Our story begins in Christiania, an old military site in Copenhagen. When the military use ceased, the area was deserted and in 1971 it was occupied by autonomous people who named the area Christiania. In 1972, Lars Engstrøm founded the village smithy in Christiania, I/S Christiania Smedje, with his friends Jesper, Kjeld and René. The four friends began producing wood-burning stoves from old oil drums and steel sheets, which they transported from surrounding scrap yards using old wartime cargo bikes.
From the very beginning, Christiania chose to be a car-free district. The lack of cars encouraged people to think about other forms of transportation to carry shopping, wood, gas tanks and children. I/S Christiania Smedje began producing the well-known and robust bicycle trailers, which, after initially being produced on old bed bases, were developed and put into production. The bicycle trailers became an important means of transportation at Christiania and also an important product for Smedjen. Over time, the demand for bicycle trailers also grew outside Christiania, and production was refined, including the purchase of new materials. The foundations were laid for a small company, which was officially registered in 1978.
In Christiania, transporting children using the bicycle trailer had become a normal way of transporting children. Lars had the idea to improve this mode of transportation. Instead of having the children behind him in the bike trailer, Lars thought of moving the bodywork to the front of a tricycle. Not only was it a safer way to take the children with you, because you are always in direct contact with them, it was also a more pleasant way. On May 16, 1984, Annie received her birthday present. Annie thought that a racing bike was inside the big present, which was wrapped in wrapping paper with a red bow. But instead, the first Christiania bike was born. Its pioneering feature was that it was a family bike, and that the transportation of children was improved both practically and safely. Within minutes of that day, Lars received an order to make more Christiania cargo bikes.
In 1989, Annie and Lars together moved production from Christiania to Bornholm, and a small production took shape on an old farm. As popularity and demand grew, surrounding farmers began to join the business. They produced handmade wheels, sewn canopies and other parts for the bikes. Today, production and assembly are located both on Bornholm and in Copenhagen. Here we have an annual production of more than 100,000 steel components and other essential parts for both the cargo bikes and trailers. We have several Danish and European subcontractors who produce specially designed parts and equipment. In addition, we get everything from engine parts, frames and brakes to wires and lights from various subcontractors from Japan, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam and many other countries.