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About project

Tree of Peace (Slovak: Strom pokoja, Russian: Дерево мира, German: Der Friedensbaum) is an international and global project that originated in Slovakia in the European Union. The project, created on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I, was initiated by Slovak landscape architect Marek Sobola from Žilina. The main goal of the project is to promote a message of peace by planting at least one Tree of Peace on every continent. The project was at the very begining associated with the World War I, which also had a great impact on Sobola’s family. His great-grandfather Ondrej Sobola (Andreas Szobola) died on the Russian battlefield in an unknown place. The story of the author’s family inspired him to memorialize the soldiers who died in World War I in unknown places and were burried without their names or identities. There is probably no country in the world which does not have a war victim or an unknown soldier. In addition to the victims of wars, we are now increasingly facing various natural disasters, including epidemics, the number of victims of which can be counted to thousands maybe ten-thousands. The project is also a tribute to those people.

The project has the ambition to become a universal message of joining the nations. At present, the project is not being strictly linked to the year 1918 and World War I, but more generally to the need for peace and the avoidance of global military conflicts. Its main tool is the tree, a living organism that represents growth, prosperity and nature. The project would like to point its attention to the global environmental problems and to strengthen human solidarity in order to respect nature and its resources, not to rule the nature. In this way, the project has become universal and its application is made available also in all countries all over the world. But the author does not exclude the allusion to World War I because thanks to the 100th Anniversary of its end the project itself started. By planting trees, we want to point out to not only the senselessness of military conflicts, but also to the senseless plundering of nature in all its spheres – on land, in the oceans or air pollution.


TREES OF PEACE

PARTICIPATING COUNTRIES

PLANNED TREES




Ondrej Sobola_Andreas Szobola_Tree of Peace

Ondrej Sobola

Ondrej Sobola (*August 7, 1880 Lalinok, Austro-Hungarian Empire – † December 31, 1918 official date) was a soldier of Austro-Hungarian Army (German: Landstreitkräfte Österreich-Ungarns; Hungarian: Császári és Királyi Hadsereg). His death, in an unknown place during the First World War, inspired the Tree of Peace project. Ondrej was born in Lalinok into a farming family and the Sobola family have lived in Lalinok since the beginning of the 16th century. Ondrej Sobola was married to Jozefína Rapšíková in July 31, 1900 in Dlhé Pole and was taken into the army in 1901. Ondrej and his older brother Štefan travelled to the United States in around 1906 and their place of residence was the borough Clifton Heights in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Ondrej returned to Lalinok between 1907 – 1910 and went back to the United States on November 30, 1910. Because of his stay in Pennsylvania he did not take part in the military manoeuvres in 1912. He definitely returned to Lalinok before 1914 and after the outbreak of the First World War he was enlisted in the 15th Military Infantry Regiment (Hungarian: 15. Népfelkelő gyalogezred ütközetei). Ondrej Sobola was missing from about 1915 on the Russian battlefield. In Czechoslovakia, he was officially pronounced dead in 1930, with the official date of death: December 31, 1918. Ondrej’s name was written on a Memorial dedicated to WWI victims from Lalinok village in the local cemetery on November 11, 2018. His portrait made by sculptor Michal Janiga based on the only preserved photo is also incorporated on the Memorial. You can also find Ondrej’s name on a Memorial pillar in the Emperor’s park of Kaiservilla in Bad Ischl.


Friends of peace

King Simeon II of the Bulgarians, Friend of Peace

His Majesty
King Simeon II of the Bulgarians

Friend of Peace Simeon II

His Majesty King Simeon II. served as the last reigning Tsar of Bulgaria from 1943 to 1946. In 2017, His Majesty supported the project of restoration of the Statue of St. John of Nepomuk in Divina (Slovakia). He did so especially in memory of his grandfather, Ferdinand I of Bulgaria, who in the words of Simeon himself “loved Slovakia very much” (© Photo: Vassil Karkelanov).


Empress Farah Pahlavi Shahbanou of Iran_Friend of Peace

Her Majesty Empress Farah Pahlavi, Shahbanou of Iran

Her Majesty Empress Farah Pahlavi, Shahbanou of Iran, is a strong advocate of peace, coexistence and freedom.  She deeply cares about the protection and preservation of nature.


Cardinal Mafi Friend of Peace_Tree of Peace

His Eminence Soane Patita Paini Cardinal Mafi, Bishop of Tonga

Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi is a member of  Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. By Pope Francis was appointed as the first ever cardinal from Kingdom of Tonga. His Eminence is also the Representative of the project for Tonga.


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Marek Sobola Tree of Peace

Marek Sobola

Author

Marek Sobola Ph.D. was born on July 3, 1981 in the city of Žilina, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia) into a Roman Catholic family from Lalinok and Divina villages. He spent the first years of his life in Divina. Marek Sobola is an authorised landscape architect, designer and heraldic artist. He is a member of the Slovak Chamber of Architects also a member of the Liturgical Commission of the Diocese of Žilina and a member of the Council of the Episcopal Conference of Slovakia for Science, Education and Culture. At present, he works in Žilina. He studied at the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra (SUA) at the Faculty of Horticulture and Landscape Engineering (1999 – 2004). Afterwards, he continued with his studies at SUA at the Faculty of European Studies and Regional Development, Department of Sustainable Development during 2004 – 2007. After finishing his Ph.D. studies, he studied history at Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra at the Faculty of Arts for another five years. Marek founded the project called “Tree of Peace” in 2018. 

