It’s no secret that I love visiting giant Iowa attractions. But I also can’t resist an adorably tiny stop either. If you’re roadtripping through northeast Iowa, you’ll want to plan for a detour to visit the St. Anthony of Padua Chapel. This tiny chapel claims to be the world’s smallest church.
Constructed in 1849 as the first Catholic mission north of Dubuque, the chapel was built by the mother of Johann Gaertner who vowed to build a chapel on the site if her son returned safely from the war. The tiny building seats eight people with four rows of pews on each side of the chapel.
Fun Fact: There’s a to-scale replica clock of the tiny church at the Bily Clock Museum just north in Spillville, Iowa.
While it’s no longer in service, the small church is a cute place to stretch your legs or enjoy a picnic if you’re passing through. While other churches may actually be smaller — Oneida, New York boasts a cute chapel that seats two — this Iowa attraction is a sweet stop regardless of official record status.
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Plan Your Visit to the World’s Smallest Church
If you’re exploring northeast Iowa, the St. Anthony of Padua Church is a quick stop on your way toward Decorah.
Navigation Tip: If you’re using Google Maps, enter St. Anthony of Padua Church to easily find this attraction.
St. Anthony of Padua Chapel, Little Church Road, north of 258th Avenue in Fort Atkinson, Iowa
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