Freetown Christiania

In a subsection of the Christianshavn neighborhood of Copenhagen is the commune of Christiania. It was originally the site of military barracks that were abandoned in the late 60s. The area was taken over in the 1970s by surrounding inhabitants, and was considered part of the the hippie / squatter movement. Christiania claims a sovereign status from the Danish and any other government.

The mission of Christiania is to create a self-governing society in which every individual holds themselves responsible over the well-being of the entire community. The society is to be economically self-sustaining. As this area has become one of Copenhagen’s major attractions, they seem to be earning a tidy sum from tourists.

Since its opening, Christiania has been famous for its open cannabis trade, taking place in the aptly named Pusher Street, also named the Green Light District. Although the hash trade is illegal, authorities do not forcibly stop it. Proponents thought that concentrating the hash trade at one place would limit dispersion into greater Copenhagen and prevent users from switching to hard drugs.

Entrance to the Green Light District – no cameras allowed!

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The “shop owners” and “security guards” have their faces fully covered with a black ski mask, sunglasses and a ball cap. The shop entrances were draped with camouflage netting to protect the transactions. Pots of plants (pun intended) were growing on rooftops all around.

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The streets are full of graffiti art, which is pretty impressive.

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