German Love Tree: Better Than Online Dating

Have you ever wondered what people did before there were dating apps? Before “sliding into DM’s” was even a concept? Those before us really had to get creative.

The year is 1890. A girl named Minna is wondering deep into the Dodauer Forest. She stops only when she comes upon a great oak tree. She slips a letter out of her pocket and stuffs it into a knot in the tree. Soon after Minna is gone, a young boy named Wilhelm approaches the same tree and retrieves the letter. He reads it eagerly but is disappointed to see that Minna’s father still does not approve of his daughter’s marriage to a chocolate maker. He takes paper and pen and begins to write his own letter, which he then proceeds to slip into the same knot in the great tree. 

This is the original love story driven by the Bridegroom’s Oak. After a year of Minna and Wilhelm secretly passing messages by this tree, Minna’s father granted them permission to be married on June 2, 1891.

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Word of this great love story spread, and hopeful souls began to leave notes in the tree waiting to see if they would also be able to find true love. The tree received so many letters that in 1927 it became the first and only tree to have an address, Dodau 99 Eutin, Germany.

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Today the tree still receives over 1,000 letters from people looking for love. Anyone can send a letter or visit the tree and look through the letters inside. The only rule is that if you open a letter you do not want to respond to, you must put it back for someone else to find.

If you’re tired of Tinder, Bumble, or any other means of dating, why not give this a try? There have been over 100 recorded marriages orchestrated by this tree. Maybe your European hunk is out there waiting for you.