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  • Writer's pictureTammy Lowe

Interesting Fact of the Day...

Snapshots Of The Past, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Everyone’s heard of Charles the Great— Charlemagne.

But, Charlie had a son, Emperor Louis the Pious.

According to legend, in the year 815, Louis was hunting deer in an ancient, very dense, German forest.

While stalking his prey, he became separated from the rest of his party. Lost and alone in the woods, he sounded his horn.

Nobody heard him.

Trying to find his way out of the forest, he wandered all day, swam across a river, finally collapsing in a heap near a wild rose bush. He placed a relic of the Virgin Mary he carried with him amongst the branches, praying for rescue until he fell asleep.

When he awoke, the rose bush was covered in snow, the relic in ice.

To quote Maurice from Beauty and the Beast,

“Snow? In June?”

It was summer. The rose bush was in full bloom, the underbrush green, and sunshine filtered through the canopy of leaves overhead.

Yet the rose bush and relic were covered in snow and ice.

Clearly, this was a sign from God.

*cue choir music*

When Emperor Louis was eventually found by his fellow hunters, he vowed to build a cathedral in that very spot.

So, a diocese was established here and construction began on the Hildesheim Cathedral—right next to the sacred rose bush.

Throughout the centuries, the dog rose grew, eventually covering the side of the church.

But then WWII began.

Hildesheim, Germany was attacked by allied bombers and the legendary thousand year old rose was destroyed.

Or so it seemed.

You see...miraculously, the roots survived and it re-bloomed amongst the ruins.

Today, it is approx. 69 feet high, 30 feet wide, and is considered to be the oldest living rose bush in the world.

And there you go. Your interesting, fact of the day: The legendary thousand-year-old Rose of Hildesheim.

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