Vestre Cemetery
Vestre Cemetery is located in a large park setting in the Kongens Enghave
Kongens Enghave
Kongens Enghave , also known as Sydhavnen , is a district in southern Copenhagen. The area has historically been one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Copenhagen, dissected by major transport corridors and characterized by social problems as well as industry along the harbour-front.Since the turn...

 district of Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

, Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

. With its 54 hectare
The hectare is a metric unit of area defined as 10,000 square metres , and primarily used in the measurement of land. In 1795, when the metric system was introduced, the are was defined as being 100 square metres and the hectare was thus 100 ares or 1/100 km2...

s it is the largest cemetery
A cemetery is a place in which dead bodies and cremated remains are buried. The term "cemetery" implies that the land is specifically designated as a burying ground. Cemeteries in the Western world are where the final ceremonies of death are observed...

 in Denmark.

Beautifully landscaped, it also serves as an important open space
Urban open space
In land use planning, urban open space is open space areas for “parks”, “green spaces”, and other open areas. The landscape of urban open spaces can range from playing fields to highly maintained environments to relatively natural landscapes. They are commonly open to public access, however, urban...

popular for people to take a stroll, and look at the old graves and monuments.

It is located southwest of the city center
Indre By
Indre By , also known as Copenhagen Center or K or Downtown Copenhagen or City, is one of the 15 administrative, statistical, and tax city districts comprising the municipality of Copenhagen, Denmark...

, between the Enghave
Enghave station
Enghave station is an S-train station in Copenhagen, Denmark. The station opened on November 11, 1911. S-train service commenced on November 1, 1934, and today the station is serviced by trains on Vestbanen and Frederikssundbanen....

, Sydhavn
Sydhavn station
Sydhavn is a station on the Køge radial of the S-train network in Copenhagen, Denmark. The station is named after Sydhavnen , a district of southern Copenhagen....

, Sjælør
Sjælør station
Sjælør station is an railway station on the Køge radial of the S-train network in Copenhagen, Denmark....

 and Valby
Valby station
Valby station is a railway station in the Valby district of Copenhagen, Denmark. It is located where the Tåstrup and Frederikssund radials of the S-train network diverge, and is served by trains on either radial. Some regional and intercity trains also stop at Valby, mainly to provide transfers to...

 train stations on Copenhagen's S-train
The S-train network is a combined urban rapid transit and suburban rail network of Metropolitan Copenhagen, Denmark. It connects the city center with the inner suburbs of Copenhagen, and has close to half of the stations within the urban city. The first line was opened in 1934...

 system, and right next to the historic Carlsberg neighbourhood
Carlsberg (district)
Carlsberg is an area straddling the border of Valby and Vesterbro districts in central Copenhagen, Denmark. It covers an area of 33 hectares and is the former industrial site of the Carlsberg Breweries, which decommissioned their Valby brewery at the end of 2008, concentrating their production of...


The cemetery is one of five run by Copenhagen municipality. The other cemeteries are Assistens Cemetery, Brønshøj Cemetery, Sundby Cemetery, and Bispebjerg Cemetery.


Vestre Kirkegård was opened in 1870 to accommodate an urgent need for adequate burial places for the growing population of Copenhagen. Assistens Cemetery, till then the main cemetery of the city, had long been unable to cope with the increasing number of burials. First a burial place for the poor, Vestre Kirkegaard became the principal burial place during the 1990s.

The setting

The cemetery is noted for its beautiful scenery, offers a maze of dense groves, open lawns, winding paths, hedges, overgrown tomb
A tomb is a repository for the remains of the dead. It is generally any structurally enclosed interment space or burial chamber, of varying sizes...

s, monuments, tree-lined avenues, ponds and other garden feature
Garden feature
Garden features are physical elements, both natural and manmade, used in garden design.*Avenue*Cascade*Belvedere*Deck*Duck Island, Duck house, or Duck Canopy*Duck pond*Feengrotten*Folly*Fountain*Gazebo*Grotto*Hedge*Herbaceous border*Lawn...

s. Many graves have distinctive gravestones, sculptures or large mausoleum
A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or persons. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the...

s and are eclectically placed. The cemetery's grounds boast a huge variety of trees with many rare species and is a heaven to birds and small mammals.

