An Enchanted Cathedral Created From Living Trees

Trees are typically cut and scaled to construct houses and buildings. However, in other areas of the world, living trees are used to build cathedrals and abodes for prayer.

An Italian artist, named Giuliano Mauri, had a vision of such architecture that consisted of a building and a natural landscape entwined together. He thought such it would be more elegant to build these materials as one, instead of tearing one down, to reconstruct another.

Image courtesy of Santino

From 2001-2002, Mauri initiated the laying of the foundations for the sentient tree cathedral, in Valsugana Italy. Sadly, before the temple was finished, Mauri passed away in 2009. However, shortly after his passing in 2010, his well-designed creation came to life. One day, the trees will grow up and together, form a vaulted canopy ceiling made entirely of tree branches and leaves.

Known as “Cattedrale Vegetale” (Tree Cathedral), this masterpiece living Cathedral is located at the base of Mount Arera, near the outskirts of Bergamo.

Image courtesy of Virtual Sacred Space

Although the construction of the Cathedral was completed ten years ago, it is apparent there is much development and tree growth required. In these images, you can observe the framework columns outlining the trees; these columns will eventually decay and rot away, leaving beautifully matured hornbeam trees as the only form of walls and ceiling.

Inside the framework, the hornbeam trees can be seen. There is still a lot of growth needed for their canopies to grow together. Once the canopies morph into one, they will form the spectacular vaulted ceiling of a Gothic cathedral.

Image courtesy of Pava

The living Cathedral consists of 42 different columns that form five aisles. The columns integrate 1,800 spruce trunks and 600 chestnut tree branches intertwined together with 6,000+ meters of hazelnut twigs. Local traditional methods of nails, a string for entwining, and weaving. were utilized to secure the columns around the trees.

Once the wooden columns decay and fall, the 80 hornbeam sapling trees will take over as the walls and ceiling, creating a truly organic, all-natural, and very alive cathedral.

Image courtesy of Ettore Galata Rizzardini

The Tree Cathedral occupies an area more than 90 feet long, is nearly 80 feet wide, and varies in height from around 16 feet to 70 feet. The entire area is approximately 650 square meters, and this creation took an abundance of time to assemble, and it still isn’t complete in the sense the trees have to grow and fill it out.

This living Cathedral grants humans a place to pray and practice their welcomed spirituality amongst nature, and not in a square-framed building.

A special thanks is dedicated to Mauri, who was born in 1938 in Lodi Vecchio, Italy. The late artist developed a reputation for his natural architectural creations. Mauri created other natural architectural designs as well, such as the vegetable Bridge at the Castle of Padernello, completed in 2008.

The Tree Cathedral is acknowledged as one of the world’s most impressive forms of “natural architecture.” The incredible site stands as an inspiration to everyone to incorporate nature into more aspects of human life. We must take care of this planet and her life, which she creates. The Earth is home to all living things, and we must share it.

Image courtesy of Riccardo Senia
Image courtesy of Pierangelo Zavatarelli
Image courtesy of Il Giardino Sfumato

Peru is Planting A Million Trees Around Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, which means “Old Mountain” in the Quechua language indigenous to the area, is at the top of a lush mountain and was built during the reign of the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438-1471). It lies around 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the Andean city of Cusco, the old Inca capital in southeastern Peru. It was rediscovered in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham. UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1983.

When Machu Picchu was rediscovered over 100 years ago, it was called the “Lost City” because the jungle had swallowed it, which protected it from being destroyed during the Spanish conquest. When the forestation was removed, the ruins were revealed. According to the site’s official website, some scientists believe Machu Picchu was used as an astronomical observatory, indicated by the Intihuatana stone that indicates two equinoxes a year.

Due to natural composition and extensive usage of the land, the area is at risk of mudslides due to heavy rainfall in winter and forest fires in summer.

