Mourning Francisco González Gragera, creator of Capricho de Cotrina

Close

Justo Gallego Martinez's Cathedral

ShareAdd page to my spaces
About the Artist/Site

Just east of Madrid, on farmland inherited from his family, Justo Gallego Martínez has created a 24,000 square foot cathedral that may be Spain’s best known visionary environment. As a youth, Gallego entered a monastery, but when he contracted tuberculosis before taking his vows, he was expelled. With his belief in the church bureaucracy broken but his religious faith intact, he returned to the family farm and began building his own house of worship. Using recycled materials and seconds donated by local building contractors, he has constructed his cathedral almost single-handedly, fashioning a cloister, crypt, and portico; myriad spiral staircases; and huge domes that rise over ten stories. Gallego’s building plans exist only in his head, and he has no background in architecture, art, engineering, or construction. He has built his cathedral without written plans or construction permits, and so cannot obtain the licenses necessary to have the building serve for the religious use for which it is intended. As Gallego continues to work, the public is generally allowed access to the ground floor and interior courtyard, but not to the upper levels. It is unclear what the status will be upon his demise.

~Jo Farb Hernández

 

SPACES Archives Holdings

The SPACES archive contains digital photographs, 2008, clippings, and Laia Rosa-Armengol’s essay published in the 2006 book Escultecturas Margivagantes.

Map and site information

Not Exact Address
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Latitude/Longitude: 40.416886 / -3.700301

Discussion

We welcome visitors' comments about this site. If you have additional information you feel should be included, or have questions or comments, please share your thoughts with us here.

Leave Your Comment

The SPACES website allows you to save your favorite art environments and share them with your friends or colleagues. Create your own portfolio of your favorites from environments in the online collection.

Send them to your friends, post them on Facebook or to your Twitter account!

Look for this button on pages that can be saved:

Add Page to my spaces