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Gereja Ayam or Chicken Church in Java 2024-2025

An abandoned church shaped like a giant chicken in the middle of the jungle

Best time: all year round

Gereja Ayam or Chicken Church
Gereja Ayam or Chicken Church

The lush forests of Magelang Regency in Indonesia cover a large decaying building of the most unbelievable shape. Gereja Ayam is known as the Chicken Church.

This structure appeared when 67-year-old Daniel Alamsjah had a holy vision that urged him to create a church in the shape of a dove. A forest near Magelang became home to this church topped with giant squawking head, resembling more of a chicken than a dove.

In the 1990s, the church was opened and welcomed Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, and other religions. However, the costs to finish construction were too high and the church was abandoned. It has since received a second life as a tourist attraction and if you climb to the top of the head, you will take in a stunning view.

The church is open every day all year round and you can easily plan a visit along with a Borobodur tour. The recommended time to come is during the rainy season from October to April, as then the jungles look particularly green and lush. However, you'll have to bring umbrellas and windbreakers and the trails might get slippery. At the same time, the dry summer season between May and September is also good to plan a visit, as it's famous for the best sunrise and sunset views. However, the area will look dry and brown.

After appearance in a few major media like the Huffington Post and the Daily Mail in 2015, the Chicken Church has been featured in a few films like the Into the Inferno documentary (2016).

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Gereja Ayam or Chicken Church?

If you're planning to visit Gereja Ayam or Chicken Church, it's ideal to go during the rainy season, which occurs between October and April. This is because the forests are lush and green during this time. If you decide to go during the dry season, which falls between May and September, you can expect to see beautiful views of the sunrise and sunset. However, the area might look dry and brown. Show more

Where is Gereja Ayam or Chicken Church located?

Gereja Ayam or Chicken Church is situated in Indonesia's Magelang Regency, surrounded by dense forests. Despite being located in a remote area, it is easily accessible by public transportation or cars from Yogyakarta or Semarang. Show more

What is the inspiration behind the design of Gereja Ayam or Chicken Church?

Daniel Alamsjah, the creator of Gereja Ayam, envisioned the church with a design inspired by a holy vision. His vision was to create a church in the shape of a dove. Although it was meant to resemble a dove, the church's head resembles a chicken instead. The design is unique and unconventional, contributing to its popularity among tourists. Show more

Is Gereja Ayam or Chicken Church still actively used as a place of worship?

Gereja Ayam is not currently used as a place of worship. While it was open to followers of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and other religions during the 1990s, the church was eventually abandoned due to the high costs of completion. Today, it serves as a tourist destination. Show more

What other tourist attractions are nearby that can be combined with a visit to Gereja Ayam or Chicken Church?

When visiting Gereja Ayam, you can easily combine your trip with a visit to Borobodur Temple, which is one of Indonesia's most visited attractions and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other nearby landmarks that make great day-trip destinations include the Umbul Pengging public pool complex and the Kyai Langgeng Park. The city of Magelang has some great dining and accommodation options as well. Show more

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