Under the vaults of the Tree Cathedral created by Giuliano Mauri, the master of “natural architecture” who passed away in 2009, carried by the wind that constantly blows through this incredible organic building, the verses of Charles Baudelaire resound:
Nature is a temple in which living pillars
sometimes give voice to confused words;
man passes there through forests of symbols
which look at him with understanding eyes
Inaugurated posthumously in 2010, the Tree Cathedral in Oltre il Colle – located near Bergamo, at the foot of Monte Arera, 1,345 meters high – is a wooden architecture about 30 meters long, 24 wide and 15 tall, with 5 naves and 42 columns. All of this was built with 1,800 fir poles, 600 chestnut branches, 6,000 meters of hazelnut branches, joined together in a flexible web of wood, nails, cords, and stakes. Inside each one of the “columns”, 42 young beech trees are slowly growing, and will someday take over and become – as the supporting structure gradually deteriorates – the real Tree Cathedral.
Amongst the “living pillars” that Baudelaire imagined, the words of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux seem to echo: “Believe one who knows: You will find something greater in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.”