When skateboarder Fernández Rey came across the decaying ruins of the former Church of Santa Barbara in Asturias, Spain, he imagined it as a slightly different place of worship.
The church first opened its doors to the small factory community of Llanera, Asturias in 1912, but fell into disuse shortly after the Spanish Civil War. After decades of abandonment, the romanesque revival was falling to pieces. Rotting wood and peeling paint rendered the space unusable.
Meanwhile, the community of skateboarders in Llanera, where it rains 200 days out of the year, were without a decent indoor skate park. With enthusiastic crowdfunding and later corporate support, Rey’s organization,”Church Brigade,” built a series of ramps inside the decimated building. It was renamed Kaos temple, and nicknamed “Church of Skate.”
Thanks to artist Okuda San Miguel, visitors today can skate amidst stars and vibrant kaleidoscopic faces. If you squint, they look a little like stained glass, a reminder of the building’s former life.
Know Before You Go
Kaos Temple is not open to the public, but visits for skaters and admirers alike can be arranged through the Church Brigade or La Iglesia Skate websites.