We chose Assistens as one of the locations for the Fall 2014 photo shoot, not only for its spectacular beauty, but because the location itself is a cultural gem that speaks to the very fabric of Copenhagen. The Danish Society for Conservation agrees: Starting in May 2014, it has designated Assistens Cemetery a heritage location that will be preserved and protected. And this, of course, is just as it should be.
Paradoxically, Assistens Cemetery is one of the liveliest spots in all of Copenhagen. In warm weather the cemetery essentially serves as a park, with people sunbathing and reading on its rolling grounds. Originally meant as a cemetery for Copenhagen’s poor, Assistens gained cachet when a well-to-do secretary of state announced that he wanted to be buried there. That was 200-odd years ago. But what he started continues with the artists and thinkers who have chosen to make this lovely piece of land their lasting home.
Buried here are Danish notables including Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875), Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855), Niels Bohr (1885–1962), and Finn Juhl (1912–1989), respectively the country’s most-renowned author, philosopher, physicist and architect/industrial designer.