EcoAlert: Spain’s Stunning Cathedral of Trash


Justo Gallego Martínez (also known as Don Justo) has built this beautiful cathedral of trash in Madrid over the past 50-odd years. Don Justo, a former monk, has been building the cathedral (modelled on St. Peter's in Italy) in the Spanish village of Mejorada del Campo (near Madrid) since 1961.The cathederal is 131-feet high, and needs to add a roof and a few windows to complete the edifice. Most of his building matter came from salvaged materials and recycled junk -the columns for example have been built with old oil drums. He uses both everyday objects and excess construction materials donated by construction companies and a nearby brick factory.

Don Justo was a farmer and bullfighter. As a young man, he joined a Trappist monastery but had to leave in 1961, after eight years, when he contracted tuberculosis and his health deteriorated. He began building the cathedral on a plot of land he had inherited from his parents in honor of the Lady of the Pillar, to whom he had prayed.



The Daily Galaxy via


"The Galaxy" in Your Inbox, Free, Daily