An urbanist’s Kongens Enghave and Sydhavn/en

Kongens Enghave (pop: 17K; photos) was a separate administrativ bydel from ?2002-06 (map), when it was subsumed into Vesterbro, although retaining its own lokaludvalg (FB) as a funktionel bydel.

The bydel includes Sydhavnen, the old/new south harbour, which has its own postnummer (2450 København SV dvs Sydvest; at least that’s what Google Maps seems to think; Vesterbro = 1500 København V). And while Kongens Enghave is the district’s formal name, locals call it Sydhavnen (sic; although the station is called Sydhavn, and Nordhavn is called, well, just that).

Development began in the early 1900s in tandem with the growth of industry in the harbour south of Langebro. The first housing was built in 1913 on Hørdumsgade, lining the railway, followed by three areas of working class housing:

  • Frederiksholm (more) – the oldest, founded by Arbejdernes Kooperative Boligselskab (AKB), note streetnames; built on the grounds of Frederiksholm Teglværk (1871-1918); church | Den Røde Plads (Anker Jørgensens Plads)
  • Bavnehøj – 1920s, a mix of andelsboliger and kommunale boliger now mainly privately owned; church qv (1977, by Holger Jensen)
  • Musikbyen – 1930s, low apartment blocks with small front gardens in funkis style, batch-named after classical composers

Sydhavnen, considered an ‘outer’ district like Nordvest, has housed the halt and the lame since the rebirth of Copenhagen began under JKM in 1989, with swathes of social housing. The rest of Vesterbro got byfornyelse instead of sanering, putting small apartments together and adding green backyards in order to increase the tax take, sowing the seeds for today’s gentrification.

Interesting shape, with Vestre Kirkegård and a triangle of housing north of the S tog protruding funnel-like into Vesterbro proper, the ‘island’ of Sydhavnen bounded by P Knudsens Gade, Sydhavnsgade and the railway, then an industrial fringe taking in two/three/four wharves in what was the harbour. For a precise map visit Københavnerkortet (lokaludvalgsområder), which FWIW shows Enghave Brygge and Havneholmen as lying in Vesterbro (see also Vandrefuglen; more?)

Splits into ‘new’ and ‘old’ Sydhavnen divided by heavily trafficked Sydhavnsgade, at each end of Denmark’s average income spectrum (see Byens Klumme by GivRum’s Jesper Koefoed-Melson)/ For local history see Sydhavn | Kongens Enghave | history (from an Østerbro standpoint) | Enghave Kanal.

‘New’ Sydhavnen to the east of Sydhavnsgade:


  • allotment associations: lots, in some cases with year round occupation permitted | Frederikshøj |
  • bridges:
  • crime scenes
  • factories in Industritrekanten:
    • Ford samlefabrik (1924-66): in concrete, by Albert Kahn: Fordgraven (bassin in Teglværkshavnen): produced 325,482 vehicles, 75% exported
    • Citroënhuset (1927-66; Sydhavnsgade 16)
  • stations: three, now two: Enghave (RU sure? north of railway so calling it for Vesterbro), Sydhavn and Sjælør; metro arriving in 2023
  • roads:
  • social actors: Områdefornyelse Sydhavnen (FB) | Sydhavns Compagniet (FB) | SydhavnsGade | Sammen om Sydhavnen
  • walks (aka routes; why aren’t these in the TIC??):
  • wharves:
  • Karens Minde (cultural centre and library)
  • Sydhavnteater (Sydhavnsgade 28/Wagnersvej 19??)
  • Tippen ( | new! hundeløbegård; Wikipedia | Lorterenden | again): bike to Sluseholmen, continue over the bridge along Fiskerihavnen to the bottom of Bådehavnsgade, where a little dirt road called Sydløbsvej leads to the park;
    • 1950s to 1980s: 1000s of trucks tipped loads of rubble and other waste onto the site; Royal Copenhagen used the east facing coast to dispose of old moulds and broken crockery from its Aluminia line, which closed down in 1969. effectively a 5m high pile of rubbish, call it landfill…now serves as a unique recreation area, abundant in wildlife;
    • 1990: southernmost part protected
    • 2009: nature school opened; it’s a tip! almost part of Valbyparken, a nice enclosed area which would make a great dog park, at least in the sheep free part of the year
  • Vestre Fængsel & Vestre Kirkegård (1870-1914)