In 2017, the government imposed limitations on how many tourists are allowed to visit the site. Now Peru limited visitor numbers to just 6,000 a day in two waves, which will be able to travel up the Sacred Valley to the Old Mountain every day, and some of the more vulnerable areas have been closed to free-venturing individuals.

This decision was made as a precautionary step towards protecting the heritage site from fear that Machu Picchu was being loved to death; around 1.5 million tourists were visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site every year, causing damage to the structures and the surrounding area.

Macchu Pichu in Peru

Along those lines, Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra launched a campaign to reforest the Machu Picchu archeological site to protect it from mudslides and forest fires.

President Martin Vizcarra had pledged to plant one million trees in the 35,000-hectare protected archaeological complex that features the stunning Inca citadel. “We’re here to begin the planting of a million trees in the protected zone around the Machu Picchu sanctuary,” President Martin Vizcarra said.

The Machu Picchu estate, which includes three distinct areas for agriculture, accommodation, and religious ceremonies, is the most iconic site from the Inca Empire that ruled a large swathe of western South America for 100 years before the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.

President Martin Vizcarra said the ambitious target of one million trees is “a commitment from the government, the region, the municipality, and all the citizens who want to protect this world wonder.” Environment ministry specialists evoked the need to plant trees to protect not only the sanctuary but also the protected ecological area’s fauna and flora. The World Heritage site is at risk of mudslides due to heavy rainfall in winter and forest fires in summer.

How To Help Rainforests End Deforestation

Tropical rainforests are disappearing from the face of the planet rapidly. Regardless of growing international concerns, rainforests are being destroyed continuously at a rate exceeding 32,000 hectares every day. The tropical cover is now standing at 2 billion hectares, and this area is about the size of China and the United States together, representing about 13% of the whole planet. However, much of this area is impacted by the activities of humans. Due to which it is not retaining its complete original biodiversity anymore. 

Deforestation is not only painful for humans, but it is also severely impacting our ecosystem through significant services lost and species extinction. However, we can pay attention to our regular activities to stop or reduce this deforestation. There is still time; this situation can be reversed. More people now agree that this problem must be remedied. But the process is not as simple as just banning timber trade or fortifying fences around remaining rainforests. Each human has to play their part to save the remaining tropics. 

How can humans stop rainforest deforestation? 

1. Choose environmentally responsible products

Humans can make a massive difference in the fights to save rainforests by making informed choices regularly. Whether it is about using less stuff or going for environmentally responsible products, everything little thing counts. 

Environmentally friendly products

2. Use coals

About 2 billion people around the world are relying on firewood to heat their homes or cook their food. More often, this is happening in the villages near forests, and people are cutting down the trees for fuel before the tree has a chance to grow and regenerate. Such mismanagement can lead to the total disappearance of forests. 

At times, it may be better to use charcoals instead of firewood to make a fire. The use of coal can aid in the goal of fighting deforestation, and this fuel also burns longer. 

Fire and coal

3. Prefer recycling 

The increasing demand for paper products, furniture, and fuel are also threatening forests around the world; it is essential to recycle. You may have noticed a label somewhere “made from recycled products.” This label can be found on various products of everyday use, such as egg packaging, bags, paper, and even furniture. Be conscious when making purchases to decrease the need for cutting down trees. 

Recycled wood furniture

4. Fund rainforest conservation efforts

It is a vital fact that conservation efforts are never going to be cost-free. If you can donate and have researched the company to ensure they are legit, make sure to fund these efforts to encourage the fights against deforestation. 

These are examples and are not being promoted. Please do your own research before donating any money.

5. Plant a tree

Take a moment out of your day and plant a tree or a 100 that is native to your area, in a safe location, where the tree will not be cut down or removed.

Planting trees.

Final Opinions 

The solutions to discourage rainforest deforestation needs to be feasible. Because overly idealistic approaches can never encourage someone to start thinking about this. However, the steps mentioned above will undoubtedly play an essential role in this process. So, make sure to adopt these in your lives.