When you think of New Zealand, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the incredibly beautiful landscapes from The Lord of the Rings movies, which were famously shot there. This church, made entirely out of trees, makes it clear that they didn't have to try that hard to create Middle-earth—it looks like it's straight out of a Tolkien book.
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The Tree Church came into being after founder/architect/ent Barry Cox decided that his property, a dairy farm, needed a church. Being a New Zealander, the next logical step was clearly to build one that looked like it was made by elves.
He used a specially developed tree spade—which can be used to easily move living trees—to move everything into the proper configuration for the church. The "building" is made from five different types of trees, including Alnus Imperialis for the roof canopy and Leptospernum for the walls.
Since opening in 2011, the Tree Church has been a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and can be reserved for weddings and other gatherings.
The Tree Church proves once and for all that Middle-earth isn't just fantasy—or maybe just that some dude with specialized equipment and a crazy idea can make magic happen. We'll keep our childlike sense of wonder and go with the first one.