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This sacred pine is the oldest "inhabitant" of Kamena Gora: A natural shrine as a symbol of longevity

On a mountain near Prijepolje, a pine tree has survived for centuries, giving life to interesting legends

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Sveti bor, Kamena Gora

Photo: Ivan Strahinic

In the extreme southwest of Serbia, near the border with Montenegro, rises Mt. Kamena Gora and a village of the same name, and in it, in addition to the abundance of woods, a special pine tree grows on a clearing.

Although there is no official data to confirm this, many believe that it is the oldest tree in our country.

Either way, what no one can deny is its grandiosity, beauty and longevity.

The sacred pine, old pine or svetibor (Serbian for, "sacred pine"), as the inhabitants of the surrounding villages call it, is 13 meters tall, and its crown measures 18 meters in diameter. This particular pine tree is believed to have survived for more than 500 years.

In ancient times, when there was no place of worship in this part of Serbia, believers gathered around the mighty pine tree and received communion there. Under its canopy, those who were quarreling would reconcile, and pray for health, salvation and longevity.

A legend has been passed down for generations according to which, before setting off in search of new homes, the original inhabitants of Kamena Gora left a wax-sealed message in the tree, explaining the reasons for leaving this paradise on earth.

According to the oldest inhabitants of Kamena Gora, the secret will only be revealed when the old pine tree dies, and they believe that this hour will not come any time soon...

This consecrated tree is so revered by the people that even when a branch breaks off or an acorn falls, it remains right there. No one dares to take what belongs to the old pine from it, for fear of "bad luck."

The Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia has declared the pine in Kamena Gora a monument of nature.

Photo: Ivan Strahinic

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