The Crossroads Project

The Crossroads Project (Danish: Stjernevejsprojektet) is a garden complex with a pavilion
Pavilion (structure)
In architecture a pavilion has two main meanings.-Free-standing structure:Pavilion may refer to a free-standing structure sited a short distance from a main residence, whose architecture makes it an object of pleasure. Large or small, there is usually a connection with relaxation and pleasure in...

 at its centre, designed by Schønher Landskab. It was created in 2003 after Copenhagen Municipality arranged a competition for the regeneration of an area characterized by the abandoned Southern Chapel of the cemetery and elm tree
Elms are deciduous and semi-deciduous trees comprising the genus Ulmus in the plant family Ulmaceae. The dozens of species are found in temperate and tropical-montane regions of North America and Eurasia, ranging southward into Indonesia. Elms are components of many kinds of natural forests...

s dead from Dutch elm disease
Dutch elm disease
Dutch elm disease is a disease caused by a member of the sac fungi category, affecting elm trees which is spread by the elm bark beetle. Although believed to be originally native to Asia, the disease has been accidentally introduced into America and Europe, where it has devastated native...

. The complex is intended to serve a dual purpose both relating to the locations function as a burial place and as an open space and meeting place in the city, for those seeking piece and silence.

The complex consists of two intersecting axes
Reflection symmetry
Reflection symmetry, reflectional symmetry, line symmetry, mirror symmetry, mirror-image symmetry, or bilateral symmetry is symmetry with respect to reflection. That is, a figure which does not change upon undergoing a reflection has reflectional symmetry.In 2D there is a line of symmetry, in 3D a...

 with the former Southern Chapel in its centre. The chapel was partly demolished, leaving only the central part as an open pavilion-like dome
A dome is a structural element of architecture that resembles the hollow upper half of a sphere. Dome structures made of various materials have a long architectural lineage extending into prehistory....

d structure. The building is partly over-grown by ivy
Ivy, plural ivies is a genus of 12–15 species of evergreen climbing or ground-creeping woody plants in the family Araliaceae, native to western, central and southern Europe, Macaronesia, northwestern Africa and across central-southern Asia east to Japan and Taiwan.-Description:On level ground they...

. The surrounding garden spaces of the two axes, creating a Greek cross
A cross is a geometrical figure consisting of two lines or bars perpendicular to each other, dividing one or two of the lines in half. The lines usually run vertically and horizontally; if they run obliquely, the design is technically termed a saltire, although the arms of a saltire need not meet...

, are confined by tall yew hedges
Taxus baccata
Taxus baccata is a conifer native to western, central and southern Europe, northwest Africa, northern Iran and southwest Asia. It is the tree originally known as yew, though with other related trees becoming known, it may be now known as the English yew, or European yew.-Description:It is a small-...

 and have a grass surface. Embedded in the lawns of the cross arms are narrow, rust coloured
Rust (color)
Rust is a red-brown-orange color resembling iron oxide. It is a commonly used color in stage lighting, and appears roughly the same color as photographic safelights when used over a standard tungsten light source. The color is number 777 in the swatch book....

 paths made of oxidized iron
Iron oxide
Iron oxides are chemical compounds composed of iron and oxygen. All together, there are sixteen known iron oxides and oxyhydroxides.Iron oxides and oxide-hydroxides are widespread in nature, play an important role in many geological and biological processes, and are widely utilized by humans, e.g.,...

 plates, flanked by rows by cherry tree
The cherry is the fruit of many plants of the genus Prunus, and is a fleshy stone fruit. The cherry fruits of commerce are usually obtained from a limited number of species, including especially cultivars of the wild cherry, Prunus avium....

s. At the end of each cross arm is a 9 metre tall rust coloured iron arch.

The design of the project is inspired by Bramante
Donato Bramante
Donato Bramante was an Italian architect, who introduced the Early Renaissance style to Milan and the High Renaissance style to Rome, where his most famous design was St...

