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The Center of the World

Posted by on January 31, 2016

Chapel and visitors color


Today we finally made it…. a place we have passed many times while traveling along Interstate 8 just West of Yuma AZ.  Its a town called FELICITY in California… Also known as the Center of the World. Today at precisely 10:35 AM,  I stood at the “Official” Center of the World,  looked outside of the 21 foot pyramid structure made of pink granite and glass and I made my wish.


In the Pyramid

View from the Pyramid up to the chapel


The history of mankind all etched on beautiful marble slabs.  Phase one consisted of 100 monuments stretching over a third of a mile.  The walls will eventually form the shape of a fish.  Everything you ever wanted to know about history of wars, prophets, language, the pioneers, the explorers and it goes on.  It’s a museum of History of mankind in Granite.  Allow a minimum of an hour to visit.


Center of the World 1

One whole wall recounts the history of the French Foreign Legion ,  then it continues on other slabs to detail WWII, Vietnam, Korean War Memorial, History of US Aviation, US Presidents, Authors,  Religions, and it just goes on; Its all there.    It takes more than an hour to view all the plaques and the white chapel on the hill. The chapel was built in 2007.  Jacques had 150,000 tons of earth trucked in and piled up so that the chapel would be on a hilltop.

Chapel landscape-2

Jacques-Andre Istel is the founder and Mayor of the town of Felicity, named after his wife Felicia. Established in 1986. The land stretches from I-8 north to the Chocolate Mountains.

I met and spoke with Felicia today during my visit,  and I told her I hoped to get a night photo of the church. Last night it seemed to float in the dark sky.  She mentioned that the moon will be dark tonight and I might want to wait to take the photo until  February 8th which is Chinese New Year. I may not be in this area that long tho.  It’s the year of the Monkey by the way. (update on that night photo is, it got Very windy here the past two days so visibility because an issue)


Inside the Chapel

Inside the Chapel


Chapel door View

Looking out the Chapel Door to the monuments





The property extends out to 2600 acres in the middle of the desert near Yuma.  Just to the East of the pyramid a few 100 yards  is #12 section of the Eiffel tower salvaged from the original spiral staircase.


Eiffle tower color





There is a Bronze sculpture that is also a Sundial. It is a sculpture of God’s Arm from Michelangelo’s “Dawn of Creation” painting in the Sistine Chapel pointing North.


The Arm in color


Arm and Pyramid


The entrance fee for the video, the short personal tour plus the self guided tour of the grounds is $5.00 each.  This money goes to the the maintenance and the cost of future granite murals.  I read some reviews online that some people think that is too much to pay but certainly for me it was well worth the experience. How many people have paid an entrance fee to see “The Thing” on Interstate 10? (I have not)   This is a truly interesting place to visit.  It certainly  takes you back to some historic times that you perhaps have not thought about since you studied the details in high school;  classic books you should have read at least once;  state and country statistics that make you reflect on our whole world.


Next time you go to Yuma be sure to check it out.   There is plenty of RV parking if you are just passing through. Its located just a few miles West of Yuma just over the California state line.



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