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Prosperous business and wretched poverty

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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.…

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Strange and curious parts

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Time / Periode 1617 1973
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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. "

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