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think this was the main stage for shows and events
Photo Credit: guyonthego

The Holy City of the Wichitas

Highway 49 about 15 miles west of Interstate 44, then slightly north.
Generally open 8:00-5:00, guided tours are offered by appointment.
580-429-3361 30 minutes or less
October 2013 Summer, Fall, Spring
$0-9 Lawton Oklahoma
Website Historical Religious Sites
First review
 
The Holy City of the Wichitas is a 66 acre religious/historical site constructed in the 1930s and located in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. The Holy City is a quasi replica of ancient Jerusalem from the time of Jesus. There are approximately 15 stone buildings and structures here, including a performance stage, chapel, nativity scene, small museum and a gift shop.

The Wichita Mountains are a 500 million year old chain that range from modest foothills to rugged mountains over 2,400 feet in elevation. The impetus for the Holy City and a related Easter Passion Play came from the Reverend Anthony Mark Wallock who began taking his Sunday school class into the mountains in 1926 partly because the area resembled the hills near ancient Jerusalem. The service expanded in concept and became very popular. A play called “The Prince of Peace” was added and continues today. To enhance the event, the Works Progress Administration built the current structures. An 11 foot marble statue of Jesus was added in 1975.

This site looked like a set from a low budget Hollywood film, and with a tenuous resemblance to ancient Jerusalem. It’s more notable for its oddness and its location in the middle of a wildlife refuge than for the structures. The most functional building was a chapel which had artwork similar to that of Catholic missions in the southwest. Behind the chapel is a one room museum which was really skimpy on information. It included some historical photos and newspaper clippings but little else. Also fairly dull was a building with a nativity type scene behind a cage. The gift shop was nothing special either. Walking around the site was moderately interesting just to appreciate its peculiarity. Note that a number of staircases here had very narrow steps, designed more for hobbits than humans. The Holy City does not merit a special trip, but if you are touring the refuge and are into quirky attractions, it only takes a few minutes to explore.
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guyonthego
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