Žilina, November 3, 2021. On the occasion of the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II was today in Slovakia officially planted the very first Jubilee tree in Central Europe. A memorial common oak (Quercus robur), also known as an English oak, was planted in Carl Gustav Swensson Park in Žilina. The planting was carried out under the Official auspices of the British Embassy in Bratislava and was inspired by the official program “The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC)“. The tree was planted by Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Slovakia Mr. Nigel Marcus Baker OBE MVO together with the the author of this idea Dr. Marek Sobola, Michal Janiga and the Mayor of Žilina Peter Fiabáne. Oak was not chosen at random. It is mainly a long-lasting tree, and the stylized oak tree also represents the logo of the QGC program. Žilina’s planting has a leading position throughout Central Europe – as a very first planting the “Platinum Jubilee Tree”.
Marek Sobola and Michal Janiga are also co-authors of the Carl Gustav Swensson Memorial in Žilina, which is located in the park of the same name. The Memorial consists of two inseparable parts: sculptural-architectural work and living planting. The 4.6 m high sculpture itself is inspired by the Gothic Gate (Slovak: Gotická brána), the most beautiful natural formation of the Súľov Rocks (Slovak: Súľovské skaly), a mountain massif near Žilina. The Memorial is based on the Gothic Gate not only in shape but also in material. The Súľov Rocks massif is made of a Súľov conglomerate, which is very similar to a concrete mixture. The green roof on the crown of the Memorial finds its species in the rocky vegetation. The green roof as a tool of contemporary landscape architecture is gaining more and more popularity in the design of buildings. In addition to its aesthetic function, it is an element that is perfectly connected with the surrounding landscape and, last but not least, this green infrastructure retains water in the landscape and is a habitat for many species of animals. This creates new habitats in an urban environment. The use of contemporary landscape tools and methods, together with classical architectural sculpture and materials, created a precondition for the creation of a modern architectural and artistic work, which fulfills not only aesthetic but also an educational function.
Planting of a memorial oak for Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee will add exceptionality to the park area and is also the result of excellent Slovak-British relations. Although this event has nothing to do with the International Tree of Peace, it is an international event of planting a memorial tree, which took place under the auspices of Servare et Manere, which is also responsible for the implementation of the Tree of Peace.