The Olive Tree of Vouves is believed to have been planted between 800 to 1100 BC. It attracts 20,000 visitors annually.
It's been described as a tree that is immortal. Planted around the Homeric Age in Greek between 800 to 1100 BC, this majestic olive tree has been standing for the past 3,000 years, although experts believe that it might actually be 4,000-years-old. The Olive Tree of Vouves, located in Ano Vouves on the island of Crete in Greece, has not just been standing tall and firm since the past three millennia, it also still bears olive fruits.
It's no wonder that the significance of this ancient remnant of history has been recognized and has been attracting thousands of tourists from across the world.
Since the location of the tree became a protected site and a "natural heritage monument... due to its special ecological and historical importance" in 1997, many have visited the site, according to the Olive Museum Vouves website dedicated to the tree.
The Olive Tree of Vouves is "the oldest olive tree in the world" and receives almost around 20, 000 people annually. "The number of visitors is expected to increase rapidly in the years to come," the website added.
This is however not the only ancient tree as there are "at least ten more monumental olive trees in this area, namely the same number of trees as in the whole of Crete" according to the website. Not only is the tree ancient, but it also has a wide trunk that is over 40 feet around, and has a diameter of 15 feet. The trunk is also shaped rather strangely twisting around itself for thousands of years with tufts of green leaves shooting towards the sky, reports Good.
Even though olive trees are very resilient, this tree, however, has beaten all odds. These species of trees are resistant to droughts, diseases, and are also fire resistant. Part of the reason for their 'immortality' is because they constantly renew their wood. The branches of the Olive Tree of Vouves were used to create wreaths for the winners of the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.
There are six other ancient olive trees that are still standing to this day, but the Olive Tree of Vouves is the oldest of them all. In Crete, there are 10 other trees.
"This fact testifies to the long-standing relationship between the residents of this area with the olive tree that dates back to antiquity," said the website. The website further mentions plans about the ancient site by authorities. "The Municipal Council, having full knowledge of the responsibility that it bears to safeguard this great legacy, has decided to expand the present Olive Tree Museum and to update it so that in the future it may be turned into the Olive Tree Museum and Mediterranean Centre for the Study of Monumental Olive Trees."
It added, "Our Municipality has already purchased a plot of 600 square meters in the area near the Museum in the settlement of Pano Vouves, in addition to the rest of the land that it owns in this area, and it has begun the preparation of relevant studies for that purpose. A museum containing traditional tools of olive cultivation was set up in 2009. "