Prosperous business and wretched poverty


Christianshavn was once a market town in its own right, conceived by King Christian IV, and from the beginning was given over to trade and the military. The Dutch engineer, Johan Semp, designed a geometric layout for the town with a square, canals and straight streets.…

Show more

Contribute to Christianshavn

Have you visited / Want to visit? Contribute to this place Add to route
Selected entry

Strange and curious parts

Listen to the story
Time / Periode 1617 1973
0 comments 0 recommendations

The author Herman Bang had just returned home from a visit to a residential property in Christianshavn and was about to write up his impressions for Nationaltidende. The year was 1881. Overwhelmed by the sight and stench of the poverty, he wrote: There are strange and curious parts of society. Parts where perceptions are not those of our own, other laws prevail and lives are other than our own. They worship not the same gods, they do not comprehend us, as we do not them: the words they speak are the same, but their sense is quite another..." Now, four centuries later, the King's vision of a prosperous commercial district had become a nightmare. True, Christianshavn boasted merchant vessels, canals and lavish townhouses. But the living conditions of the most poverty-stricken industrial workers was what made the biggest impression on those who ventured into the district. "

View all stories

Comments to the story (0)

Contribute to Christianshavn

Contribute with a story about this place?

Contribute with one or more pictures

Contribute with videos

Contribute with links

Stories (2)

Strange and curious parts

The author Herman Bang had just returned home from a visit to a residential property in…

Little Amsterdam in Copenhagen

In the heart of Copenhagen is a miniature version of Amsterdam; a town in the style of the…

Images (1)