Denmark

Denmark

Overview
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe
Northern Europe
Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. Northern Europe typically refers to the seven countries in the northern part of the European subcontinent which includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden...

. The countries of Denmark and Greenland
Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

, as well as the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark
Kingdom of Denmark
The Kingdom of Denmark or the Danish Realm , is a constitutional monarchy and sovereign state consisting of Denmark proper in northern Europe and two autonomous constituent countries, the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic and Greenland in North America. Denmark is the hegemonial part, where the...

 (Danish
Danish language
Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in the country of Denmark. It is also spoken by 50,000 Germans of Danish ethnicity in the northern parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where it holds the status of minority language...

: ). It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
The Nordic countries make up a region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic which consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and their associated territories, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland...

, southwest of Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 and south of Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, and bordered to the south by Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. Denmark borders both the Baltic
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 and the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

. The country consists of a large peninsula, Jutland
Jutland
Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...

 (Jylland) and many islands, most notably Zealand (Sjælland), Funen
Funen
Funen , with a size of 2,984 km² , is the third-largest island of Denmark following Zealand and Vendsyssel-Thy, and the 163rd largest island of the world. Funen is located in the central part of the country and has a population of 454,358 inhabitants . The main city is Odense, connected to the...

 (Fyn), Vendsyssel-Thy (commonly considered a part of Jutland), Lolland
Lolland
Lolland is the fourth largest island of Denmark, with an area of 1,243 square kilometers . Located in the Baltic sea, it is part of Region Sjælland...

, Falster
Falster
Falster is an island in south-eastern Denmark with an area of 514 km² and 43,398 inhabitants as of 1 January 2010. Located in the Baltic sea, it is part of Region Sjælland and is administered by Guldborgsund Municipality...

 and Bornholm
Bornholm
Bornholm is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea located to the east of the rest of Denmark, the south of Sweden, and the north of Poland. The main industries on the island include fishing, arts and crafts like glass making and pottery using locally worked clay, and dairy farming. Tourism is...

, as well as hundreds of minor islands often referred to as the Danish Archipelago.
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Timeline

871   Battle of Reading: Ethelred of Wessex fights, and is defeated by, a Danish invasion army.

910   The last major Danish army to raid England is defeated at the Battle of Tettenhall by the allied forces of Mercia and Wessex, led by King Edward the Elder and Earl Aethelred of Mercia.

1157   The Battle of Grathe Heath ends the civil war in Denmark. King Sweyn III is killed and Valdemar I restores the country.

1340   Niels Ebbesen kills Gerhard III of Holstein in his bedroom, ending the 1332-1340 interregnum in Denmark.

1448   Christian I is crowned king of Denmark.

1520   King Christian II of Denmark and Norway defeats the Swedes at Lake Åsunden.

1520   Stockholm Bloodbath begins: A successful invasion of Sweden by Danish forces results in the execution of around 100 people.

1523   Christian II is forced to abdicate as King of Denmark and Norway.

1676   Battle of Lund: A Danish army under the command of King Christian V of Denmark engages the Swedish army commanded by Field Marshal Simon Grundel-Helmfelt.

1794   Denmark and Sweden form a neutrality compact.

 
Encyclopedia
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe
Northern Europe
Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. Northern Europe typically refers to the seven countries in the northern part of the European subcontinent which includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden...

. The countries of Denmark and Greenland
Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

, as well as the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark
Kingdom of Denmark
The Kingdom of Denmark or the Danish Realm , is a constitutional monarchy and sovereign state consisting of Denmark proper in northern Europe and two autonomous constituent countries, the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic and Greenland in North America. Denmark is the hegemonial part, where the...

 (Danish
Danish language
Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in the country of Denmark. It is also spoken by 50,000 Germans of Danish ethnicity in the northern parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where it holds the status of minority language...

: ). It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries
Nordic countries
The Nordic countries make up a region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic which consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and their associated territories, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland...

, southwest of Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 and south of Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, and bordered to the south by Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. Denmark borders both the Baltic
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 and the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

. The country consists of a large peninsula, Jutland
Jutland
Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...

 (Jylland) and many islands, most notably Zealand (Sjælland), Funen
Funen
Funen , with a size of 2,984 km² , is the third-largest island of Denmark following Zealand and Vendsyssel-Thy, and the 163rd largest island of the world. Funen is located in the central part of the country and has a population of 454,358 inhabitants . The main city is Odense, connected to the...

 (Fyn), Vendsyssel-Thy (commonly considered a part of Jutland), Lolland
Lolland
Lolland is the fourth largest island of Denmark, with an area of 1,243 square kilometers . Located in the Baltic sea, it is part of Region Sjælland...

, Falster
Falster
Falster is an island in south-eastern Denmark with an area of 514 km² and 43,398 inhabitants as of 1 January 2010. Located in the Baltic sea, it is part of Region Sjælland and is administered by Guldborgsund Municipality...

 and Bornholm
Bornholm
Bornholm is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea located to the east of the rest of Denmark, the south of Sweden, and the north of Poland. The main industries on the island include fishing, arts and crafts like glass making and pottery using locally worked clay, and dairy farming. Tourism is...

, as well as hundreds of minor islands often referred to as the Danish Archipelago. Denmark has long controlled the approach to the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 (dominium maris baltici
Dominium maris baltici
The establishment of a was one of the primary political aims of the Danish and Swedish kingdoms in the late medieval and Early Modern eras...

); before the digging of the Kiel Canal
Kiel Canal
The Kiel Canal , known as the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal until 1948, is a long canal in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein.The canal links the North Sea at Brunsbüttel to the Baltic Sea at Kiel-Holtenau. An average of is saved by using the Kiel Canal instead of going around the Jutland Peninsula....

, water passage to the Baltic Sea was possible only through the three channels known as the "Danish straits
Danish straits
The Danish straits are the three channels connecting the Baltic Sea to the North Sea through the Kattegat and Skagerrak. They transect Denmark, and are not to be confused with the Denmark Strait between Greenland and Iceland...

".

Denmark is a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 with a parliamentary system
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 of government. It has a state-level government and local governments in 98 municipalities. Denmark has been a member of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 since 1973, although it has not joined the Eurozone
Eurozone
The eurozone , officially called the euro area, is an economic and monetary union of seventeen European Union member states that have adopted the euro as their common currency and sole legal tender...

. A founding member of NATO and the OECD
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade...

, it is also a member of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Denmark, with a mixed market
Mixed economy
Mixed economy is an economic system in which both the state and private sector direct the economy, reflecting characteristics of both market economies and planned economies. Most mixed economies can be described as market economies with strong regulatory oversight, in addition to having a variety...

 economy
Economy
An economy consists of the economic system of a country or other area; the labor, capital and land resources; and the manufacturing, trade, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of that area...

 and a large welfare state
Welfare state
A welfare state is a "concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those...

, ranks as having the world's highest level of income equality. It has frequently ranked as the happiest and least corrupt country in the world. The national language
National language
A national language is a language which has some connection—de facto or de jure—with a people and perhaps by extension the territory they occupy. The term is used variously. A national language may for instance represent the national identity of a nation or country...

, Danish
Danish language
Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in the country of Denmark. It is also spoken by 50,000 Germans of Danish ethnicity in the northern parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where it holds the status of minority language...

