Justo Gallego Martinez, a former monk has been building his own cathedral since 1961 in Mejorada del Campo, Spain. He has no background in architecture. But his project stands about 131 feet tall.
After working as a farmer, a very religious Martinez join the Trappist monks. But he was forced to stop after eight years because of tuberculosis. Through this illness, he promised to build a chapel to Virgin Mary to whom he prayed, if he survived the disease.
True to his words, Don Justo (as called by many) started to the project when he got back his health. Despite all the skepticism, he continues to work on it more than fifty years. He uses recycled materials donated by local building companies.
No permission has ever been granted for Don Justo’s Cathedral and the man didn’t draw any plans for the building. However, it has become a tourist attraction and authorities turn a blind eye to the project. “If I lived my life again, I’d build this cathedral again, only bigger,” Don Justo told the BBC.