On Saturday, my friend Tara and I explored a very interesting, to say the least, part of Copenhagen. Christiania, or Freetown Christiania, or Fristaden Christiania, as the Danes say, is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood (thank you Wikipedia). Christiania was originally an area of military barracks from the 17th century, but in 1971 residents from around the area broke down the fences and decided to simply take over Christiania and make it there own little place.
Until a couple of years ago, the 850 residents of this hippie community had their own independent laws separate from the Danish government. They even have their own flag and currency and I think if I’m/Wikipedia is correct, the residents only recently have started paying taxes and rent.
The reason Christiania is a hot topic and a popular tourist site is because until 2004, the sale of marijuana was unmonitored by the Danish police. (I had to Google how to spell marijuana. Be proud Mom). Everybody would come to Pusher Street to buy their weed because there was no need to hide the fact you were, umm, buying your weed. But since 2004, I guess there has been a bit of a crack down, but I don’t really believe that because I saw a lot of dry green stuff in bags as I was exploring.
I asked a local where we could get some food and he said there was a really good place called Sunshine Bakery. I was so pumped to get a pastry so we walked there and I peaked in the side window and I didn’t see any bread. So I went around to the front to ask what happened to all the bread, but instead, I saw jars and jars of marijuana. I’m really glad I didn’t blurt out “Where’s the bread?”
Besides the druggy part of Christiania, it was actually a really cool place. They have some awesome outdoor cafés, coffee shops and organic vegetarian type restaurants and some funky little shops. And, there is graffiti everywhere. Really good graffiti. The kind that was done after you took a stroll down Pusher Street.
I’ve never even seen or heard of a neighborhood like this before and it is definitely a must see if you come to Copenhagen..which you all should because Copenhagen is BALLER!