There are plenty of pretty chapels in the woods (Thorncrown Chapel comes to mind), but the prettiest churches of all are made of trees! This gorgeous art installation is the work of famed artist/”natural architect” Giuliano Mauri, who built the so-called “Cattedrale Vegetale” (or “tree cathedral”) between 2001 and his death in 2009. It’s sort of a tribute to him and his work, in the foothills of the Italian mountains just North of Bergamo.

The cathedral is built of 42 columns (of varying height) built into 5 aisles. It’s impressive how much work went into each individual column: every one is made up of 1,800 fir rods, 600 chestnut branches, and almost 20,000 feet of hazelnut branches, plus assorted flowers and trees, all put together with nails and string. The coolest part is that eventually, the wood supports will rot away, but the plants within will continue to grow. Definitely more symbolic than your average chapel!
Original Post by Anna Hider: