Scenic USA - Indiana

Monastery of the Immaculate Conception

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Monastery of the Immaculate Conception (Castle on the Hill) - Ferdinand, Indiana

Photos by Amanda Haddox
Amanda Haddox Photography

   Settled mostly by central European Germans during the 1800s, Ferdinand remains an Indiana small town with a population of just over 2000 people. Four Sisters of St. Benedict came to Ferdinand in 1867 hoping to make a difference in the lives of local settlers. Since then, the monastery has grown into one of the largest Benedictine communities of women in the United States.
     First time visitors to Ferdinand are often amazed when first approaching the city. Monastery of Immaculate Conception - Ferdinand, Indiana Nicknamed Castle on the Hill, the impressive Monastery Immaculate Conception Church makes a bold statement as it overlooks the town of Ferdinand. Here in Ferdinand, monastery life continues to center on the church. The Benedictine principles strive to achieve a balance between prayer and labor.
   Built between 1915 and 1924, eyes are quickly drawn to the castle's main feature, an 87 foot high dome. The interior, just recently restored, features 89 statuary angels, plaster moldings, beautiful stained glass and marble flooring. The color scheme employs soft toned glazes and touches of gold leaf.
   Drawing in visitors from all around the country, the church is open for tours every day except Monday. Conducted by the Sisters of St. Benedict, guided tours are offered Tuesday through Friday at 10am, 11am, 1pm, and 2pm, and Saturday and Sunday at 1pm and 2pm.

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