Giant Jesus and Mary statues at Trinity Heights
Location: Sioux City, Iowa
When to visit: Grounds currently open 9 am to 9 pm
Time needed: 30-60 minutes
Trinity Heights is a campus in Sioux City, Iowa just off Route 20. In addition to providing ministry, the campus has one big attraction: Giant steel statues of Jesus and Mary.
You don’t need to be religious to be in awe of these impressive structures. Jesus is 33 feet tall, while Mary is three feet shorter. They stand at opposite ends of the Trinity Heights grounds, with lots of lush gardens in between.
A sense of perspective: That’s me standing next to the foot of Jesus.
Visiting Trinity Heights
You can visit the Trinity Heights grounds for free. Just keep your voice down, don’t walk on the grass, and don’t do anything to draw attention to yourself. Really – they’re sticklers about this sort of thing.
The grounds are large and there’s plenty to see while you’re here, so give yourself at least 20 minutes. The 16 acres feature several walking paths and places for quiet reflection.
The idea for Trinity Heights began in 1985, when Father Harold Cooper visited California and saw a 30-foot statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He thought to himself… I want one of those too!
Several years later, the statue of Mary was in place, and Trinity Heights opened for visitation. The Jesus statue was erected in 1999 to join Mary.
The late Father Cooper, by the way, now has his own statue on the grounds.
So what will you see if you stop by to see the Giant Jesus and Mary statues at Trinity Heights?
Spiritual folks may be interested in the intricately-detailed 22-foot wood carving of the Last Supper. It was carved by Jerry Traufler of Le Mars, Iowa, and took a whopping seven years to complete.
The Mary statue sits on the exact spot where the Chapel for Trinity College once stood. Yes, it was purposely placed in that location for symbolic reasons.
Mary has one hand outstretched to welcome visitors, and the other hand reaching toward Jesus.
Gotta give credit to the sculptor: Dale Lamphere created both the Jesus and Mary statues.
Religious visitors may take an interest in the Circle of Life memorial to the unborn.
Those who aren’t religious may be more entertained by the giant lists of rules posted all over the grounds. One…
They really don’t like misbehaving children or ne’er-do-wells at this place. So remember not to bring any food or drink, don’t climb anything, don’t touch anything, don’t do anything other than look!
If you find yourself in Sioux City, Iowa, you might as well make the detour to check out the statues, because they are fascinating, just from an architectural perspective.
They keep making improvements to the site as well. Two years ago, they added a statue of St. John Paul II. Two years before that, they added a statue of St. John the Baptist.
So stop by, take your pictures of giant Jesus and Mary, and don’t disturb the peace!
There are giant Jesus and Mary statues all over the world, but if you find yourself in the Midwest, these are easily the biggest such statues you’re going to find.
Don’t miss the National Farm Toy Museum and the Field of Dreams movie site while you’re in Iowa as well. These statues are just off U.S. Route 20, the longest road in the country.
Would you visit Trinity Heights in Sioux City to see the statues?