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Officially known as The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, The Grotto is a 62-acre (25-hectare) Catholic shrine and botanical gardens. It is set on two levels with a high cliff face providing a natural divide between them.
Before it became an attraction for tourists and religious pilgrims, The Grotto site was a former quarry. It was transformed into shrine under the auspices of Fr. Ambrose Mayer, who saw the acreage as a “natural cathedral.”
When just a boy, Fr. Mayer watched his mother dying after giving birth. In his prayers to God to save her, Fr. Mayer promised to create a great work for the Catholic Church. His mother survived and The Grotto is his promise fulfilled. Work began in 1923, when a cave was carved into the cliff face. In 1946, Fr. Mayer installed a marble replica of Michelangelo’s Pieta above an altar in the cave, which is called Our Lady’s Grotto. It’s part of the Plaza Level, which covers almost 20 acres (8 hectares).
This level also includes the Welcome Center and Visitor Complex and the Stations of the Cross, which surround the Chapel of Mary. You are welcome to attend one of the daily masses in the chapel.
To climb the 110 feet (33 meters) up the cliff to the Upper Level, use the elevator, which has a fee. On the Upper Level you will find one of Portland’s largest green spaces. Walk the well-kept paths around garden beds filled with rhododendrons and native plants. Don’t miss the views over Colombia River Valley and the Cascades. On a clear day you will spot Mount St. Helens and possibly Mount Rainier in the distance.
The views are also seen through the glass walls of the architecture award-winning Meditation Chapel, which sits on the north face of the cliff.
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, The Grotto transforms during the Festival of the Lights, a display incorporating over 500,000 lights, choral performances and puppet shows.
In addition to its scenic beauty, The Grotto operates as a center for those in need, offering counseling services, religious guidance and retreats. It’s open daily except for Thanksgiving Day and December 25.
Situated near the airport, this eco-friendly hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Grotto, Cascade Station, and Concordia University. Grant Park and Providence Portland Medical Center are also within 6 mi (10 km). Parkrose-Sumner Transit Center is 28 minutes by foot and Mt Hood Avenue Station is 30 minutes.
Situated near the airport, this hotel is 1.6 mi (2.5 km) from Cascade Station and 2 mi (3.1 km) from Grotto. Concordia University and Grant Park are also within 6 mi (10 km). Mt Hood Avenue Station is 22 minutes by foot.
Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Grotto, Cascade Station, and Grant Park. Providence Portland Medical Center is 3 mi (4.8 km) away. Parkrose-Sumner Transit Center is 16 minutes by foot and NE 82nd Avenue Station is 27 minutes.
Situated in Portland, this motel is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Grotto and within 9 mi (15 km) of Moda Center and Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Pioneer Courthouse Square and Portland Expo Center are also within 9 mi (15 km). Parkrose-Sumner Transit Center is 19 minutes by foot and NE 82nd Avenue Station is 24 minutes.
Located in Parkrose, this hotel is 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Grotto and within 12 mi (20 km) of Portland International Raceway and Moda Center. Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Pioneer Courthouse Square are also within 12 mi (20 km). Cascades Station is 25 minutes by foot and Parkrose-Sumner Transit Center is 29 minutes.
Located in Parkrose, this hotel is 0.9 mi (1.4 km) from Grotto and 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Cascade Station. Mall 205 and Concordia University are also within 6 mi (10 km). Parkrose-Sumner Transit Center is 5 minutes by foot and Cascades Station is 26 minutes.
Located in Parkrose, this hotel is 0.8 mi (1.2 km) from Grotto and 1.4 mi (2.2 km) from Cascade Station. Mall 205 and Providence Portland Medical Center are also within 6 mi (10 km). Parkrose-Sumner Transit Center is only a 3-minute walk and Cascades Station is 26 minutes.
Situated near the airport, this hotel is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Grotto and 2.1 mi (3.3 km) from Cascade Station. Providence Portland Medical Center and Grant Park are also within 6 mi (10 km). Parkrose-Sumner Transit Center is 17 minutes by foot.