Giant church in shape of shoe to open in Taiwan

TAIWAN (REUTERS) - Budai, a township in south-west Taiwan, is building a church in the form of a giant high-heeled shoe, made of more than a thousand metal rods and hundreds of blue glass tiles, in an effort to attract more tourists to the area.

Still under construction, the structure is some 17m tall at the highest point, the heel.

Section manager Talia Pan said she wanted to turn a sad part of history into something positive, giving lovers the opportunity to experience romance.

"Because of a drinking water shortage in the 1960s, residents had to drill deep wells to get drinking water. There was arsenic in the water, then cases of Blackfoot disease, which if severe, the only option to save a life is to amputate both legs. A lot of women lost the opportunity to walk into marriage, and walk into a new chapter of life on high-heeled shoes. Because of that history, we hope to create a place here, where people can get married, invoking the fairy tale of Cinderella," she said.

The shoe-shaped church is expected to open in February.

Officials are already planning more attractions, including a giant jeweled engagement ring and a waiting hall in the shape of oysters.