This 91-Year-Old Man Spent 56 Years Building A Cathedral From Scratch

A self-taught architect spent 56 years constructing a cathedral for worship. Take a peek - you'll be inspired!

Most people can’t commit themselves to finishing a small project, let alone the construction process of an entire cathedral. Yet, this is exactly what 91-year-old Justo Gallego Martínez, aka Don Justo, accomplished.

MyModernMet reports that Don Justo is a former Trappist monk who has spent the last 56 years of his time building a cathedral completely from scratch. Located in Mejorada del Campo, Spain, the extraordinary wonder is something to marvel at.

Don Justo was inspired to begin building the cathedral after developing tuberculosis in 1961. The illness forced him to leave the monastery, where he had lived for the past eight years. After departing, he began constructing a cathedral on land he had inherited from his parents.

Some may say the work is what helped him beat tuberculosis, as he made a vow to keep on living by completing the beautiful shrine. Throughout the construction process, Don Justo prayed to Our Lady of the Pilar. Hence, the reason the cathedral is named Nuestra Señora del Pilar.

Even though Don Justo has no formal training in architecture, he was able to build the beautiful shrine by himself. He began by leveling the ground then mapping it out on site. Rather than draw up blueprints, the structure’s layout was dictated by “opportunity and inspiration.” He used plenty of recycled materials and tools to create the stunning shrine. Gas drums, for instance, were used to create building columns.

All in all, the cathedral spreads over 24,000 square feet. Don Justo may be a nonagenarian, but that hasn’t stopped him from actively working on Nuestra Señora del Pilar. The work of art is presently open to the public.

Following are incredible images of the cathedral Don Justo built by himself:

Credit: Abraxas 139

Credit: Frank O. Sotomayor

Credit: Frank O. Sotomayor

Credit: Frank O. Sotomayor

Credit: Frank O. Sotomayor

Credit: Frank O. Sotomayor

Credit: Frank O. Sotomayor

Credit: Frank O. Sotomayor

Credit: Frank O. Sotomayor

Learn more about Don Justo’s inspiring story below:

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