The practice of endowments, deeply rooted in the being of medieval Serbia, especially flourished at the end of 19th and the beginning of 20th century, which was compatible with the general atmosphere of raising national awareness, whereas the well-off and philanthropic individuals wished to contribute to empowerment of the country. Endowers and philanthropists used to leave their houses, agricultural land, money and other assets to the state, particularly for the purpose of educating poor, talented students, but also for founding schools, libraries and many other purposes. The first registered endowment dating from 1856, was the “Fund for arranging annual requiem services for the heroes died for the fatherland”. The fund was established by Toma Vučić-Perišić and Ilija Milosavljević Kolarc with the initial capital of 250 gold coins. There is almost no burial plot at the New Cemetery of Belgrade, without buried endowers, benefactors or humanists, who in their own accord, either in terms of financial support or by investing their social influence, contacts, knowledge or skills, significantly contributed to empowerment of the country.
The second guided stroll through the New Cemetery this year entitled the “Great People of Goodwill” organized on March 4, 2018, in extremely harsh weather conditions was attended by our most fateful and persistent citizens of Belgrade. In addition to the short history of the New Cemetery from its beginnings to this day, the visitors were able to see the final resting places of the most significant benefactors, endowers and philanthropists buried at this cemetery: Vlajko Kalenić, Teodora Korać (daughter of merchant Ilija Korać, who provided dowry of one thousand dinars to the poor girls in order to marry young men, members of trade youth, thus helping the young couples to start their life together), Vasa and Nikola Radojković, Krsmanović brothers (Aleksa and Dimitrije), Samuilo and Golub Janić, Milan Kujundžić Aberdar (who left endowment in terms of his summer house at Topčiderska Zvezda), scientist Jovan Cvijić (who left his house as a legacy to the state and people), Ilija Milosavljević – Kolarac, Velimir Mihailo Teodorović (the illegitimate son of Prince Mihailo Obrenović and founder of the endowment “Veliminarium” – established with the purpose to support “the development of science, art, industry and craftsmanship”), Miloš Savčić (engineer, industrialist and Mayor of Belgrade – famous for the fact that he paid off the debts of the City with his own money), Vladimir Matijević and Luka Ćelović-Trebinjac, who left his entire, significant estate to the University of Belgrade to manage, under the condition that:„ it should be used for scientific purposes and other needs of the University“.
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