, is closely related to Swedish
Swedish language
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

 and Norwegian
Norwegian language
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

, with which it shares strong cultural and historical ties
Norsemen
Norsemen is used to refer to the group of people as a whole who spoke what is now called the Old Norse language belonging to the North Germanic branch of Indo-European languages, especially Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, Swedish and Danish in their earlier forms.The meaning of Norseman was "people...

.

Etymology


The etymology of the word Denmark, and especially the relationship between Danes and Denmark and the unifying of Denmark as a single kingdom, is a subject which attracts some debate. The debate is centred primarily around the prefix "Dan" and whether it refers to the Dani or a historical person Dan
Dan (king)
Dan is the name of one or more legendary kings of the Danes in medieval Scandinavian texts.-The Lejre Chronicle:The Chronicle of Lejre written about 1170 introduces a primeval King Ypper of Uppsala whose three sons were Dan, who afterwards ruled Denmark, Nori, who afterwards ruled Norway, and...

 and the exact meaning of the -"mark" ending. The issue is further complicated by a number of references to various Dani people in Scandinavia or other places in Europe in Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 and Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 accounts (like Ptolemy
Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

, Jordanes
Jordanes
Jordanes, also written Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th century Roman bureaucrat, who turned his hand to history later in life....

, and Gregory of Tours
Gregory of Tours
Saint Gregory of Tours was a Gallo-Roman historian and Bishop of Tours, which made him a leading prelate of Gaul. He was born Georgius Florentius, later adding the name Gregorius in honour of his maternal great-grandfather...

), as well as some mediaeval literature (like Adam of Bremen
Adam of Bremen
Adam of Bremen was a German medieval chronicler. He lived and worked in the second half of the eleventh century. He is most famous for his chronicle Gesta Hammaburgensis Ecclesiae Pontificum .-Background:Little is known of his life other than hints from his own chronicles...

, Beowulf
Beowulf
Beowulf , but modern scholars agree in naming it after the hero whose life is its subject." of an Old English heroic epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature.It survives in a single...

, Widsith
Widsith
Widsith is an Old English poem of 144 lines that appears to date from the 9th century, drawing on earlier oral traditions of Anglo-Saxon tale singing. The only text of the fragment is copied in the Exeter Book, a manuscript of Old English poetry compiled in the late 10th century containing...

 and Poetic Edda
Poetic Edda
The Poetic Edda is a collection of Old Norse poems primarily preserved in the Icelandic mediaeval manuscript Codex Regius. Along with Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda, the Poetic Edda is the most important extant source on Norse mythology and Germanic heroic legends, and from the early 19th century...

).

Most handbooks derive the first part of the word, and the name of the people, from a word meaning "flat land", related to German Tenne "threshing floor", English den "cave", Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 dhánuṣ- (धनुस्; "desert"). The -mark is believed to mean woodland or borderland (see marches), with probable references to the border forests in south Schleswig, maybe similar to Finnmark, Hedmark
Hedmark
is a county in Norway, bordering Sør-Trøndelag, Oppland and Akershus. The county administration is in Hamar.Hedmark makes up the northeastern part of Østlandet, the southeastern part of the country. It includes a long part of the borderline with Sweden, Dalarna County and Värmland County. The...

, Telemark or Dithmarschen
Dithmarschen
Dithmarschen is a district in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Nordfriesland, Schleswig-Flensburg, Rendsburg-Eckernförde, and Steinburg, by the state of Lower Saxony , and by the North Sea.-Geography:The district is located on the North Sea...

.

In Norse, the land was called Danmǫrk.

Some of the earliest descriptions of the origin of the word 'Denmark', describing a territory, are found in the Chronicon Lethrense
Chronicon Lethrense
Chronicon Lethrense is a small Danish medieval work from the 12th century, written in Latin.-Themes:...

 (12th century), Svend Aagesen (late 12th century), Saxo Grammaticus
Saxo Grammaticus
Saxo Grammaticus also known as Saxo cognomine Longus was a Danish historian, thought to have been a secular clerk or secretary to Absalon, Archbishop of Lund, foremost advisor to Valdemar I of Denmark. He is the author of the first full history of Denmark.- Life :The Jutland Chronicle gives...

 (early 13th century) and the Ballad of Eric (mid 15th century). There are, however, many more Danish annuals and yearbooks containing various other details, similar tales in other variations, other names or spelling variations.

The Chronicon Lethrense explains that when the Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman State during the imperial period . The Romans had no single term for the office although at any given time, a given title was associated with the emperor...

 Augustus
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

 went against Denmark in the time of David, Denmark consisted of seven territories Jutland
Jutland
Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...

, Funen
Funen
Funen , with a size of 2,984 km² , is the third-largest island of Denmark following Zealand and Vendsyssel-Thy, and the 163rd largest island of the world. Funen is located in the central part of the country and has a population of 454,358 inhabitants . The main city is Odense, connected to the...

, Zealand, Møn
Møn
-Location:Møn is located just off the south-eastern tip of Zealand from which it is separated by the waters of the Hølen strait between Kalvehave and the island of Nyord, at the northern end of Møn. Further south is Stege Bugt...

, Falster
Falster
Falster is an island in south-eastern Denmark with an area of 514 km² and 43,398 inhabitants as of 1 January 2010. Located in the Baltic sea, it is part of Region Sjælland and is administered by Guldborgsund Municipality...

, Lolland
Lolland
Lolland is the fourth largest island of Denmark, with an area of 1,243 square kilometers . Located in the Baltic sea, it is part of Region Sjælland...

 and Skåne
Scania
Scania is the southernmost of the 25 traditional non-administrative provinces of Sweden, constituting a peninsula on the southern tip of the Scandinavian peninsula, and some adjacent islands. The modern administrative subdivision Skåne County is almost, but not totally, congruent with the...

 which were governed by King Ypper of Uppsala
Uppsala
- Economy :Today Uppsala is well established in medical research and recognized for its leading position in biotechnology.*Abbott Medical Optics *GE Healthcare*Pfizer *Phadia, an offshoot of Pharmacia*Fresenius*Q-Med...

. He had three sons, Nori, Østen and Dan
Dan (king)
Dan is the name of one or more legendary kings of the Danes in medieval Scandinavian texts.-The Lejre Chronicle:The Chronicle of Lejre written about 1170 introduces a primeval King Ypper of Uppsala whose three sons were Dan, who afterwards ruled Denmark, Nori, who afterwards ruled Norway, and...

. Dan was sent to govern Zealand, Møn, Falster, and Lolland, which became known jointly as Videslev. When the Jutes
Jutes
The Jutes, Iuti, or Iutæ were a Germanic people who, according to Bede, were one of the three most powerful Germanic peoples of their time, the other two being the Saxons and the Angles...

 were fighting Emperor Augustus they called upon Dan to help them. Upon victory, they made him king of Jutland, Funen, Videslev and Skåne. A council decided to call this new united land Danmark (Dania) (English: Denmark) after their new king, Dan. Saxo
Saxo Grammaticus
Saxo Grammaticus also known as Saxo cognomine Longus was a Danish historian, thought to have been a secular clerk or secretary to Absalon, Archbishop of Lund, foremost advisor to Valdemar I of Denmark. He is the author of the first full history of Denmark.- Life :The Jutland Chronicle gives...

 relates that it is the legendary Danish King Dan
Dan I of Denmark
Dan I was the progenitor of the Danish royal house according to Saxo Grammaticus's Gesta Danorum. He held the lordship along with his brother Angul, the progenitor of the English.See also: Dan -References:...

