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Holy Family Shrine

Those of you from Nebraska no doubt recognize this place.  If you've ever driven on I-80 near Gretna, you've probably seen it; it's such an unusual piece of architecture, out in the middle of nowhere, it's impossible to miss.

I've been here before, but without a good camera.  I finally got around to going there with my "A" camera and taking some pics.  Click on the pictures to see them full size.

Entrance to the visitor center.  It's cut directly into the side of the hill.

Fountain in the visitor center.  The water flows around the spiral, drips into the pool below, then flows down a stream cut into the limestone flooring towards the chapel.  Once the steam reaches the chapel, it flows inside, splits in two and runs along the two rows of pews before forming two pools in front of the altar.

The front of the Holy Family Shrine.

To the left of the main walkway is a shaded grotto containing a statue of the Virgin Mary.  In this photo, the front of the Shrine is visible in the background.

Interior of the Shrine.  There is some sort of hologram in the center window.  The Holy Family appears to float in mid air.  Unfortunately, a camera with a polarizing filter kind of ruins the effect.

Detail shot of the trusswork.  Biggish file.

Closeup of the crucifix.  The strange object in the lower window is part of the cross outside.  You can also see the strange effect that the polarizing lens has on the holographic upper window.

Back side of the chapel.  For some reason, the hologram shows up just fine from the outside despite (or perhaps because of) the polarizing filter.

Two views of the cross behind the Shrine, facing the Interstate.

Detail of the cross.  Large file.

Overall, it's a nice place to visit, even if you're not Catholic (I'm not).  It's very peaceful and quiet, despite being just a half mile away from the hustle and bustle of the Interstate.  Admission is free and visitors of any faith are welcome.


( 2 pieces of cheese — Leave some cheese )
Aug. 12th, 2010 12:06 am (UTC)
It's very peaceful and quiet

Looks so! Do they hold services there?

All that glass... no tornado worries?
Aug. 12th, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
It's a shrine, not a church and they don't have a priest in residence. If you want to hold mass there, you have to arrange for your own priest. They also don't allow weddings, vow renewals or baptisms.
( 2 pieces of cheese — Leave some cheese )