Sacred Sites of Wisconsin (and Minnesota)
I am a connoisseur of travel guides. I know they’re not intended to be read like books, but I do it anyway. My collection spans a range of genres: countries, historical sites, and even places that may disappear. But my new favorite is Sacred Sites of Wisconsin.
This book could have been written just for me, although it was published when I was still in high school. John-Brian and Teresa Paprock of Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission in Madison, WI set out to write a travel guide for religious sites in Wisconsin. They researched over 850 sites of various faith backgrounds. In the end, more than 400 sites were included in the book. As someone who loves to visit religious sites and lives in Wisconsin, this is an invaluable resource.
The book is broken down into chapters concerning large sections of Wisconsin: the Milwaukee area, and then the southeastern, northeastern, northwestern, and southwestern parts of the state. Each chapter starts with a description of the particular area, including information about it’s history and religious heritage. They also include a list of their favorite sites. The remaining sites in the area are categorized by faith group: Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Buddhist, and so on. The description of each site is short, and offers helpful information about visiting, such as how to get there and contact information.
After checking this book out of the library sporadically just to read bits and pieces, my boyfriend bought me a copy of my own as a gift. In the past, I’ve concentrated on areas near Madison, but after flipping through some of the other sections, I’m excited to start exploring more of the state.
Of course, the book is a little dated, so it’s best to do your research before picking somewhere to go. For example, did you know that there used to be a Catholic Church right by the Milwaukee airport? For some time, the airport expanded around the church, as was the case when Sacred Sites of Wisconsin was written. Planes would be flying right overhead as they landed or took off from the runway. However, it sounds like the church property was finally sold in 2009 so the airport could expand further.
There’s a Sacred Sites of Minnesota too, although I’ve only looked through it once. It seems to be of a similar format to Sacred Site of Wisconsin, and I would recommend both, depending on where you’re heading. If you want to get a feel for what the book is like, there’s a limited preview available on Google Books.
I was in no way asked to do this review, nor compensated for it. I’m just fond of the books.