El Bosque de la Vida

Here lie the ashes of of those who have selflessly donated their bodies to science

For 26 years, Francisco Doñate, Professor of Anatomy and Embryology at the EHU/UPV Faculty of Medicine and Nursing in Leioa, guarded the ashes of people who had donated their bodies to science, with the idea of building a small pantheon to house them.

Through the collective efforts of numerous donors and the unwavering support of EHU/UPV, the ‘Bosque de la Vida’ (Forest of Life) was proudly inaugurated in 2003. This monument is a tribute to the countless individuals who have selflessly donated their bodies to science, as it would be impossible to teach medicine without them.

It is a place that, unlike a building, is never closed (physically, visually or conceptually), where there are no paths, no doors, no order, no numbers, no limits… this place is a Forest.

Visiting the Bosque de la Vida (Forest of Life) is one of the first experiences that medical students undertake. The content of the forest, its meaning, and the donating individuals are presented to them. Something happens in that space; those who walk through it are never the same again.

A sign in three languages reads: «Here lie the ashes of those who have selflessly donated their bodies to science. This is where death is recreated by helping life».

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