Cross the harbor via the Knippelsbro bridge to reach Christianhavn, one of Copenhagen’s oldest and most colorful residential areas, Christianhavn was built on an island in 1617 by Kristian IV and is surrounded by the original star-shaped ramparts.
Along the harbor wall, one of the meticulously restored warehouses is well worth a visit, the Danish Architecture Center which features various exhibitions, a bookshop and café.
Related: Castle Island, Copenhagen
Christianhavn has changed enormously
Until recently a run-down working-class area and Denmark’s largest shipyard, Christianhavn has changed enormously and now features a mixture of smartly renovated 18th-century city houses, big apartment blocks, old and new industry, a good deal of the state’s administration, laidback café-bars, some of the city’s finest restaurants and stunning new architecture.
It’s a real bohemian mixture, home to all kinds of people, and an area just made for wandering, take a stroll down the streets of Christianshavn and glance into the countryside of some of the oldest houses in Strandgade, stop for a coffee on Wildesgade and then to gaze at Amagergade 11, surrounded by old galleries and said to have the finest courtyard in town.
Christianhavn in Copenhagen
In the very bottom edge of Christianhavn is the city’s first floating hotel, CPH Living.
Christianhavn is also the home of Christiania, the hippie-style “free city”. The main entrance is on Prinsessegade.
Two of Copenhagen’s more notable churches are on Christianhavn, Christianskirke in Strandgade is a rococo building from 1754. It was built as a theatre with boxes, including one for the royal family. The Church of Our Savior in Prinsessegade attracts the most attention. Built in red brick in 1694, its tall copper-clad tower with a spiraling external stairway can be seen from all over the city. The tower is open to visitors who are brave enough to climb through a maze of roof timbers and up the 150 gilded steps.
Related: Little Paris, Copenhagen
Holmen at Christianhavn
At the northern end of Christianshavn, a cluster of little islands, known as Holmen, were the Danish Navy’s base until the 1990s. Some interesting naval architecture remains, such as the 18th-century Mastekranen, used for fixing masts onto sailing ships.
Copenhagen Opera House
But the most recent buzz around Holmen was the creation of Copenhagen’s immense new Opera House. Designed by Henning Larsen, the building contains over 1,000 rooms and cost 2.5 billion Danish kroner.
Christianhavn in Copenhagen, written by Tor Kjolberg