Tree slice panel

Astscheibe der Bavaria Buche

How big …

            How old …

                       was the Bavaria Beech?


How big …

Centuries ago, two or three beech trees sprouted on this spot, perhaps just about 1 m apart. They gradually got in one another’s way but had no chance to grow in different directions. And so, in the course of their lives, they grew together into one mighty tree.
The 9 m circumference of the Bavaria Beech has thus been formed by what were originally several trees, not a single one.



How old …

Beech trees can reach an age of over 300 years and the circumference of their trunks – 1 metre above ground – can be about 5 m. The Bavaria Beech, with its circumference of 9 m, is estimated to be between 250 and 300 years old.

One often reads that the Bavaria Beech is 600 to 800 years old. However, these reports belong to the realm of fairy tales and legends and have been influenced by the impressive appearance of the tree.



Beech saplings growing close together. Later, they may grow together to form a large single tree.

The enormous cross section of a branch

This is a cross section of a branch of the Bavaria Beech that was sawed from an enormous broken branch in 2013.
Here too, three branches have grown together and can reach a diameter of up to 120 cm. It is called a triplet branch.
In the largest and oldest (branch 1) you can clearly see and count 120 annual rings.



Branches of a beech sapling standing close together. Later, these may grow together into a single branch.


How big …

It would take at least 10 children holding hands to make a ring around the tree trunk.

If you look at the floor, you will see a sunken ring of coloured stones. These show you just how big the circumference of the gigantic tree 1 m above the ground actually was.



What went on during the lifetime of the Bavaria Beech?

In 2013, a thunder storm felled the tree. By then, it had reached the age of about 320 years. It had begun to grow in about 1700 A.D.

Here is a small chronicle of important historical and social events, technical inventions and other interesting facts from the lifespan of the tree.

You don’t have to read the whole list!


  • 2013: The Bavaria Beech is totally destroyed during a thunder storm
  • 2011: The nuclear power station in Fukushima is destroyed by nuclear meltdowns
  • 2008: A crisis with American housing credits causes the biggest global financial crisis of the new millennium
  • 2006: Germany: A summer’s tale. The World Cup in Germany is one big party accompanied by perfect weather
  • 2005: „We are Pope“. With this headline the German newspaper „Bild“ announces that Joseph Ratzinger is now the new Pope „Benedict XVI “
  • 2002: The € is introduced as Europe’s currency
  • 2001: The World Trade Center in New York is destroyed
  • 1998: Start of the construction of the International Space Station ISS
  • 1996: The cloned sheep Dolly is born
  • 1995: The first Climate Change Conference in Berlin
  • 1993: Postcodes with 5 numbers are introduced in Germany
  • 1992: Euro Disneyland opens near Paris
  • 1991: Ötzi is found in the Ötztal Alps in Austria
  • 1990: German reunification
  • 1989: Fall of the Berlin Wall
  • 1986: The Russian space station MIR orbits the earth (until 2001)
  • 1985: Boris Becker wins the Championship in Wimbledon for the first time
  • 1980: Summer time (DST) is introduced in Germany
  • 1979: The GPS navigation system goes into operation
  • 1977: Steve Wozniak develops the first PC (Apple II)
  • 1974: Germany wins the FIFA World Cup once again
  • 1972: The Munich massacre during the Summer Olympics in Munich
  • 1971: The first pocket calculator comes onto the market
  • 1969: The first humans land on the Moon
  • 1968: The Prague Spring is crushed
  • 1963: The „Mainzel-Männchen“ (cartoon characters) appear on ZDF television
  • 1962: The Beatles‘ first performance in Hamburg
  • 1962: 100-year flood in North Germany
  • 1961: The Berlin Wall is built
  • 1960: Armin Hary runs 100 metres in 10.0 seconds
  • 1959: Barbie conquers the world of dolls
  • 1958: Elvis Presley gives concerts in Germany
  • 1957: „The pill“ is introduced to the market
  • 1954: Germany wins the FIFA World Cup
  • 1954: For the first time, sunlight is turned into electricity with the help of solar cells
  • 1952: The first pacemaker makes life longer
  • 1949: Federal Republic of Germany and German Democratic Republic are founded
  • 1949: Hermann Gmeiner founds the first SOS Children’s Village in Austria
  • 1942: The first nuclear power station produces electricity
  • 1941: Konrad Zuse invents and constructs the Z3, the first computer, Berlin
  • 1939 – 1945: World War II
  • 1933: National Socialist Party seizes power in Germany
  • 1932: The first magnetic levitation train is developed in Germany by Hermann Kemper
  • 1932: The chemist August Fischer develops a new type of glue: UHU all-purpose adhesive
  • 1929: Black Friday (world economic crisis)
  • 1928: The cartoon character Mickey Mouse is born
  • 1924: For the first time, images are transmitted over a long distance. The era of the television begins
  • 1922: Gummy bears (similar to jelly babies) make life sweeter
  • 1920: Hairdryers make it possible for us to dry our hair more quickly
  • 1918: At last women are allowed to vote
  • 1914 – 1918: World War I
  • 1912: The Titanic sinks
  • 1902: Teddy Bear made by Margarete Steiff
  • 1900: Zeppelin and motorized aircraft
  • 1886: Coca Cola, USA the first of the three branches grew
  • 1885: First automobile, Carl Benz, Germany
  • 1879: Let there be light: the light bulb is invented by Thomas Edison, USA
  • 1871: Bismarck founds the German Reich
  • 1860: The telephone makes it possible to make long distance calls, Johann Phillipp Reis, Germany
  • 1860: Combustion engine
  • 1853: Acetylsalicylic acid is produced synthetically for the first time and soon becomes well-known as aspirin
  • 1839: The emergence of photography
  • 1835: The first steam driven locomotive, „Adler“ (the Eagle) travels from Nuremberg to Fürth
  • 1825: Development of the first electric engines
  • 1817: With the bicycle, running wheel, life speeds up
  • 1808: Humphrey Davy’s electric light shines in England
  • 1801: Determination of the geological eras and index fossils, William Smith, England
  • 1798: Lithography used as a printing method, Alois Senefelder, Germany, Solnhofen
  • 1796: Vaccination, Edward Jenner, England
  • 1789 – 1799: The French Revolution
  • 1783: Joseph Michel and Etienne Jacques de Montgolfier fly with a hot-air balloon
  • 1776: Founding of the USA
  • 1770: False teeth, Alexis Duchateau, France
  • 1769: Spinning Jenny driven by water power, James Hargreaves and Richard Arkwright, England
  • 1752: Benjamin Franklin protects North America from lightning strikes with a lightning rod
  • 1735: Carl von Linné, Sweden, founds the scientific naming of fauna and flora
  • 1712: Thomas Newcomen invents and constructs the first steam engine, England
  • 1693: E.W. von Tschirnhaus and J.F. Böttger produce the first European hard porcelain. In 1710, the first European porcelain works opens in Meissen

Design of the nature trails: • Hans-Dieter Haas M.A.

P-I-Naab-Str. 40 • 85072 Eichstätt • 0171 5736 855

Sponsored by the Bavarian State Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Areas (EAFRA). Erected by the market town Altmannstein in corroboration with the Altmühltal Nature Park and Altmühl-Jura.