Belgrade to host event in honor of Helen of Anjou

BELGRADE - On April 26, Belgrade will host an event to remind people of the friendship between the Serbs and the French that goes back many centuries, featuring a parade through the city center and planting of lilacs at the Kalemegdan Fortress in honor of Helen of Anjou.

The "Days of the Lilacs" are held to remember an event when King Stefan Uros I, to welcome the French princess and queen consort of the Serbian Kingdom, Helen of Anjou, to her new home in Serbia, ordered that the whole valley upstream the River Ibar be planted with fragrant lilacs so that her new country would remind her of her old home in Provence.

This area is now known as the Valley of the Lilacs.

The parade on Sunday will be attended by representatives of the French cities of Nice, Cannes and Lyon, and the event, said participants in a press conference at the Belgrade City Assembly, deserved to cross local boundaries and become a recognizable Serbian brand.

"This event serves to remember us of our rich history, of our relations with France and of the position that we enjoyed in Europe many centuries ago," city manager Goran Vesic told reporters.

Photo Tanjug Video, camera operator Milan Romanjuk

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