Sacred Heart Seminary Shrine – Geneva, Illinois - Atlas Obscura

Sacred Heart Seminary Shrine

A hidden grotto on the grounds of the Kane County Government Center. 


Hidden on the grounds of the Kane County Government Center, this grotto is a gem to stumble upon. It’s a leftover relic from the property’s past life.

Before it became the county headquarters, this property held the Sacred Heart Seminary. Priests were trained there from the mid 1920s up until 1971, when the grounds were sold.

It’s believed that a German priest built the shrine. He used rocks and colored glass to create the small chapel-like structure. Mosaics, some of which depict crosses, adorn the walls and the floor of the sheltered space.

Even though the government bought the property in the ‘70s, the shrine still exists. It’s covered in years’ worth of dirt and grime and looks a bit run down—and, thanks to vandals, has been splashed with paint—making the structure look much older than it really is.

Perch atop a hill overlooking a stream, the grotto is a serene surprise for anyone who happens to come across it while wandering through the woods. It’s a quiet, peaceful spot. A nearby creek gurgles in the background, adding a soothing soundtrack.

Know Before You Go

Hike south from the parking lot on the trail along the creek to find the grotto.

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