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Jerusalem in Miniature

If you’re ever in northern Alabama I highly suggest that you stop by St. Bernard Abbey to see the Ave Maria Grotto and 4-acre park filled with miniatures. The website proclaims that it has “125 miniature reproductions of some of the most famous historic buildings and shrines of the world” but I would like to note that some of the miniatures are pure fun from a lizard condo to Hansel and Gretel and a dragon. There was also a real cat walking around in the miniatures while we were there, and that added quite an element of fun.

If you can remember what Bethphage is off the top of your head you're better than me! Think disciples going to get a donkey for the triumphal entry.

I thought these hanging gardens the best part of the place.

If you know the story of the Lizard Condo please let me know!

Everyone recalls the story of the chipmunk's crossing the Red Sea, right?

For scale, I'm about 5'6

And don't forget to stop by the Abbey Church.

Slightly reminiscent of St. Joseph's oratory in Montreal, it should do your manly hearts good.

Overall it is one of those places where I am quite glad that I went, but I probably won’t make a point of going back unless I have children. Then I would say it was well worth going out of one’s way from Atlanta, Chattanooga, or Nashville.

It is perfectly wheelchair/stroller accessible, non-Catholic friendly, and fun for children of the sort who are okay with not being able to touch most of the buildings which are out of reach. For Catholic adults I would also recommend stopping by the nearby Sacred Heart Monastery. It has lovely grounds and a nice chapel.

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