The early 2000s Italian artist Giuliano Mauri (1938-2009) created the piece known as the “Vegetable Cathedral,” which some of you may have heard of. As the seasons change, the cathedral transforms into a real live example of Gothic architecture.

It was constructed in accordance with the ancient art of weaving: the 42 columns that make up the structure were reinforced with flexible wood, nails, ropes, and pegs; inside, vegetation and trees developed in place of concrete or bricks, which were to be the cathedral’s building material.

Giacomo Bianchi

The load-bearing buildings were intended to decay with time and give way to the weather, to be replaced by branches and live wood that would grow as the seasons changed.Thanks to the selection of only locally found plant species, the end result, as the pictures demonstrate, is a monument that transforms from year to year, living and integrated into the surrounding landscape.

Pava

Virtual Sacred Space

Michele Salmaso

Sella art

Pierangelo Zavatarelli

Pava

holy card

Luca Florio/Flickr

Regretfully, the Vegetal Cathedral was not designed to last forever, but rather to change with the environment, like any building whose foundation is the natural world.Therefore, it became imperative in December 2019 to move forward with the security and removal of the trees that had grown too much in the interim, endangering the structure and putting visitors at risk.

The Shaded Garden

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