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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Christ of the Ozarks and the Great Passion Play

As I set out to see the amazing sites that the American South had to offer there was one thing that always loomed at the top of my list Christ of the Ozarks.  Ever since I found a photo of him in a box of vintage slides, I knew I had to see him myself.


Found in Eureka Springs, AR, Christ of the Ozarks was envisioned as the center of a bible theme park by Gerald Smith, who was a campaign manager for Huey Long.  The statue itself was built by Emmett Sullivan, whose other claim to fame is creating the Dinosaurs for the nearby Dinosaur World/Land of Kong.  The park was named "The Great Passion Play" which featured amongst other things a "Passion Play" as well as a "Living Bible Museum".

The big guy was just as amazing as I had imagined.


As magnificent as he his, he alarmingly strange looking.  With his unnatural pose, his dead eyes...


And his odd disproportionate square shaped body....


After paying my respects to this iconic monument I had a look around the rest of the Great Passion Play....


Oddly enough, it was completely abandoned.  Besides a jeep full tourists that came to see the Christ statue there wasn't another soul around.

There were two museums on property: a bible museum....


And a science museum, which I am sure would have been awesome....


Sadly though, all the buildings and shops appeared to be not only closed, but gutted.

The massive theater used for the play itself was sitting wide open....


I drove down into the Living Bible area, which would normally have actors recreating biblical scenes.....It wasn't as great without any people, but I still got to see some of the sites such as some fields of rubber grapes....


The crucifixion area....


And Jesus's tomb.....


Also along the way was a tranquil little lake with a boat.......


Where I am pretty sure I found the area where Jesus walks on water....


Oh yeah, they also have a big ole chunk of the Berlin Wall....


And you can have your kid pose as a Roman Soldier.....


Although I am not sure what kind of message that sends.

Recently, doing some online research I was shocked to find that the Passion Play is NOT abandoned, but rather was just closed for the season and they just happen to leave everything open to the public when they are closed.

Opened or closed, it is worth the trip to stand in the Glory of Christ of the Ozarks.


The Carpetbagger

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