, son of Humbli, who gave the name to the Danish people, though he does not expressly state that he is also the origin of the word "Denmark". Rather he tells that England ultimately derives its name from Dan’s brother Angel
Angles
The Angles is a modern English term for a Germanic people who took their name from the ancestral cultural region of Angeln, a district located in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany...

.

The earliest mention of a territory called "Denmark" is found in King Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great
Alfred the Great was King of Wessex from 871 to 899.Alfred is noted for his defence of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of southern England against the Vikings, becoming the only English monarch still to be accorded the epithet "the Great". Alfred was the first King of the West Saxons to style himself...

's modified translation into Old English of Paulus Orosius' Seven Books of History Against The Pagans ("Historiarum adversum Paganos Libri Septem"), written by Alfred when king of Wessex
Wessex
The Kingdom of Wessex or Kingdom of the West Saxons was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the West Saxons, in South West England, from the 6th century, until the emergence of a united English state in the 10th century, under the Wessex dynasty. It was to be an earldom after Canute the Great's conquest...

 in the years 871–899. In a passage introduced to the text by Alfred, we read about Ohthere of Hålogaland’s travels in the Nordic region, during which 'Denmark [Denamearc] was on his port side... And then for two days he had on his (port side) the islands which belong to Denmark'.

The first recorded use of the word "Denmark" within Denmark itself is found on the two Jelling stones
Jelling stones
The Jelling stones are massive carved runestones from the 10th century, found at the town of Jelling in Denmark. The older of the two Jelling stones was raised by King Gorm the Old in memory of his wife Thyra...

, which are rune stones believed to have been erected by Gorm the Old
Gorm the Old
Gorm the Old , also called Gorm the Sleepy , was the first historically recognized King of Denmark, reigning from to his death . He ruled from Jelling, and made the oldest of the Jelling Stones in honour of his wife Thyra. Gorm was born before 900 and died .-Ancestry and reign:Gorm is the reported...

 (c. 955) and Harald Bluetooth
Harald I of Denmark
Harald "Bluetooth" Gormsson was the son of King Gorm the Old and of Thyra Dannebod. He died in 985 or 986 having ruled as King of Denmark from around 958 and King of Norway for a few years probably around 970...

 (c. 965). The larger stone of the two is often cited as Denmark's birth certificate, though both use the word "Denmark", in the form of accusative
Accusative case
The accusative case of a noun is the grammatical case used to mark the direct object of a transitive verb. The same case is used in many languages for the objects of prepositions...

  "tanmaurk" ([danmɒrk]) on the large stone, and genitive
Genitive case
In grammar, genitive is the grammatical case that marks a noun as modifying another noun...

 "tanmarkar" on the small stone. The inhabitants of Denmark are there called "tani" ([danɪ]), or "Danes", in the accusative. In the Song of Roland
The Song of Roland
The Song of Roland is the oldest surviving major work of French literature. It exists in various manuscript versions which testify to its enormous and enduring popularity in the 12th to 14th centuries...

, estimated to have been written between 1040 and 1115, the first mention of the legendary Danish hero Holger Danske
Ogier the Dane
Ogier the Dane is a legendary character who first appears in an Old French chanson de geste, in the cycle of poems Geste de Doon de Mayence....

 appears; he is mentioned several times as "Holger of Denmark" (Ogier de Denemarche).

Prehistory




The earliest archaeological findings in Denmark
Archaeology of Denmark
The first submerged settlement excavated in Denmark was the Tybrind Vig site. In the decade after 1977, this site was the scene of intensive excavation activity. 300 m from the shore and 3 m below the surface, divers excavated sensationally well-preserved artefacts from the Ertebølle...

 date back to the Eem interglacial period from 130,000–110,000 BC. Denmark has been inhabited since around 12,500 BC and agriculture has been evident since 3900 BC. The Nordic Bronze Age
Nordic Bronze Age
The Nordic Bronze Age is the name given by Oscar Montelius to a period and a Bronze Age culture in Scandinavian pre-history, c. 1700-500 BC, with sites that reached as far east as Estonia. Succeeding the Late Neolithic culture, its ethnic and linguistic affinities are unknown in the absence of...

 (1800–600 BC) in Denmark was marked by burial mounds
Tumulus
A tumulus is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves. Tumuli are also known as barrows, burial mounds, Hügelgrab or kurgans, and can be found throughout much of the world. A tumulus composed largely or entirely of stones is usually referred to as a cairn...

, which left an abundance of findings including lur
Lur
A lur is a long natural blowing horn without finger holes that is played by embouchure. Lurs can be straight or curved in various shapes. The purpose of the curves was to make long instruments easier to carry A lur is a long natural blowing horn without finger holes that is played by embouchure....

s and the Sun Chariot
Trundholm sun chariot
The Trundholm sun chariot , is a late Nordic Bronze Age artifact discovered in Denmark. It is a representatino of the sun chariot, a bronze statue of a horse and a large bronze disk, which are placed on a device with spoked wheels....

.

During the Pre-Roman Iron Age
Pre-Roman Iron Age
The Pre-Roman Iron Age of Northern Europe designates the earliest part of the Iron Age in Scandinavia, northern Germany, and the Netherlands north of the Rhine River. These regions feature many extensive archaeological excavation sites, which have yielded a wealth of artifacts...

 (500 BC  – 1 AD), native groups began migrating south, although the first Danish people came to the country between the Pre-Roman and the Germanic Iron Age
Germanic Iron Age
The Germanic Iron Age is the name given to the period 400–800 in Northern Europe and it is part of the continental Age of Migrations.-Germanic Iron :...

, in the Roman Iron Age
Roman Iron Age
The Roman Iron Age is the name that Swedish archaeologist Oscar Montelius gave to a part of the Iron Age in Scandinavia, Northern Germany and the Netherlands....

 (1–400 AD). The Roman province
Roman province
In Ancient Rome, a province was the basic, and, until the Tetrarchy , largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside of Italy...

s maintained trade route
Trade route
A trade route is a logistical network identified as a series of pathways and stoppages used for the commercial transport of cargo. Allowing goods to reach distant markets, a single trade route contains long distance arteries which may further be connected to several smaller networks of commercial...

s and relations with native tribes in Denmark, and Roman coins
Roman currency
The Roman currency during most of the Roman Republic and the western half of the Roman Empire consisted of coins including the aureus , the denarius , the sestertius , the dupondius , and the as...

 have been found in Denmark. Evidence of strong Celtic cultural influence dates from this period in Denmark and much of North-West Europe and is among other things reflected in the finding of the Gundestrup cauldron
Gundestrup cauldron
The Gundestrup cauldron is a richly-decorated silver vessel, thought to date to the 1st century BC, placing it into the late La Tène period. It was found in 1891 in a peat bog near the hamlet of Gundestrup, in the Aars parish in Himmerland, Denmark...

.

Historians believe that before the arrival of the precursors to the Danes, who came from the east Danish islands (Zealand) and Skåne
Scania
Scania is the southernmost of the 25 traditional non-administrative provinces of Sweden, constituting a peninsula on the southern tip of the Scandinavian peninsula, and some adjacent islands. The modern administrative subdivision Skåne County is almost, but not totally, congruent with the...

 and spoke an early form of North Germanic
North Germanic languages
The North Germanic languages or Scandinavian languages, the languages of Scandinavians, make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages, along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East Germanic languages...

