Chene Chapelle a religious oak... - Secret World

D34, 76190 Allouville-Bellefosse, Francia

Marion Ridley


Chene Chapelle, which means oak tree, is located in Allouville-Bellefosse in northern France. It's like something out of a Disney movie, in fact the Chene Chapelle takes up residence in an ancient oak tree trunk, which has two small chapels inside, and is reached by a spiral staircase surrounding the trunk. This oak tree is the oldest known tree in France and still stands after more than 800 years. Although the trees have been used as a place of worship in many places, the chapels in this tree were born in an unusual way. According to local legend, the tree is the age of the French kingdom, and William the Conqueror prayed under its branches before leaving for England. In the 17th century, lightning struck the tree, burning out the inside, and because of this the tree remained hollow but thankfully alive. This was considered a sign from God and a local priest had the shell of the tree converted into a chapel. The priest also started to build a shrine to the Virgin Mary directly in the hollow of the tree. After a while another wonderful chapel was built. During the French Revolution, an angry mob came to burn the tree, as it was a symbol of old France. In a troubled period of history the church was considered undesirable.