Before we went to Copenhagen I hadn’t really ever heard of Christiana. I’d seen it on the map but it looked like just another area in Copenhagen so it didn’t immediately strike me as a must-see. We had even already been to the island on our bikes but it poured rain that day so it didn’t invite us to cycle any further. Not until we got a tip from our hotel reception did we decide to take a closer look at Christiana.
The sun was shining and that makes sight seeing a lot nicer to do. Wouldn’t you agree? So Christiana… To be honest I had no idea what to expect. ‘Freetown’ sounded interesintg but I found out later how it all happened in Christiana and what that really meant.
Christiana was founded in 1971 and is errected on the grounds of a former military barrack. You can still see that in most of the buildings that are there. But it does in no way resemble anything military anymore. It is incredibly colorful and hippie like. There has been a lot of trouble around Christiana. Riots, drug problems and a lot more. It was so bad that at some point the area was closed for the public. Since then it has quieted down somwhere. Drugs are still being used abundantly, because walking through ‘Pusher street’ you almost get high from breathing in the air.
But that is not really very different from walking down a street in Amsterdam (try walking through the Haarlemmerstraat without getting a whif) and I wouldn’t skip it for that reason. The fun part about Christiana are the beautiful wall art you see everywhere. That alone is worth a visit.
Coming into Christiana you immediately feel transported into another world. The inhabitants of Christiana have declared it an official free state and have set their own set of rules. Including an official sign that tells you that you are leaving Denmark and entering Christiana. In either case it is an interesting part of Copenhagen to explore for an hour or so. I’d say mostly for the streetart and the other quirky things you see around the compound.
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This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)