1-12 12 Days of Christmas, Geneva 402-759-1155

north dakota Sep 5-6

North Dakota Rodeo Assn Championship Finals,Watford 800-701-2804

Sep 30-Oct 4 Norsk Hostfest, Minot 701-852-2368

Nov 28-30, Dec 5-6,12-13 Dickens Village Festival, Garrison 800-799-4242

south dakota

Sep 20-21 Western Heritage Festival, Hill City 800-888-1798

Nov 22- Dec7

Brookings Festival of Trees, Brookings 605-692-4177

wisconsin Aug 14-17 Irish Fest, Milwaukee 414-476-3378 Sep 20

Sep 26-28 Warrens Cranberry Festival, Warren 608-378-4200

Whooping Crane & Wildlife Festival, Necedah 608-565-2551

Prairieland Chautauqua, Sep 1 Jacksonville 217-243-5678

Sep 26-28 International Route 66 Mother Road Festival, Springfield 765-476-8411

Manitoba Dragon Boat Festival, 888-679-4222

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