The Shrine of the Grotto of the Redemption is a religious shrine located in West Bend, Iowa, in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sioux City. A conglomeration of nine grottos depicting scenes in the life of Jesus, the Grotto contains a large collection of minerals and petrifications and is believed to be the largest grotto in the world.
It is also "considered to be the world's most complete man-made collection of minerals, fossils, shells, and petrifications in one place." The total value of all the rocks and minerals which make up the Grotto is over $4,308,000. Over 100,000 people visit the Grotto each year.
Father Paul Dobberstein was a German immigrant ordained in 1897. He became critically ill with pneumonia and promised to build a shrine to the Virgin Mary if she interceded for him. After his recovery, he began stockpiling rocks and precious stones. Construction of the Grotto began in 1912 and continued year round for 42 years.