A peaceful, serene setting of trees, walkpaths, and green spaces on a hill in the center of a residential area of Sioux City, IA. This hardscrabble, industrial town on the Missouri River is home to a religious sanctuary; a place for prayer, meditation, reflection, and relaxation. The scene is Trinity Heights.
Trinity Heights is a non-profit religious park with chapels, grottos, gardens, trees, religious statues, plaques, memorials, shrines to saints, benches, streams and bridges constructed on the site of what used to be Trinity College and prep school. This is a very, very nice place. It attracts up to 100,000 visitors a year.
Two of its main attractions are the 30′ tall stainless steel statues. Pictured above is the first one, titled “Immaculate Heart of Mary Queen of Peace,” located in the east of the park. The statue was unknowingly placed exactly where the Trinity College Chapel had been located years before.
On the west end of the park is the other stainless steel statue, the “Sacred Heart of Jesus.” This 33′ ft tall depiction of Christ stands at the end of a walkway which circumvents and outdoor Stations of the Cross as well as a Grotto (pictured below).
But possibly the most impressive sight to be seen at Trinity Heights Park is inside the St. Joseph Center, in the center of the park, is the life-size woodcarving depiction of the classic Leonardo Da Vinci painting, “The Last Supper.”
This is a very amazing work of art. Taking over 7 years to complete, the Last Supper woodcarving was added to Trinity Heights in 1993 and draws quite the crowd. The attention to detail and accuracy are a testament to Jerry Traufler, the sculptor’s, talents. The table itself is 22 feet long. The figures are created out of pine, a favorite among wood carvers.
The park has been around since the late 80’s with the Mary statue being put up in 1992 and the Jesus statue in 1998. It’s free to visitors and a donation is of course encouraged. It’s a very peaceful and quiet place. Although the park is focused around elements of the Catholic religion, all are welcome here to explore and relax, whether you are religious or not.
Below are some scenes from around the park.
It’s a great place to spend a couple hours on a warm Saturday afternoon when the trees and flowers are in bloom. Make sure to check out the gift shop and bookstore on your way out.
While in the area: Hike atop one of the many bluffs in the area for a view of the surrounding landscape, or head down to the riverfront to one of the restaurants situated on the Missouri River, which also features a huge riverboat casino.