Serbian Village Residents Establish Chapel Inside Giant Oak

The relic oak is more than 500 years old, and its wide trunk made it possible to build a chapel inside. team | 07 October 2020

Residents of a small Serbian village of Chibukovac visit the chapel, built in an old oak tree. The relic oak is more than 500 years old, and its wide trunk made it possible to build a chapel inside.

Chibukovac is one of the small settlements in the Raska region, part of the municipality of the town of Kraljevo. It has about 1330 residents. The village would not have become so famous if a few years ago hardworking local residents had not decided to build an “oak” chapel, writes Telegraf.

It is believed that the pedunculate oak growing at the main crossroads of Chibukovets is the oldest one in Serbia. It is more than half a thousand years old. Mikhailo Erotievich came up with the idea to adapt it to a prayer house, and Father Radoyko and other fellow villagers helped him in this. Considering that the feast day of the Holy Trinity is the main feast day in the village, the unusual chapel became dedicated to the Holy Trinity.

To make the “room” last long, the inside of the tree was covered with wax. Places for icons were arranged, there are icons of the Holy Trinity, the Most Holy Theotokos, the Great Martyr George the Victorious and St. Basil of Ostrog. There are images of the “Crucifixion of Christ” and the Great Martyr Paraskeva of Serbia (Petka), especially revered in the Balkans.

The size of the unique chapel is not large, but this does not prevent local residents from gathering here for the main feast days. Some come here on other days to pray on their own. The height of the oak is more than 30 meters, the trunk circumference is 8 meters, the diameter is two and a half. The tree is healthy, as the Chibukovites like to say, with a wide crown.

It is interesting that before the arrangement of the chapel, lightnings often hit the tree, now this happens less and less often. Local residents expect the exceptional biological and ecological characteristics of the long-lived oak to be recognized at the state level, and on their part promise to continue to protect it as a shrine.

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