, most of Jutland
Jutland
Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...

 and some islands were settled by Jutes
Jutes
The Jutes, Iuti, or Iutæ were a Germanic people who, according to Bede, were one of the three most powerful Germanic peoples of their time, the other two being the Saxons and the Angles...

. They were later invited to Great Britain as mercenaries by Brythonic
Brythonic languages
The Brythonic or Brittonic languages form one of the two branches of the Insular Celtic language family, the other being Goidelic. The name Brythonic was derived by Welsh Celticist John Rhys from the Welsh word Brython, meaning an indigenous Briton as opposed to an Anglo-Saxon or Gael...

 King Vortigern
Vortigern
Vortigern , also spelled Vortiger and Vortigen, was a 5th-century warlord in Britain, a leading ruler among the Britons. His existence is considered likely, though information about him is shrouded in legend. He is said to have invited the Saxons to settle in Kent as mercenaries to aid him in...

 and were granted the southeastern territories of Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

, the Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest island of England, located in the English Channel, on average about 2–4 miles off the south coast of the county of Hampshire, separated from the mainland by a strait called the Solent...

 among other areas, where they settled. They were later absorbed or ethnically cleansed
Ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic orreligious group from certain geographic areas....

 by the invading Angles
Angles
The Angles is a modern English term for a Germanic people who took their name from the ancestral cultural region of Angeln, a district located in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany...

 and Saxons
Saxons
The Saxons were a confederation of Germanic tribes originating on the North German plain. The Saxons earliest known area of settlement is Northern Albingia, an area approximately that of modern Holstein...

, who formed the Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxon is a term used by historians to designate the Germanic tribes who invaded and settled the south and east of Great Britain beginning in the early 5th century AD, and the period from their creation of the English nation to the Norman conquest. The Anglo-Saxon Era denotes the period of...

. The remaining population in Jutland assimilated in with the Danes.

A short note about the Dani in "Getica" by historian Jordanes
Jordanes
Jordanes, also written Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th century Roman bureaucrat, who turned his hand to history later in life....

 is believed by some to be an early mention of the Danes, one of the ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

s from whom the modern Danish people
Danes
Danish people or Danes are the nation and ethnic group that is native to Denmark, and who speak Danish.The first mention of Danes within the Danish territory is on the Jelling Rune Stone which mentions how Harald Bluetooth converted the Danes to Christianity in the 10th century...

 are descended. The Danevirke
Danevirke
The Danevirke The Danevirke The Danevirke (modern Danish spelling: Dannevirke; in Old Norse Danavirki ; in German Danewerk ; is a system of Danish fortifications in Schleswig-Holstein (Northern Germany). This important linear defensive earthwork was constructed across the neck of the Cimbrian...

 defence structures were built in phases from the 3rd century forward, and the sheer size of the construction efforts in 737 are attributed to the emergence of a Danish king. The new runic alphabet
Younger Futhark
The Younger Futhark, also called Scandinavian runes, is a runic alphabet, a reduced form of the Elder Futhark, consisting of only 16 characters, in use from ca. 800 CE...

 was first used around the same time, and Ribe
Ribe
Ribe , the oldest extant Danish town, is in southwest Jutland and has a population of 8,192 . Until 1 January 2007, it was the seat of both the surrounding municipality, and county...

, the oldest town of Denmark, was founded about 700.

Viking Age




The Danish people were amongst those known as the Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

s during the 8th–11th centuries. Viking explorers first discovered and settled in Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 in the 9th century, on their way from the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

. From there, Greenland
Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

 and Vinland
Vinland
Vinland was the name given to an area of North America by the Norsemen, about the year 1000 CE.There is a consensus among scholars that the Vikings reached North America approximately five centuries prior to the voyages of Christopher Columbus...

 (probably Newfoundland
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it incorporates the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador with a combined area of . As of April 2011, the province's estimated population is 508,400...

) were also settled. Utilizing their great skills in shipbuilding and navigation they raided and conquered parts of France and the British Isles
British Isles
The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and...

. But they also excelled in trading along the coasts and rivers of Europe, running trade routes from Greenland in the north to Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 in the south via Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n rivers. The Danish Vikings were most active in Britain, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy where they raided, conquered and settled (their earliest settlements included sites in the Danelaw
Danelaw
The Danelaw, as recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle , is a historical name given to the part of England in which the laws of the "Danes" held sway and dominated those of the Anglo-Saxons. It is contrasted with "West Saxon law" and "Mercian law". The term has been extended by modern historians to...

, Ireland and Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

).

In the early 9th century, Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

's Christian empire had expanded to the southern border of the Danes, and Frankish sources (e.g. Notker of St Gall) provide the earliest historical evidence of the Danes. These report a King Gudfred
Gudfred
King Gudfred was a Danish king during the Viking era. Gudfred was the younger son of King Sigfred. Alternate spelling include Godfred, Göttrick , Gøtrik , Gudrød , and Godofredus .-Biography:King Gudfred appeared in present day Holstein with a navy in 804 AD where diplomacy took place with the...

, who appeared in present day Holstein
Holstein
Holstein is the region between the rivers Elbe and Eider. It is part of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost state of Germany....

 with a navy in 804 where diplomacy took place with the Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

; In 808, King Gudfred attacked the Obotrite
Obotrites
The Obotrites , also commonly known as the Obodrites, Abotrites, or Abodrites, were a confederation of medieval West Slavic tribes within the territory of modern Mecklenburg and Holstein in northern Germany . For decades they were allies of Charlemagne in his wars against Germanic Saxons and Slavic...

 and conquered the city of Reric
Reric
Reric or Rerik was one of the Viking Age multi-ethnic Slavic-Scandinavian emporia on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, located near Wismar in the present-day German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Reric was built around 700, when Slavs of the Obodrite tribe settled the region...

 whose population was displaced or abducted to Hedeby
Hedeby
Hedeby |heath]]land, and býr = yard, thus "heath yard"), mentioned by Alfred the Great as aet Haethe , in German Haddeby and Haithabu, a modern spelling of the runic Heiðabý was an important trading settlement in the Danish-northern German borderland during the Viking Age...

. In 809, King Godfred and emissaries of Charlemagne failed to negotiate peace, despite the sister of Godfred being a concubine of Charlemagne, and the next year King Godfred attacked the Frisians
Frisians
The Frisians are a Germanic ethnic group native to the coastal parts of the Netherlands and Germany. They are concentrated in the Dutch provinces of Friesland and Groningen and, in Germany, East Frisia and North Frisia, that was a part of Denmark until 1864. They inhabit an area known as Frisia...

 with 200 ships.

The oldest parts of the defensive works of Danevirke near Hedeby
Hedeby
Hedeby |heath]]land, and býr = yard, thus "heath yard"), mentioned by Alfred the Great as aet Haethe , in German Haddeby and Haithabu, a modern spelling of the runic Heiðabý was an important trading settlement in the Danish-northern German borderland during the Viking Age...

 at least date from the summer of 755 and were expanded with large works in the 10th century. The size and amount of troops needed to man it indicates a quite powerful ruler in the area, which might be consistent with the kings of the Frankish sources. In 815 AD, Emperor Louis the Pious
Louis the Pious
Louis the Pious , also called the Fair, and the Debonaire, was the King of Aquitaine from 781. He was also King of the Franks and co-Emperor with his father, Charlemagne, from 813...

 attacked Jutland apparently in support of a contender to the throne, perhaps Harald Klak
Harald Klak
Harald 'Klak' Halfdansson was a king in Jutland around 812–814 and again from 819–827.-Family:...

