Poznań unveils pocket-sized ‘forest of remembrance’ where visitors can ‘remember the dead among the rustle of trees’
Touted as being one of Poland’s most unusual burial plots, a pocket-sized ‘forest of remembrance’ has been unveiled in Poznań.
Occupying a portion of the city’s Junikowo Cemetery, the peaceful 180 sq/m space has been located inside a wooded clearing framed by a small, knee-high fence.
Purposefully free from the frequently flamboyant embellishments found in other cemeteries, the space has been designed for biodegradable urns and will, ultimately, be a place for friends and families to scatter the ashes of their loved ones.
According to city officials, no tombs or gravestones will be added: “It has a natural and minimalist character,” reads a statement. “Places of individual burials will not be marked in any way by slabs or tombs, and neither will bouquets or wreaths be allowed.”
Instead, two stone boulders have been placed at the entrance, and it’s on here that the names of the deceased will be carved on special request. Should people wish to leave flowers or candles, they will be able to do so by these ornamental rocks.
The Forest of Remembrance will enable contemplation and visitors will be able to remember the dead among the rustle of the trees,” continued the statement.
“Falling leaves and foliage will form the natural décor of this special place of memory, whilst the natural arrangement of the plot will mean it will not require cleaning, corrections or any additional decorations.”
Whilst Poznań already operates a similar concept on the Grunwaldzka side of the same cemetery, the wooded, pastoral nature of this new plot makes it unique.
Moreover, its opening – and the publicity it has received in both the national and local press – has been cited as further proof that Poles are looking increasingly towards non-traditional burial options.
This, though, has played in line with general global trends. Originally seen as the preserve of the new age lifestyle, forest burials and gardens of remembrance have proved to be a global trend and have been consistently cited as being both sustainable and environmentally friendly.
According to one source, their cresting popularity is partially due to the symbolism they afford, offering a way to ‘return to nature’ whilst simultaneously bridging the gap between life, death and rebirth.
Additionally, the minimal ecological impact has also won admirers given that more traditional burials have been blamed for releasing toxic chemicals and undegradable substances into the ecosystem.
Now another forest of remembrance has also been planned in Poznań, this one in the city’s Miłostowo cemetery.