The Serbian Cultural Garden was inspired by the people and the land of Serbia. A gently curving path winds through the garden’s mature beech and oak trees. The central terrace contains raised seating inscribed with the motto “Only Unity Saves the Serbs.” Three small terraces provide places to rest, each one centered on a great figure from Serbia’s past. Featured in the Serbian Cultural Garden are busts of Bishop Petar Njegosh, Mihajlo Pupin, King Peter I and Nikola Tesla. A bronze icon of St. Sava, Patron Saint of the Serbian People, was dedicated in the Garden’s central terrace in September of 2009. Boris Tadic,
President of the Republic of Serbia, attended the dedication of the icon and toured the Serbian Cultural Garden with Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and many Cleveland-area Serbians.
The Slovenian Cultural Garden was founded in 1934 and was joined by Serbia and Croatia in 1937 to form the Yugoslav Garden. The three coexisted peacefully and in harmony in Rockefeller Park until the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. At that point the Serbian and Croatian representation left the Garden – and as a result the Yugoslav Garden once again became the Slovenian Cultural Garden.
In the spring of 2006, Alex Machaskee, then President and Publisher of The Plain Dealer, led the initiative to raise the funds necessary to create a new Serbian Cultural Garden on the west side of Martin Luther King Boulevard, just north of the St. Clair overpass within Rockefeller Park. The Garden was dedicated on October 5, 2008, in a grand ceremony which included Serbian government officials, Serbian clergy, Senator George Voinovich, Mayor Jackson and many local Serbians and supporters.
Throughout the Garden are Serbian Spruce trees, the Serbian Belle and Yaro flowers, various other foliage and shrubbery – and the spiritual and cultural signature of the Garden, swaths of red peonies which recall the “Maiden of Kosovo Field.” The Garden is designed to be a beautiful and peaceful place to explore the wooded pathways, and also to serve as a gathering place for events such as One World Day, where people from many nations parade through the gardens.
Please come to visit periodically, as new features to the Serbian Cultural Garden are planned for its future. On behalf of the entire Serbian community in
Northeast Ohio, we welcome you to a view of Serbian history and legacy – and
thank you for your support and interest in our project.
Please visit the Cleveland Cultural Gardens website: http://culturalgardens.org/Default.aspx