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Crystal Shrine Grotto

5668 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN 38119-3839
+1 901-302-9980
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Love this stuff

I found the Grotto when I looked for my "typical Mom" one-off the beaten path sights to see for our... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
antonette w
,
Appleton, Wisconsin
Awed and Odd at the same time!

Beautiful setting. Worth a quick stop, even though it's in a cemetery. Beware: We saw snakeskin... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
cgray79
,
Falls Church, Virginia
Read all 122 reviews
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The Crystal Shrine Grotto is located in the center of Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis, Tennessee. It serves as the beating heart of the park and reminds those who visit that death is not the end. Those who enter the confines of the 60 foot deep man made cave don't just see the dark beauty of the cave and its eclectic artwork they can feel its magical presence all around them. Memorial Park itself was founded in 1924 by E. Clovis Hinds. He was a wealthy businessman from nearby Mississippi who had recently sold his insurance business. He became aware of a movement at the time to develop "park like" and memorial cemeteries. These cemeteries were a departure from the historical burial yards of the 1800's, which were dark and depressing places full of headstones and reminders of death. This new style known as "The Cemetery Beautiful" provided for cemeteries filled with nature, open spaces, art, pools, fountains, and well-kept plantings. The park was intended to be not merely a burial place, it was a place for memories to reside. A place to enjoy and to celebrate. He decided to develop the park in this new style and in 1935 commissioned Mexican artist Dionicio Rodriguez to construct the main features of the park. In 1938 a cave was dug into the hillside at the center of the park and work began on The Crystal Shrine Grotto. Mr. Rodriguez worked in faux bois style of concrete. Meticulously texturing and coloring surfaces to mimic natural materials like wood and stone. He was extremely secretive about his methods and was sought after as a master of this art at the time and made a good living for himself even during the depression. The cave is comprised of almost 5 tons of natural crystals hand placed onto the cave walls and ceiling. The crystals were collected from the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. Worked continued on and off until it was completed in 1955 just after Rodriguez's death. The niche art displays were not completed until the 1980's when the last of the 10 niches were filled with art work depicting events in the life of Christ. All the features around and in the grotto depict events and places out of the Old and New Testaments. The Cave of Machpelah to the left of the Grotto is a depiction of the 1st tomb mentioned in The Bible, Genesis 23, as Abraham and Sarah's resting place. The Pool of Hebron and Abrahams Oak invite visitors to explore the area and find the hidden faces, figures, and resting places the artist included in the naturalistic concrete to entertain visitors. If one looks closely you can even see the faces of children in the base of the fountain in The Pool of Hebron. In 1991 The Grotto and Rodriguez's other works in the park were added to the National Historic Register. Although it took nearly 60 years to complete and fill with art, it has remained virtually unchanged since its construction. Roughly 100,000 people visit The Grotto each year and it is a very popular spot for photographers, sightseers, and is even used occasionally as a wedding venue. The Crystal Shrine Grotto continues to carry out its purpose as a work of art that houses works of art. Entertaining and inspiring to both young and old. A timeless reminder that death is not the end in a place that must be seen in person to fully understand.
  • Excellent63%
  • Very good25%
  • Average11%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travelers talk about
“memorial park” (7 reviews)
“koi pond” (6 reviews)
“isaac hayes” (8 reviews)
Closed Now
Hours
Hours Today: 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Suggested Duration: < 1 hour
LOCATION
5668 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN 38119-3839
CONTACT
Website
+1 901-302-9980
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Write a ReviewReviews (122)
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"memorial park"
in 7 reviews
"koi pond"
in 6 reviews
"isaac hayes"
in 8 reviews
"jesus christ"
in 3 reviews
"quiet reflection"
in 2 reviews
"beautiful memorial"
in 2 reviews
"beautiful area"
in 2 reviews
"an interesting place"
in 2 reviews
"grave sites"
in 2 reviews
"definitely worth the visit"
in 2 reviews
"across the street"
in 3 reviews
"crystals"
in 16 reviews
"resurrection"
in 8 reviews
"depicting"
in 10 reviews
"art"
in 11 reviews
"manmade"
in 6 reviews
"scenes"
in 7 reviews
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1 - 10 of 121 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago

I found the Grotto when I looked for my "typical Mom" one-off the beaten path sights to see for our family vacation to Memphis. The Grotto was one of them, and I had it printed out as something to do if we had time. After...More

Thank antonette w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 days ago

Beautiful setting. Worth a quick stop, even though it's in a cemetery. Beware: We saw snakeskin floating in the pond!

Thank cgray79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 days ago

I was dragged her by my wife but really enjoyed the Grotto. If you have never seen it, make sure to take a few minutes to stop and check this out.

Thank Tim A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 1 week ago

I was traveling with my senior mom, whom gets around with the aid of a walker. I called to let them know and a truly wonderful gentleman met us with a golf cart and helped me get her around to look at the beautiful Crystal...More

Thank Nieta63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jennifer R, Manager at Crystal Shrine Grotto, responded to this reviewResponded 5 days ago

We are so glad we were able to accommodate you and your mother to give you both a chance to see the beauty of the Crystal Shrine Grotto that was built inside Memorial Park Funeral Home & Cemetery in the 1930s by Mexican artist Dionicio...More

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago

This place is cool. Literally. In the middle of a cemetery. Kids even enjoyed the art of this place. Definately something to check out. Only takes a few minutes, but worth the stop. This was my second time. Had to show other guests with me.

Thank Nvrenuf29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago

We stopped on our way out of Memphis headed to Nashville. It is in the middle of a cemetery but there is plenty of parking on the street. There were other local people there when we got there. The stations of the Cross are created...More

Thank mamachickto4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago

We took our 13 year old son to this Grotto and we all found it bizarre, but fun. It's really pretty and unexpected. We checked out the guest book and couldn't believe the number of people who had visited the same day. We did come...More

Thank 262Familyof4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago

Very interesting place. Honestly, I've never seen anywhere like it. Peaceful (because it is in a cemetery). Small, so it doesn't take much time to see it all.

Thank champm0m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

If you are able, you must stop! This was beautiful - even my teenage boys thought it was awesome. The fountain, koi pond, then the grotto off to the left lined with crystals and different types of religious works (paintings, sculptures, carvings...). I Loved it!...More

Thank Christine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I have to start by saying that even though this is a cemetery the groundskeeping here is immaculate. It is a beautiful and serene setting for this amazing work of art called the Crystal Shrine grotto. It is a man-made cave that is lined inside...More

Thank Jamie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Questions & Answers
Kevin C
1 July 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from FamilyDad22 | Reviewed this property |
I agree. Difficult and probably inappropriate.
0
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Marina F
3 June 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from phoenbix2b | Reviewed this property |
the actual grounds are driveable, you can stop right outside the shrine
1
Vote
madigray23
29 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Jennifer R | Property representative |
The tour is a great way to get more information on the Grotto, but you are welcome any time -- no tour required.
0
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