the oak chapel

Do you believe in God? Have you ever prayed on a treehouse church? If no, you can fly in the north of France, to Allouville – Bellefosse and try this new experience!

Seems that this big Oak has more than 800 years old, it lived Louis XIV, the French Revolution, Napoleon’s Kingdom and other important historical events.

In this special tree due chapels have been built, one on the ground floor and the other above, and people can reach it using a wooden spiral staircase that twists around the trunk.

The Chêne chapelle as it’s called in French or Oak chapels in English, has been built in the oak after it was struck by lightning, fell more than 500 years ago, that created the crack inside the trunk. After this event the priest of Allouville decided to turn it into a church. For years experts have been compared in order to understand which was the exact age of the tree and -even if legend reports that it was planted in 911 for the Normandy’s birth- it seems that has more than 800 years, however, it’s the oldest tree in the whole France.

First of all he covered all the cracks and then realized a small tower with an iron cross above it and decided to dedicate the interior of the chapel to Our Lady of Peace.

1.75 meters long, 1.17m wide and 2.28m high, the room is paved and contains a wooden altar lighted by two candles and a hanging lamp. On the walls some pictures of St. Mary, St. Joseph and St. Francis. The Oak Allouville on which the church has been built -that became monument in 1932- measures 18 meters in total, while its circumference reaches 15 meters. Of course the inside is empty, but the outer bark continues to grow, giving lifeblood to new branches and leaves every year, even if recently it gives signs of stress.

A video that explains the tree-church. I’m sorry it’s in French!

 More pics in the gallery below.

Pics by Philippe_28

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