Art and the S tog: Friheden and Vallensbæk

Walking through our local S tog (overground, local rail) station on Tuesday I spotted this mural. I could have sworn it wasn’t there last week:

I’ll investigate how to take a panorama photo at some point, but the text reads:

Ved du, hvorfor det hedder Friheden? Før busser og toge, mennesker og mylder kom til Friheden, lå bonde Andreas Christensens gård alene og forblæst herude. Den var blevet flyttet ud i 1779. Inden da lå den sammen med alle de andre gård i Hvidovre landsby, der på dette tidspunkt var ejet af kongen. Andreas var blandt de første, der fik muligheden for at købe sin gård af kongen og flytte den ud af landsbyen. Af bare taknemmelighed kaldte han den “frie gaard”. På et senere tidspunkt flyttede der også en smed herude. I haven havde han en pæretræ. I dag er hverken “frie gaard” eller smeden tilbage, men pæretræet står endnu på hjørnet af Hvidovrevej og Gammel Køge Landevej, og navnet Friheden vidner om historiens vingesus.

Do you know why this station is called Friheden (freedom)? Before buses, trains and the rush hour came to Friheden the only thing out here was Andreas Christensen’s lonely windswept farm, dating from 1779. Before that the farm was in Hvidovre village, at that time owned by the king, together with all the other farms in the area. Andreas was one of the first to be granted permission to buy his farm and move out of the village. Out of gratitude he called it the “free farm”. Later he was joined by a smith, who had a pear tree in his garden. Today neither the farm nor the smithy remain, but the pear tree is still there, on the corner of Hvidovrevej and Gammel Køge Landevej, and the name Friheden bears witness to the sands of time.

The beags enjoy the pear tree, which is, luckily, protected. Read the full story på dansk, with a photo of the smithy from 1917.

Three stops further down the line in Vallensbæk, DIAS, a “digital gallery” has recently opened:

Both stations date from 1972 and could do with cheering up a little. A big thumbs up from here for the effort!

One of the Danish Architecture Centre’s podrides is on Linje A to Køge, following the S tog to Friheden and beyond, with interesting commentary from Poul Sverrild. Among many points of note are the fact that these areas were not intended for 24 hour living but for a working population – they are not mixed developments. South of Friheden though housing density reduces, making it very much a fringe area.



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