Monte Casino Chapel “Tiny Church”

In Crestview Hills, Kentucky, sits what was named ” Smallest Church in the World” in 1922 by Ripley's Believe It Or Not. The church measures 6×9 feet with an inside ceiling of 8 feet. It has been on the college campus of Thomas More College since 1965.

 

Monte Casino Chapel was built in 1878 by two local Benedictine monks who were brothers serving at the Monte Casino Monastery in Covington, KY. The Chapel was built in order to provide a quiet place to reflect and pray. The monks worked vineyards in order to support themselves. However, in 1920, when prohibition banned distribution of wine to other states, the monks were left without a way to support themselves. ( Moreover, Winter 2005)

According to information on thomasmore.edu, when the monks left the area, the chapel was abandoned and vandals took advantage of that fact. It was stripped of it's stained glass, the door, and even the steeple. A local historian, Chester F. Gaeslin, wrote articles to the newspaper hoping to find the owner. In 1964, the owner was discovered. A local had purchased the land from St. Vincent Abbey in Pennsylvania. He wished to preserve the chapel in honor of his mother, Alma Riedinger.

Amazingly, as word spread through the area about the move and restoration of the chapel, the steeple and the crucifix were returned. The Chapel was loaded onto a truck and was moved six miles to the college campus. It took 8 hours. After being moved to the college campus, it underwent a restoration and was dedicated in 1971 with official recognition from the Catholic Church. (Moreover, Winter 2005) .

Being so small, it's easy to miss seeing this. It is located facing the pond on Turkeyfoot Road in Crestview Hills.

A view of the pond and chapel.

The choice of glass for the window is really beautiful!

A view of the inside of the chapel.

The Monte Casino Chapel is also listed as a roadside attraction on roadsideamerica.com

This is a small, but really pretty piece of Kentucky history. Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Laura

 

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