1000 years of age rosetree

The entrance to the rosetree stays the same during the restoration. The opening hours will not change.

The legend of the rose tree, a wild dogrose, dates back to the founding history of the diocese of Hildesheim around  815. At the time Louis the Pious, son and successor of Emperor Carl the Great, found a valuable reliquary among the blossoms, which he had lost while hunting. In honour of his grandmother, Louis ordered the construction of a chapel there and then. That is how the legend of the ‘millennium rose tree’ has it.  The fact of the matter is: the history of the diocese begins around 815. 50 years later the first large cathedral was erected by Bishop Altfrid.

Eight weeks after the complete destruction of the Hildesheim Cathedral in March 1945, as a result of which the rose tree also burnt, 25 new shoots appeared from a root buried by the debris.

 

The Hildesheim Rose

The bloom of the rose tree depends on the weather. Normally it is at the end of May and lasts approximately 14 days.

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Botanical the mighty old rose tree at the apse of the Saint Mary Cathedral belongs to the native type of wildflower known as Rosa canina L., as opposed to the ‘historical roses’ such as Rosa alba L. or Rosa gallica L. Some features were not clarified, for example, whether the bottom side of the leaf is hairy. For this reason an analysis of the fundamental morphological and physiological features of the genotype was carried out and the following botanical description was compiled:

Leaf: mainly 7-pinnate, dark-green on the upper side, ranging from light to medium-green on the underside, hairless. Leaflet elongated and oval with subtle grooves on the upper side. Serrated margin.

Bloom: Simple, medium-sized, weak-smelling. Five petals, pink white, weakly undulated, sepals weak pinnate, staved off, falling off early.

Rose hips: glowing medium-red, big, elongated fusiform, late-maturing and fading,long-lasting. Stem smooth, long.

Prickle formation: medium density, medium-sized prickle, on pointed oval plate, bottom edge deeply concave.

With the description a taxonomical allocation of the Hildesheim Rose is given in the bounds of the collective species Rosa canina L. within the native wild roses that appear in a variety of shapes. A definition of the single plant as a variety or subspecies is without meaning in view of the diversity of wild roses and the numerous hybrid forms as a result of hybridisation.