February 13, 2013 by Matt
I mentioned Amager and Islands Brygge in this post before, and with our recent flat hunting efforts, they’re areas we’ve spent a lot of time on lately (mainly in the cold on our bikes!).
You definitely don’t need to be any sort of historian to spot that these are areas that were industrial for a long time, and home to much of the city’s workers for the past couple of hundred years. The recent regeneration of the past 10 years will only ever have been able to make some cosmetic changes, but they can’t hide the rows of grey buildings that are still split by factories and warehouses. You can see some historical photos of the industrial buildings on this site here.
And it’s this history that’s really interested me when we’ve been looking around, because it just shines through via the street names. I know that much of the area was home to sailors (as it was connected to the old port area), and the places they must have visited, or done business with, have obviously had an affect on the city planning. Some of my favourites are below, and I’ve assumed they don’t need any explanation. [Oh, and don’t by fooled by the similarity to English – the word Island (as in Islands Brygge) actually refers to Iceland as the Danish word for ice is ‘is’. Their word for an island is simply one letter – ø.]
The British Isles roads – Englandsvej, Dublinvej, Belfastvej, Windsorvej, Stratfordvej, Bedfordvej, Etonvej, Bristol Allé, Oxford Allé and Hastingsvej.
A bit of a mediterranean area, with a nod to the ancients – Athensvej, Maltagade, Cypernsvej, Grækenlandsvej, Augustagade, Marathonvej.
Further afield in Europe – Polensgade, Østrigsgade (that’s Austria Street), Serbiensgade, Bulgariensgade, Albaniensgade.
A smattering of north America – Floridavej, Nebraskavej, Kansasvej and Kanadavej.
A big smattering of places from the east – Ceylonvej, Syriensvej, Arabiensvej, Armeniensvej, Kinavej, Siamvej, Siamvej, Iranvej, Koreavej, Hindustanvej, Uralvej, Sumatravej, Japanvej, Borneovej and Birmavej.
And for a bit of non-geographical variety, some stones and spices – Topasgangen, Azalieagangen, Cedergangen, Jadegangen, Safirgangen and Rubingangen.
So yes indeed – it’s a feast for the eyes and the imagination if you take a cycle around Amager.