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Remembering the 'Bridegroom Oak' tree on Valentine's Day

Swapna Mohanty | Updated on: 14 February 2018, 17:20 IST

Most of you would have written love letters to your that special someone in the past on Valentine's Day. Although those fairy tale love letters have been replaced with love letter emojis on Messenger, yet, there is one letterbox that has been operational since 500 years and helping lovebirds meet each other.

Yes, this is true there is a tree which is called 'Bridegroom's Oak' tree. This letterbox is located in Dodauer Forst forest near Eutin in Germany. It has a knothole where more than thousand people have written to this tree to fulfill their wish of finding a partner.

What do the Legend Say

If we go by the legend then this tree was planted 500 years back and it is believed to have been invented by the Christian missionaries to encourage the worship of oak trees.

However, the trend of writing letters started when a girl named Ohrt fell in in love with the son of a chocolate maker.

When the girl's father, who was the head forester in the same forest, where the letterbox exists came to know of the affair, he objected to their relationship. It was then that the couple secretly exchanged letters by leaving them in the hole of the tree's trunk.
It is believed that after years of writing letters the couple tied a knot in the year 1891 and live happily there after.


Belief of tree-hole love story

After the secret love story reached its destination, the story of the oak tree spread rapidly and a lot of people started believing that the tree would help them find their love partners.

Years passed by and the popularity of the tree increased and there came a time in 1927 when the German postal department identified it. The postal department gave the tree its own postcode. Then after the tree started receiving hundreds of letter from people across the world.

Matchmaker postbox

The oak tree hole is approximately 3 meters above the ground so one can use a wooden ladder that is placed permanently below the tree to climb and place the letter in it.

Over the decades the 'Bridegroom Oak' tree has played the role of a matchmaker. It is believed that more than 200 marriages have been brought about by the tree. Even the retired postal worker, Karl Heinz Martens who used to deliver letters to the tree 20-years-back too met his wife after she wrote him a letter and mailed it in the Oaktree postcode.

When tree had a partner

In the year 2009, the 'Bridegroom Oak' tree was married off to the 150-year-old chestnut tree called 'Juchtwind' located in Himmelgeist nature reserve.
This too like the Oak tree has its own postal address and receives about five to six letters a day.
If the rumors are to be believed then the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel too wrote a letter to this Chestnut tree two years back.  According to the local postman, Ekrem Dönder, this tree receives 6000 letters a year to this date.
The tree has overcome numerous barrier and survived. Not only was it saved by the local people from being cut down because of construction but also it witnessed World Wars.

First published: 14 February 2018, 16:29 IST