Our Lady of the Rockies

Our Lady of the Rockies

Our Lady of the Rockies is a 90-foot statue along the Continental  Divide looking down on Butte, Montana from a few miles away and over 3000 feet above the Mining City.

There is controversy around the statue because it's a religious symbol, and its position high on the East Ridge dominates the city. For those who forget to look up during the day it's lit up every night from sundown to sunrise.

I happen to agree with the main thrust of its critics. Our Lady of the Rockies is a huge statue of the Virgin Mary towering over every building in Butte, including the Temple B'nai Israel synagogue, the Butte Islamic Center, and the LDS Temple.

But it's also one of Butte's defining features, and I've photographed it countless times. This post contains a few faves.

Our Lady of the Rockies looking down on Berkeley Pit.
The view from eastbound Platinum Street, with Our Lady top right.
The view from Big Butte. The well-lit headframe in the foreground is at the Original Mine on Main Street.
An example of how Our Lady dominates the sky over Butte at night, as a bright white light on the East Ridge.
On winter nights, Our Lady is often an abstract glow behind the clouds that gather along the Continental Divide ridge.
Approaching Butte from the west, Our Lady is on the ridge directly above the center of I-90.
Looking up from I-15 east of Butte.
A sunny November afternoon.
My favorite shot of Our Lady from our first two years in Butte: the September 2021 Harvest Moon, photographed from Butte Skate Park. I also got some shots with the moon directly behind the statue, but this particular composition a minute or two later feels even more dramatic to me.