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Review: Ryesgade Kollegiet — Community vibe in old squatters’ building

Dorms Disclosed — In the old building on Ryesgade 58, which used to be a squat by the Danish BZ or occupy movement, approximately 40 young students share their daily lives with each other in a residence hall that seems more like a hippie collective.

Ryesgade 58 in the Østerbro district in Copenhagen has a history as a home to squatters from the Danish BZ ‘occupy’ movement from 1983-1986. The conflict between the BZ’ers and the police reached its high point in the ‘Battle of Ryesgade’, where the residents after a nine day siege ended up abandoning and leaving the building. The Danish singer Kim Larsen once tried — unsuccessfully — to buy and give it to the residents.

Ryesgade Kollegiet

Address: Ryesgade 58, 2100 Copenhagen.

Monthly rent: DKK 2,800 – DKK 4,100

Application process: Waiting list. You need to study a certified Danish degree programme.


Today, the Ryesgade dorm is a quieter place that houses around 40 young students on five floors with seven people and one shared kitchen on each.

SEE THE FULL ‘DORMS DISCLOSED’ UNIVERSITY POST SERIES: Reviews by student residents of dorms and residence halls in Copenhagen

There are also two one-room flats and five two-room flats that you can sign up for. The rent varies between the different types of rooms, but is somewhere between DKK 2,800 and 4,100.

Community atmosphere

»It’s a very little residence hall,« says resident Rikke Møller.

»It’s really, really cosy. It has a bit of a community atmosphere.«

It is difficult to hide from the others in Ryesgade, according to Rikke Møller.

»It is not a requirement that you participate actively in the community. But it’s just a lot, lot cooler if you do it. But you don’t have to live up to some kind of social code.«

The small size of dormitory means that it is easy to exert an influence over your kitchen, and there is no bureaucracy stopping you. This can also be seen at the residents’ meetings, which are not particularly formal:

»There is always one item on the agenda, and that is gossip,« says Rikke Møller laughing.

The Ryesgade Kollegiet past, as occupied by squatters from the BZ movement, can still be sensed today.
image: Foto: Anna Trads Viemose.
The dorm’s perpetual trophy.
image: Foto: Anna Trads Viemose.
The college courtyard.
image: Foto: Anna Trads Viemose.

Listens to Kim Larsen and throws cobblestones

The residents themselves are responsible for their communal areas, which they prefer to organise with recyclable furniture and knick-knacks in what Rikke Møller calls »the do-it-yourself style.«

Dorms disclosed

There are loads of dormitories, kollegiums, and student residences in Copenhagen, yet most of the information available is in Danish.

Some are small, old houses with pretty gardens, others are giant concrete buildings with tiny windows.

This is a review by a student reporter. But in the Dorms Disclosed series, it is the residents themselves that review the dorms that they live in.

Here is an overview with links to all of the dormitory and student accommodation reviews we have published so far, written by the people who know them the best.

If you want to write an English-language review of your dorm write to with ‘Dorms Disclosed’ in the subject header.

»It’s a good mixture of random things. That’s just how I think we find it the nicest,« says Rikke, but adds that a beer-fridge should be a fixture.

This could be used for a bi-annual ‘floor crawl’ , where the different floors in the building compete for the ‘the eternal cow’. Each floor needs a theme here, and the classic theme is the BZ squatter theme, says Rikke Møller: »Then we listen to a bit of Kim Larsen and throw some cobblestones.«

According to Rikke, however, it is the »informal community« that makes up the Ryesgade residence hall. »It is not so much that there is a party going on, but more that you can sit on the couch together, and knit, and have a chat.«

»It’s an easy community to be a part of.«

[This review has been written by a student reporter at the University Post.  If you want to write an English-language review of your dorm write to and mark it ‘Dorms Disclosed’]

READ ABOUT OTHER RESIDENCE HALLS AND DORMS HERE: Student housing reviews: Dorms and residences in Copenhagen