Old Olive Tree

Makers Story
Dijana Božović
(JU OŠ Kekec Sutomore, Bar)

Montenegro and the town we live in, Bar, are real treasures of cultural heritage. It is a small country you can visit from the sea to the mountains in only one day. It is famous for the canyon of the Tara River, for the mountains like Durmitor and Lovćen, Skadar Lake and Adriatic Sea. Right there on two coasts, near the sea and near the lake lies the port city of Bar. In the Middle Ages, many states fought for this area. The powerful Byzantium was defeated by the tiny Doclea in 1042. From that moment begins the ascent of Doclea. After the Battle of Bar, the state was more and more frequent called Zeta, and from the government of Crnojević Dynasty, the name Montenegro became established.

We are proud of our cultural heritage and aware we must take care of it. One of the oldest cultures in our region is olive growing. That is why I represent that symbol of the town.

OLD OLIVE TREE - symbol of the city of Bar. Its age is estimated to be higher than 2.000 years. Experts from the Istanbul Forestry Faculty using formulas estimated the age of this tree - 2247 years. It is an inexhaustible topic of pictures, stories and songs. The place where this tree lies is called Mirovica, which indicates that in this place quarrel people appeased, and people of different religions socialized in harmony. It is the same today.

Old olive tree is located in about 5 kilometers from the city center and visited by a large number of tourists. Due to its importance, it has been under the protection of the State since 1957. Many years before the owner of the Old Olive Tree was family Nikočević. During the World War II, they were offered big amount of money, as many say "a bag full of gold" because the occupiers wanted to take it away and plant it in Italy. Family Nikočević refused that.

Ancient civilizations record that Athena, the goddess of wisdom, created the olive tree after she won the competition against Apollo, the god of light, who moved the salt water from the rock. Since ancient Greece, it has been considered a symbol of peace.

This olive oil is considered one of the healthiest beverages. It is also called "yellow gold". The old olive belongs to autochthonous type of pond jaundice.

The legend related to the Old Olive Tree in Bar says that the mother with her children hid from the enemy in the hollow of the tree. The mother had to decide whether to betray her children or die with them. She chose the second option and they all died inside the tree. According to the legend, mother's spirit still protects the Tree and everyone who takes shelter in it. There is a belief that whoever walks around the Old Olive Tree three times will have lots of luck and love.

Numerous programs are held in honor of the Old Olive Tree during the year and the most famous is the children's manifestation  called "Meetings under the Old Olive Tree".

Aware of the importance of cultural heritage, we made a long-term plan on how we can contribute preservation of the Old Olive Tree. We united school sections: historians determine historical sources, ecologists clean the space, photographers take photos, painters paint, mathematicians check whether the circumference of the tree is exactly 10m, writers describe beauty with words, poets with poems, and in other languages we write welcome messages for all the people around the planet.

We will influence our citizens to return to the old custom – every time someone gets married the new, young olive seedlings are planted. We will also remind them of the noblest custom of the city of Bar, called "the stage", when the rich families allowed the poor to, without compensation in money, collect olive fruits from their properties to spend the winter.

Visit our city and we will proudly show you the symbol of peace: the Old Olive Tree!