Christiania

The weather has been somewhat…meh. It’s rained almost everyday, not constantly, but enough to interfere with outside activities. We took a boat tour right as a rain cloud decided to let loose…that was fun.

Because of this weather, our professor canceled evening activities yesterday. Paige and I took the opportunity to visit a place called Christiania.

Christiania used to be a military base, but since Danes are the nicest people in the world, it was never being used. Eventually squatters took over the area and made their own little city. Christiania has one rule: you cannot do anything that impedes on anyone else doing what they want to do as long as it does no harm. The rate of crime is almost nonexistent.

People settled there in the 70s. There were some huge raids in the 80s, but now, it’s a fairly peaceful place. It takes a lot to get a house there since they are not legally aloud to build any new houses. Christiania is under Denmark rules, but it has it’s own government, so to speak. The 800 residence that do live there had to wait for a house to go vacant and then put their name on the waiting list. There’s town meetings and everyone gets a say, but the ones who are “least bad” get the house. They don’t have to buy the houses, and they don’t sell them either. They range from tiny shakes, to somewhat detailed houses of a decent size. The outsides may not look fancy, but Paige and I window peaked, and the insides are sleek. Residents can build onto their house without permits, so a lot of people expanded in ways that make the houses odd shapes and sizes, building up and out and even on diagonals. If they live there, they are expected to leave their house nicer than it was when they moved in.

There’s an everything used store where they can buy one screw instead of a whole box, there’s live music all the time, bike repair shops, and an all woman run blacksmith that made the majority of the light fixtures in the churches of Copenhagen.

Although it is not the cleanest place I have every visited, the beauty is pronounced. The houses are colorful, the buildings have detailed, immaculate graffiti, and the people are quick to wave and say hello. I bought most of my souvenirs there. People were making jewelry, they had hats, clothes, and candy. It was a lovely day off in a lovely little place called Christiania. I would highly recommend looking into it a little more. The way of life there is fascinating, and the 80 sum acres of land is being put to use in a great way (in my opinion).

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