The Cathedral of Thorns

The Cathedral of Thorns is a full building-sized illuminated labyrinth on the Caribbean island of Curaçao. Visitors are invited to walk through its corridors and experience an artistic journey through a troublesome history toward a bright future; both sides represented by the hostile yet beautiful thorns. To raise consciousness of the similarities between religions, the design includes symbols of today's world religions and ancient nature-based religions. The walls have niches containing objects of contemporary art by guest artists, expressing mankind's ability to change, share and collaborate through creativity. In addition, the labyrinth also functions as a stage for performances. The Cathedral of Thorns was designed by Herman van Bergen, winner of the prestigious Cola Debrot Award in 2016, and was constructed by unemployed youth. This work of art (in progress) unites all themes of Van Bergen's previous thorn-art sculptures into one expansive project: a building honoring Mother Nature and the Free Spirit that achieves change through creativity.


What people say about the Cathedral of Thorns

Latest news

The latest news updates of the Cathedral of Thorns

Immersive Curaçaoan artwork wins Two CODA Awards 2020

WILLEMSTAD, CURACAO – The Cathedral of Thorns, a labor of love created of 25 million spikes, has won two CODAawards2020. Not only was the huge Cathedral selected as the winner in the Landscape category, but the innovative artwork also took home the prestigious People’s Choice Award.

Dutch Caribbean artist Herman van Bergen started work on the grand project eight years ago on the island of Curacao. Wanting to demonstrate the futility of religious strife, his vision also included a focus on the original Curacaoan inhabitants, the Caiquetio Indians. The CODAworx jury praised the Cathedral of Thorns for the way Van Bergen and hisvolunteers “created an actual building out of native shrubs, and in the process, honored Mother Nature and the Free Spirit.” 

The immersive work, towering up to 60 feet above the visitor, is surprisingly real in a time when all platforms are forced to go virtual. It was officially opened in February 2020 with a theater performance reflecting Curacao history, curated by well known Curacaoan director Felix de Rooy of Curacaoan film cult classic Ava & Gabriel fame. For Van Bergen, the international recognition by CODAworx signals “the importance of the project, subsequently raising consciousness on how we treat our planet, each other and ultimately ourselves.”

As part of the CODAawards2020 prize, the Cathedral of Thorns will be featured in the summer of 2021 as part of the bi-annual CODAawards winners exhibition at the Octagon Museum, located on the grounds of the American Institute of Architects’ Headquarters in Washington, DC. By then, flights between the US mainland and Curacao may have resumed and the art work can be visited in person, a feat currently made impossible due to measures instituted to curb the spread of covid-19 


NOTE: For additional information please contact Daisy Casimiri of Fundashon di Artista at +5999 526 6349

Art & Music Heal All Wounds-concerts a big success

After a sold out concert on June 12 with Banda Krioyo Nobo we had to close down for a while due to COVID-19 regulations. The planned performance on June 26 of he Yumarya Grijt & Friends was postponed to July 10. What a blast this performance was!

We are so happy to be able to show you the beauty of the Cathedral of Thorns again and continue with our series: Music & Art Heal All Wounds.

New Concert

So, we are happy to announce the 3rd concert of this series: Típiko Dulce Esperanza will perform on July 24 at 7.30 pm. Please check our agenda for details. 

Art & Music heal all wounds starting Friday June 12

Friends of the Cathedral,
Art & Music heal all wounds
Stay tuned for more information…  
From next week 12th of June we will start organizing small-scale music performances with a limited audience. Little by little we hope to welcome you all back to the Cathedral. 
Banda Krioyo Nobo,  Arjen de Graaf violin, Vernon Chatlein percussion, Enrico Henriques, piano  
We hope that everyone is doing well and that you are safe and healthy. The Corona crisis has seized the world, and no one could have imagined the enormous consequences it would have for all of us. 
The Labyrinth Cathedral of Thorns is not just another community project. It is an achievement of unprecedented scope, a manifestation of the good in humanity, an Ode to the Free Spirit. COVID-19 suddenly disrupted everything and we almost saw all our hard work of eight years go up in smoke.
But we won’t give up that easily! During the past few weeks of lockdown, the predominant feeling was the desire to carry on as soon as possible and start shaping our ‘new normal’. Now that we are out of lockdown, with your support we can slowly begin doing that. Nobody knows what the future holds, but we only have one choice here and that is to go on! We can’t let this project fail, especially now. Because the world so desperately needs this hope and perspective.
Or call Daisy + 5999 526 63 49  

Meet the team

Herman van Bergen

Herman van Bergen

More Art

More Art

Other Artists


We are building this Cathedral of Thorns with the help of many companies.