Living in Cullman, Benedictine Monk Joseph Zoettel spent 50 years of his life building miniature creations made of cement, stones, and junk. And even after his accident which gave him his hunchback, he continued on his craft, and up to this day, all his 125 buildings are still standing.
Brother Joe decided to open a gift shop which showcases all his miniature art. From the entrance is a forested trail passing along a cluster of small, junk-bejeweled shrines. There are also replicas of famous cathedrals and buildings. Among the creations include the St. Peter?s Basilica in Vatican, the Monte Casino Abbey, and the Alamo.
The Benedictine father had passion in replicating masterpieces of great artists from the 18th century. And so in his little sacred haven lie the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Hansel and Gretel?s Temple of Fairies, the Abbey Power Station, and the most famous Ave Maria Grotto which is made from the standard artificial stalactite formation in the ceiling. All of the formations are carefully maintained in bright colors.
Even after Brother Joe?s death, the 71-year old repairman who is also a friend of the late Benedictine father maintains the site. Despite its popularity, Brother Joe?s miniature religious sanctuary remains unpublicized.
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