Assistens Kirkegård

Assistens Kirkegård

History, atmosphere and famous dead people

Assistens Kirkegård was inaugurated in 1760 and has been a sought-after cemetery for more than 200 years now. Many famous Danes are buried here – most notably, Hans Christian Andersen and Søren Kierkegaard. The cemetery is not only interesting from a national, historical point of view, though. Yes, Kierkegaard's grave is a tourist attraction, but so is the very way the cemetery is being used by the Copenhageners.

Like most Copenhagen cemeteries, Assistens Kirkegård does not only function as burial place, but also as park. There are bicycle routes through all our big cemeteries, including this one. There’s a widespread recreational use of the cemetery – with people hanging out with their friends, or having their lunches, or coming for their daily run, or bringing their books, preparing for an examination. The cemetery is simply an urban space dedicated to the living as well as the dead, and it has been so for centuries.  Many Copenhageners had the cemetery as target for their Sunday trips as early as in the beginning of the 19th century, when Copenhagen was a much smaller city and only a few hundred people populated the cemetery's surroundings. Today, Nørrebro has around 80.000 inhabitants, and for many of these people, Assistens Kirkegård is an indispensable part of the good city life.

We hope you'll enjoy your visit, too. Follow the guide for an introduction to the basics: some history, some famous dead people, and the present state of death and burials in Copenhagen.

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