Lucedale, Mississippi: Palestine GardensGuided tour of a home-built Holy Land, scaled in miniature -- one yard equals one mile.
- 201 Palestine Gardens Rd, Lucedale, MS
- From Lucedale: Take US Hwy 98 north a mile or two. Turn right at the firehouse onto Bexley Rd. After 3.5 miles, the road dead-ends at Ford James Rd/Palestine Gardens Rd. Turn right, drive 1.5 miles. The Gardens will be on your left.
- March-Nov. T-F 9 am - 4 pm, Sa 9 am- 5 pm, Su 1-4 pm. (Call to verify)
Visitor Tips and News About Palestine Gardens
Palestinian Gardens, the one yard = one mile scale model of the Christian Holy Land, was constructed between 1953 and 1960 by Reverend Walter Harvell Jackson and his wife Pellerree, mostly out of cinder blocks and concrete.
It's currently maintained by Don and Cindy Bradley, who took over in 1994 and changed the name to Palestine Gardens "for simplicity and to prevent any misconception that we may be of the Islam religion."
Don Bradley has since added some new signs and begun rebuilding some of the Biblical cities. The current site is an odd mix of Jackson's crumbling original buildings along with Bradley's later signs and restoration efforts. In a way, I think I prefer Jackson's originals, but I'm also glad that Bradley is making sure that Palestine Gardens endures.[Dean Jefffrey, 01/06/2011]
Palestinian Gardens is a really unique experience, especially for southern Mississippi. They have been around since 1960, and seem to be doing fine. I only drove up to the gate because I was on my way back to school in Arkansas, but it looks pretty impressive. They have guided tours daily and there's also a theater and a chapel. It's 5 miles off of HWY 98. There's free admission March through November.[Sarah, 03/22/2008]
Referred to as "A Living Map of Palestine," it is 20 acres transformed since 1960 into a scale model of the Holy Land (scale: 1 yard = 1 mile). Run as more ministry than tourist attraction, though we have a couple of brochures and souvenir booklets on file. It's larger, though not as intricately crafted as the Ave Maria Grotto. And Palestinian Gardens is in constant struggle with lush foliage, threatening to overgrow and swallow up tiny towns and scenes of the life of Christ, from Bethlehem to Calvary. But the owners have kept it open and operating for 50 years! Tours last about an hour.
Palestine Gardens is a miniature reproduction of the Holy Land constructed from cinder blocks and decorative landscaping stones. It includes the major cities of Biblical legend. The Gardens run a 1/4 mile, and guided tours are available.[Burke Williamson, 04/25/2006]