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The Primeval Oak Trees


The Primeval Oak Trees

East of Vouhorina, near the settlement’s cemetery, one has the opportunity to come across a rare natural monument. Surrounded by legends, the primeval oak tree spreads its branches, Megalos Gerontas tis Vouhorinas (The Great Old Man of Vouhorina) as locals call it. Its circumference is 8.5 meters and despite its age remains robust, carrying the memories of centuries of local history. It is estimated to be more than 600 years old. It has been a silent witness of the Ottoman period, the artisans’ journeys, the Macedonian struggle, the war of 1940, the dark period of the Civil War and then the decay of Voio with the emigration wave. It has also experienced the old, heavy winter of Pindos, the current dry summers, even thunderbolts. The legends speak of invaluable treasures hidden within it and of enormous snakes guarding them.

Another oak tree that may be of similar age can be found along the path that connects Hrysavgi with Morfi, some 2 kilometers north of the settlement, adjacent to a field.

Younger primeval oaks can also be found in Profitis Ilias of Siatista, in Koryfi, at the chapel of Panagiotopoula between Vythos and Avgerinos, at the chapel just before Morfi, as well as in the parvis of Agios Dimitrios in Anthohori.

Similar colossal trees used to be found in Pentalofos, at locations Kokal and Ntranous ta dentra. But they were sacrificed during the harsh winters of ’47 and ’48 for the inhabitants’ increased needs in heating, their population having skyrocketed, as the army had transferred there every citizen of the surrounding 6 villages for safety reasons, during the persecution of the rebels.

It is quite possible for other primeval oak trees to be thriving in Voio, as the tree is dominant in the low slopes of the mountain in altitudes ranging from 600 to 1200 meters, forming vast forests. In fact, as almost all villages of the area are built in this zone, the species is so common that locals refer to an oak tree with the word for tree. A large part of the mountain’s fauna also feeds on the abundance of its seeds.



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