La Cattedrale Vegetale

La Cattedrale Vegetale

Although we live in a neighboring province with its own beautiful forests and mountains, the Bergamasc Alps is beginning to feel like a home away from home with each successive visit. Individual communities stage a number of local events so it was a special morning in Plassa (fraction of Oltre il Colle) this past Saturday when we were present for the inauguration of the Cattedrale Vegetale, a “green” cathedral that was created as an expression of land art.

Begun in 2008 by italian artist Giuliano Mauri, the cathedral encompasses a total of 5 naves and 42 columns. Constructed with fir timber and branches of chestnut and hazelnut, each column contains a young beech tree that will eventually take the place of its natural “cage” when time and the elements have eroded the structure away. To my surprise I discovered that this is not the only living cathedral that Mauri has done. In the hamlet of Valsugana, Trento, his craftsmanship is already displaying leafy growth (last photo at the bottom).

Column close-up Young beech (faggio) Looking through the central nave toward the front

Event organizers had a wealth of info on footpaths within the surrounding area so I see this as just the beginning for a push toward ecotourism. This (maniola jurtina – Meadow Brown) played a small but important role in a ‘Today I fly’ butterfly release. It’s one of the species found in the Sentiero delle Farfalle or Trail of the Butterflies.

Link: La Cattedrale Vegetale – Parco delle Orobie (italian)

Oggi ho fatto volare!

View of the cathedral from Zambla Alta

Arte Sella - Cattedrale Vegetale
Photo credit: Obliot, Arte Sella – Cattedrale Vegetale / CC-BY 2.0


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