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Montenegro’s Ancient Olive Trees

Did you know that Montenegro is home to one of the world’s oldest olive trees? Named Stara Maslina, meaning old olive in Montenegrin, the tree is nestled in an ancient grove near the southern town of Bar.

Posted in: Europe
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Published Date: 20 July 2021

At 2000-years old, the popular tourist attraction is not the oldest tree in the world, but one of the five oldest olive trees in existence.

Branch manager of AGS Montenegro Darko Damjanovic visited Stara Maslina as a child. “I was impressed that it had endured through the ages in the face of climate and disease, witnessing the rise and fall of civilisations,” he recalls.

Since the usual lifespan of an olive tree is 500-700 years, this tree’s longevity is even more impressive.

A symbol of peace

Older still is the tree’s association with harmony and goodwill, which dates to ancient Greece. Following victories in battle, the Greeks would erect statues to Eirene, the goddess of peace, who held an olive branch or staff in her right hand. This association was later adopted by the Romans, the Arab world and much of modern Europe.

Today, you can view the fifth most ancient symbol of peace in person after paying the 1 EUR fee to enter the land on which it is situated. Of course, Stara Maslina no longer bears fruit – indeed, olives are fruit – but it is still a sight to behold.

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