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Located west of Copenhagen Central Station, Istedgade is a 1-kilometer straight street starting in the cheap hotel district, moving through the porn, prostitution and drugs area to modern Vesterbro, where 1900s tenement style blocks have undergone significant modernization and the street now cuts through one of the hippest neighbourhoods in Copenhagen. It is generally considered the main traffic artery and the heart of Vesterbro.
The lewd part of Istedgade has for many years constituted its image along with the local residents' views of themselves as true working class, united under the 1940s (during German occupation) slogan "Istedgade overgiver sig aldrig!" (Istedgade will never surrender!) To this day a banner with the slogan is flown across the street around Liberation Day (5 May) to commemorate the Istedgade uprising and general strikes of the summer of 1944.
Today, as almost all of Istedgade and with it Vesterbro has undergone a gentrification. Stores and cafes abound while real estate prices have risen faster than in most of Copenhagen.
Notable cafes and bars:
- Riccos kaffebar (coffee shop, open 9 am – 11 pm)
- Bang og Jensen (cafe and bar)
- Riesen bar, around the corner up Oehlenschlägersgade (bar, open Wed–Sat 8 pm – late night)
- Vega, on Enghavevej around the corner from Enghave Plads (concerts, DJs, nightclubs and bars, including Ideal bar. Open bar most days, nightclub Wed–Sat till late, scheduled concerts all year round)
- Blomsten (bodega from the late 1880s)
- Sheikh, Jacob; Davidsen-Nielsen, Hans (15 May 2012). "Eks-luder om Istedgade: Det er mere råt, end da jeg trak for heroin". Politiken (in Danish). Retrieved 1 February 2019.
- "Film 8 Olsen Banden ser rødt / Die Olsenbande sieht rot". olsenbande-homepage.de (in German). Retrieved 8 October 2017.
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