Trees!!! This week it’s all about one tree … and it’s to be found at Wanås Castle here in the southern part of Sweden.
Circumference: 760 cm and over 500 years old. It’s called the Snapphaneeken (Snapphane oak)
“This oak already existed when Wanås castle began to be built in the 1400s. During the 1500s and 1600s wars between Sweden and Denmark were exposed. At the time of the Skåne war, the oak was around two hundred years old. It is alleged that several snaphanes were suspended in the large oak after they were executed and those firearm companies should have sought shelter under the oak to hold advice. In wartime there were certain rules on how to treat captured enemy soldiers in a dignified manner. But the Swedes did not consider snapphans to be part of the Danish army. During the Skåne war, they were regarded as traitors and would be punished with death. Several were called before a special snapping court established by Swedish King Karl X1 in Skåne and Blekinge.
Both outlaw robbers and snipers could receive the same punishment. Their crimes were seen as very serious because they had sat down with the king. The executions were particularly cruel and prolonged to deter others in rebellion. They could be commenced with counsel when the members of the condemned were crushed. The execution itself was usually done by decapitation. Sometimes the prisoner was hanged or beheaded before the body was bruised. It was also common for the body to be violated by so-called scaffolding and placed for public viewing instead of being buried in folded soil.” (text: greater-copenhagen.net)
A snapphane was a member of a 16th-century pro-Danish guerrilla organization that fought against the Swedes in the Second Northern and Scanian Wars, primarily in the former eastern Danish provinces which in the course of these wars became southern Sweden. Many pro-Danish guerrilla fighters referred to themselves as friskydter, i.e. volunteer militiamen.
The term snapphane, which was used as a pejorative term by the Swedes to describe the pro-Danish rebels, was originally a word for gangs of bandits that lived in the woods. When Scanian exiled peasants were organized by the Danish king into bands that fought the Swedes with guerrilla methods, they were called Snapphane too
If this oak tree could talk????!!!!
“An Oak tree is a daily reminder that great things
often have small beginnings.”
That’s a very fine and ancient oak tree Vivi. What a lot of history has gone on beneath its branches…
Yes, it’s totally empty inside … amazing that it has been standing for so many years. The snapphanes were hiding inside it. It’s one impressive tree. *smile
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Thank you, Frank
That’s an amazing trunk. I guess it has to be to stand there for so many centuries
Yes, we hope so … it’s an absolutely massive oak tree but hollow inside – so much history connect to this tree. So it would be terrible if something happened to it.