Last week, the stars aligned, and I had an open weekend, some time to kill, and the sun was shining brightly. So after a year of lying on my desk, I picked up a box containing a Puzzle walk called “Anarchist’s Notebook” and went for a small adventure in Christiania.
Freetown Christiania is a famous weird hippie place in Copenhagen where you can buy weed and enjoy exciting art. It’s a bizarre autonomous anarchist district with a community ruled by its own rules and regulations, utterly independent of the Danish government (but still following danish law).
It is known not only for the cannabis trade but also for famous cargo bikes – Christiania cykler, sustainability, eco-mindset, and art. There are many venues for eating organic, delicious food. And if you like music, check out their concerts and performances on this website. In December, Christiania hosts its own Christmas market with numerous stalls with clothes, jewelry, and handicraft décor items.
Christiania has a little strained relationship with the Danish government because of the cannabis trade taking place in its famous “Green Light District“. Once in a while, there are police raids and occasional arrests of dealers. Even though you can buy weed there, it is not legal in Denmark, and once you leave Christiania, you might get fined for being in possession. The area is relatively safe, and as long as you follow the rules and don’t take pictures on Pusher Street, you will be fine. The community has a rigid policy against hard drugs, violence, stealing, and weapons. The non-picture zone is very well marked with huge signs, so don’t worry, you will not miss it. And if you by any chance don’t see the signs, you can smell the weed smell from afar 😛
During the hot summer of 1971, local people looked for a playground for their kids and found an abandoned military barracks area barred by a fence. At that time, Copenhagen was facing a problem of affordable housing and a lack of green spaces. And so, when the fence guarding the old military grounds was breached, some people decided to take over the area as a protest against the Danish government. And thus, on 26 September 1971, Jacob Ludvigsen declared the opening of Christiania.
Since then, the social experiment has flourished and become a symbol of the progressive and liberated Danish lifestyle. Danish government attempted several times to remove the Christianites but has been unsuccessful so far. In the beginning, the residents didn’t pay for anything, squatting in the area illegally. In 1995 they reached an agreement with the government and started paying taxes and fees for water, electricity, trash disposal, etc. In 2011, the residents of Christiania agreed to set up a fund to purchase the land formally, and now they own it.
Christianites, however, are not allowed to build new houses in the area and can only remodel old ones, but that does not stop them from being pretty creative with remodeling, substantially expanding their dwellings 🙂 Around 1,000 people live in Christiania, and every year more than 500,000 people come to visit. I have heard that the area is so popular that there is a long queue of people who want to become the collective members and move into Christiania.
It is an exciting way of discovering a new place and its history. We have tried two other walks from the same company – Institute of Wonder – and had a blast each time. And no, I am not sponsored by them 😛 This time “Anarchist’s Notebook” took us through the streets of free town Christiania.
The idea behind the puzzle walk is simple: you order a box with clues, story, and materials, and then go for adventure whenever you feel like it. As I mentioned, it took us a year to finally find time 🙂 We did it with only two of us, but you can be up to four people.
Using the surrounding area, you solve different tasks that give you clues about where to go next. And so you walk around, immerse in a story, learn about the place and have fun with friends. I liked it so much that when my brother decides to visit me finally, I will give it to him so he can go and enjoy it!
Green George Troll
I have great news for those obsessed with famous troll hunting like me! Green George found his home in the middle of Christiania and reminds people of their importance in shaping the environment.
Looking for more Trolls? Check out this link.