Plants Cathedral(Cattedrale vegetale): Art and Nature In the Orobiche Alps

Plants Cathedral and LAND ART

The Plants Cathedral is a work by the artist Giuliano Mauri Lodi (1938-2009), a member of the Land Art. An Art with which the artist aspires to intervene in nature and the landscape in order to make a mark in time.

The concept of Land Art has become famous in Italy in the summer of 2016 thanks to the installation of the “boardwalk” Christo on Lake Iseo. A work that attracted more visitors than initially expected, so much so that the authorities were forced to regulate the flow of visitors. Christo just like Mauri, in fact, with his work on the landscape intervened and changed it, even if only temporarily.

The Mauri’s plant cathedral , however, is a work that leaves room to the relationship between the individual and nature. It does not attract hordes of tourists, giving it a mystical and sacred aspect.

“Cattedrale Vegetale”

The plants are natural cathedrals architecture built with branches and trees, where the artist renounces the use of durable and quality materials for use ephemeral and natural materials.

They represent the mystical places where man can get in touch with the spirits of nature.

The plant cathedrals realized by Mauri  are, to tell the truth, three:

-The first was built in 2001 at Malga Costa in Val di Sella on the occasion of the contemporary art exhibition “Arte Sella” and is probably the best known of the three.
– The second was built in 2010 by the artist’s son addition to The Hill, at the foot of Pizzo Arera in the Park Orobie Bergamo.
-The third was just completed in September 2016, in Lodi on the left bank of the river Adda.


We decided to go to visit the plant cathedral of Oltre Il Colle because, according to many, would be in a more pristine environment compared to the other and therefore the one most in line with the idea of ​​”Art in Nature”.

To arrive to the cathedral of The Hill it is not so easy. It is located at an altitude of 1345 m s.l.m. It must therefore follow the provincial with many kilometers of twists and turns. Also there are places where it is difficult to understand if you are going to the right direction. In fact, the sign “cathedral plant” at times seems to disappear. If so, just ask passers.

The cathedral is located precisely in the area Zlamba Alta (Oltre Il Colle – Val Serina).

We advise you to park your car in town Plasse and walk the last kilometer, since the road that leads to the mountain by Plasse Arera is charged.

After about a kilometer of paved road that winds through the woods, you’ll eventually see the work introductory sign and finally the cathedral.



The cathedral has five aisles of trees (firs, chestnut, hazel and beech) formed by 42 columns that reach a maximum height of 15 meters. Each wooden column in reality for now houses inside a young beech with the idea that one day, when they are old enough, will be freed from the wooden cages that support them and conquer the space with their fronds.



Go there at sunset: The reddish-violet color will make the atmosphere even more charming. You will find yourself in the middle of a Gothic cathedral with a dirt floor and sky ceiling. Sit on a bench and let yourself be carried away by the sacredness of the place of meditation, silence and reflection.

A trail around the cathedral by Luciano Valle track a process of reflection, through famous aphorisms celebrates the encounter between man and nature. St Bernard invites us to listen to the teacher mother nature:

“You’ll find more in woods than in books. The trees and the rocks will teach you things that no teacher will tell you.” That must be why leaving this place after dark, you have the feeling of having learned something more about our being in the world.






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