No, it’s not the fabled lost slipper of a giantess Cinderella—this enormous glass high-heeled shoe is actually an unusual “church” in Taiwan. Local Taiwanese tourism authorities of the Southwest Coast National Scenic Area commissioned the glittering shoe-shaped structure in a bid to attract more female visitors to Chiayi County in southern Taiwan. The 16-meter-tall (55-feet-tall) blue building comprises over 320 tinted glass panels and cost approximately $23 million NTD ($686,000 U.S.) to complete.
Located at Ocean View Park in the Budai Township, the “Cinderella High-Heel Church” is actually not a church at all. Despite its name, the glass slipper structure has no religious function. According to officials, the design was inspired by the tragic local story of a 24-year-old girl who suffered from Blackfoot disease and had to have both her legs amputated in the 1960s. She never wed and spent the rest of her life living at a church. Many other women who lived in coastal areas in the 1950s and 60s were also afflicted with the gangrene-type disease.
Though it is said that the building will not hold ceremonies, it will be used as a backdrop for wedding and pre-wedding photo shoots. Southwest Coast National Scenic Area Administration spokesman Cheng Jung-feng said the tourist attraction will also include over 100 female-oriented features, such as “maple leaves, chairs for lovers, biscuits, and cakes.” The building took two months to construct and is set to open its doors to the public by February 8, just in time for Chinese New Year.