The 500- year-old lime tree

A lonely tree is standing next to the church of Csíkszentlélek (Leliceni). With its 20 m height and 309 cm diameter it is everything but common. What makes this tree special though is not its size but its age. Planted in the 16th century by an unknown person, today the tree is more than 500 years old.

The lime is not the remnant of a forest; it has always been an “inhabitant” of the village and thus a witness and survivor of the events of centuries. Several legends surround it, one of them saying that the bullet of the enemy attacking the village rebounds from the bark and kills the shooter.

The lime used to be part of the village’s life in peacetime as well. Our ancestors used the clamps surrounding the trunk as benches and discussed the important problems of the village here. This tradition has been kept – village meetings are still organized here on several occasions. 

The year 2010 brought some variety into the lime’s life, when, with more than 50,000 votes, it won the first prize of European tree.