The Land of Cross-Tipped Churches

Story & Photos by Matt Bayman

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That something as magnificent as the Land of the Cross-Tipped Churches is located less than a half-hour from Miami County is truly, well, a blessing.
The Land of Cross-Tipped Churches is made up of 60 buildings that represent 19th and 20th century German Catholic settlements in Auglaize, Darke, Mercer and Shelby counties. Each is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and 34 of them are highlighted in a tour of the region that can be enjoyed during a very memorable day trip from Miami County.
Buildings on the tour, linked below, include churches, schools, rectories and convents. They are all free to visit and often have beautiful gardens, statues and spiritual areas to discover. Highlights include: the stunning Shrine of Holy Relics in Maria Stein, which also houses a museum and amazing outdoor areas; the St. Augustine Church in Minster, built in 1849; the massive St. Charles Seminary and Chapel; and the tallest church on the list, St. Henry Catholic Church, which stands at 202-feet-tall. The tour also passes numerous canal-era attractions, and some of the most picturesque towns and villages in Ohio, including Minster, Fort Loramie, New Bremen, St. Henry and Coldwater. These towns have great restaurants to dine in and quaint shops to visit, as well as historic landmarks and numerous roadside attractions, including a statue of Big Foot at the Fort Loramie Trading Post on Route 66.  
The Auglaize and Mercer Counties Convention & Visitors Bureau offers this online tour and map of the region, both of which can be found HERE. They can be used to plan your journey through the region.  
From Miami County, a great way to get there is to travel up Route 66 through Fort Loramie and Minster, then west on Route 119, north on US 127, east on Route 274, and finally, south on Route 716 and back home. However, this only covers a portion of the 34 buildings. Plenty more adventure can be had.
For more information on the Land of Cross-Tipped Churches, and to plan a trip to the area, click HERE.

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