1. Artificial Cave or cavern, especially one that is a pleasant retreat in a Picturesque landscape.
2. Built structure of rock-work, or an excavation imitating a rocky cavern, often adorned with broken pottery and shells arrayed in patterns, sometimes with fountains and cascades of water, and serving as a cool retreat. Grottoes were not unknown in Antique Roman gardens, and were often revived during the Renaissance, Mannerist, and Baroque periods (in the last period they were sometimes features of the lowest or entrance-floor of palaces, such as Schloss Weissenstein, Pommersfelden, Germany (1711–20) ). Some grottoes were further embellished with congelated rustication. Many were features of landscape gardens, and architects such as Thomas Wright published designs for‘grottos’. Influential writers on gardens, such as Hirschfeld, also illustrated them.
D. Coffin (1994);
B. Jones (1974);
Mosser & Teyssot (eds.) (1991);
N. Miller (1982);
grot·to / ˈgrätō/ • n. (pl. -toes or -tos) a small picturesque cave, esp. an artificial one in a park or garden. ∎ an indoor structure resembling a cave. DERIVATIVES: grot·toed adj.