Freetown Christiania

Hi peeps! 😉

One of the most popular towns in Copenhagen is Christianshavn. Named after the great Christian IV, the town has served more than a merchant’s village. It is where you’ll find fantastic structures such as the Church of Our Savior, Danish Architecture Center, The Opera House, Lille Mølle, and Holmen, with the strategic Christianshavn canals by the harbour. It is also where you’ll find the most famous food establishment in Denmark, Restaurant Noma. The restaurant offers Nordic cuisine, with its name a portmanteau of the Danish words “Nordisk” (Nordic) and “mad” (food). Well, it’s an expensive resto and I haven’t eaten there, so this post will not include Noma. But feel free to visit the resto as well. 😛

It was a fine Saturday morning. A little bit gray above but nothing could stop two bored souls in Copenhagen! One thing I really like about Denmark is its efficient public transportation system. I love the trains and the buses! They’re almost always not crowded so I always get my personal space. Having experienced the railway system in the Philippines, I really think it would be a huge progress for my home country if they could develop a public transpo system like what Denmark has. It’s not to insult or anything (I love my country!), but I know many Filipinos will be happy and satisfied if that could happen. Less traffic jams and less accidents on the road.

At Hellerup station
At Hellerup station

What I don’t get is why most Danes get annoyed whenever there’s a minor failure in the system. haha Trust me, it’s nothing compared with rush hours in the Philippines!

Another thing I like (and happen to see on our way to Christianshavn) are graffiti and street art. They are not very unpleasant to look at and the Danes view them as the artists’ expressions of themselves.

Upon arriving at the Square (Christianshavn Torv), my friend and I saw interesting monuments built by Svend Rathsack. The Greenland Monument, which consists of a man on his kayak and women working on his catch, was transferred into the square from the island of Bornholm in 1938.

Christianshavn Torv (Square)
Christianshavn Torv (Square)

Walking a little but further will take you to the Prinsessegade, just right across the Church of Our Savior.

Church of our Savior across Prinsessegade
Church of our Savior across Prinsessegade

So, what’s so special about this Church? Well, it is a baroque church “most famous for its corkscrew spire with an external winding staircase that can be climbed to the top, offering extensive views over central Copenhagen. It is also noted for its carillon, which is the largest in northern Europe and plays melodies every hour from 8 am to midnight.”

Unfortunately for us, the church was closed that day so we were not able to enter and climb the top of the tower. 😛

A couple of blocks from the Church is the famous freetown of Christiania. It is a self-proclaimed independent town, a military base turned squatters area. First time visitors might feel a little bit eerie about the ambiance of the place, and might need some help from the locals to fully explore.

Freetown Christiania
Freetown Christiania

For one, Christiania is known to be a place where you can buy illegal drugs such as marijuana or hash. Cameras are not allowed at certain points, and a lot of immigrants abound in the town.  Plus, dogs freely roam the unpaved roads, making you think and feel like your outside Denmark.

Well, Christiania is not all about negative things. I find it rather amusing. Its mysteriousness captures your attentions and makes you use all your senses. The designs and different colors tell you to just be yourself and let it out because the law enforcers are not looking. haha 😛

Christiania with Couchsurfers
Christiania with Couchsurfers

And to be honest, Christiania reminds me of a local town in the Philippines. Both animals and humans freely roam the streets and life is simple yet beautiful. Crimes and illegal acts exist, but they’e part of what makes the society whole. I cannot blame the Westerners for acting so indifferent and unfamiliar to the place, well, it really looks different from the concrete streets of Copenhagen. In fact, I wonder if I would also act indifferent when I get back to PH, after getting used to the comfortable side of the world that is Denmark.

Too many thoughts.. Oh, before I forget, there are bazaars inside Christiania where you can buy authentic Oriental ornaments, clothes, and accessories. 🙂

To get some fresh air and process what we have just seen in town, my friend and I took a long walk from Christianshavn to the city center.

Christianshavn
Christianshavn
Christianshavn
Christianshavn

On our way, we passed by one of the oldest buildings and most beautiful structures in the city, the old Stock Exchange, which dates back from the 1600s. The dragon tails spire is one cool feature of the building, and is believed to safeguard the structure from damage, such as fire, etc.

The Old Stocks Exchange building
The Old Stock Exchange building

One easy way  to explore Christianshavn is through a canal tour which starts at Nyhavn. But of course, it is always nicer to go by feet and burn some extra calories! 😉

On the streets of Christianshavn
On the streets of Christianshavn

And after you burn calories.. there’s a KFC restaurant near the City Hall. hahaha

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Shocks! Hej hej (bye bye) now and vi ses (see you)!!

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