Buildings and architecture of Copenhagen
This is the opera house, like the one in Sydney, it fronts onto the water, but unlike the Australian equivalent, it seems to have taken its architectural inspiration from episodes of Thunderbirds.
The "Black Diamond" building – a library.
House boat. Looks like a puff of wind would collapse it.
You can see that many of these buildings are ex-dockyard warehouses. Most of the equivalent buildings in Newcastle have been knocked down.
It is not often that one sees a five-storey loft conversion.
Here you see the astronomical observation tower built in 1642 by Christian IV. It is 114 feet high, and amazingly has a spiral ramp up which the King was able to ride in a carriage to the top, so I was told. I didn't get to see the inside.
In the 1970s a load of people that we might today call 'hippies' squatted here and formed their own community with its own laws. The government was not impressed with the fact that they didn't pay tax, and openly sold drugs, and there has been an intention to get rid of this community ever since. Matters have moved very slowly. They started paying taxes in 1994, and stopped selling hard drugs in 2004. Various forms of marijuana were on sale in one street when I was there, but the people who live there and the people who trade there are now quite different groups.
Some of the houses are eccentric.
Other houses are inventive, creative, and rather good.
Others are shacks.
I can see why the rulers of Copenhagen might want to take control of the area. It is very under-used, with low-density housing in run-down buildings on prime city centre land. One thing that struck me very clearly was that this was not an anarchic place. It was quite the reverse. It was very strictly ordered, but ordered the way the world used to be – mainly by the locals who had established themselves as leaders, with just a tribute paid to higher authority. There were signs forbidding fireworks, weapons, armour, and various other things. Each property was clearly delineated with boundaries, and there was for instance a stables with a large paddock. It takes a lot of effort to establish a stable, and this business took up a lot of space, and reserved that space for the one use it had for it. The stable owners must have been pretty confident that people wouldn't keep hopping over the fence and using the space for other things.
Perhaps the most archic thing about the place was that many people would like to live there, but the incumbents make it next to impossible to move in. The original residents were all native Danes, and so the permanent residents there today (in stark contrast with many of those hanging around during the day) are all blue-eyed palefaces. There might not be anywhere in Europe with a more exclusive immigration policy.
Even the shacks there had a middle-class quality to them. They had neat little gardens with lawns and flower beds, and inside were shelves with books on.
Taken from inside Christiania: the church with the widdershins spiral staircase. I didn't get to go up it. Untrue legend has it that the designer died after discovering that he had made the stair go the way of the Devil.
Back to mainstream Copenhagen now...
The stock exchange building.
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