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Christianshavn is a really nice area in Copenhagen with many cosy cafés, great restaurants and charming houses (the Salami, the Lobotomy, the Yellow Envy, the Sponge Cake, the Layer Cake…) - all surrounded by the harbour and the canals. On a sunny day you’ll find many locals sitting along the canals with a beer or enjoying a picnic and Christianshavn is a great place for a walk.
Christianshavn was founded in the beginning of the 17th century by King Christian IV as a fortification and a merchant town, but Copenhagen was too great for the little town, and by 1674 it was incorporated into Copenhagen.
On Christianshavn you’ll find Christiania, the Church of Our Saviour, Christian's Church, the Danish Architecture Centre, the Naval Museum and other interesting sights...
- Arts and Culture
Getting out of the metro station in Christianshavn we felt disappointed, numerous tourists, beggars and many junkies, not the best picture you could have of a place. But of course walking a bit further we loved it.
Christianshavn is actually a small island that was built in the 17th century and was (at first) a naval base and a fortified city. You can easily walk around on foot.
Most of the tourists come here to visit Christiania (see separate tip) but hopefully the island has a lot more to offer.
First of all we walked a bit along the canals (it feels like Amsterdam), beautiful and picturesque for sure, there are some nice small cafes if you want to relax. Walking further inside we had the opportunity to visit two interesting churches, the Church of Our Saviour(Vor Frelsers Kirke) that has a beautiful golden fairytale spire(you can climb up the tower with a small fee) and Christian’s Church.
Unfortunately we spent too much time in the churches, at the café and we walked a bit more that we expected at Christiania so we didn’t have the time to visit any of the museums of Christianshavn.
For those who are interested there are some nice museums around here:
the Naval Museum, Peder Skram (a museum frigate), Saelen (the uboat that participated in Operation Desert Storm) and the Danish Architecture Centre.
Areas of Copenhagen 2 - Christianshavn
Christianshavn (pronounced ChristiansHOWN), situated across a bridge from the main city, is actually built on an artificial island between Copenhagen proper and the natural island of Amager.
It was founded in the early 17th century by Christian IV as part of his extension of the fortifications of Copenhagen. It is an area populated with a mix of business people, artists, eccentrics and families with children - the major sights are Christiania and the quaint old houses lining the canals.
- Budget Travel
With its colorful houses and the lovely canal that is running through Christianshavn is wortha stroll around. Make sure to buy yourself some cake or "Wienerbrod" at the "Lagkager" bakery. But be aware, the window of this famous Kopenhagen bakery is mouth-watering.......
Inside you have to pull a ticket and wait for your number to be announced by one of the staff. It's quite confusing, but they ask in English as well and you can watch the numbers on an electric board.....
christianshavn used to be a very working class part of copenhagen with bad quality apartment blocks and lot's of social probplems, but in the past two decades it has turned in to one of the most expensive places to live in copenhagen.
that is no suprise as it has a superb location right in the center of town and because of all the canals and old houses it is one very idyllic place.
it's the perfect place to go f you want to chill out by the canal with a beer, or you can visit one of the many nice cafes that are in christianshavn.
the opera and christiania is also located in that part of copenhagen.
- Historical Travel
Christianshavn is the area across the river from downtown Copenhagen. It is surrounded by a picturesque moat, it has several beautiful churches, its canals have many nice boats, and ... it is home to Denmark's squatter community. This is a group of several thousand people who live in old barracks and do not pay taxes or receive benefits from the government.. They do, however, provide for their own medical care and other important services, making them a viable, functioning community.
During our walks here during the day, we had no problems. Many people say to be very cautious at night, be we didn't have problems then either as we went out to a few bars and hung with some locals.
Christianshavn is surrounded by water. With the Inderhavnen to the north & west, the Stadsgraven on the south and east, and several canals cutting between, you are never far from water. Originally, the Stadsgraven and its earthen fortifications, linked with the Kastellet, formed Copenhagen's inner defenses. Today it forms a beautiful park around the center of the city. Though the Stadtsgraven is usually free of boats, the canals in Chritianshavn are packed with fishing boats, tug boats, and sailboats of all kinds. All of these areas around the water make great places to wander in Copenhagen.
Along Holmen, we passed these tall ships across the canal in Christianshavn. This old warehouse area is also home to the Danish Architect Centre , and The North Atlantic House, the Embassy of Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. In the background is the tall twisted, ornate spire of the Church of Our Saviour, built in 1680
This area was somewhat of a disappointment to us, as we were hoping to end our very long day with a Carlsberg in a lively area. Maybe we missed the main street, but the area was dead on a late Saturday afternoon. We even had trouble finding a cab to get us off our aching feet.
