There’s a peaceful & serene place in Belgrade where all these people planted a tree as a symbol of peace: Gandhi, Gorbachev, Nixon, U Nu, Castro, Queen Elizabeth II, Gaddafi, Mugabe, Haile Selassie, Carter, Brezhnev, Ceaușescu, Brandt, Nehru, Mitterrand, Kim II Sung…
The place is called Friendship Park and has a total of some 200 trees. Located in New Belgrade, near the banks of Danube, it was formed in 1961, ahead of the 1st Non-Aligned Movement Summit. Its attendees planted planetrees, chosen for their longevity, depicting the idea of lasting world peace.
To this day, the Non-Aligned Movement is a group of around 120 countries not formally aligned with any major power, with a firm anti-colonial stance.
So, one can say that this unique park truly relates to the world in its own manner. It actually is an out-of-this-world feeling when you see trees planted by outright dictators next to royals next to leaders of major powers… Each name a story & a symbol and a history.
And then you take a moment to process your thoughts, sit in the shade of a tree planted by e.g. Mohammed Khan, a royal who has established a republic in Afghanistan… just one of 200 stories of this park.
This place continues to amaze me. To me, it tells the most about the slightly complex history of a country in which I grew up. So you can drop by and find out more about how it feels for you. Or just sit back and enjoy its peacefulness and serenity.