Ave Maria Grotto
Known throughout the world as "Jerusalem in Miniature," is a beautifully landscaped, four-acre park designed to provide a natural setting for the 125 miniature reproductions of some of the most famous historic buildings and shrines of the world. The masterpieces of stone and concrete are the lifetime work of Brother Joseph Zoettl, a Benedictine monk of St. Bernard Abbey. Begun as a hobby, with various materials he could find, and infinite patience and a remarkable sense of symmetry and proportion, Brother Joseph re-created some of the greatest edifices of all time.
St. Bernard Retreat and Conference Center welcomes guests and visitors to experience the hospitality of the Benedictine monks of St. Bernard Abbey. People of all ages and faiths are invited to find here a place of peace, joy and refreshment. Whether you are looking for a quiet setting for a group retreat, or hosting a meeting, conference or workshop, check out St. Bernard!
St. Bernard Retreat and Conference Center is located on Hwy 278E, and is one of the many ministries offered by St. Bernard Abbey. Surrounded by 800 wooded acres and Eight Mile Creek, the area offers a wide array of scenery. Scenic roads and nature trails make for an easy access to wildlife and plants in the North Alabama region. Lawns and lakes nestled in a treasure forest provide a peaceful setting. The St. Bernard community offers an environment which is a complete change of pace from the stressful life of today’s world. Groups may obtain access to St. Bernard Tennis Complex, baseball field, soccer fields, wooded walking trails, and outdoor volleyball.