, but was turned back by the sons of Godfred, who most likely were the sons of the above mentioned Godfred. At the same time St. Ansgar
Ansgar
Saint Ansgar, Anskar or Oscar, was an Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen. The see of Hamburg was designated a "Mission to bring Christianity to the North", and Ansgar became known as the "Apostle of the North".-Life:After his mother’s early death Ansgar was brought up in Corbie Abbey, and made rapid...

 travelled to Hedeby and started the Catholic Christianisation of Scandinavia.
The Danes were united and officially Christianised in 965 AD by Harald Bluetooth, the story of which is recorded on the Jelling stones
Jelling stones
The Jelling stones are massive carved runestones from the 10th century, found at the town of Jelling in Denmark. The older of the two Jelling stones was raised by King Gorm the Old in memory of his wife Thyra...

. The extent of Harald's Danish Kingdom is unknown, although it is reasonable to believe that it stretched from the defensive line of Dannevirke, including the Viking city of Hedeby, across Jutland, the Danish isles and into southern present day Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

; Scania
Scania
Scania is the southernmost of the 25 traditional non-administrative provinces of Sweden, constituting a peninsula on the southern tip of the Scandinavian peninsula, and some adjacent islands. The modern administrative subdivision Skåne County is almost, but not totally, congruent with the...

 and perhaps Halland
Halland
' is one of the traditional provinces of Sweden , on the western coast of Sweden. It borders Västergötland, Småland, Scania and the sea of Kattegat.-Administration:...

 and Blekinge
Blekinge
' is one of the traditional provinces of Sweden , situated in the south of the country. It borders Småland, Scania and the Baltic Sea.The name "Blekinge" comes from the adjective bleke, which corresponds to the nautical term for "dead calm"....

. Furthermore, the Jelling stones attest that Harald had also "won" Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. In retaliation for the St. Brice's Day massacre
St. Brice's Day massacre
The St. Brice's Day massacre was the killing of Danes in the Kingdom of England on 13 November 1002, ordered by King Æthelred the Unready. The name refers to St Brice, fifth century Bishop of Tours, whose feast day is 13 November.-Background:...

 of Danes in England, the son of Harald, Sweyn Forkbeard mounted a series of wars of conquest against England, which was completed by Svend's son Cnut the Great by the middle of the 11th century.

Following the death of Canute the Great, Denmark and England were divided. Sweyn Estridsen's son, Canute IV
Canute IV of Denmark
Canute IV, later known as Canute the Holy or Canute the Saint , was King of Denmark from 1080 until 1086. Canute was an ambitious king who sought to strengthen the Danish monarchy, devotedly supported the Roman Catholic Church, and had designs on the English throne. Slain by rebels in 1086, he was...

, raided England for the last time in 1085. He planned another invasion to take the throne of England from an aging William I
William I of England
William I , also known as William the Conqueror , was the first Norman King of England from Christmas 1066 until his death. He was also Duke of Normandy from 3 July 1035 until his death, under the name William II...

. He called up a fleet of 1,000 Danish ships, 60 Norwegian long boats
Longship
Longships were sea vessels made and used by the Vikings from the Nordic countries for trade, commerce, exploration, and warfare during the Viking Age. The longship’s design evolved over many years, beginning in the Stone Age with the invention of the umiak and continuing up to the 9th century with...

, with plans to meet with another 600 ships under Duke Robert of Flanders
Robert I, Count of Flanders
thumb|Robert I of FlandersRobert I of Flanders , known as Robert the Frisian, was count of Flanders from 1071 to 1092.-History:...

 in the summer of 1086. Canute, however, was beginning to realise that the imposition of the tithe on Danish peasants and nobles to fund the expansion of monasteries and churches and a new head tax
Poll tax
A poll tax is a tax of a portioned, fixed amount per individual in accordance with the census . When a corvée is commuted for cash payment, in effect it becomes a poll tax...

 (Danish:nefgjald) had brought his people to the verge of rebellion. Canute took weeks to arrive at Struer where the fleet had assembled, but he found only the Norwegians
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 still there.

Canute thanked the Norwegians for their patience and then went from assembly to assembly (Danish:landsting) outlawing any sailor, captain or soldier who refused to pay a fine which amounted to more than a years harvest for most farmers. Canute and his housecarls fled south with a growing army of rebels on his heels. Canute fled to the royal property outside the town of Odense on Funen with his two brothers. After several attempts to break in and then bloody hand to hand fighting in the church, Benedict was cut down and Canute struck in the head by a large stone and then speared from the front. He died at the base of the main altar 10 July 1086, where he was buried by the Benedictines. When Queen Edele came to take Canute's body to Flanders, a light allegedly shone around the church and it was taken as a sign that Canute should remain where he was.

The death of St. Canute marks the end of the Viking Age. Never again would massive flotillas of Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

ns meet each year to ravage the rest of Christian Europe.

Medieval Denmark


From the Viking age towards the end of the 13th century, the kingdom of Denmark consisted of Jutland, north from the Eider River, the islands of Zealand, Funen
Funen
Funen , with a size of 2,984 km² , is the third-largest island of Denmark following Zealand and Vendsyssel-Thy, and the 163rd largest island of the world. Funen is located in the central part of the country and has a population of 454,358 inhabitants . The main city is Odense, connected to the...

, and Bornholm
Bornholm
Bornholm is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea located to the east of the rest of Denmark, the south of Sweden, and the north of Poland. The main industries on the island include fishing, arts and crafts like glass making and pottery using locally worked clay, and dairy farming. Tourism is...

, along with Skåne
Scania
Scania is the southernmost of the 25 traditional non-administrative provinces of Sweden, constituting a peninsula on the southern tip of the Scandinavian peninsula, and some adjacent islands. The modern administrative subdivision Skåne County is almost, but not totally, congruent with the...

, Halland
Halland
' is one of the traditional provinces of Sweden , on the western coast of Sweden. It borders Västergötland, Småland, Scania and the sea of Kattegat.-Administration:...

 and Blekinge
Blekinge
' is one of the traditional provinces of Sweden , situated in the south of the country. It borders Småland, Scania and the Baltic Sea.The name "Blekinge" comes from the adjective bleke, which corresponds to the nautical term for "dead calm"....

, which is a part of southern Sweden today. The lands between the Eider and the Kongeå
Kongeå
The river Kongeå defines the border between North and South Jutland in Jutland in Denmark.In 1864-1920 it was the border between Denmark and Germany....

en were separated from the kingdom as two vassal duchies
Duchy
A duchy is a territory, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess.Some duchies were sovereign in areas that would become unified realms only during the Modern era . In contrast, others were subordinate districts of those kingdoms that unified either partially or completely during the Medieval era...

 of Schleswig and Holstein
Holstein
Holstein is the region between the rivers Elbe and Eider. It is part of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost state of Germany....

.

