Hundred Horse Chestnut

Hundred Horse Chestnut

Hundred Horse Chestnut

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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 in Sicily — 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 from Turin). It is a Sweet Chestnut (Castanea sativa, 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.

Literary allusions

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 (1820–1894):



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