Until 1971, Christiania was a quarter with army barracks. It turned into an anarchic area which lives until this very day, and even though there are rumours that the government would try to clear the area and give way to a new neighbourhood, Christiania still continues to be the experiment of a different way of living together, with a high degree of responsability for its inhabitants. Its population is estimated at around 1,000 inhabitants, and it is visited by not less than half a million people a year!
People living here make the best of their lives, have their own bars and restaurants serving delicious food, making their houses as beautiful and colourful as they want, a communal way of living, and apart from having a direct form of democracy, they have the privilege of not having to pay taxes. Visiting Christiania is like going back to the Sixties (no, haven't lived them myself!) in the present-day world. One of the most obvious things a visitor notes, is the free selling of soft drugs - you can smell the street stalls from a distance!
The spirit of Christiania remains, however, stretching responsibility of its citizens as far as possible. It is therefore an ongoing experiment in controlled, anarchic way of living together, where Christianians are alotted a far-reaching degree of freedom, while at the same time being supposed to be active citizens. You can definitely sense freedom here, in the streets as well as in the colourful wall paintings. When leaving Christiania through the main entrance, one has to note the sign saying "You are now entering the EU", implicating that this freestate sees itself as free from the European super-state.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Christiania (Denmark). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Christiania. Read more about this site.