Allouville Bellefosse Tree – The Oak Chapel
Allouville Bellefosse Tree – The Oak Chapel :
Located in the small French farming village of Allouville-Bellefosse France is an ancient oak tree, whose hollowed out trunk is home to two small chapels, reached by a spiral staircase surrounding the truck. Nobody knows how old the tree is but is speculated to be around 800 and 1,200 years old, making it one of the oldest tree in the world.
In the 1600s, the tree was stuck by lightning that burnt the tree right through its center and hollowed out the trunk. Yet instead of dying, the tree started to sprout new leaves and acorns in abundance. The tree’s miraculous survival drew the attention of the local Abbot Du Détroit and father Du Cerceau. They determined that the lighting striking and hollowing the tree was an event that had happened for a holy purpose. So they built a shrine to the Virgin Mary directly into the hollow of the tree. Later another small chapel and a stair case climbing the outside of the tree was added. The chapels were named Notre Dame de la Paix (“Our Lady of Peace”) and the Chambre de l’Ermite (“Hermit’s room”).