El Bosque de La Vida, Leioa



When you arrive in Leioa, you will see that it has a varied, extensive and rich heritage of public sculpture.

In its squares, streets and parks, you will encounter works by prestigious sculptors such as Jorge Oteiza, Néstor Basterretxea, José Ramón Anda, Juan José Novella, Vicente Larrea, Remigio Mendiburu, Robert Krier, among many others.

Many of these works can be admired in green spaces such as the Elexalde, Ikea, Mendibile and Artatza parks and in the pedestrian areas of the Iparragirre and Udondo boulevards.

This permanent sculpture exhibit in Leioa has the mission to satisfy the general interest, to bring culture closer to society, to transmit values of tolerance and respect to the community, and to contribute to the public’s education in art.

You can find the location of the main works of art, commented below on the map at the bottom of this page.


Dynamic approach

Jorge Oteiza (Orio 1908 - Donostia 2003)

You can admire this large sculpture in front of the Kultur Leioa building in Jose Ramon Aketxe square.

It is a hymn to the evolution, to the constant and serene transformation, symbolised in the defence that Oteiza marked as an essential pillar in every artist’s life, who must evolve just as society itself must evolve because that which is anchored ceases to exist.

Shapes dance, move, and articulate; everything is debated in the constant movement that emerges from life itself and from the nature of facts and things.



I. José Ramón Anda (Bakaiku 1949)

Crafted in patinated bronze, it aims to symbolically unite all the people from Leioazta, regardless of their origin or provenance, ideological or religious beliefs.

The verticality of the piece is visible, with a hint of the totemic game.

The main section, which is finished off with a round arch, is crossed by another surface which in turn has a void inserted in the form of an oculus.


Leioako indarra

Néstor Basterretxea (Bermeo 1924 - Hondarribia 2014)

Metal discoid stela in the tradition of the typical funerary stelae of the Basque Country. It stands on a rectangular support to reveal its circular shape.

The artist’s symbolism is centred on its spatial development, with various openings crossing the circular surface, tearing the space and penetrating the material.


Altarpiece of freedom

Vicente Larrea (Bilbao 1934)

Larrea frames this bronze altarpiece with a set of volumes that generates a baroque effect in the manner of a labyrinthine space.

The use of the crumpled sheet allows for the articulation of folds and visual paths that merge into a burst of organic waves.

Larrea’s first public work in bronze.


Remigio Mendiburu (Hondarribia 1931 - 1990 Barcelona)

This work focuses on articulating cylindrical volumes constantly swirling, jumping and playing with balance.

The sculpture faces in all directions as if seeking to go beyond the four cardinal points.

Rob Krier (1938 Luxemburgo)


A naked male torso in which the limbs are missing, focusing the point of interest on the only existing element: the human trunk.

The figure gestures to walk, although his lower limbs are mutilated at the knees.

One of the legs is thrust forward with the upper part of the other side, while the corresponding extremes are held back from such an impulse.

This attitude encourages a dislocation of symmetries, with sections forward and others seeming to lag behind.


Iñaki Aurrekoetxea (Zamudio 1953)

The obelisk, built in Corten steel, rises on a base made up of three staggered levels and narrows as it rises to be crowned by a greyish pyramid that serves as a preamble to its final finishing touch in a small metal structure.

Obelisks were used prominently in Ancient Egypt, carved from a single block of stone and generally placed in pairs at the temple entrance.

As well as being a meeting point for Leioaztarras, it directly references the culture and symbolism undertaken by other great civilisations.


Bizkaia, an iron wave

Néstor Basterretxea (Bermeo 1924 - Hondarribia 2014)

Located in the Rotonda de Romo, it is made of Corten steel with a concrete base and is intended as an allegory of the efforts of the people of Bizkaia in the face of the ups and downs of the time.

The use of steel involves clear correlations with the personality and industrial history of Bizkaia.

The lower part, made of concrete and semicircular in shape, refers to the form of a bridge as an articulating and communicative element between divergent materials and forms, as well as between different ways of appreciating and perceiving life.



José Ramón Gonzalez Nazábal (Castro Urdiales 1938 - Bilbao 2003)

The female figure is seated on a rock combing her hair. She is next to a river, and her feet are in the shape of birds’ flippers.


Bosque de la vida (Forest of life)

Zade &Vilà Associats

Located in the Arboretum, next to the Lertutxe reservoir, the Bosque de la Vida (Forest of Life) is a singular and unique space that acknowledges the generosity of so many people who, through the donation of their bodies, enable the advancement of medicine, both in the field of teaching and research.

The monument is a group of 20 tall metal trees containing the urns with the ashes of the donors.

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.

These trees are basically composed of three parts: the tree grille, which covers the foundation base, and is marked with the tree number and also serves as an orientation grid.

The trunk, with a height of between 14 and 18 metres, is made up of two 4 and 6-mm Corten steel plates and a 350-mm tube. These tree surrounds support the canopy and holds the urns inside.



Juanjo Novella (Portugalete 1961)

Made of high-carbon steel, it simulates a vine leaf, the aim being none other than to pay homage to the preparation of txakoli and to all those who have dedicated themselves to and promoted this agricultural activity.

The piece is articulated by a set of perforations that allow shadows to be cast on the floor through the existing holes, producing an interesting visual effect.

Esférica, escultura en Leioa



Jesús Lizaso (BaraKaldo 1961)

It belongs to the Bustin Arima series, and reflects the representative idea of a harrijasotzaile (stone lifter) with its volumetric, exaggerated, bulky and notably Michelangeloesque developments.

It depicts the raising moment, with the stone being lifted and resting on his knees.

Leioa's treasure map of sculptures

Follow the sculpture route in Leioa and explore this artistic gem in our streets and gardens.