Christiania describes itself as the ‘freetown’ of Denmark.
Having visited the state just outside of Denmarks capital Copenhagen, it roughly has just under 1,000 inhabitants living in an area of around 84 acres. First founded in 1971, Christiania is a cannabis freely selling and smoking community engaged in a low maintenance life surrounded by vibrant (if not slightly random) street art.
Although illegal to actually sell, there was plenty of balaclava clad guys on the well known “pusha street”/ “green light district” selling the hash, whilst in the centre of the village groups of local people gathered to smoke it. One of the dealers girlfriends, 18 year-old Irene (she gave us a false name) told us of a raid two days earlier, where police came to stop the unapproved exchanges.
“They came, they went, and now everyone is selling again, it is a bit quieter than usual but it will just go back to the same. I mean this is Christiania, this is what it is”, Irene then offered around two joints from her dealer boyfriend, so in hindsight at least we knew what we got…
The town has a unique status and is regulated by the state under the Christiania Law of 1989, adverse to the rest of Denmark. Inside the boundaries of Christiania it runs by its own set of rules consisting of, no photos – if you take photos your phone is smashed up – no cars, violence, fireworks, hard drugs and theft are all forbidden.
Graffiti smothered the walls and structures of the village, many promoted weed/freedom/autonomy and some were well just purely obscure. It isn’t known for its tourism (there were basically no tourists) and it is kept quite quiet despite its very close proximity to the capital. A few stalls in the market square sold novelty cannabis leaf and rasta t-shirts, wooden phallic key-chains and smoking paraphernalia, but that was about it. The one small local bar sold wine and beer for £1.50 which was great and importantly also featured a pool table just off from it.
The town has a liberal approach to life with the seeming aim of it to be a sort of self-sustaining, self-governing, economical haven, basically it is like walking back in time to a place that doesn’t want to move on, but for that it makes Christiania what it is.
If you find yourself in Denmark, you must drop by,
“People here don’t want fuss, they just want peace and dope”, Irene sums up Christiania….
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