's Tempietto in Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 and the baroque
Baroque architecture
Baroque architecture is a term used to describe the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late sixteenth century Italy, that took the Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical and theatrical fashion, often to express the triumph of the Catholic Church and...

 gardens of Villa Gori in Siena
Siena is a city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008...

. The latter is characterized by the garden being contained in the two axes of the garden, instead of the axes being the connecting feature of the surrounding gardens as is normally the case.


Among the notables interred at the cemetery are political and business leaders, philosophers, artists, and musicians:
  • Carl Aller
    Carl Aller
    Carl Julius Aller was a Danish publisher of the late 19th and early 20th century and founder of Aller Media, the largest publisher of weekly magazines in the Nordic Countries and still controlled by the Aller family....

      (1845-1926), publisher, founder of Aller Media
  • Hans Niels Andersen
    Hans Niels Andersen
    Hans Niels Andersen was a Danish shipping magnate, businessman and founder of the East Asiatic Company....

     (1852–1937), businessman, founder of East Asiatic Company
    East Asiatic Company
    The East Asiatic Company was founded by Hans Niels Andersen in Copenhagen in 1897. Service which would eventually include both passenger and freight lines between the Danish capital, Bangkok and the far east was the initial objective. Routes to include the Baltic and Black Seas were...

  • Herman Bang
    Herman Bang
    Herman Joachim Bang was a Danish author, one of the men of the Modern Breakthrough.-Biography:Bang was born into a noble family of Asserballe, on the small Danish island of Als, the son of a South Jutlandic vicar...

     (1857–1912), writer
  • Vilhelm Buhl
    Vilhelm Buhl
    Vilhelm Buhl was Prime Minister of Denmark from 4 May 1942 to 9 November 1942 as head of the Unity Government during the German occupation of Denmark of World War II, until the Nazis ordered him removed...

     (1881–1954), political leader, Social Democrat
    Social Democrats (Denmark)
    The Social Democrats , is a Danish political party committed to the political ideology of social democracy. It is the major coalition partner in Denmark's government since the 2011 parliamentary election, and party leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt is the current Prime Minister of Denmark...

     Prime Minister of Denmark
    Prime Minister of Denmark
    The Prime Minister of Denmark is the head of government in Danish politics. The Prime Minister is traditionally the leader of a political coalition in the Folketing and presides over the cabinet....

  • Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen
    Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen
    Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen was a Danish sculptor. Her preferred themes were domestic animals and people, with an intense, naturalistic portrayal of movements and sentiments. She also depicted themes from Nordic mythology...

     (1863–1945), sculptor
  • Edvard Eriksen
    Edvard Eriksen
    Edvard Eriksen was a Danish-Icelandic sculptor. He is best known as the creator of the Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, which he completed in 1913.-External links:...

     (1876–1959), sculptor, most famous for the statue of the Little Mermaid
    The Little Mermaid (statue)
    The statue of The Little Mermaid sits on a rock in the harbour of the capital of Denmark. Based on a tale by Hans Christian Andersen, the small and unimposing statue is a Copenhagen icon and a major tourist attraction....

  • Vilhelm Hammershøi
    Vilhelm Hammershøi
    Vilhelm Hammershøi , often written in English Vilhelm Hammershoi , was a Danish painter. He is known for his poetic, low-key portraits and interiors. In 1997, Denmark issued a postage stamp in his honor.-Life:...

     (1864–1916), painter
  • Hans Christian Hansen
    H. C. Hansen
    Hans Christian Svane Hansen , often known as H. C. Hansen or simply H. C., was a social democrat and Prime Minister of Denmark from 29 January 1955 to 19 February 1960 as the head of the Cabinet of H. C. Hansen I and II. Before becoming Prime Minister, H. C...

     (1906–1960), political leader, Social Democrat Prime Minister
  • Hans Hedtoft
    Hans Hedtoft
    Hans Hedtoft Hansen was Prime Minister of Denmark from 13 November 1947 to 30 October 1950 as the leader of the Cabinet of Hans Hedtoft I and again from 30 September 1953 to 29 January 1955 as the leader of the Cabinet of Hans Hedtoft II.Hedtoft was a Social Democrat, and had taken over the...

