Texas has become known for the mantra “Everything is Bigger in Texas”. It is a badge that most Texans wear with honor as everything from football stadiums to plates of food and everything in between seem to follow suit in creating a larger than life depiction of what it is to be a Texan.
But did you know that there happens to also be a larger than life cross standing high above the west Texas plains welcoming the road weary to stop in and see something spectacular?
Located along Interstate 40 in Groom, Texas, the official name of this landmark is “The Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ.” It stands 19 stories in height and serves as a beacon to all those to pass with its illuminated structure in the night sky and its towering view during the daylight hours. It is said that the structure weighs an astonishing 2.5 million pounds and can be seen for up to 20 miles on a clear day.
I-40 is most well known as a portion of Route 66 and with this title it has been known to have more than a few roadside attractions. Was this the reason for this colossal cross and its construction in this location? Perhaps.
But according to reports, this cross was actually inspired more so by another Texas cross in Ballinger. Although much larger in size the message evokes a similar response from visitors and spectators interested by the jutting structure in the seemingly ongoing flatlands of the panhandle.
But the cross itself while impressive, is but the draw to this location. Once you have arrived in the parking lot you are greeted by clean restrooms and water fountains that are available round the clock and during regular daylight hours a gift shop with many unique items. In addition, services are actually held on property for those interested.
But perhaps the most interesting part of a visit to the Groom, Texas cross is the grounds themselves. Spanning several acres you can walk around and find the life of Christ depicted with unique bronze statues which circle the base of the cross telling his full story. The last supper with each of the disciples rests at the bottom of a large staircase which ascends to reveal the 3 crosses of the crucifixion and a tomb rests just below the base with the stone rolled away. Next to the visitor center a large welcoming statue stands atop a stone basin with a waterfall cascading. Each of the depictions fully detailed and revealing a unique attention to detail unmatched by other similar sites.
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