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Image: A skater practices in a skate park inside the Santa Barbara church

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Skaters Transform Closed Church into Shredding Sanctuary

A collective of skaters is building and maintaining a skate park inside an abandoned church in the northern Spainish village of Llanera.

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Image: A skater practices in a skate park inside the Santa Barbara church

A skater practices in a skate park inside the Santa Barbara church on Jan. 23, 2016 in Oviedo, Spain.

A collective of skaters named The Church Brigade is building and maintaining a skate park inside an abandoned church in the northern Spain village of Llanera. The church built in 1912, was once a chapel for workers and close inhabitants of a munitions factory.

The factory shut down its doors by the end of the Spanish Civil war, being a front line during the early stages of the conflict. Ernesto Fernandez, founder of the collective, came across it in 2007 planning to build an open business center for factories around the church.

The economic crisis forced him to change the plan and he decided to share the space with friends to practice his passion of skateboarding. Donations of skaters and visitors, and some private investment is helping the collective to build and expand ramps and facilities.  

David Ramos / Getty Images
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Image: SPAIN-SKATING-CHURCH

Picture shows mural paintings on the arched ceiling of the skate park on Dec. 26, 2015.

CESAR MANSO / AFP - Getty Images
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Image: People stand outside the Santa Barbara church

People stand outside the Santa Barbara church on Jan. 23, 2016 in Oviedo, Spain.

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Image: Skaters have lunch outside the Santa Barbara church

Skaters have lunch outside the Santa Barbara church on Jan. 23, 2016 in Oviedo, Spain.

David Ramos / Getty Images
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Image: Members of the collective The Church Brigade work on a ramp

Members of the collective The Church Brigade work on a ramp for the skate park on Jan. 23, 2016 in Oviedo, Spain.

David Ramos / Getty Images
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Image: SPAIN-SKATING-CHURCH

Skateboarders practice at the Kaos Temple skate park in the northern Spanish village of Llanera in the Asturias region on Dec. 26, 2015.

CESAR MANSO / AFP - Getty Images
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