Living Monuments

EITHER DUE TO THEIR ENORMOUS SIZE OR FOLLOWING LEGENDS, SOME TREES IN CRETE HAVE BEEN DECLARED NATURAL MONUMENTS.

Among the most famous of them are the evergreen plane-tree of Ancient Gortys, under which Zeus and Europe mated and, thus, Minos was born.

Many of the monumental trees have been officially designated as monuments of nature by the Greek state. One of them is the oversized hawthorn of Ancient Zominthos. Some other trees have been associated with the struggles of the Cretans for liberation, such as the huge tree of Mandalenis at Korfes, the plane tree of the Pente Parthenes at Ancient Lappa and the oak tree of Ismael at Mathia. Monumental ancient plane trees are met in Krassi, Vlatos and within the monasteries of Saint George Gorgolainis, Saint John at Gionas and Holy Fathers at Azogyres.

In Crete there are many ancient olive trees that have been declared monumental by the Association of Cretan Olive Municipalities. The oldest olive trees in the world are located at the location Azorias by Kavoussi and Ano Vouves by Chania. The crowns for the winners of the Women’s and Men’s marathon at the Olympic Games held in Athens in 2004 were cut from these trees. At Anissaraki by Kandanos we meet an entire park of monumental olive trees, but also in Palea Roumata, Asomati, Ancient Eleftherna, Genna, Lastros, Panassos, etc.

TipTHE ANCIENT MYRTLE AT THE MONASTERY OF PALIANI IS CONSIDERED SACRED AND CELEBRATES ON THE DAY OF THE VIRGIN MIRTIDIOTISSA. THIS IS CONSIDERED A SURVIVING “RESIDUE” FROM THE WORSHIP OF TREES IN THE MINOAN RELIGION.