Today I’m hosting quite unique and very quirky story! The photograph was taken by Wiola Starczewska, a Polish Girl who run Starczewska.com Blog on the Assistens Cemetery in Copenhagen.
Wiola is a Warsaw-based dreamer and adventure seeker. She is a huge fan of Jim Morrison, Portuguese language and little cafes.
Photo Story: Assistens Cemetery, Copenhagen
There is a street called Nørrebrogade. It is the most buzzing street in the whole of Copenhagen. Arabian cafes, eat outs and shops.
The bus number 5A running frequently, the biggest supermarket Fotex, people from all over the world (Nørrebro is one multicultural pot) biking, walking, buying ajran at kebab places, flea markets on Sundays.
Along all of that, there is cemetery – Assistens Cemetery. Big, green area with humble grey graves. Place, where Hans Christian Andersen is buried. And the place where all Danes like to enjoy while drinking, sunbathing and exercising.
When I first moved to the capital of Denmark in 2012, my mentor from university (I was an Erasmus student) gave me a map and marked this place with a note: “drinking place”.
I didn’t know what to think of it! In my country cemetery is a cemetery, you go there usually sad, melancholic and full of respect. It’s not a place of entertainment.
Summer arrived. Scandinavian days were long and surprisingly sunny. We have decided to check out this famous park. We packed a blanket, six-pack of Carlsberg and off we went.
It was raining a bit but stopped by the beginning of our “picnic”. Danish summer is known for its unpredictable weather.
There is unbelievable silence at the Nørrebro cemetery. Like somebody put a curtain between the street and the park and said: “shhh…”.
Some of the Danes are jogging, some couples with kids are having lunch on the blankets. We set our blanket, opened the beer and looked around the graves – our company.
It’s nothing strange here. The park is beautiful and it is in the heart of the city. It’s not surprising that liberal Danes don’t mind sharing it with the dead (however it sounds).
At Assistens Kirkegård, except Hans Christian Andersen, there is the grave of Natasja Saad, Danish reggae singer who died at the age of 33 in a car accident. Her grave here is what Jim Morrison’ s grave is for Père Lachaise.
It’s covered with not only flowers but lighters, stones, necklaces and photos. When I was leaving I thought to myself: ‘I will be coming here more often’.
And I did. For a date, to hang around the park, to sit on the bench and to chat, to read after a long day at work.
I took this picture back in 2012 and you can see my friend Natalia on it, I have been staying in Copenhagen for much longer and Nørrebro became my favourite district and Assistens Cemetery was an often visited place.
Assistens Cemetery in Copenhagen, Denmark, is the burial site of a large number of Danish notables as well as an important greenspace in the Nørrebro district.
Inaugurated in 1760, it was originally a burial site for the poor laid out to relieve the crowded graveyards inside the walled city, but during the Golden Age in the first half of the 19th century it became fashionable and many leading figures of the epoch, such as Hans Christian Andersen, Søren Kierkegaard, Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg, and Christen Købke are all buried here.
The cemetery is still serving its original purpose as a burial ground but is also a popular tourist attraction, as well as the largest and most important greenspace in the inner part of the Nørrebro district.
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