Crystal Shrine Grotto in Memphis, TN was built by artist Dionicio Rodriquez in the 1930s, and was completed around 1938. On the National Register of Historic Places, this handmade cave of Bible scenes is a cool escape from the summer sun.

You walk through a hole in a large concrete tree stump — Abraham’s Oak — named for “the founder of the Hebrew Nation.” A plaque says that ” Rodriquez, a descendant of the artistic Aztec race of Mexico, has reproduced this historic stump entirely of concrete reinforced with steel and copper bar so as to ensure its existence for many centuries to come.”

The grotto cavern is constructed of rock quartz crystal and semiprecious stones. It illustrates “Christ’s Journey on the Earth from Birth to Resurrection.” The scenes are a mix of strange abstractions and more traditional religious dioramas.

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