     (1903–1955), political leader, Social Democrat
  • Per Hækkerup
    Per Hækkerup
    Per Hækkerup was a Danish Social Democratic politician, who served as Foreign Minister of Denmark from 1962 to 1966....

     (1915–1979), political leader, Social Democrat
  • August Jerndorff
    August Jerndorff
    August Andreas Jerndorff was a Danish painter who is best known for his portraits.-Biography:August Jarndorff was born on 25 January 1846 in Oldenburg. His parents were Just Jerndorff, painter to the Oldenburg Court, and Nancy Caroline née Jones He attended the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts...

     (1946–1906), painter
  • Thad Jones
    Thad Jones
    Thaddeus Joseph Jones was an American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader.-Biography:Thad Jones was born in Pontiac, Michigan to a musical family of ten . Thad Jones was a self taught musician, performing professionally by the age of sixteen...

     (1923–1986), American jazz trumpeter
  • Viggo Kampmann
    Viggo Kampmann
    Viggo Olfert Fischer Kampmann was the leader of the Danish Social Democrats and Prime Minister of Denmark from 19 February 1960 until 3 September 1962. His cabinet before the 1960 election was called the Cabinet of Viggo Kampmann I and the cabinet he formed after that election was called the...

     (1910–1975), political leader, Social Democrat Prime Minister
  • Asta Nielsen
    Asta Nielsen
    Asta Nielsen , was a Danish silent film actress who was one of the most popular leading ladies of the 1910s and one of the first international movie stars. Seventy of Nielsen's 74 films were made in Germany where she was known simply as Die Asta...

     (1881–1972), film actress
  • Carl Nielsen
    Carl Nielsen
    Carl August Nielsen , , widely recognised as Denmark's greatest composer, was also a conductor and a violinist. Brought up by poor but musically talented parents on the island of Funen, he demonstrated his musical abilities at an early age...

     (1865–1931), composer
  • Jens Otto Krag
    Jens Otto Krag
    Jens Otto Krag was a Danish politician. He was Prime Minister from 1962 to 1968 and again from 1971 to 1972....

     (1914–1978), political leader, Social Democrat Prime Minister
  • Julius Petersen
    Julius Petersen
    Julius Peter Christian Petersen was a Danish mathematician.-Biography:Petersen's interests in mathematics were manifold .His famous paper Die Theorie der regulären graphs was a fundamental...

     (1839–1910), mathematician
  • Knud Rasmussen (1879–1933), polar explorer and anthropologist
  • Thorvald Stauning
    Thorvald Stauning
    Thorvald August Marinus Stauning was the first social democratic Prime Minister of Denmark. He served as Prime Minister from 1924 to 1926 and again from 1929 until his death in 1942....

     (1873–1942), political leader, first Social Democrat Prime Minister
  • Hermann Baagøe Storck (1839–1922), architect and heraldic artist
  • Hjalmar Söderberg
    Hjalmar Söderberg
    Hjalmar Emil Fredrik Söderberg was a Swedish novelist, playwright, poet and journalist. His works often deal with melancholy and lovelorn characters, and offer a rich portrayal of contemporary Stockholm through the eyes of the flaneur...

     (1869–1941), Swedish author
  • Laurits Tuxen
    Laurits Tuxen
    Laurits Tuxen was a Danish painter and sculptor, sculptor, specialising in figure painting. He was also associated with the Skagen Painters...

     (1853–1927), sculptor, painter
  • Liva Weel
    Liva Weel
    Liva Weel was a Danish singer and actress. She is listed in the book of The 20th century's 100 most important people in Denmark.- Filmography :* Odds 777 * De blaa drenge * Cocktail...

     (1897–1952), singer, actress
  • Kristian Zahrtmann
    Kristian Zahrtmann
    Peder Henrik Kristian Zahrtmann, known as Kristian Zahrtmann, was a Danish painter. He was a part of the Danish artistic generation in the late 19th century, along with Peder Severin Krøyer and Theodor Esbern Philipsen, who broke away from both the strictures of traditional Academicism and the...

    (1843–1917), painter

External links

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