Christ in the Smokies Museum and Gardens has closed the doors at its current location after 60 years of business. Originally named Christus Gardens, the landmark was built as a result of the spiritual quest of Ronald Ligon that brought him to Gatlinburg. His intention was to build a hotel, but instead found the perfect place to build “an enduring memorial to Christ” thus fulfilling his lifelong dream. Christus Gardens opened its River Road location in August of 1960.
In 2008, the property was sold and the museum closed temporarily before being re-opened by a group of faithful employees who renamed the attraction Christ in the Smokies Museum and Gardens. Joe Waggoner and Art Director Mark Pedro recreated the dioramas and painted new murals depicting biblical scenes. Thousands of visitors have enjoyed the inspiring, life-like scenes and narration of the life of Jesus Christ, many making it an annual pilgrimage. We hope the staff will find a new location in the near future.