If you’re walking through the thick forests of Magelang, Indonesia, try not to be too alarmed if you stumble upon a titanic building shaped like a chicken. Known as the Gereja Ayam (Chicken Church), it got its name because its shape resembles a hen to most onlookers, although the builder intended it to be the shape of a dove.

The man who created this strange structure is Daniel Alamsjah, a Christian. He shared that in 1988, after his nightly prayers, he received a vision of a dove with snow-white wings, resting at the top of a hill. A voice also spoke up asking him to build a church for all. That was the beginning of the chicken church today.

The building was built in the 1990s with the goal of welcoming any religions that wanted to make the trek, including Buddhists, Muslims, and Christians, holding services on the upper floors. In contrast, the lower floors provided rehab and juvenile outreach, among other charitable services.

Due to financial difficulties and local resistance, the construction was never finished. The construction was halted in 2000 and the building has since largely been left to deteriorate. Occasionally there will be a few people stopping by to take pictures or out of curiosity, but the number of people usually does not exceed 100 people/per month.

However after it was used as a filming location for the sequel of the Indonesian cult classic film, Ada Apa Dengan Cinta (What’s the Deal With Love), the building was cleaned up and turned into a tourist attraction. People flock here to visit, and the ticket money that Daniel Alamsjah collects helps him repair and complete the church’s construction.

Local artists have covered the inner walls with vibrant murals showing local mythology and history and there’s a small cafe nestled within the chicken’s rear that sells traditional, tasty treats. You can even climb up to the top of the bird’s head for amazing 360-degree views. 

According to Wikipedia, atlasobscura.com