Monday, 17 Jan, 2011 Offbeat

One Man Built a Beautiful Cathedral in the City of Madrid


A very beautiful cathedral has been rising in one of Madrid's neighborhoods for about half a century. Its author is Justo Martinez, who is also called Don Justo. The most impressive fact is that Don Justo has been making almost everything single-handedly.

He started the construction after he left an order of monks because of illness. As soon as he recovered, Martinez dedicated his life to the construction of a church using the money he had.

In addition, the building stands on his personal land and is built from local materials that he was able to salvage. For example, most bricks were brought from nearby brick factories. The roof is decorated with lots of salvaged bricks and tiles.

Today the cathedral is 131 feet high and totals 8,000 square meters and just several final touches are needed for the work to be finished. Martinez also used donated materials and also received some help from an assistant and his nephew.

There were neither formal drawings or engineering plans nor permits. Despite this fact the City of Madrid has tolerated the construction.

Currently Don Justo is working with an architect on a formal application for a permit. If the permit is given, he will be able to use the building as a house of worship, reports BBC.

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