Eastern France’s Sanctuary Forests: Where Nature and Eternal Rest Unite

Eastern France's Sanctuary Forests: Where Nature and Eternal Rest Unite

Eastern France's Sanctuary Forests: Where Nature and Eternal Rest Unite. Image: locrifa / Shutterstock.com

In a tranquil corner of eastern France, an eco-friendly concept borrowed from neighbouring Germany is taking root.

Cinerary forests, also known as sanctuary forests, have emerged as an enchanting alternative to traditional cemeteries.

These natural settings are becoming increasingly popular as more people choose not only to be cremated but to have their ashes interred beneath the canopy of a majestic tree.

This idea, which has been flourishing in Germany for some years, is now spreading to regions in France.

Nancy, an eastern French city, is also embracing this trend by planting trees within a cemetery.

Soon, residents will have the option of finding their final resting place surrounded by the beauty of nature.

Chantal Finck, the Councillor in charge of public service quality, recognises the growing demand for sanctuary forests and explains the city’s forward-thinking approach.

The councillor confirmed: “We are the first major city in France to take an interest in the cinerary forest.”

“Why should we?” she asked, and answered, “Because it meets a societal and environmental need and we are completely convinced of this.”

Starting in December, the ashes of the city’s residents will be buried free of charge, without the customary flowers, wreaths, or headstones.

This eco-friendly and serene approach to burial is undoubtedly a step towards a more harmonious connection between life, death, and nature.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.