This Bible Belt city is rich in religious sites.
Probably the best known religious site in Birmingham is EWTN, the Eternal Word Television Network, founded by Mother Mary Angelica in 1981. The world’s first Catholic cable network, EWTN broadcasts a great variety of programs to more than 230 million households in 140 countries. Also a vision of Mother Mary Angelica’s is Our Lady of the Angels Monastery Farm in nearby Cullman. Home to the Poor Clare nuns, the monastery includes 35 hand-crafted German stained glass windows and a 250-seat chapel.
Plan to have lunch at the Ave Maria Grotto built by Brother Joseph Zoetti, a Bavarian hunchback monk, who created this brilliant work over a period of 50 years. The grotto includes some of the world’s most famous religious sites in miniature; St. Peter’s Basilica and old Bethlehem are among the detailed structures crafted of tile, pipe, shells and even coconuts. “Brother Joseph and the Grotto” is a recently released documentary that tells the story of the tiny monk’s life work.
Back in Birmingham, afternoon tours are available of the magnificent Cathedral of Saint Paul, the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama. Designed by Chicago architect Adolphus Druiding, the Victorian Gothic building first served as a parish church and was elevated to Cathedral status in 1969. Tours include interesting stories of the murder of a parish priest and the tragic death of the cathedral’s contractor.
For additional information regarding hotels or step-on guide services, call our Tourism Division at 800-458-8085 or 205-458-8000.