This oak tree in Allouville-Bellefosse, France, up near the country’s north coast, has been alive for at least 800 years. In the late 1600s, a bolt of lightening hollowed out the center, but the tree survived and kept putting out leaves and acorns. And when they see something like that, 17th-century Frenchmen think about the same thing as the Insane Clown Posse: MIRACLES.
Obviously something cool was going on, and obviously the divine powers that be had something to do with it. So the local clergy turned the oak into a chapel, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. (More pictures here!) The tree’s getting a little old and crumbly, but its awesomeness remains — and its congregation still gathers twice a year for Mass.
France's oldest tree sprouts treehouse chapels, Inhabitat.
Get Grist in your inbox