Time travelling in Dragør

Dragør is a small town falling off the map of greater Copenhagen, at the southeast of the island of Amager beneath the airport. One of Denmark’s biggest seafaring towns in the 17th and 18th centuries and a popular seaside resort at the end of the 19th and early 2oth centuries, it now feels like a faintly surreal glimpse back in time, at the end of the road to nowhere. Previously served by a railway and ferries across the Sound to Sweden, today it’s bus or nothing, with the town largely elbowed aside by the Øresund Bridge.

Just what is the future for Dragør? With the redevelopment of the rest of Amager from edgeland to this year’s idea of the future there’s no time to look back. The local council has ambitious climate change policies which may go some way towards slowing the predicted rise in sea levels in the area, but can 21st century Dragør be more than a heritage site?

A nice Xmas present has arrived this year with the showing of DR’s julekalender, a daily family drama which usually channels Denmark’s fairytale traditions with lots of nisser (Xmas elves) but which in 2014 has gone all Doctor Who on us. Tidsrejsen (lit: the journey through time) was shot in the town, and Visit Dragør takker for the opportunity, with a full programme of events and a Jul i Dragør app. The series is set in three points in time – in 1984, with everyone relishing the 1980s vibe, in the present day and in a Bladerunner inspired 2044.

In December 2014 the town was a hive of activity…

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tracking down settings from the series – it’s granddad’s house!

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inspecting costumes in Restaurant Beghuset

visiting the Xmas market

visiting the Xmas market

From last night’s episode it looks like things are going to come to a head at the harbour…

Lodstårnet, the old pilot tower

Lodstårnet, the old pilot tower erected in 1820

For more time travelling in Dragør see Walking backwards to find the future, a walk produced for Øko Ø Amager (Eco Island Amager) by Tracey Benson (@bytetime).

If you get the chance, Tidsrejsen is well worth catching – although credits for Back to the future and Ray Bradbury’s 1952  short story A sound of thunder (PDF warning) are lacking. Plus I miss the nisser. One year they were played by actors walking around on their knees – such fun!

The old and the new…

window decoration old style - Staffordshire wullie dugs

old style window decor – wally dugs also popular in Scandi seafaring towns

Denmark's biggest Xmas ball

Denmark’s biggest Xmas bauble with handmade baubles on display inside

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