Kløvermarken - The Clover Field

 

on the left edge of the view is the spire of Christians Kirke and on the right is just a glint of gold from the dome of the Marble Church - so the full width of the centre of the city

 

Kløvermarken - The Clover Field - might be just a kilometre or so from the centre of Copenhagen but it feels a world away from a big city. It’s a flat open area of grass just outside the old defences of the old city so its just outside the waterways and embankments and bastions built around Christianshavn and the south side of the harbour of Copenhagen in the 17th and the 18th centuries.

On some early maps the area is marked as Christianshavns Fælled and presumably this was grass or pasture that was at the top end of the island of Amager at that point where the city meets the countryside and the sea.

 

Now less than a kilometre wide and maybe 700 metres from north to south, it is a crucial green area for the city and mainly because the landscape is not over managed. Parks in Copenhagen are amazing but this is a really important area of what is just grass so people can play football on the many pitches marked out here or can run or whatever. It’s just grass so people don’t have to worry about damaging anything or avoiding anything …. it’s interesting that this space was in fact the location of the first air field for the city before Kastrup.

The open space is important for another reason because from here there is an unbroken view of the city sky line. What skyline? Well that’s the point. It's not a dramatic modern city skyline because from here you can see just about the same view that Christian IV would have seen in the 1630s. Some of the church spires are a bit more ornate than they were then and higher and there are a lot more trees … because the approaches to the city then were kept clear of buildings and trees so Christian’s soldiers could see you coming.

It’s a crucial area in terms of modern planning - not just as somewhere to kick a football but as crucial marginal land … and marginal meant as a compliment. Around the fringes are amazing groups of self-build housing in well-kept gardens and there are allotments, tennis clubs, tree lined country lanes, an abandoned rail line and open water … plenty of water. Never let an accountant tell you this is a wasted development opportunity just a kilometre from the royal palace … it’s actually one of the many reasons why Copenhagen comes towards the top or at the top of lists of cities where its people vote it to be the best place to live.