The Hungarian Cultural Garden

The Hungarian Cultural Garden is part of a larger network of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. The mission of the Gardens is to bring “peace through mutual understanding”. Around 32 gardens are dedicated to various cultural minorities represented in Cleveland, or in the surrounding region.

Within the gardens, statues and memorials pay homage to the peacemakers, philosophers, poets, scientists, composers and other significant figures who contributed to society. The Hungarian Garden was initiated in March 1934, and in September of that year the Cultural Garden Committee of the United Hungarian Societies of Cleveland was formed; by October its first plaque, to Franz Liszt, was unveiled.


However, the entire garden was only fully completed and dedicated in July 1938 after years of planning and construction. This occasion was accompanied by about 15,000 people who took part in the parade and ensuing ceremony. In 1941, a 40-foot flagpole, adorned with an American flag, was added to the garden.

Throughout the years additional cultural figures were added next to Liszt: in 1950 a bronze statue of Imre Madach, in 1954 a bronze bust of Ady Endre, in 1956 a plaque for Dr. Jozsef Remenyi. The next big event held in the Hungarian Garden was only held in 2008 on the 70th anniversary of the garden. Subsequent concerts and ceremonies were held in 2013 for the 75th anniversary and in 2018 for the 80th.

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The Bethlen Home: Ligioner, Pennsylvania

Tragedy struck Smithtown, Pennsylvania in December, 1907 when 239 men and boys died in a mining explosion. The Darr Mine disaster was caused by miners carrying open lamps in mismarked areas and was one of the worst mining tragedies in Pennsylvania history.

A few years later, on July 4th, 1921, an orphanage was opened in the nearby town of Ligonier by the Hungarian Reformed Federation of America. The Federation was founded in Trenton, NJ in 1896 and continues to work out the Kossuth House in Washington DC. Soon after the opening of the first orphanage, The Federation purchased the Park Hotel (as it was known at the time) near Ligioner to expand the orphanage’s facilities for the children and their caregivers.

The orphanage was christened the “Bethlen Home”, which is now located on “Moriah Mountain” overlooking the town of Ligioner on Kalassay Drive. Since then, the care facilities have vastly expanded establishing “Bethlen Communities” in the surrounding area which provide retirement care community. The Bethlen Communities are supported by the Kalassay Society which provides economic and representative help to the retirement care; they also seek to uphold the Hungarian-American values they were founded on.

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