Excellent at Sunset
Christianhavn, especially the parts right along the water, is a great place for a stroll. It's much quieter than Nyhavn, and there is a lot more water and boats to look at. I strolled this area many times, but my favorite one was spent at sunset.
Lovely Maritime Area
Christianhavn does look a little like Amsterdam with its colourful houses and boats docked in the canal. And more surprising was that this place was once a working-class area which has developed into a trendy living area .Yup, in the early years the people of the Christianshavn were given freedom from taxes in return for reclaiming the land and building houses on this bit of swampy land outside Copenhagen. Well, it seems like they did a good job, this place looks lovely and hardly like a bog.
I suppose the best way to see Christianhavn is by boat. You can catch one of the cruise boats from Nyhavn. Click the website below for more details.
Squatters took over this abandoned military camp in 1971 and it promptly proclaimed to be "the free state of Christiania. Soft drugs, such as marijuana, are tolerated here. Photography isn't appreciated here, particularly onn Pusherstreet where hashish is oenly smoked and sold. This place is not for the straightlaced. However, if you have any interest in the "counter culture" phenomenon then you have to check this place out.
- Arts and Culture
The eastern area of the city of Copenhagen, Christianshavn, was established by Christian IV in the 17th century. Today, the neighbourhood is composed of an odd mix of trendy yuppies, hippies, and Greenlanders.
Our Saviour's Church (Vor Frelsers Kirke) is the most prominent feature of the Christianhavn skyline, and in my opinion the most beautiful of Copenhagen's many church steeples. The church has been at the heart of Denmark´s religious life since 1696, when King Christian V had it built. The spire itself is adorned with copper and gold, which adds brilliant color to its unique shape.
You can get a glimpse of Christianhavn simply by taking one of the tour boats that departs regularly from the waterfront in Copenhagen. The boat takes visitors not only through Christianhavn, but also along the main shorline of Copenhagen, including a close encounter with the Little Mermaid statue in the harbor.
You see this nice part of the city if you take a boat trip from Nyhavn but it is also nice to explore the canal area all by yourself and it is easily accessed by foot or by metro. Full of old warehouses, nice restaurants, yacht harbours, maritime museum and of course the famous Our Saviour's Church with its spiralling golden tower. Today, the area has also got several stylish housing blocks for yuppies and advertising agencies but don't let that stop you from exploring...
- Historical Travel
- Sailing and Boating
Take a wander over to...
Take a wander over to Christianshavn by crossing the bridge from Slotsholmen. The abandoned military property here has become an experimental situation where 1000 inhabitants have squatted and declared their independence. They proclaimed themselves as the 'free state' of Christiania. Basically they want freedom to do what they want which is smoke pot, eat schrooms, and use other soft drugs. It´s illegal but drugs are openly sold and used in Chritiania. The police are not present and the people aren´t bothered. I walked along 1 particular street where vendors had all sorts of good stuff for sale. Marijuana from all over, hash, shrooms, and something called honnig from Pakistan and other countries. I´m just not that familiar with the stuff. I was itching to take some photos here, but it's forbidden. So you'll have to settle for another Nyhavn pic. ;-)
We went to check...
We went to check out
Christianhavn, which is a nice little area seperated from Kobenhavn by
water. There is not much modern architecture on the island, and its
filled with cobbled streets and brightly painted facades. It also
the island where the famous 'Christiana' is located. Those
of you who have been there will appreaciate this, but if you haven't, it
will be difficult to describe. Basically, Christiania is a self-contained
village with 1,000 residents who have chosen an 'alternative' lifestyle.
These people wanted to set up this place based on communal living and freedom.
Therefore, they set their own rules and laws based on community desires
and feelings. Thats sounds great and all, but it was really one huge
excuse to do drugs, as far as I could tell. Not that there's anything
wrong with it.... Of course, soft drugs are legal in the Netherlands
so this wasn't a huge shock... but the coffee shops system in the
Netherlands wasn't like this. They set up tents that lined the streets
and just sold HUGE blocks of marijuana out on the street. To be honest,
it felt more like a third world county than some social nirvana.
The streets were in disrepair or non-existent, there was grafetti everywhere,
and there were tons of dogs running around. The only busnisses we
saw that weren't selling dope were selling pipes. Not a real diverse
economy. Still, it was a true sight to see.
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