The Hundred Horse Chestnut
(; ) is the largest and oldest known chestnut
tree in the world. Located on Linguaglossa road in Sant'Alfio
, on the eastern slope of Mount Etna
— only 8 km (5 miles) from the volcano's crater — it is generally believed to be 2,000 to 4,000 years old (4,000 according to the botanist Bruno Peyronel
). It is a Sweet Chestnut
, family Fagaceae
). Guinness World Records
has listed it for the record of "Greatest Tree Girth Ever", noting that it had a circumference of 57.9 m (190 ft) when it was measured in 1780. Above-ground the tree has since split into multiple large trunks, but below-ground these trunks still share the same roots.
The tree's name originated from a legend in which a queen of Aragon
and her company of one hundred knights, during a trip to Mount Etna, were caught in a severe thunderstorm
. The entire company is said to have taken shelter under the tree.
The tree and its legend have become the subject of various songs and poems, including the following Sicilian-language
description by the Catanese poet Giuseppe Borrello
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