About Ave Maria Grotto
The Ave Maria Grotto is home to the fruitful labor of Brother Joseph Zoettl, OSB. Br. Joseph was a Benedictine monk of St. Bernard Abbey. Originally from Landschutt, Bavaria-Germany, a young Br. Joseph found himself headed to America to pursue monastic life at Alabama's only Benedictine Abbey. Little did anyone know that this young Bavarian would end up leaving the abbey its greatest legacy and in an incredibly humble way. Since 1934, people from around the world visit the Ave Maria Grotto to see famous parts of the world in miniature. The former abbey quarry is now the 4 acre park that the Grotto and surrounding miniatures rest upon. From Monteserrat to St. Peter's Basilica, guests can enjoy this labor of love and hopefully go away realizing how small acts of love, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can be so fruitful for years to come.