Hidden deep inside the Indonesian jungle lies an enchanted ‘church’ which looks like a giant chicken. The long-abandoned structure known locally as Gereja Ayam – or Chicken Church – attracts hundreds of curious travelers and photographers to the hills of Magelang, Central Java, every year.
But according to the its eccentric creator, the majestic building is neither a chicken nor a church. Daniel Alamsjah was working in Jakarta – 342 miles away – when he suddenly got a divine message from God to build a ‘prayer house’ in the form of a dove.
‘Perhaps because of my Christian faith, people thought I was building a church. But it’s not a church. I was building a prayer house… a place for people who believe in God,’ the 67-year-old told Jakarta Globe.
In 1989, he was walking through the Magelang, where his wife’s family live, when he caught sight of the exact same landscape he had seen in his dreams.
‘I prayed all night there and I got a revelation that I must build the prayer house in that spot,’ he said.
One year later, local land owners offered him the 3,000 square metres of land on Rhema Hill for just two million rupees – or £110 – which he paid off over four years. Now people of many different religions – including Buddhists, Muslims and Christians – travel to the remote ‘prayer house’ to worship in their own way.