The Grotto of the Redemption

Shrine of the Grotto of the Redemption

Useful Information

Location: 208 1st Ave NW, West Bend, IA 50597.
(42.96393619579544, -94.4457144995102)
Open: Shrine: all year daily 0-24.
Office: all year Mon-Fri 9-17.
Gift Shop:
NOV to APR daily 9-16.
MAY to OCT daily 9-18.
Mass: all year Wed 8, Thu 18, Sun 10:15.
Fee: free.
Classification: SubterraneaGrotto
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Address: Grotto of the Redemption, P.O. Box 376, West Bend, Iowa 50597, Tel: +1-515-887-2371, Fax: +1-515-887-2372. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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~1900 Paul Matthias Dobberstein became very ill with pneumonia.
1912 grotto started.
1954 Father Dobberstein died, Father Louis Greving continued construction on the Grotto.
1994 Father Greving retired and has been replaced by Deacon Gerald Streit.


This Grotto of the Redemption is the largest Grotto in the world. It is said to be the largest collection of minerals and fossils in the world. It covers an entire city block.

This grotto was built by Father Paul Dobberstein at the beginning of the 20th century. He became very ill with pneumonia, and in a prayer to the Blessed Mother, he asked that his health might be restored and promised to build a shrine to honor the Virgin Mary. When he started in 1912, visitors came to see his remarkable work and left donations to cover the costs. So he decided to include the whole story of mankind, from the fall of Adam and Eve to his redemption through Christ. He built a complex of nine grottoes which took 42 years.