Way back in the heady days of the start of my trip in Vilnius, I mentioned during my excursion to ‘the republic of Užupis’ that I’d been warned of a “district in Copenhagen that was similarly unhinged”. That district is Christiania. The two are superficially similar, with both having declared autonomy from the recognised nations they are part of, and both having large communities of artists, with art being freely displayed in each community. But that is where the similarities end.
While Užupis is primarily a flippant, tongue-in-cheek ‘republic’ – its constitution includes absurdities such as “A dog has a right to be a dog” – Christiania is more serious. It is protected by unique laws recognising in some part its right to self-govern, although in recent years its previously free marijuana trade has been clamped down on by Danish authorities. As a result, the people of Christiania have strongly restricted photography within the area, in order to continue their cannabis trade, and dealers wear balaclavas to hide their identities.
As a result, the number of pictures I have are limited – which is a great shame, as it’s one of the most strange but unique places I’ve been to, and the mural in the last picture is possibly the most stunning mural I’ve seen.