Mausoleum of Peter von Scholten (1754-1854)

Mausoleum of Peter von Scholten (1754-1854)

Assistens Kirkegård's only mausoleum contains the coffin of Peter von Scholten, who was Governor General of the Danish West Indies from 1827–48. These islands are now part of the USA and are called The Virgin Islands.

The Danish West Indies were a Danish colony from 1754 to 1917. Then the islands were sold to the USA for 25 million dollars.

It was under Peter von Scholten’s rule that all slaves in the Danish West Indies were emancipated. As a response to a slave rebellion in 1848, he freed the slaves without the approval of the Danish king.

Shortly hereafter, von Scholten was called back to Denmark where a trial was brought against him. He was denied his pension, although he was later cleared of the charges and acquitted shortly before his death.

Mausoleums have never held a very prominent position within Danish funerary customs.  Copenhagen’s (and Denmark’s) largest cemetery, Vestre Kirkegård, has around 25 mausoleums, most of them built in the 1910s and 1920s.

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