Holy Land USA

New Haven, United States

Holy Land USA

Holy Land USA is an 18-acre (7.3 ha) theme park in Waterbury, Connecticut, inspired by selected passages from the Bible. It consists of a chapel, stations of the cross, and replicas of catacombs and Israelite villages constructed from cinder blocks, bathtubs, and other discards. The park closed to the public in 1984 and was vandalised. But on September 14, 2014, the site reopened to the public for the first time in 30 years with an inaugural Mass and access to the grounds. The area is open to the general public during daylight hours.

Holy Land USA was conceived by John Baptist Greco, a Waterbury-based attorney. Greco, a Roman Catholic, founded a volunteer organization called Companions of Christ, with the purpose of creating an attraction that would replicate Bethlehem and Jerusalem of the Biblical era. Construction commenced in 1955. Bob Chinn, the grounds chairman at Holy Land USA, recalled Greco's mission in a 2001 interview with The New York Times: "He was a very spiritual man. He wanted to do this for the people of the community. He felt no one, no matter the race, creed or color, should be separated. He wanted a place for all people to sit and be peaceful."

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