Perched atop a hill in Indonesia sits a structure, shaped like a chicken. And to our surprise, it’s proof of just how much power the internet has in making someone’s dreams come true!

On this edition of Saturdays Around the World, we’re taking a trip to Magelang, Indonesia to hear the full story of this fascinating structure and see how the power of the internet made one man’s dream a reality!

Somewhere Built for Everyone

In 1988, Daniel Alamsjah had a dream. But this wasn’t just any dream; in fact, it was very specific.

In his mind’s eye, Daniel saw a dove-shaped prayer house on a hill that welcomed people of all faiths through its doors. And it wouldn’t leave his mind. Eventually, he came across a hill that reminded him exactly of what he had seen. So, he got to work. With a ragtag team of 30 and no construction experience under his belt, Daniel began bringing his dream to life in the 1990s. But after a long slog of construction depleted his funds throughout the decade, he was forced to abandon this dream in 2000 and leave it for ruin in the forest.

Then, 15 years later, everything changed when the internet got ahold of his story.

Something miraculous happened! Through the magic internet fame, Daniel’s dream found people from more walks of life than he probably ever imagined. And it was their interest and visits that made it possible for him to restore the building popularly referred to as the Chicken Church (or officially as Gereja Ayam), and transform it into the welcoming structure it is today—complete with an art gallery and cafe.

Atlas Obscura, our favorite place to learn about the weird and wonderful parts of our world, tells us the whole fascinating story in this video!

Have you checked out Atlas Obscura yet? If you really want to make your travel experience something remarkable, I highly suggest you browse their website! They highlight the world’s hidden wonders and help us explore new corners of the world. You can see more video content from them over on YouTube and give them a follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

If you’d like to learn more about Gereja Ayam, check out this full article from Atlas Obscura!

The beauty of the online world we’re a part of…

Sometimes the internet gets (and deserves) a pretty bad rap, but there’s still so much that it makes possible!

Without our connected online world, this structure wouldn’t exist. In fact, this welcoming place for everyone would still be sitting there, crumbling and disappearing into the forest. But it was because its story was shared that people began to seek it out. Visitors not only made the reconstruction of the chicken possible but have also had a hand in boosting the local economy through their travels. The ripple effect from making Daniel’s dream a reality just keeps on going!

And we’ve seen the impact of content sharing before!

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We’ve seen a six-year-old boy share his love of life and bring hundreds of thousands of smiles.

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We’ve also seen the power of “sharing” make possible the recent launch of the first spacecraft powered by the sun.

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Because of our online connection, so much more is made possible. But of course, with great power, comes great responsibility. So how can we use this power to make life better for others?

To start, may we suggest sharing a few articles from EWC? Imagine what can happen when more people know about the progress happening around the world! Peruse our entire Saturdays Around the World category for a fascinating way to get started on this journey. Or give our Surprise Me button in the sidebar of this article a click to have a great story delivered right to you!

Stay open to new possibilities!

  • Sam

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” — Albert Einstein 

Travel the world with us!

This article is a part of our Saturdays Around the World series. Every other Saturday, we explore somewhere new all around this amazing globe. Check out where we’ve traveled before by clicking the button below!

Explore with EWC!

Notes:

  1. Atlas Obscura. “Step Inside Indonesia’s Chicken Church | Atlas Obscura.” YouTube. Atlas Obscura, 13 Nov. 2018. Web. 17 Sept. 2019. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKR5epJoeR0&feature=youtu.be>.

Sam Burns

Chief Administrative Officer, Head Staff Writer

Sam is a listener, creator, collector of knick-knacks and lover of most, if not all, types of cheese.