Witness History

History as told by the people who were there.

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Christiania: Copenhagen’s hippy commune


In 1971 a group of squatters, artists and activists took over a disused military barracks on the edge of Copenhagen. They established a self-governing hippy commune called Freetown Christiania, after the surrounding district of Christianshavn. Residents began to build houses along their own experimental designs and soon Christiania had its own theatre, bakery and kindergarten. The semi-autonomous enclave is still there today and is one of the oldest and largest communes in the world. Viv Jones speaks to Danish filmmaker Jon Bang Carlsen, one of Christiania’s first settlers. Photo: Christiania (Getty Images)


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 2021-09-16  10m