Thursday, 20 October 2011

THE OAK OF STELMUŽĖ - Nature Heritage Objects of Lithuania.


The Stelmužė Oak is one of the most famous and important nature heritage objects of Lithuania. It is the thickest and oldest oak growing in Lithuania and one of the oldest oaks in Europe.The oak is growing in the Zarasai District, Imbradas Subdistrict, the former Stelmužė Manor Park. The remarkable tree reaches 23 metres of height, as much as 3,5 metres wide and spans approximately 13 metres at its widest part. It is believed to be about 1500 years old, although the exact age has not been estimated.

The Lithuania Post issued a souvenir sheet features the Stelmužė Oak on June 5, 2010. Only one stamp has issued as reminder of the importance of nature heritage objects of Lithuania.Designer of stamp is H. .Ratkevičius.Legends and stories say that in ancient time’s people, having gathered around the oak, sacrificed goats, sheaves of rye, and jugs of mead to the god Perkūnas praying for a good harvest and success in hunting.

Despite the fact that over time the oak has lost a part of its branches as a result of drying or breakage, it still looks magnificent and each spring comes into leaf and still attracts tourists. Due to proper care and maintenance, the Stelmužė Oak survived until nowadays.

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