Freetown Christiania – the controversial society of Copenhagen, Denmark

March 5, 2013 in Amazing, Crazy and bizarre, Europe and Middle East

 

Freetown Christiania, or just Christiania as it is called in Denmark, is a special society and neighborhood within the Danish capital of Copenhagen with around 850 inhabitants. Christiania was founded in a squatted military area back in 1971 by a group of people from the surrounding neighborhood. The barracks were no longer used by the military and only protected by a few guards. Residents from the neighborhood decided to break down the fences and take the grounds as playground for their children. Soon after, Christiania was declared open by some of the squatters and quickly a culture comprising of hippies, squatters, collectivism and anarchism grew in the freetown.

Freetown Christiania Copenhagen Denmark 1

 

Christiania has developed its own set of rules and laws, parallel to official laws by the Danish government. They forbid stealing, hard drugs, violence and weapons among other things. The main street known as Pusher Street is famous for it’s open sale of weed until 2004. In 2004, as part if the Danish governments ‘normalization plans’, the stalls of Pusher Street were demolished by a large police force.

Following the demolitions at Pusher Street, the open sales of drugs has slowly returned. If you take a walk in Christiania today, you will find several stalls selling all kinds of hash.

As part of the normalization plans from the Danish government, it was decided in 2011 that the government own the properties. The citizens of Christiania were offered to purchase the lands from the state, a process which is still ongoing. As part of the purchase process, Christiania has issued peoples stock (folkeaktier). Stock that people can buy to support the buy-back purchase without getting any votes, rights or dividends (see picture below).

Freetown Christiania Copenhagen Denmark seen from above

Freetown Christiania Copenhagen Denmark wall painting

Freetown Christiania folk share