Christus Gardens (later renamed “Christ in the Smokies”) was a Gatlinburg landmark for many years. The museum opened in 1960, early in the rise of Gatlinburg as a vacation hotspot, by Mr. Ronald Ligon. The museum featured life-size figures populating scenes from the life of Jesus. The museum also featured exbibits with artifacts from the period, heirloom bibles, and many other items meant to honor and inform about Jesus Christ.
But alas, change is inevitable. At the end of 2020, Christ in the Smokies was closed, and it sat closed to the public for over a year. And now, the building is being demolished. We did notice the artifacts from the museum being carefully transported away. We don’t know where it is going, but it was not destroyed.
What comes next for the land where Christus Gardens stood for so many years? We’re not sure yet, but you can bet someone will build SOMETHING there. It’s a wonderful location, on River Road that loops around Parkway, right next to the Cliff Branch stream.