Following the end of the 11th century, Denmark underwent a transition from a patchwork of regional chiefs (Danish:jarls) with a weak and semi-elected royal institution, into a realm which more reflected European feudalism
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

, with a powerful king ruling through an influential nobility. The period is marked by internal strife and the generally weak geopolitical position of the realm, which for long stretches fell under German influence. The period also featured the first of large stone buildings (mostly churches), a deep penetration by the Christian religion, the appearance of monastic orders
Monasticism
Monasticism is a religious way of life characterized by the practice of renouncing worldly pursuits to fully devote one's self to spiritual work...

 in Denmark and the first written historical works such as the Gesta Danorum
Gesta Danorum
Gesta Danorum is a patriotic work of Danish history, by the 12th century author Saxo Grammaticus . It is the most ambitious literary undertaking of medieval Denmark and is an essential source for the nation's early history...

 ("Deeds of the Danes"). German political as well as religious influence firmly ended in the last decades of the 12th century under the rule of King Valdemar the Great
Valdemar I of Denmark
Valdemar I of Denmark , also known as Valdemar the Great, was King of Denmark from 1157 until 1182.-Biography:...

 and his foster brother Absalon
Absalon
Absalon was a Danish archbishop and statesman, who was the Bishop of Roskilde from 1158 to 1192 and Archbishop of Lund from 1178 until his death. He was the foremost politician and churchfather of Denmark in the second half of the 12th century, and was the closest advisor of King Valdemar I of...

 Hvide
Hvide
Hvide was a medieval Danish clan, and afterwards in early modern era a Danish noble surname of presumably one surviving branch of leaders of that clan. Before 16th century it was not used as surname...

, Archbishop of Lund
Lund
-Main sights:During the 12th and 13th centuries, when the town was the seat of the archbishop, many churches and monasteries were built. At its peak, Lund had 27 churches, but most of them were demolished as result of the Reformation in 1536. Several medieval buildings remain, including Lund...

; through successful wars against Wend
Wends
Wends is a historic name for West Slavs living near Germanic settlement areas. It does not refer to a homogeneous people, but to various peoples, tribes or groups depending on where and when it is used...

 peoples of northeast Germany and the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

.
A high point was reached during the reign of Valdemar II
Valdemar II of Denmark
Valdemar II , called Valdemar the Victorious or Valdemar the Conqueror , was the King of Denmark from 1202 until his death in 1241. The nickname Sejr is a later invention and was not used during the King's own lifetime...

, who led the formation of a Danish "Baltic Sea Empire", which by 1221 extended control from Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

 in the east to Norway in the north. In this period several of the "regional" law codes were given; notably the Code of Jutland
Codex Holmiensis
Codex Holmiensis is the manuscript of the Danish Code of Jutland, a civil code enacted under Valdemar II of Denmark. The code covered Funen and Jutland down to the Eider River....

 from 1241, which asserted several modern concepts like right of property
Ownership
Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive rights and control over property, which may be an object, land/real estate or intellectual property. Ownership involves multiple rights, collectively referred to as title, which may be separated and held by different parties. The concept of ownership has...

; "that the king cannot rule without and beyond the law"; "and that all men are equal to the law". Following the death of Valdemar II in 1241 and to the ascension of Valdemar IV
Valdemar IV of Denmark
Valdemar IV of Denmark or Waldemar ; , was King of Denmark from 1340 to 1375.-Ascension to the throne:...

 in 1340, the kingdom was in general decline because of internal strife and the rise of the Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

. The competition between the sons of Valdemar II had the long term result that the southern parts of Jutland were separated from the kingdom of Denmark and became semi-independent vassal duchies/counties.

Kalmar Union


During the reign of Valdemar IV and his daughter Margaret I
Margaret I of Denmark
Margaret I was Queen of Denmark, Norway and Sweden and founder of the Kalmar Union, which united the Scandinavian countries for over a century. Although she acted as queen regnant, the laws of contemporary Danish succession denied her formal queenship. Her title in Denmark was derived from her...

, the realm was re-invigorated; following the Battle of Falköping
Falköping
Falköping is a locality and the seat of Falköping Municipality, Västra Götaland County, Sweden. It had 15,821 inhabitants in 2005.-History:The city of Falköping most likely emerged during the 15th century but earlier the town was an important site of pilgrimage due to its 12th century church...

, Margaret I had her sister's son, Eric of Pomerania
Eric of Pomerania
Eric of Pomerania KG was King Eric III of Norway Norwegian Eirik, King Eric VII of Denmark , and as Eric King of Sweden...

, crowned King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden after the signing of the union charter of Kalmar
Kalmar Union
The Kalmar Union is a historiographical term meaning a series of personal unions that united the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway , and Sweden under a single monarch, though intermittently and with a population...

, Trinity Sunday 1397. United under a single crown it was thought that the new kingdom would create a great power in the north. The three countries were to be treated as equals in the union. However, even from the start Margaret may not have been so idealistic—treating Denmark as the clear "senior" partner of the union. Thus, much of the next 125 years of Scandinavian history
History of Scandinavia
The history of Scandinavia is the history of the region of northern Europe known in English as Scandinavia, particularly in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.- Pre-historic age :...

 revolves around this union, with Sweden breaking off and being re-conquered repeatedly. The issue was for practical purposes resolved on 17 June 1523, as Swedish King Gustav Vasa
Gustav I of Sweden
Gustav I of Sweden, born Gustav Eriksson of the Vasa noble family and later known simply as Gustav Vasa , was King of Sweden from 1523 until his death....

 conquered the city of Stockholm
Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

. Denmark and Norway, however, remained in a personal union
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

 until the Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

 in 1814.

Protestant Reformation


The Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 came to Scandinavia in the 1520s. On Easter Sunday
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

 1525, Hans Tausen
Hans Tausen
Hans Tausen , the protagonist of the Danish Reformation, was born at Birkende on Funen in 1494 and died in Ribe in 1561.- Life :...

, a monk in the Order of St John's Hospitalers, proclaimed aloud the need for Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

's reforms in the Catholic Church. His sermon was the beginning of a ten year struggle which would change Denmark forever. Tausen was hustled off to a monastery in Viborg
Viborg, Denmark
Viborg , a town in central Jutland, Denmark, is the seat of both Viborg municipality and Region Midtjylland. Viborg is also the seat of the Western High Court, the High Court for the Jutland peninsula...

 in northern Jutland where he would be isolated and away from Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

 and the court. Tausen simply preached through the window of his locked chamber. At first curious Danes came to hear the strange new ideas that Tausen was preaching. Within weeks Tausen was freed by his loyal followers, and then a Franciscan abbey church was broken open so Viborgers could hear God's word under a roof. Luther's ideas were accepted so rapidly that the local bishop and other churchmen in Viborg were unable to cope. In many churches the mass was celebrated alongside Lutheran sermons, and then Tausen's version of Luther's teachings began to spread to other parts of Jutland. Within a year Tausen was the personal chaplain of King Frederick I
Frederick I of Denmark
Frederick I of Denmark and Norway was the King of Denmark and Norway. The name is also spelled Friedrich in German, Frederik in Danish, and Fredrik in Swedish and Norwegian...

. Frederick tried to balance the old and new ideas insisting that they coexist; it lasted only as long as the king did.

A mob stormed Our Lady Church in Copenhagen in 1531 tearing down statues, destroying side altars, artwork and relics that had accumulated through its long history. Similar events happened through the country, although for the most part the change was peaceful. The majority of common people saw the reduced influence and wealth of the church as a liberating thing, but their new found influence did not last long.