Awards

  • The Association for Garden Design and Landscaping of Slovakia, A Garden, Park, Garden detail of 2016: Bronze and Silver medal for two garden projects.
  • The Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, A Phoenix – National Cultural Monument of the Year 2017: Honourable recognition for exceptional realization of the restoration project of the Statue of St. John of Nepomuk in the village of Divina. 

Members of team

Dominika Sobolová

Dominika Sobolová

Dipl. Ing. Dominika Sobolová was born on January 9, 1989 in the city of Žilina, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia). She studied at the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra at the Faculty of European Studies and Regional Development during 2011 – 2016. Dominika is the wife of Marek Sobola and is a great supporter of the Tree of Peace project.


Stanislav Mikolaj

Stanislav Mikolaj

Mgr. and Dipl. Ing. Stanislav Mikolaj Jr. was born on August 13, 1980 in the city of Žilina, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia). Stanislav is an important Slovak antiquarian and writer from Žilina. At present, he works in his own antiquarian bookstore called Scriptorium. He studied at Alexander Dubček University of Trenčín. After finishing his studies in chemistry, he studied history at  Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra at the Faculty of Arts. Stanislav is a co-founder of the Servare et Manere, o.z., a non-governmental organization.


Michal Janiga sculptor

Michal Janiga

MgA. Michal Janiga was born on October 12, 1991 in the town of Považská Bystrica, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia). Michal is a sculptor and lives and works in Prague, Czech Republic. Michal studied at The  Academy of Fine Arts in Prague at the Studio of Figural Sculpture and Medal. He graduated in his studies with the title MgA. (Magister Artis / MFA). This young and talented sculptor has had several author exhibitions in Slovakia, Norway, Italy and the Czech Republic. Michal is the author of the portrait of Ondrej Sobola.




Supporters


Žilina self-governing region

Žilina self-governing region


Žilina region is unique for its natural, cultural and historical heritage, and especially great people. The Žilina self-governing region significantly supported our project in 2018 – 2019.




GOOD IDEA SLOVAKIA


The international project Tree of Peace officially represents the Slovak Republic under the brand called “GOOD IDEA SLOVAKIA – IDEAS FROM SLOVAKIA”. Under the brand name “GOOD IDEA SLOVAKIA”, Slovakia as a country presents itself at home and abroad. The Trademark License is granted by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.



Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs of Slovakia


The Project is being carried out with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.



Ľubomír Rehák_Ambassador

Ľubomír Rehák


Ľubomír Rehák, Ph.D. is the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Republic to the Court of St. James’ in London. His Excellency is a great friend and supporter of the  “Tree of Peace” project since its inception. The civic association Servare et Manere awarded to Ambassador with the highest award of the project: The Tree of Peace Memorial Plaque.







Planted trees

Stromy pokoja

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Divina, village and municipality in Žilina District : 49.271143, 18.695516
Veľkrop, village and municipality in Stropkov District: 49.237631, 21.752879
Vychylovka, a part of Nová Bystrica, village and municipality in Čadca District: 49.383738, 19.098794
City of Žilina: 49.206958, 18.751058
Jangrot, a part of Gmina Trzyciąż, village and municipality in Olkusz County: 50.328590, 19.726896
Town of Turzovka in Čadca District: 49.406003, 18.626311
Pushkin, a part of Saint Petersburg, State Museum Tsarskoye Selo: 59.725464, 30.387048
Kaiservilla in Bad Ischl: 47.715468, 13.618814
Lalinok, a part of Divinka, village and municipality in Žilina District: 49.265936, 18.708569
Leipzig: 51.312602, 12.411473
Kansas City, Missouri: 39.079953, -94.585721
Brookwood Military Cemetery: 51.301166, -0.636433
Kragujevac (Serbian Cyrillic: Крагујевац): 44.010028, 20.885503
Schaan, Liechtenstein: 47.166909, 9.510963
Vysoká nad Kysucou: 49.378504, 18.545883




Planned trees

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Chartres, commune and capital of the Eure-et-Loir department: 48.447326, 1.487814
Beijing: 39.911283, 116.441371
Nicosia: 35.168854, 33.361365
Ankara: 39.913284, 32.852066
Malaysia, Sabah: 5.977248, 116.079052
Taipei: 25.028488, 121.536243
Planned Victory Park, Tashkent, Uzbekistan: 41.353854, 69.226414
Hildesheim: 52.145779, 9.951523
Dublin, Phoenix Park: 53.355036, -6.326419
Gibraltar: 36.132129, -5.351664
Saint Helena: -15.950962, -5.714362
Norfolk Island: -29.014689, 167.939745
Madang town, Papua New Guinea: -5.212319, 145.814811
Vavaʻu, Tonga: -18.621935, -173.988451