Gallery: France’s Oldest Tree Sprouts Treehouse Chapels, Has Been Alive...

 
An Oak tree in a small village in France has been carved to hold not one, but two chapels inside! Situated in Allouville-Bellefosse, this magnificent Quercus is France's oldest standing tree, and it has survived thousands of years of strong winds, electric storms, and many violent wars. Dubbed Chêne Chapelle (Oak Chapel), it hosts Notre Dame de la Paix and the Chambre de l'Ermite inside, providing a hidden worshiping space in the heart of a tree.

The Oak chapels are not your average tree houses – it’s not known exactly when they were built, but they are estimated to be between 800 and 1200 years old! In the late 1600s the tree survived a lightning fire that hollowed out the center. Interpreting this occurrence as a holy event, the local priest at the time called for the tree to be turned into a church. The tree was still growing under the kingdom of Louis IX and it survived the Hundred Years War with the English, The Black Death, the Reformation and the Revolution.

A staircase spirals around the thousand-year-old trunk. The tree is starting to show its age and it now has internal and external poles supporting its tired life. A sacred place of worship, the Oak chapel is now a pilgrimage site that welcomes thousands of astonished visitors each year.

+ Oak Chapel

Via Kuriositas

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