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Page 3: Freakstories - Freakiest, most free and always stoned place in Europe

If someone gonna ask you, what is the freakiest, most free and always stoned place in Europe, what you will answer? Amsterdam? Cadiz? London? No.
The answer is one:

 FREE TOWN AS CHRISTIANIA

The story of Christiania is colourfull, long, and filled with battles, victories and defeats. Many of the people who began the experiment do not live here anymore, but the dream of a life lived in freedom and the idea of a city ruled by its inhabitants continues.

Now 35 years later, people from near and far still feel attracted to the magical mixture of anarchy and love of the Freetown. It all began in 1970 when a group of citizens knocked down the fence at the corner of Prinsessegade and Refshalevej close to the Grey Hall. They wanted a playground for their kids and something green to look at.

The same year an exhibition took place at Charlottenborg called “Noget for Noget” (Give and Take), where all sorts of hippies, freaks and people into macrobiotics showed themselves off, sold their goods and exhibited their art, including theatre, pictures, and happenings. An alternative newspaper called Hovedbladet (Head Magazine) was published in connection with the exhibition.

One of the articles discussed the abandoned military barrack in Badsmandsstraedes kaserne and put forward thousands of possible ideas for their use, not least as homes for the numerous young people who were unable to find accommodation elsewhere. However, the squatters movement and the alternative forces “The New Society” summer camp in Thy also needed a place for them to be able to realize their dreams.
The article resulted in a massive immigration of people from all sections of society, who came to create an alternative life based on communal living and freedom. This was the birth of Christiania.

The idea was to create a self-governing society, where the economy was based on recycling and sustainability, and where creativity and energy had free reins. In a short period of time, Christiania became populated by several hundred people. At first, it was the military buildings, which were used and converted into living quarters. Then the mobile workmen's huts made their entrance. Having a home on wheels was practical in the event that Christiania was to be evacuated. Later on the experimental building followed. Over time, the first makeshift conversions have been made permanent, the distinguished military buildings have been heavily rebuilt and been added onto with an imaginativeness and disrespect not seen other places. The mobile workmen's huts have become stationary; the wheels are gone and many have been extended in both the height and width. The new buildings range from recycled construction in the spirit of Christiania to super-experimental, well-designed housing to wooden system-built houses.

Christiania and the state
In the following, Christiania's history is summarised with regards to the relationship to the state and the undertakings, which the state has given to Christiania. On 31 May 1972, a temporary agreement was entered into regarding Christiania's right of use of the state's land and buildings in the area; on 14 June 1973, the agreement was confirmed by an undertaking from the Danish Ministry of Defence, which included the period up to 31 March 1976.

On 1 April 1976, the Danish Ministry of Defence filed a stay of proceedings, which ended on 2 February 1978 by the Supreme Court's confirmation of the High Court's ruling for immediate clearing of Christiania. The judgement did not have consequences for the free town. In 1978, the Danish Parliament decided that a district plan needed to be made for the area. In the meantime, the free town could exist under special conditions, which were announced in the Danish Official Gazette.

In June 1989, a broad majority in the Danish Parliament voted for the Christiania Law, whose aim is to allow Christiania's continued use of the area in accordance with a special national planning directive and a district plan. The law had also intended to prevent illegal construction.

The Christiania Law's permit system for the use of buildings and land in the area was not taken into use. Instead, on 10 October 1991, the Danish Ministry of Defence entered into a framework agreement on the right of use of the Christiania area with Christiania as a collective. This has been extended several times, latest with expiry on 1 July 2004. In 2004, the Christiania Law was revised with the aim of allowing a development of the Christiania area as a sustainable neighbourhood in Copenhagen. As part of this, there would be a change in ownership of the area, and there would be a phasing out of the Christiania scheme at the time.

On 22 June 2011, Christiania and the state entered into an agreement concerning the future ownership of the Christiania area. This agreement formed the basis for the buildings and land in the Christiania area having been transferred to a foundation, the Foundation Freetown Christiania, on 1 July 2012.
Read 1012 times Last modified on Wednesday, 11 June 2014 19:55

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