Image: Giacomo Bianchi
It has been said that, to worship, one doesn't have to be inside a church. Indeed, depending on the individuals and their worldviews, spirituality and even traditional prayer can be practiced anywhere they feel comfortable. What setting is more glorious than nature? Italian artist Giuliano Mauri’s Cattedrale Vegetale (translated as Tree Cathedral) is a wonderful example of natural resplendence. An outdoor setting so sublime it could be described as heavenly, the framework is at the foot of Mount Arera in the northern Italian region of Lombardy.
Mauri's structural framework, as pictured here, will eventually decompose and be secured by hornbeam trees planted in the center of the frames. If you visit the link in the previous sentence, you can see mature European hornbeam trees, which have full, wide canopies. Once matured in Mauri's structure, the trees will grow together to form the vaulted ceiling as seen in gothic cathedrals. Mauri died in 2009, a year before the framework was complete. Part of his legacy is this remarkable structure, sure to provide happiness and spiritual connections to many for years to come.