If you’re searching for a church that looks like a chicken, you’re looking for the Gereja Ayam.
The Gereja Ayam, which translates as “chicken church” is a place of worship in the area of Magelang in Central Java, Indonesia.
This church has an interesting history, as I can explain!
What Is The Church That Looks Like a Chicken?
The church that looks like a chicken is a place of worship that was built – or at least started by – someone called Daniel Alamsjah.
The story, as told by Daniel’s son in an interview with ABC is that Daniel kept having dreams that he had been asked to build a house of worship up on a hill.
It was to be a house of worship the likes of which had not been seen before – and this is certainly true – but he didn’t know where to start.
That was until Daniel met someone in a Buddist temple in Magelang, and this person took Daniel to a small village.
In this village, Daniel says he saw the same hill that he had been seeing in his dreams and this validated that he had to carry out what he’d been dreaming of.
In 1992, a couple of years after Daniel had seen the hill, he started construction of the church based on instructions he had seen in his dream.
According to his son, William Wenas, Daniel didn’t have enough funds to complete the project, but he hired some people and started anyway.
Daniel and his family lived around 400 kilometers away at the time, so Daniel would visit every weekend and would eventually move nearer the building.
Where Is the Church that Looks Like a Chicken Located?
The Church That Looks Like a Chicken is located in the area of Magelang in Central Java, Indonesia.
This is the area where Daniel said he saw the same hill he had seen in his dreams, and it inspired him to build the structure there.
It’s a beautiful location, surrounded by luscious green forests and there are mountainous regions in the background.
It certainly has a remote, spiritual feel to the location and the structure is large enough to be seen from miles around.
Here is a video with some cool ariel views of the chicken building, as well as a peek inside before it was renovated and finished as it is today:
Who Built the Chicken Church in Indonesia?
This church was built by a man named Daniel Alamsjah, who despite the unusual design and the complicity of the task, is not an architect or a builder.
Daniel first had the dream to build the building in the 1980s, although it wasn’t until 1992 that construction started.
Funds ran out and construction stopped in 2000, only to be picked up again later on for the inside to be finished.
The outside of the structure still looks a bit rough and unfinished, but this only adds to the charm and mystique of the building!
Why Does the Spiritual Building Look Like a Chicken?
The interesting thing about the building is that it wasn’t supposed to be – a look like – a chicken!
Daniel’s son said that the plan was to build a house of worship in the shape of a dove, representing peace.
But because he didn’t use experienced designers or architects, and was working from plans he had in his dreams, it didn’t end up looking exactly how he’d hoped.
No matter how you look at the structure, it definitely looks more like a chicken than a dove!
What Is the House of Worship Used for Now?
The inside of the building is stunning. It has seven stories, and each has been decorated with a different theme.
Each theme is a different spiritual journey and represents different religions.
In fact, there are 15 different prayer rooms, giving people from most faiths somewhere they can pray and practice their religion – which is unique under the same roof.
This is why Daniel and his son say the word ‘church’ is not the correct word for this building – it’s a place of worship.
Calling it a church makes it sound like it’s a place for just Christians. This couldn’t be further from the truth, anyone from any religion is welcome!
That’s what is truly spectacular about this unique-looking building, along with the fact that it looks like a chicken, of course.
Over the years, the building has opened its doors to various projects that help the local community.
Such as being a rehabilitation center for drug addicts, running projects for kids with disabilities, helping the mentally ill, and so forth.
Today, the Gereja Ayam is a popular tourist attraction. Whether you want to simply explore and enjoy this historic building, or visit for spiritual reasons, it’s certainly worth the trip!
Other Churches and Buildings that Look Like Chickens
The Gereja Ayam isn’t the only building that has been built (even if it’s by accident) to look like a chicken.
There is a church in Tampa Bay, Florida that also looks like a chicken, or more so an angry bird.
The Church By The Sea in Tampa Bay, Florida, looks like a chicken purely by coincidence.
It has two round windows, which resemble eyes, and a small triangle bit of roofing that looks a lot like a beak!
Image credits – See top of page below header image.