The German town of Hildesheim (Hildesheim), located in the federal state of Lower Saxony, near Hanover, among other advantages mentioned in numerous travel guides to Germany, has earned itself the fame of the "city of roses". The fact is that the walls of the houses of this ancient city are entwined with roses - the most real living and artificial, and even simply painted, but still - roses. Numerous tourists come to Hildesheim to see two ancient Romanesque churches - St. Michael (XI century) and the Goderhard Church (XII century), which today are striking examples of Romanesque temples of the Saxon school, characterized by a special massiveness and simplicity of forms. But the legend of the Millennium Rose Bush brought no less glory to the city.
Since the days of paganism, the rose occupied an important role in Germanic mythology, it was inextricably linked with the names of the most powerful gods. With the arrival of Christianity in Germany, the rose becomes an object of almost sacred worship. The origin of the legend about the origin of the curved thorns of the rose belongs to those ancient times. Satan, expelled by the Lord from heaven, having conceived to go up there again, decided to use a rosehip - his straight trunks with thorns could serve him as a ladder. But the Lord guessed his plan and bent the stems of the rose hips. Then Satan, enraged by failure, bent the thorns. So the thorns of the roses became not straight, but curved downward.
The oldest rose bush grows in St. Anne's cemetery, not far from Hildesheim Cathedral, resting on the outer wall of the choir of a small Gothic chapel at one of the apses. Legend has it that the very appearance of this cathedral is inextricably linked with this wonderful rose bush. According to the legend that has come down to us, once the son of Charles the Great, Louis the Pious, lost his pectoral cross during a hunt, which contained a particle of holy relics. The servant sent in search of the cross found it among the snow on a rose bush covered with flowers, but could not remove it from there, since the bush would not let him in. Then Louis himself went for the cross. When he reached the rose bush, he saw an incomprehensible spot in the snow in the form of a plan of the cathedral, in the upper part of which was the rose bush itself. Louis was able to remove the cross from the bush. Subsequently, Louis the Pious ordered to build a cathedral on this site, preserving a wonderful rose bush with it. The place itself has since been called Hilde Schnee, which means "deep (large) snow"; from him later the word Hildesheim was formed.
The millennial rosebush is a living eyewitness to the construction of the city in the 10th-11th centuries and must well remember Bishop Bernard himself, under whom both church buildings were built, which brought world fame to the city of Hildesheim and became the pillars of German romance.
As time went on, a small bush grew into a huge, about 3 meters high bush that still exists today, and most importantly, it is covered every year with thousands of magnificent roses.
During World War II, a thick stem of a rose fell into a fire and was badly burned, but the next year it came to life again, started up new lush shoots and began to bloom more than ever.
Every year, thousands and thousands of tourists who come to Hildesheim rush to see the wonderful rose bush, which is a living guardian of the thousand-year history of Germany.