At the death of Frederick I in 1533, two claimants to the throne – one backed by Protestant Lübeck and the other by Catholic nobles – caused a civil war known as the Count's Feud
Count's Feud
The Count's Feud , also called the Count's War, was a civil war that raged in Denmark in 1534–36 and brought about the Reformation in Denmark...

 (Danish: Grevens Fejde) (1534–1536). The massacre of Skipper Clement
Skipper Clement
Klemen Andersen "Skipper Clement" was a Danish merchant, captain, privateer and leader of the peasant rebellion that was part of the civil war known as the Count's Feud .-Background:...

's peasant army at Aalborg
Aalborg
-Transport:On the north side of the Limfjord is Nørresundby, which is connected to Aalborg by a road bridge Limfjordsbroen, an iron railway bridge Jernbanebroen over Limfjorden, as well as a motorway tunnel running under the Limfjord Limfjordstunnelen....

 in December 1534 brought an end to the war and left the pro-Lutheran party firmly in charge. Denmark became officially Lutheran in 1536. Denmark's Catholic bishops were arrested and imprisoned. Abbeys, nunneries, monasteries and other church properties were confiscated by local nobility and the crown. Monks, nuns and clergy lost their livelihood. The bishops who agreed to marry and not stir up trouble were given former church lands as personal estates.

Catholic influence remained longest in Viborg
Viborg, Denmark
Viborg , a town in central Jutland, Denmark, is the seat of both Viborg municipality and Region Midtjylland. Viborg is also the seat of the Western High Court, the High Court for the Jutland peninsula...

 and the nearby area, where change permeated slowly, although the reformation originally began there.

Modern history



For most of its history the attention of Denmark had been directed to the south. The Germans in the form of either the Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

 or in the form of the rebellious minority population of the province of Slesvig had been demanding all the attention of the Danish Kingdom for centuries. However, by 1500, the Hanseatic League was in considerable decline. The rise of the Dutch nation as a sea power and its unrestricted trade with Scandinavia broke the monopoly of the Hansa. By 1614, 60% of all shipping passing through the sound between Denmark and Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 was Dutch shipping. The problem of Slesvig was not so much resolved as it was over-shadowed by a larger problem, the rising power of Sweden.

Indeed, the religious Peace of Augsburg
Peace of Augsburg
The Peace of Augsburg, also called the Augsburg Settlement, was a treaty between Charles V and the forces of the Schmalkaldic League, an alliance of Lutheran princes, on September 25, 1555, at the imperial city of Augsburg, now in present-day Bavaria, Germany.It officially ended the religious...

 in 1555 served as a watershed in the history of Denmark. Instead of looking south to Germany as a threat, Denmark began to look to the north—toward Sweden as a worse threat. Like Denmark, most of Northern Germany
Northern Germany
- Geography :The key terrain features of North Germany are the marshes along the coastline of the North Sea and Baltic Sea, and the geest and heaths inland. Also prominent are the low hills of the Baltic Uplands, the ground moraines, end moraines, sandur, glacial valleys, bogs, and Luch...

 began to be deeply concerned about the military threat posed by a strong Sweden. Thus, the various German states began to worry less about supporting the German minority population in Slesvig and began to concentrate on the Swedish threat. Accordingly, Denmark was free to turn her attentions to Sweden as well.

After Sweden permanently broke away from the Kalmar Union in 1523, Denmark tried on two occasions to reassert control over Sweden. The first was in the Northern Seven Years War which lasted from 1563 until 1570. The second occasion was the Kalmar War
Kalmar War
The Kalmar War was a war between Denmark–Norway and Sweden. Though Denmark soon gained the upper hand, she was unable to defeat Sweden entirely...

 when King Christian IV
Christian IV of Denmark
Christian IV was the king of Denmark-Norway from 1588 until his death. With a reign of more than 59 years, he is the longest-reigning monarch of Denmark, and he is frequently remembered as one of the most popular, ambitious and proactive Danish kings, having initiated many reforms and projects...

 attacked Sweden in 1611 but failed to accomplish his main objective of forcing Sweden to return to the union with Denmark. The war led to no territorial changes, but Sweden was forced to pay a war indemnity
War reparations
War reparations are payments intended to cover damage or injury during a war. Generally, the term war reparations refers to money or goods changing hands, rather than such property transfers as the annexation of land.- History :...

 of 1 million silver riksdaler
Swedish riksdaler
The riksdaler was the name of a Swedish coin first minted in 1604. Between 1777 and 1873, it was the currency of Sweden. The daler, like the dollar, was named after the German Thaler. The similarly named Reichsthaler, rijksdaalder, and rigsdaler were used in Germany and Austria-Hungary, the...

 to Denmark, an amount known as the Älvsborg ransom.

King Christian used this money to found several towns and fortresses, most notably Glückstadt
Glückstadt
Glückstadt is a town in the Steinburg district of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is located on the right bank of the Lower Elbe at the confluence of the small Rhin river, about northwest of Altona...

 (founded as a rival to Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

), Christiania
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

 (following a fire destroying the original city of Oslo
Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

), Christianshavn
Christianshavn
Christianshavn is an artificial island neighbourhood located in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was founded in the early 17th century by Christian IV as part of his extension of the fortifications of Copenhagen. Originally it was laid out as an independent privileged merchant's town with inspiration from...

, Christianstad
Kristianstad
Kristianstad is a city and the seat of Kristianstad Municipality, Skåne County, Sweden with 35,711 inhabitants in 2010.-History:The city was founded in 1614 by King Christian IV of Denmark, the city's name literally means 'Town of Christian', as a planned city after the burning of the town of Vä...

 and Christiansand
Kristiansand
-History:As indicated by archeological findings in the city, the Kristiansand area has been settled at least since 400 AD. A royal farm is known to have been situated on Oddernes as early as 800, and the first church was built around 1040...

. Christian also constructed a number of buildings, most notably Børsen
Børsen
Børsen is a building on Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen, Denmark. It is built by Christian IV in 1619–1640 and is the oldest stock exchange in Denmark...

, Rundetårn
Rundetårn
The Rundetårn is a 17th-century tower located in central Copenhagen, Denmark. One of the many architectural projects of Christian IV, it was built as an astronomical observatory...

, Nyboder
Nyboder
Nyboder is a historic row house district of former Naval barracks in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was planned and first built by Christian IV to accommodate a need for housing for the personnel of the rapidly growing Royal Danish Navy and their families during that time...

, Rosenborg
Rosenborg Castle
Rosenborg Castle is a renaissance castle located in the centre of Copenhagen, Denmark. The castle was originally built as a country summerhouse in 1606 and is an example of Christian IV's many architectural projects...

, a silver mine
Kongsberg
is a town and municipality in Buskerud county, Norway. It is located at the southern end of the traditional region of Numedal. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Kongsberg....

 and a copper mill
Kupfermühle
Kupfermühle is a village located north of Flensburg in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is located near the Flensburg Fjord just south of the easternmost part of the Danish-German border....

. Inspired by the Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

, he founded a similar Danish company
Danish East India Company
The Danish East India Company was a Danish chartered company.-History:It was founded in 1616, following a privilege of Danish King Christian IV....

 and planned to claim Ceylon
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

 as a colony, but the company only managed to acquire Tranquebar on India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

's Coromandel Coast
Coromandel Coast
The Coromandel Coast is the name given to the southeastern coast of the Indian Subcontinent between Cape Comorin and False Divi Point...

