Park of the Petrified Forest
Petrified Forest Park
The Petrified Forest of Lesvos is one of the most beautiful and rare monuments of our geological heritage worldwide.
It was created approximately 20 million years ago when volcanic materials covered and fossilized the sub-tropical forest which existed in the region. In recognition of the great environmental, geological and educational value of the Petrified Forest of Lesvos, the Greek state has declared the forest a “Protected Natural Monument”.
The Petrified Forest reveals information on the composition of palaeoflora (an important indicator of climatic and environmental conditions and their changes), while at the same time the Petrified Forest of Lesvos is a unique book that records the geological history of the Aegean basin over the last 20 million years.
The visit to the area of the Petrified Forest Park (Bali Alonia), “Kyria Apolithomeni” as mentioned from the 18th century, is a unique experience.
The visitor to the Park can tour an entire hillside of specially shaped paths. During his tour, he can admire the unique appearances of Protopinaceae, ancestors of the modern pine tree as well as the fossilized sequoia trunks, ancestral forms of the modern species Sequoia sempervirens which is now found on the western coast of the United States.
In the Park of the Petrified Forest, the systematic excavations carried out by the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest in recent years has unearthed extremely important plant fossils, including the largest to date known upright standing fossilized tree, not only for Lesvos
but with certainty for the whole of Europe, with a height of 7.02 m and a perimeter of 8.58 m. It belongs to the specie Taxodioxylon albertense, ancestral form of the modern tree of Sequoia. This is the lower part of the trunk which has been preserved in a very good condition and is one of the largest surviving plant fossils in the world.
In the Park, an extensive fossilization program is being carried out in the framework of the implementation of the Operation “Maintenance and Promotion of the Lesvos Petrified Forest – Kyria Apolithomeni”, which has been included in the Operational Program “North Aegean 2014-2020”. The project includes the realization of three subprojects in which works of preservation, protection and aesthetic promotion of the fossilized logs are carried out as well as actions for their promotion.