Old Russian Cemetery

Old Russian Cemetery

- one of Assistens Kirkegård's special sections for minorities

Old Russian Cemetery is one of two small Russian sections in Assistens Kirkegård. It's characterized by trefoil crosses and Russian crosses with diagonal braces. Danish and Russian texts alternate on the headstones. The Old Russian Cemetery is managed by the Russian Orthodox Church in Denmark.

There are quite a few special sections in the Copenhagen cemeteries: areas reserved for primarily religious or national minorities. In Assistens Kirkegård, you'll find a catholic section and a section for homeless people besides the two russian sections. There is also a grave plot in the cemetery where only gays and lesbians can have their urns interred.

It is, of course, entirely voluntary whether to be buried in these special sections or not - you don’t have to be buried in the catholic section if you’re a catholic. Often, though, minorities do wish to mark their religious affiliations in the cemetery.

In Denmark, all municipalities as well as religious communities recognized by the state can establish cemeteries.  Few do, though. Therefore, the vast majority of cemeteries in Denmark is managed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Anyone living in a parish, however, has the right to be buried in the local evangelical-lutheran cemetery, regardless of religion. If you’re not a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, though, you must pay a higher price for a grave plot.

Asisstens Kirkegård is managed by the Copenhagen Municipality, so being a member or not of the Evangelical Lutheran Church has no impact here on the price you must pay for a grave plot. But citizens of Copenhagen pay a bit less for a grave plot in Assistens Kirkegård than others because the citizens of Copenhagen contribute to the operation of the city's cemeteries through their taxes.

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