At the eastern end of Stavensbølgade – 900 metres from the palace church – is Augustenborg Cemetery, which was founded as a military cemetery in 1848.
In the time of the dukes, the palace church was reserved for the duke, while other people in the parish were referred to the church and cemetery in Ketting. The duke provided for hearses and horses, which was paid through a kind of property tax. The dukes were buried in the chapel at Sønderborg Castle.
When the First Schleswig War (1848-1851) broke out and the ducal family fled Augustenborg, the Palace, the Mansion and the House of the Court Officials were used as a field hospital for about 1,000 wounded soldiers. Many died of typhus and dysentery, and the cemetery in Ketting soon became too small. Therefore, in June 1848, a military cemetery was established on the outskirts of Augustenborg. Here lie 241 soldiers from the First Schleswig War and 374 from the Second Schleswig War.
The cemetery serves both as a burial ground and a memorial for the fallen soldiers. The large granite pillar with the marble cross on top was erected on the common grave in 1854. The inscription reads as follows:
This stone was laid by the Danish People in memory of the faithful Sons who died for their Fatherland in the years 1848-50-51.
In memory also of the Danish soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the Fatherland in the year 1864.
May God’s peace be with you.
In addition to the common grave, there are 69 individual graves for the fallen soldiers. Today, all of these graves are listed, and the maintenance is paid jointly by the Danish and German states. Since 1870, the cemetery has been used for all civil funerals in the parish.
In 1932, Augustenborg Palace was converted into a state hospital and psychiatric hospital. There were up to 400 patients and deaths were not uncommon. Dead patients were buried under identical tombstones in the north-western part of the cemetery. Today, 30 of these patient graves remain in the cemetery and these graves are also listed.
The cemetery remained largely unchanged until around 1960, when the area was expanded by approx. 40%, and an urn cemetery, chapel and bell tower were added. The cemetery’s original entrance was next to the granite pillar, but it was removed in favour of the current two entrances towards Stavensbølgade. From then on, the hearse can drive all the way to the chapel.
The cemetery is located on a small plateau that offers a good view of the town. The wide gravel paths and the candelabra-shaped lime trees create an overview and order.
The chapel is located in the northern part of the cemetery. Here, in 2006, a memorial plaque was unveiled for the 18 people from the parish who fell during the First World War. It must be remembered that Southern Jutland was German until the reunification in 1920, and that many men from the region were forced to fight on the German side during the First World War.
When you walk on the gravel paths in the old part of the cemetery, you can almost read the family history of the town through a number of large civil tombstones. Particularly striking is the large black obelisk on the grave of the Storke family, but you also come across many other well-known names from the town’s recent history, including Frank, Thede, Zimmermann and Godt. When you have appreciated the beautiful cemetery, you can continue the guided tour via Krumom and possibly follow the Little Sea Path (Lillehavstien) back to the centre of the town. Continue about 200 meters on Stavensbølgade. Krumom starts at the large half-timbered house on the corner.