Peter Willemoes birthplace

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  • Category: museums-history
  • Section: Museums - History Buildings - Museums
Willemoesgaarden was the birthplace of the danish naval hero Peter Willemoes. Today the building is a museum for him but also for art and culture of Assens.

Peter Willemoes (May 11, 1783 – March 22, 1808) was a Danish naval officer. He was born in Assens, where his father was a public servant. At the age of twelve he was sent to the Naval Academy in Copenhagen, where he was a mediocre student who chafed under and rebelled against the harsh discipline.

At seventeen he commanded a floating battery "Flaadebatteri Nr. 1" during the Battle of Copenhagen (April 2, 1801). He had 129 men and 20 cannon under his command and fought with such gallantry that the English Admiral Horatio Nelson commended him to the Crown Prince Frederick after the battle, supposedly recommending that he be promoted to Admiral. To this the Danish prince firmly answered: "If I were to reward all my men for their bravery, I would have a fleet of admirals".

His indominatable good cheer, courage and good looks combined to make Willemoes an instant celebrity in Northern Europe. Locks of his curly hair became a fashion item among ladies in Copenhagen and he was later praised in verse by poet Grundtvig.

Willemoes died March 22, 1808, at the Battle of Zealand Point onboard the ship of the line Prins Christian Frederik.

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Today (30 May)
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