Deep in the Indonesian jungle, a giant chicken roosts atop a hill. But this huge bird doesn’t peck at the ground or lay eggs. The enormous chicken-shaped building was hatched by a Jakarta man who claims God sent him a message in a dream, telling him to build a prayer house shaped like a bird. Daniel Alamsjan did what any devout Christian would do and set out to build a giant church-like building that resembles a chicken.

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The building’s name Gereja Ayam translates to “chicken church” and the structure sure does look chickenish, but Alamsjan has said it is neither a chicken nor a church—at least, not exactly. Now 67, Alamsjan built the structure in 1990, following a vision he had while working in Jakarta, some 340 miles away. He said he received a divine message from God, who told him to build a prayer house in the form of a dove. So, that’s what he did.

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The eccentric creator of this avian ashram stumbled upon Rhema Hill while visiting the area his wife’s family lived in at the time. He recognized the hilly site from his dream-vision and, a year later, purchased 3,000 square meters (about 0.75 acres) of heavily wooded land on which to build his unique house of prayer. He didn’t have to build it alone, though. An estimated 30 volunteers from nearby villages helped, and now they benefit from the increased tourist traffic that the structure attracts.

It seems as though construction of the prayer house was never totally completed, and the building was abandoned in 2000. According to its creator, it was used for a time as a therapy center, where “disabled children, drug addicts, crazy people, and disturbed youth who wanted to fight” could be rehabilitated.

The prayer house is enormous, holding a sprawling main hall on the ground floor and a basement with at least 15 rooms that appear to have been used as bedrooms, according to visitors to the abandoned site. Although the structure is crumbling and may not be safe to enter, it’s reported that religious folk from around the world still trek to this spot to see the mysterious giant chicken in the woods and, of course, to pray.

Via Daily Mail