I recently made a short trip out to beautiful Copenhagen, you can read about it on our upcoming post. One of the many reasons I wanted to visit the design oriented city was to check out a very particular neighborhood known as the hippie commune of the city, Christiania. Christiania is an autonomous free town within Copenhagen that was founded in 1971 by a group of hippies on an abandoned military base originally envisioned as a social experiment by squatters and artists that would live beyond the reach of Danish law and exempt of paying taxes. A commune that would have its own currency, the Løn, nine governing laws and even its own flag composed of three dots representing “love, love, love”.
The town is made up of historical buildings that serve as museums, unique cafes, galleries and restaurants serving organic and high quality food. People have claimed buildings and cottages as homes and some have even chosen boats on the canal as a roof over their heads. The commune organizes cultural events and musical attractions for its residents on a regular basis and allows the sale of unique crafts and jewelry as well as cannabis. Yep, cannabis is illegal in Copenhagen but in Christiania, due to its autonomous nature, originally allowed the sale and consumption of cannabis with shops operating 24 hours a day selling over thirty types of hashish. Nowadays weed is technically illegal but it is still openly sold and tolerated even with the sporadical police raids on the premises.
Residents have been opposed to the idea of owning property so when the Danish government decided that the property be sold to the residents they refused in order to retain their collectivist, anarchistic spirit. The town belongs to everyone basically and the nearly one thousand residents live harmoniously and as organically as possible prohibiting private cars and even running because it might be seen as a police raid. It is certainly a different environment than back in any european city which is reminded to you with a big sign upon exiting the commune: “You are now entering the E.U.” It is a real experience of art, food and shopping but most importantly is a way to experience a completely different lifestyle. Visitors are welcome to stroll around Christiania and to eat and drink in the area’s cafés, restaurants and bars and also walk around the lake which Christiania backs on to.
Below Christiania’s objective and governing laws:
To build a self-governing society where every individual is free to express themselves and be responsible to the community. This community shall be financially themselves, and the common aim must always be to show that the mental and physical pollution can averted. Thus formulated by Sven Kim, Ole, Kim and Jacob with the right improvements. 13 / 11-1971
No hard drugs
No private cars
No biker’s colors
No bulletproof clothing
No sale of fireworks
No use of thunder sticks
No stolen goods