When you think of taking a walk, cemeteries aren’t usually the first place to come to mind. Or at least they weren’t for me – until I lived in Copenhagen. We would see them when we travel, but when we first visited the Bispebjerg Cemetery for the cherry blossoms, I learned that a visit amongst the graves doesn’t have to be an anomaly.
In fact, while cemeteries certainly still hold places for solemnity and quiet, they’re not only for that. In fact, I would argue that cemeteries are some of Copenhagen’s best public parks and top of the list is Assistens Kirkergaard.
Assistens is the final resting place to Danish luminaries such as Hans Christian Andersen and Niels Bohr and Soren Kierkegaard. You can navigate to those graves but at the same time, there are so many pockets and little corners to discover.
The spring and summer flowers are particularly beautiful right around now, and many don’t realize that the grand alleys of trees they often see in photos about Copenhagen are actually from this very cemetery.
In the end, I think it’s actually quite special to have so much life in among a cemetery… I’ve always been brought up to think of cemeteries as quiet and sad places. And while it’s important to be mindful of those who might not be visiting for joyous occasions, I should like to think that if it were my resting place, I would much rather be in a place full of flowers and visitors and people continuing on. Almost as I were included in it somehow, rather that cast aside in a dusty plot that people only thought to visit every once in a while and then less and less over time…