Pillars of Faith: The Man Who Spent 50 Years Building a Cathedral

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Pillars of Faith: The Man Who Spent 50 Years Building a Cathedral

It may sound utopic for a man to set out to make a cathedral with his own hands in the 21st century. But this is the story of Justo Gallego Martínez, the illustrious neighbour of Mejorada del Campo (Madrid) who, thanks to his incredible imagination and the force of his faith, has been building an impressive Cathedral by himself for more than fifty years.

After working as a farmer and bullfighter, he spent eight years at a Trappist monastery where he was forced to leave after he fell ill with tuberculosis. He was left with was the strong conviction that God wanted him to build a temple.

It all started in 1963 when he laid the cathedral’s foundation stone. By that time, Spain was under Franco’s dictatorship, which allowed him to build a Church without any planning permission. Don Justo had no prior knowledge of architecture and no experience in the construction industry. But he turned his back on the fields and with no blueprints started collecting junk and discarded building materials in order to build his Cathedral. []