There is a unique attraction near the town of Lepel – a centuries-old oak. It is located only eighteen kilometers away fr om the town, in a desolate village of Tadulino. According to many research, made here, it is several centuries old – approximately the age of the oak is fr om three hundred and fifty to five hundred years. Its size is really impressive: about twenty meters in height and in width, and the trunk is of such thickness, that four adults can hardly encompass it.
Besides, the territory, wh ere the nature monument grows, is also remarkable – except for it, there are also several equally notable trees nearby. How can we explain the presence of just several similar oaks in one area?
The oak is not only a tree, symbolizing steadfastness, power and firmness. It is also quite a wide-spread, folk and pagan archetype. Oaks were considered to be the symbol of family continuation and fertility since olden times, people prayed at them and took sacral actions, revering the trees almost like gods.
This tradition was also honoured by the noble family of the Reuts, who owned these lands. An oak was depicted, by the way, on their family’s arms. Probably, that’s the reason why one of the dynasty’s ancestor planted an oaklet after a long-waited heir. The oak grew and increased, it grew along with the son of Reut. When he reached adulthood, the father commanded his heir to continue the tradition. Hence the custom to plant an oak after each of the firstborn came from it. There is a legend, that the Reuts even kept records of the planted oaks. However, the document has never been found, that’s why the existence of such a chronicle hasn’t been proved.
There is no family home of the Reuts’ dynasty by now, and the village itself, located nearby, is abandoned today. Time hasn’t had mercy on historically important oaks: many of them were burned, dissapeared from the face of the earth as a natural disaster result, suffered by the hand of a man. Nowadays we can only admire Tsar-oak and eight oaks, located at some distance. Despite all of it the oak grove keeps the memory of the Reuts, whose heritage survived through centuries and will live till the oaks grow.
Examining the attractions of Lepel, which is very rich in them, you ought to visit the nature monument. It is located not far from the town, and due to well-equipped recreation area, you can spend time greatly, breathing clean air and refreshing under the centuries-old oaks’ shade. Besides, within walking distance of Tsar-oak there is one more unique attraction – pagan sanctuary, located in the village of Toronkovichi.