During my recent trip to Indonesia I visited the Geraja Ayum or chicken Church and it’s not hard to see how it got it’s name!
Trust me the walk up there was a challenge and my usual travel friend was not available due to a broke toe joint, so off I went on my own. Had I known how steep the climb was I might have “Chickened out” , but I am so pleased I didn’t! the reward was another “personal challenge achieved”, pushing only myself and only me to fail or succeed without any pressure from anyone else!
After finishing the 2klm vertical hike, I was greeted by this amazing building, along with it’s four floors all with their own views!
All images taken with my Canon 70D!
During my recent trip to Indonesia I visited the Geraja Ayum or chicken Church and it’s not hard to see how it got it’s name! 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.
One of the several rumours surrounding the mystical building was that it was used as a rehabilitation centre. Alamsjah confirmed this to be true, saying: ‘The rehabilitation that happened at this prayer house was for therapy for disabled children, drug addicts, crazy people and disturbed youth who wanted to fight.’
The prayer house shut its doors in 2000 because the construction costs were too high, but many continue to visit the beautiful site in Indonesia. The head of the nearby Dese Gombong village was one of the 30 locals who helped Alamsjah build the prayer house. Today, Wasno is one of the people who directly benefits from tourists’ curiosity about the famous Chicken Church.