Christiania

Where are we going today?

Let’s get out of the country without leaving the city: let’s go to Christiania!!!

My full-of-holes-map keeps me in the right direction… straight forward, turn first left, then right, pass in front of the cathedral (quite high!), again left… walking 50 meters and the entrance is somewhere around heeeeere…Ah there!!!

We arrived in Christiania!

CHRISTIANIA entrance

The walls are covered in graffiti and the buildings look old, well lived, with doors wide open for bars, small shops and a sort of museum! Let’s get in!

2 floors up, we found a little exposition and a little shop. There was a guide, a man who lives in the neighborhood that told us the story of Christiania.

Christianshavn mapSo basically everything started in 1970’s when a bunch of people occupied the military land (which was left without any use since the end of the second world war). Slowly, friends of this people started joining them, trying to create a different lifestyle based in community and freedom!

After several police attempts to banish the community, the Government agreed to let it happen as a “social experience” for a couple of years!

Christianshavn rulesSince 1973 the Government is trying to get the lands back but the community has been fighting for what they have created: a hippie community, collectivist and anarchist Freetown.

They have created their own laws:
– Forbidden the use of guns;
– Forbidden the use of violence;
– Forbidden the use of heavy drugs;
– No private cars allowed;
– among others…

After this brief explanation, we jumped to the streets to explore Christiania!

One of the firsts streets we’ve walked, Pusher Street, the guide told us we are strictly forbidden to use any electronic device with camera, otherwise it could be destroyed.

This street is something different! Many people from Christiania stop by, around the big fires, burning inside big cans!

We looked curiously inside bars and cafes… and the guide is saying something in the front! Let’s hear it!

“…During the 70’s, heavy drugs, like heroin were allowed in Christiania, but in 1979, 10 people died due to overdose in the neighborhood! So Christiania was becoming a selling spot for heavy drugs and the community decided to ask the police to help them to vanish the use of heavy drugs, but this failed as the police did not focus only in heavy drugs. So the community decided to no longer cooperate with the authorities and launched what was called a – junk blockade! So for 40 days and 40 nights, women, men and children patrolled the house where heavy drug users where living  and they gave them an ultimatum: either quit all activities with heavy drugs or they must leave Christiania! Finally, 60 people end up entering drug rehabilitation. (…) And as you can see, here you can buy cannabis.”

…and the guide stopped, giving us some time to do some weed shopping in this outdoor market! While it is not my thing, it  was interesting to find how this can be accepted in the neighborhood.

Further on we walk among some houses in Christiania, most were old military buildings. And every house has single beauty and free spirit.

Christiania's House Christiania's House Christiania's House Christiania's House

There is a limited number of people living here! So there is a waiting list for people who want to move in to the neighborhood. And when someone is leaving Christiania, they can choose who is going to live in their house or the community gets together to choose someone from the waiting list. So no one sells or rent houses in Christiania, it is always given away to the new Christianites.

A walk by the lake is lovely, and we took sometime to relax and enjoy the lake.

Christiania Christiania

There is a cinema, a nursery, a clinic of alternative medicine, a warehouse of recycling materials (where people can collect stuff to rebuild their houses), places for children to play, bars, restaurants and little food shops…

We are getting hungry and decided to try the vegetarian restaurant – Morgenstedet, with a very welcoming and homey atmosphere.
    

Why not staying for the evening concerts?
There are some nice bars, like Woodstock, with live music, open till late 🙂

And on the way out we find this one…

exit of Christiania

Andreia Leite

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