Nazareth Hall is known for its outdoor grotto located down the hill from the building, across the stream. Holding up to 320 person capacity, the grotto is a charming, secluded and romantic place to hold a ceremony. It is surrounded by beautiful woods and a small stream creating a sense of calmness every bride and groom long for.
Ever wonder about the origins of this grotto? Well, to very few’s knowledge it is interesting to know that the grotto is actually as old as the building. When Nazareth Hall itself was built in the late 1920’s as a cadet school they decided to add the grotto on the property as well. The builders made it as a replica of a famous grotto in Lourdes, France. It is constructed of coral formations that was imported from the Mediterranean Sea.
When it was originally built the grotto had waterfalls cascading off the building and landing into a small pond where the overflow went to the stream. Unfortunately they had to stop the waterfall due to the staining of the coral that occurred from the well water.
In 1941 the grotto was hit by the tornado that went through Grand Rapids. The tornado actually destroyed portions of the grotto and was eventually rebuilt by a family in Fostoria, Ohio in dedication of their son who died in the tornado.
Since then, Nazareth Hall and the grotto have been preserved and protected keeping it as beautiful and exquisite as it was from when first opening to the public in 1928.
Scroll to see pictures from past weddings of the grotto!