It was temporarily closed by residents in April 2011 while discussions continued with the Danish government about its future, but then re-opened to the public. Christiania has been a source of controversy since its creation in a military area in 1971. Its cannabis trade was tolerated by authorities until 2004, in the years following 2004, measures for normalizing the legal status of the community led to conflicts, police raids and negotiations. The area of Christiania consists of the military barracks of Bådsmandsstræde. The ramparts and the borough of Christianshavn were established in 1617 by King Christian IV by reclaiming the low beaches, after the siege of Copenhagen during wars with Sweden, the ramparts were reinforced during 1682 to 1692 under Christian V to form a complete defence ring. The western ramparts of Copenhagen were demolished during the 19th century and they are today considered among the finest surviving 17th century defence works in the world. The barracks of Bådsmandsstræde housed the Royal Artillery Regiment, the Army Materiel Command and ammunition laboratories, less used after World War II, the barracks were abandoned between 1967 and 1971. The adjacent area to the north, Holmen, was Denmarks main naval base until the 1990s and it is an area in development, home to the new Copenhagen Opera House and schools. An area further north is used by the navy. The outermost defence line, Enveloppen, has been renamed Dyssen in Christiania language and it is connected to central Christiania by a bridge across the main moat or can be reached by the path beginning at Christmas Møllers Plads. Four gunpowder storehouses line the redans and they were built 1779-80 to replace a storage in central Copenhagen, at Østerport, which exploded infamously in 1770, killing 50 people. The buildings are renamed Aircondition, Autogena, Fakirskolen and Kosmiske Blomst and have, although protected, the last Danish execution site, active from 1946 to 1950, can still be seen on the Second Redan close to the building called Aircondition. The wooden execution shed is gone, but the concrete foundation, in total,29 World War II criminals were executed on the site. The last was Ib Birkedal, a high-level Danish Gestapo collaborator, in 2007, the National Heritage Agency proposed protection status for some of the ancient military buildings, now in Christiania. Some of the buildings have been altered somewhat after Christianias takeover. After the military moved out, the area was guarded by a few watchmen. On 4 September 1971, inhabitants of the surrounding neighborhood broke down the fence to take parts of the unused area as a playground for their children. Although the takeover was not necessarily organized in the beginning, some claim this happened as a protest against the Danish government, at the time there was a lack of affordable housing in Copenhagen
Christiania Downtown Map
Entrance to Christiania
Glass house in Freetown Christiania, one of the many idiosyncratic constructions exemplifying modern "architecture without architects".