Immaculate Conception Grotto

Wesley, Iowa

St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery, Wesley, IA

The Crucifixion Grotto is another small grotto built by Father Paul Dobberstein, like the Immaculate Conception Grotto in Carroll. The marble sculptures of the crucifixion scene were put in place in 1921 and the grotto walls constructed in 1925. Dobberstein was apparently well known as the builder of the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend and was asked to use his skills in other small parishes around Iowa.

The Grotto is small mound of rugged rock walls building to a raised altar pedestal for the crucifixion scene. The grotto is presented as an altar backdrop, a sculptural crescendo of busy textures building toward the elegant marble statues in the center. The formal medalions and tablet forms on the front of the altar provide a stable platform for the sorrowful Marys at Jesus' feet, while all around are chaotic forms of geodes and stalactites embedded in the rough walls. It is a miniature Mount of Calvary in the corn fields, a rough wilderness of bare rugged rocks at the moment of Jesus' death.

The Crucifixion Grotto is located in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery on the east end of Wesley.

References and Links to the Crucifixion Grotto

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Copyright ©2012 Matt Bergstrom