Did You Know That the World’s Largest Crucifix is in Michigan?
Surprisingly, Michigan is home to a number of things deemed "the world's largest" or "the world's longest". For example:
Now, we're learning that Michigan is also home to the world's largest crucifix.
Sitting in Indian River, Michigan, The Cross in the Woods serves as a Catholic shrine. The surrounding wooded setting is rather beautiful with other religious shrines, outdoor and indoor churches, and even a doll museum all available in one location. The main attraction, of course, is the massive crucifix.
Some Facts and Figures
The cross itself is carved from a single redwood tree. In total, the cross is 55 feet tall, 22 feet wide, and weighs about 14,000 pounds thanks to the pure bronze statue of Jesus hanging on the cross. Due to the weight, the hill that the cross sits on is not a natural formation. Instead, a man-made hill of steel and concrete was created and then covered with soil.
The site was declared a National Shrine in 2006 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and receives about 300,000 visitors each year.
How Long Has it Been There?
If this is your first time hearing about this massive shrine, it might surprise you to know that the land was originally given to the parish of Bishop Francis J. Haas of the Diocese of Grand Rapids in 1948 for $1.00 and a box of candy (if only we could buy land/houses for that cheap today).
The idea for the cross didn't come about until 1952. The bronze statue of Jesus took about four years to create. It then had to be shipped across the Atlantic to finally find its home in Indian River, Michigan. You can read more about the history of The Cross in the Woods Shrine here.
Should you like a walkthrough without actually visiting, there's a Youtube video for that! Check it out below:
Speaking of even MORE things that are the "world's largest" in Michigan, check out this gigantic log cabin: