A Religious Experience at the Crystal Shrine Grotto
Deep inside the Memorial Park cemetery in East Memphis, there’s a cave.
The cave is called the Crystal Shrine Grotto. Walking into the grotto is a little intense. You enter through a little door on the front of the rock. The first thing you notice after your eyes adjust to the darkness is all of the crystals. They’re everywhere – on the ceiling, rising from the floor, on the walls. The crystals form frames for large dioramas depicting the life of Christ.
The Crystal Shrine Grotto was designed and built by sculptor Dionicio Rodriguez. It was completed in 1938. The collection of scenes from Jesus’ life include all of the usual favorites (the Nativity, the Last Supper, the Resurrection), as well as some more obscure moments carved in rock quartz crystal, semi-precious stones and wood.
The Grotto is open when the cemetery is, and the area around it is pretty – there are benches and a lake, and it’s totally fine to take photos. Admission is free.
Crystal Shrine Grotto
5668 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, TN 38119-0885