Christianshavn - Copenhagen - Freetown (Fristaden) Christiania
Christianshavn is an artificial island between Zealand (Sjælland) and Amager. Christianshavn has long been considered a very trendy region of Copenhagen (København). One Denmark’s best known Kings ‘Christian IV’ (1577-1648) came up with the idea of building Christianshavn to help fortify Copenhagen. The island is built on top of thousands of wooden poles (piles) which were set into the water between Slotsholmen and Amager. The ambitious building project took place between the years 1617-22.
The island was built according to the Dutch style and tradition of incorporating channels and streets in a grid pattern. The water channels have had a surprising benefit in helping with the survival of many of the old building on Christianshavn. Not one of the many city fires which have ravaged Copenhagen over the centuries managed to cross the water channels to the building on Christianshavn. The fortunate result for tourists is that so many of the original homes from 17th century are still standing today. The many half-timbered homes and other historical buildings help to give Christianshavn a character of its own. Christianshavn could rightfully be called a city within a city.
The island is home to the world famous Freetown Christiania (Fristaden Christiania) which is a small autonomous community which has been squatting in one section of Christianshavn since 1971. The notoriously progressive Danish government chose to let ‘the experiment’ run its course rather than forcibly removing the squatters. Four decades later ‘the experiment’ doesn’t appear to be ending any time soon.
Christianshavn is essentially a part of Central Copenhagen, and it is only because of its distinct history that it is considered to be a section within Copenhagen.
LastUpdate: 2016-10-10 11:33:59