Madrid Artist Transforms Abandoned Church Into Skaters’ Haven


A church had been sitting abandoned in a Spanish town for decades when Madrid artist Okida San Miguel took matters into his own hands and transformed it into what could only have been a skater’s dream. 

With the canvas many have used before him – an abandoned church – what has Miguel done that separates him from many of his times? 

In the Spanish town of Llanera stood what stands in thousands of cities around the world. A church that was built in 1912 was left abandoned after the Spanish civil war. This religious place was used by the munition factory workers for spiritual purposes. 

Madrid Artist Transforms Abandoned Church Into Skaters' Haven

A local collective of skaters led the drive to repurpose the church; to make a new piece of architecture with infinite possibilities. On November 25, 2015, Okida San Miguel started his work on the church. It took him merely one week to completely transform the place of worship into a never-seen-before skating park. The exterior of the church might not be much different from every other in the country. But the seats are transformed into ramps. 

Miguel’s work covers the entirety of walls and ceiling of the church, colours surge into white as you roll with your skates. 

 The ceilings are vibrant, vivid murals adorning them. 

Celebrated Spanish skateboarder Danny Leon was the first person to try out the reinvented rink now called the La Iglesia Skate. 

“It’s like my personal Sistine Chapel”, Miguel says. He is a famed Spanish street artist. When he had come to know of the collective and its initiative to repurpose and renovate the abandoned church, he had decided it would be him who would decorate the walls and ceilings with his signature geometric paintings. 

The space is being used for skating. Other than that, the now-brilliant church-park also hosts cultural events and gatherings. 

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