Holy Land

Holy Land opened in 1958 and has been an attraction for Connecticut travelers ever since. It is located in an abandoned 18 acre park in the town of Waterbury and is a miniature version of the Jerusalem and Bethlehem. During the 1960's and 1970's, it was considered one of the state's biggest attractions and would be visited by up to 50,000 people each year. The attraction used to have a 50-foot cross that would be lit for the most important religious seasons. Holy Land was built by a Waterbury lawyer named John Baptist Greco. Since the park's official closing in 1984, the statues, caves and other structures and fallen into disarray. The land had been willed to the Religious Teachers of Fillipini of Bristol by Greco, but little was done to maintain the area and the nuns no longer welcome visitors. The cross was replaced in 2008 and is still lit and visible from the nearby highway. In addition to the leftover holy relics, the attraction features piles of junk and a sordid modern history. Legends of gang murders and a mysterious order of nuns are affiliated with the area. The nuns are believed to have managed some of the upkeep by applying fresh coats of paint to the entryway, but they refuse any other offers of help from the community to restore or maintain the grounds.

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