Holy Tree-nity

Mysterious Earth | | September 5, 2010 at 10:20 pm


It is expected that in the land of ‘La dolce vita’, everything is treated as if it were a means to a better, sweeter and fuller existence. The tiramisu tastes sweeter, the wine leaves a wonderful aftertaste and the memories linger long after the sights are long gone from your direct or peripheral vision. If the world is theatre, Italy is the pantomime, always grandiose and magnificent in its celebration of life and art. It is in other countries that people talk about reel life imitating real life, but it is only in Italy that you will find the architectural imitating the natural. It is the only way to describe the tree cathedral near the bustling city of Bergamo.

The Italians have given us Raphael, Donatello, Leonardo da Vinci and Michaelangelo (and no, we are not, in fact, referencing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) amongst other world class artists and one more to be added to that illustrious lineup is Giuliano Mauri. The Italian is well known for trying to sculpt what he calls “natural architecture” and he does this by blending what he finds organically in nature with architectural elements that are more classical and well used. By doing so, Mauri creates giant works of architecture that keeps in mind the environment (and that quite literally) and creates an edifice that is quite something else. Mauri has always had a love for mother nature and he has taken this to another level altogether in a way that has left locals stunned and delighted and his tree cathedral has drawn in people from Italy and beyond to take in what is a cathedral that is wholly unique.

Giuliano Mauri

The entire cathedral is built in such a way that the branches of the tree and the tree itself have arced to form the walls and roof of the holy edifice. Unfortunately, this project of love for Giuliano Mauri was completed only after his death in 2009 and has been completed quite fittingly in the International year of biodiversity. This tree cathedral will be the ultimate homage to his memory and craft and it is a marvel to behold. Consisting of 42 columns built with fir trunks and branches of hazelnuts and chestnuts twirling together as a support for the beeches, with time the beeches will grow stronger and become the pillars while the fir and hazelnut supporting structure will wither away, offering a seamless transition.

Located at the base of Mount Arera, the cathedral has 6000 metres worth of hazel branches held together with wood, nails and string until the beech grows strong enough to support itself. Ranging in height from a lowest of 16 feet to 70 feet at its highest, the cathedral is a sight to behold as it stands on approximately 650 square meters and measures 90 feet by 80 feet (length to width). It is safe to say that the natives of Bergamo can visit the single most unique cathedral in the world at will, and they all have to thank just one person for that; Giuliano Mauri has built the ultimate tribute to nature and the divine with this cathedral.

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1 Comment

  1. Edward says:

    I just love the photo you’ve posted of the Cathedral in the heart of the plant Orobie!

    With its open and passable in each direction is intended, over time, become a natural backdrop for events related to other areas of creativity, a resting place for training sessions and educational as well as point of departure and arrival paths between Orobie .

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