In 1963, a former monk with no formal design or construction training began building an outstandingly gorgeous Cathedral in Mejorada del Campo, Madrid. Today, the structure is 131 feet tall, and 89-year-old Justo Gallego Martinez still spends every day working on it.
Despite a lack of resources and money, Martinez refused to give up on his dream of building the church to honor the Virgin Mary. Instead, he uses trash and recycled materials for construction, in addition to new ones.
Many people think that he”s crazy for executing such an elaborate project, one that he probably won”t see finished in his lifetime. Martinez doesn”t let others influence his actions, though. In fact, he believes it”s other people who are crazy, and don”t live up to their full potential.
“I think people waste their time. Man can do many things. Everybody can do amazing things. But, of course, you must have an ideal.”
His work is documented in a short film by director James Rogan, titled El Loco De La Catedral, which translates in English to The Mad Man and The Cathedral. Watch the 20-minute documentary below, and check out what the amazing, still in progress structure looks like.
Watch El Loco De La Catedral in its entirety.
(via Future Shorts)
Martinez never obtained the proper permits to build his Cathedral, but no one from the government has bothered him so far.
Pablo Queralto, an architect, commented on the legality of the building. “The bricks don”t meet minimum standards, either in themselves or the way they”ve been laid.” He knows Martinez wouldn”t be able to get the proper documents from the city. But it”s still impressive to admire.
The Cathedral attracts many curious tourists, due to its Internet fame.
Martinez searches construction sites for waste he can use for his cathedral every single day.
1. The church”s pillars are made of old oil drums.
This massive dome is made from recycled plastic food tubs.
At 89 years old, it”s likely Martinez won”t live to see his project completed, but this doesn”t stop him from working.
Martinez says if he could start his life over, he”d build the Cathedral all over again. “I”d build this church again, only bigger. Twice the size, because for me, this is an act of faith.”
His dedication is nothing short of amazing.
(via Visual News, Oddity Central, Daily Mail)
The man”s dedication is awe-inspiring. It”s amazing to consider what so many people could do if they really applied themselves. If you”re heading to Madrid anytime soon, be sure to check this out.