ericaamber

Christiania

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2013 at 6:46 pm

As you know, I’m trying desperately to catch up on posts from the Baltic (if you’re my facebook friend you’ll know I still have pictures from the Med I haven’t posted…eeek!!) so in that vein, here’s a post that I wrote weeks ago and didn’t post until now!

On our most recent jaunt about Copenhagen, Vasi and I ended up wandering into Christiania, a place I didn’t know existed until Vasi informed me. Christiania, also known as Freetown Christiania (Danish: Fristaden Christiania) is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood of about 850 residents, covering 34 hectares (84 acres) in the borough of Christianshavn in the Danish capital Copenhagen. Civic authorities in Copenhagen regard Christiania as a large commune, but the area has a unique status in that it is regulated by a special law, the Christiania Law of 1989 which transfers parts of the supervision of the area from the municipality of Copenhagen to the state. It was closed by residents in April 2011, whilst discussions continued with the Danish government as to its future, but is now open again.
Christiania has been a source of controversy since its creation in a squatted military area in 1971. Its cannabis trade was tolerated by authorities until 2004. Since then, measures for normalizing the legal status of the community have led to conflicts, and negotiations are ongoing. Among many Christiania residents, the community is known as staden (‘the town’), short for fristaden (‘the freetown’). It’s a really cool place, there’s beautiful street art everywhere, people on bikes, little coffee stands, and all kinds of interesting things. It has a very peaceful and serene place. It actually reminded me very much of some of the small Gulf Islands back home in British Columbia, but in Danish. I really enjoy finding these little nooks and crannies of cities that are kind of off the beaten path. In the innermost parts of Christiania it is forbidden to take pictures, but we snapped a few on the outskirts of town that I can share with you. It was a very interesting adventure, and I would love to go back!

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