BELA PALANKA – The village of Divljana near Bela Palanka, southeastern Serbia, is a home to perhaps the oldest living creature in the Balkans – an oak tree which, according to the Tourist Organization of Bela Palanka, is 1,023 years old.

PHOTO: TANJUG / ALEKSANDAR CIRIC
PHOTO: TANJUG / ALEKSANDAR CIRIC

The oak was planted by the subjects of Macedonian Tsar Samuil (958-1014).

This giant planted on the church land has a diameter of three meters. The upper side of the tree is healthy, but the lower side is so hollow that it looks like a cave. There is another oak tree in its vicinity, “only” 500 years old.

Local residents say that the ancient tree is a big attraction, but also a sacred place. This is where the Holy Pentecost used to be celebrated, with people dancing kolo (national dance) and singing, but, unfortunately, this is no longer practiced, the villagers told Tanjug.

The oak has repeatedly been the target of gold prospectors who believe that under and near such long-lived trees there is a buried treasure from the times of the Turks, whose caravans with gold they had forcefully taken from the people passed through the region on their way to Istanbul.

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