West Bend is a city in Kossuth and Palo Alto Counties in the U.S. state of Iowa. The population was 834 at the 2000 census. West Bend is the site of the Grotto of the Redemption, a series of nine contiguous grottos occupying a full city block, constructed of minerals, petrifications, and semiprecious gems. The Grotto of the Redemption is the inspiration and life work of Fr. Paul Dobberstein (1872-1954), a Catholic priest who settled in West Bend around 1902. For a decade he gathered rocks and precious and semi-precious stones from around the World beginning construction in 1912. For the next 42 years, Fr. Dobberstein created hundreds of intricate rock settings that form the Grotto’s walls and ceilings, evoking a spiritual experience. Matt Szerensce, a parishioner, and Fr. Louis Greving, the next Catholic pastor in West Bend, worked side-by-side with Fr. Dobberstein and furthered the work of Fr. Dobberstein after his death in 1954. Although the Grotto was technically finished in the late 1980, the Grotto is a ongoing work with restorations and repairs made yearly and there are still some statutes that need to be purchased to complete certain scenes throughout the Grotto. The Grotto is non-profit and relies solely on donations for its maintenance and repair work.