Behold: a cathedral made of junk

Incredible, but true.

The church above is made entirely of discarded materials, and built mostly by just one man.

Details, from the BBC:

It’s the sheer size of the structure that first strikes you. Almost 40 metres (131ft) tall, its spires and giant dome tower over the surrounding apartment blocks in this Madrid suburb.

That’s not unusual for a Spanish church. But this one is being built by an elderly man, almost single-handedly, out of junk.

Justo Gallego – or Don Justo, as he’s known – embarked on his epic endeavour almost half a century ago.

Now 85 years old, he still has a huge amount to do.

Christmas was a rare rest day for Justo, whose one concession to age – and the weather – is to work inside during winter.

Even so, he’s on site by 6am each day, sporting his red woollen skullcap. His grubby overalls are tied loosely with one red scarf; an identical one is draped – almost elegantly – around his neck.

“I do it for faith. That’s clear, no?” the energetic octogenarian wonders, pausing to warm himself by an open fire.

Don Justo Don Justo is neither a qualified architect or bricklayer – he is a farmer

“My mother was very pious. She taught me my faith and I love the Church. So I put everything into this.”

But as a printed statement on the wall declares, Justo Gallego is “not an architect or a bricklayer” and has “no training related to construction”.

Even his basic education was interrupted by the Civil War (1936-39).

“You don’t need to study. You just need strength. It all comes from above,” he reasons.

So is Justo’s giant construction a remarkable act of faith or pure folly?

His church has no planning permission or formal architectural plans. All the details, Justo says, are “in my head”.

Partly modelled on St Peter’s in the Vatican, Justo claims his construction also borrows from the White House, various castles and other Madrid churches. It’s an eclectic mix.

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  1. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

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