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In 1971 an abandoned military area in the borough of Christianshavn, in the Danish capital of Copenhagen, was taken over by squatters, and converted into a “free city” — a self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood run by their own laws independent of the government. The concept of collective ownership and communal living, but mostly free trading of cannabis, attracted hordes of hippies who took up permanent residence in this 34-hectare area. Over the years, “Freetown Christiania” became a permanent feature of the city where almost anything went, until 2004 when authorities cracked down on the drug trade. Christiania survived and is still a vibrant hub in the city with a hotch-potch of warehouses, huts and houses, colorful murals and outdoor sculptures. About a thousand people live here permanently.

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