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The incredible story of the Cathedral of Justo in Mejorada del Campo

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Mejorada del Campo is a town located 15 km from Madrid, in the Henares basin, which is the scene of an immense dream. that of Justo Gallego Martínez, a man who, at 90, continues to build with his own hands the cathedral he promised to God and began to build in 1961.

It might seem that his advanced age and his own ailments would rob him of his strength, but the truth is that his dream keeps him alive with each passing day. Since he left the monastery due to illness and began to devise his pharaonic plan, there has not been a day when this man from Mejora has missed his appointment, except Sunday, which is a holy day.

In 2005, he shot to fame following the announcement that Aquarius dedicated him as an example of genius and self-improvement, but fame hasn’t changed this calm, quiet man who continues to do so. day to work on a project that amazes the world. world. Even the Museum of Modern Art in New York has dedicated a photographic exhibition to this original work. This is his story and this is the Cathedral of Justo in Mejorada del Campo.

The origin of Justo Gallego’s dream

just Galician

The story of Justo Gallego is a story of faith and striving to achieve a dream. In 1925 he was born in Mejorada del Campo and, due to his strong religious convictions, he decided to spend his youth in the soria monastery of Santa María de Huerta. Tuberculosis cut his plans short and he had to abandon it for fear of massive contagion.

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Some time later, he manages to overcome the disease but begins to depress because this fatal episode cut short his desire to devote himself to religious life. However, fate had other plans for him. The popular saying is that the ways of the Lord are inscrutable and in the 1960s, Justo Gallego discovered another way to honor God with his life: to build him a cathedral dedicated to the Virgen del Pilar in his hometown.

This is where the amazing part of his story comes from: without having any knowledge of architecture or construction, he began to build his temple on agricultural land he owned, only inspired by the great cathedrals he had. seen in many books on art and religion. .

In order to cover the cost of purchasing materials, he sold his goods until they were exhausted. Later, he continued to use recycled materials and with the help of individuals and companies interested in his project.

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Cathedral of Justo in Mejorada del Campo

improved field cathedral

Currently, the Cathedral of Justo in Mejorada del Campo occupies an area of ​​4,740 square meters with incredible measurements: 50 meters long and 20 meters wide with a height of 35 meters up to the domes. It also has two 60-meter towers and all the characteristic elements of a Catholic cathedral: altar, cloister, crypt, staircase, stained glass windows, etc.

And if that wasn’t enough, This temple is also an example of commitment to the environment since a large part of the materials used in its construction come from recycled products. and offered by construction companies in the region.

Contrary to what many people think, today the Mejorada del Campo cathedral is a private place and not a public one. However, Justo opens the doors so that those interested in his work can see him up close and, if they wish, can contribute with small donations.

What will happen next?

just the dome of the cathedral

For now, the survival of the cathedral of Mejorada del Campo after the death of its creator is a mystery because it does not have the necessary authorizations and neither the city council nor the bishopric of Alcalá de Henares wants to assume the cost of legalizing the cathedral.

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In any case, those who have joined his cause over the years assure that after the death of Justo, they will fight so that his dream remains intact and can be realized.

Justo, for his part, claims that he built his cathedral to glorify God and that he feels happy with what he has already achieved in his life.

Where is the Cathedral of Justo?

In Antonio Gaudí s/n street of Mejorada del Campo (Madrid). From Madrid, you can drive there in about half an hour. Entrance to visit it is free but donations are allowed to complete it. Hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sundays and public holidays closed.

Anyone, believer or atheist, will be able to recognize the effort and tenacity of this humble old man will take pleasure in contemplating this incredible project of enormous dimensions which has been in Mejorada del Campo for more than half a century, defying the passage of time .

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