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France’s oldest tree, alive since Louis IX, hides treehouse chapels within its trunk

Posted By Ana Lisa On March 31, 2015 @ 12:20 pm In Architecture,Botanical,Design,Gallery,Treehouses | 1 Comment

Architecture, Botanical, Treehouses, oak chapel, france, Chêne Chapelle, Allouville-Bellefosse, carved tree

These oak chapels [1] aren’t your average tree houses—it’s not known exactly when they were built, but they’re 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 [2].

A staircase spirals [3] around the thousand-year-old trunk. The tree is starting to show its age, and it now has internal and external poles supporting it. A sacred place of worship, the Oak Chapel [4] is now a pilgrimage site that welcomes thousands of visitors each year.

+ Oak Chapel [4]

Via Kuriositas [5]

Photos © Photo P. Biron

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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/frances-oldest-tree-sprouts-treehouse-chapels-has-been-alive-since-louis-ix/

URLs in this post:

[1] chapels: http://inhabitat.com/chapel-transformed-into-stunning-modern-residence-in-utrecht/

[2] Revolution: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Revolution

[3] spirals: http://inhabitat.com/spiral-garden-is-a-lacy-mesh-vertical-farm-for-the-city/

[4] Oak Chapel: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C3%AAne_chapelle

[5] Kuriositas: http://www.kuriositas.com/2011/01/oak-chapel-of-allouville-bellefosse.html

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