.

In the Thirty Years' War
Thirty Years' War
The Thirty Years' War was fought primarily in what is now Germany, and at various points involved most countries in Europe. It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history....

, Christian tried to become the leader of the Lutheran
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 states in Germany
States of Germany
Germany is made up of sixteen which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Land literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are constituent countries...

 but suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Lutter
Battle of Lutter
The Battle of Lutter took place during the Thirty Years' War, on 27 August 1626, between the forces of the Protestant Christian IV of Denmark and those of the Catholic League...

. The result was that the Catholic army under Albrecht von Wallenstein
Albrecht von Wallenstein
Albrecht Wenzel Eusebius von Wallenstein , actually von Waldstein, was a Bohemian soldier and politician, who offered his services, and an army of 30,000 to 100,000 men during the Danish period of the Thirty Years' War , to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II...

 was able to invade, occupy and pillage Jutland, forcing Denmark to withdraw from the war
Treaty of Lübeck
Treaty or Peace of Lübeck ended the Danish intervention in the Thirty Years' War . It was signed in Lübeck on 22 May 1629 by Albrecht von Wallenstein and Christian IV of Denmark, and on 7 June by Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor. The Catholic League was formally included as a party...

. Denmark managed to avoid territorial concessions, but Gustavus Adolphus
Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden
Gustav II Adolf has been widely known in English by his Latinized name Gustavus Adolphus Magnus and variously in historical writings also as Gustavus, or Gustavus the Great, or Gustav Adolph the Great,...

' intervention in Germany was seen as a sign that the military power of Sweden was on the rise while Denmark's influence in the region was declining. Swedish armies invaded Jutland in 1643 and claimed Skåne in 1644. According to Geoffrey Parker
Geoffrey Parker (historian)
Noel Geoffrey Parker is a leading hispanist and expert on military history. His best known book is Military Revolution: Military Innovation and the Rise of the West, 1500-1800, first published by Cambridge University Press in 1988. A fellow of the British Academy, he holds his BA, MA, Ph.D. and...

, "The Swedish occupation caused a drop in agricultural production and a shortage of capital; harvest failure and plague
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

 ravaged the land between 1647 and 1651; Denmark's population fell by 20 per cent."

In the 1645 Treaty of Brømsebro, Denmark surrendered Halland, Gotland
Gotland
Gotland is a county, province, municipality and diocese of Sweden; it is Sweden's largest island and the largest island in the Baltic Sea. At 3,140 square kilometers in area, the region makes up less than one percent of Sweden's total land area...

, the last parts of Danish Estonia
Danish Estonia
Danish Estonia refers to the territories of present-day Estonia that were ruled by Denmark firstly during the 13th–14th centuries and again in the 16th–17th centuries....

, and several provinces in Norway. In 1657, King Frederick III
Frederick III of Denmark
Frederick III was king of Denmark and Norway from 1648 until his death. He instituted absolute monarchy in Denmark and Norway in 1660, confirmed by law in 1665 as the first in western historiography. He was born the second-eldest son of Christian IV of Denmark and Anne Catherine of Brandenburg...

 declared war
Declaration of war
A declaration of war is a formal act by which one nation goes to war against another. The declaration is a performative speech act by an authorized party of a national government in order to create a state of war between two or more states.The legality of who is competent to declare war varies...

 on Sweden and marched on Bremen-Verden
Bremen-Verden
Bremen-Verden, formally the Duchies of Bremen and Verden , were two territories and immediate fiefs of the Holy Roman Empire, which emerged and gained Imperial immediacy in 1180...

. This led to a massive Danish defeat, and the armies of King Charles X Gustav of Sweden
Charles X Gustav of Sweden
Charles X Gustav also Carl Gustav, was King of Sweden from 1654 until his death. He was the son of John Casimir, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken-Kleeburg and Catherine of Sweden. After his father's death he also succeeded him as Pfalzgraf. He was married to Hedwig Eleonora of Holstein-Gottorp, who...

 conquered Jutland, Funen and much of Zealand before signing the Peace of Roskilde
Treaty of Roskilde
The Treaty of Roskilde was concluded on 26 February or 8 March 1658 during the Second Northern War between Frederick III of Denmark–Norway and Charles X Gustav of Sweden in the Danish city of Roskilde...

 in February 1658 which gave Sweden control of Skåne, Blekinge
Blekinge
' is one of the traditional provinces of Sweden , situated in the south of the country. It borders Småland, Scania and the Baltic Sea.The name "Blekinge" comes from the adjective bleke, which corresponds to the nautical term for "dead calm"....

, Trøndelag
Trøndelag
Trøndelag is the name of a geographical region in the central part of Norway, consisting of the two counties Nord-Trøndelag and Sør-Trøndelag. The region is, together with Møre og Romsdal, part of a larger...

 and the island of Bornholm
Bornholm
Bornholm is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea located to the east of the rest of Denmark, the south of Sweden, and the north of Poland. The main industries on the island include fishing, arts and crafts like glass making and pottery using locally worked clay, and dairy farming. Tourism is...

. Charles X Gustav quickly regretted not having destroyed Denmark completely; in August 1658 he began a two-year long siege of Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

 but failed to take the capital. In the following peace settlement, Denmark managed to maintain its independence and regain control of Trøndelag and Bornholm.
Denmark tried to regain control of Scania
Scania
Scania is the southernmost of the 25 traditional non-administrative provinces of Sweden, constituting a peninsula on the southern tip of the Scandinavian peninsula, and some adjacent islands. The modern administrative subdivision Skåne County is almost, but not totally, congruent with the...

 in the Scanian War
Scanian War
The Scanian War was a part of the Northern Wars involving the union of Denmark-Norway, Brandenburg and Sweden. It was fought mainly on Scanian soil, in the former Danish provinces along the border with Sweden and in Northern Germany...

 (1675–79), but it ended in failure
Peace of Lund
The Peace of Lund, signed on 16 September / 26 September 1679, was the final peace treaty between Denmark-Norway and the Swedish Empire in the Scanian War.The war had started when Sweden on French initiative attacked Brandenburg-Prussia...

. Following the Great Northern War
Great Northern War
The Great Northern War was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia successfully contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire in northern Central Europe and Eastern Europe. The initial leaders of the anti-Swedish alliance were Peter I the Great of Russia, Frederick IV of...

 (1700–21), Denmark managed to restore
Treaty of Frederiksborg
The Treaty of Frederiksborg refers to the treaty signed at Frederiksborg Palace on 3 July 1720 that ended the Great Northern War between Sweden and Denmark-Norway. Sweden paid 600,000 Riksdaler in damages, broke the alliance with Holstein and forfeited its right to duty free passage of Öresund...

 control of the parts of Schleswig and Holstein
Holstein
Holstein is the region between the rivers Elbe and Eider. It is part of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost state of Germany....

 ruled by the house of Holstein-Gottorp in 1721 and 1773, respectively. Denmark prospered greatly in the last decades of the 18th century because its neutral status allowed it to trade with both sides in the many contemporary wars. In the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

, Denmark originally tried to pursue a policy of neutrality to continue the lucrative trade with both France and Great Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and joined the League of Armed Neutrality
Second League of Armed Neutrality
The Second League of Armed Neutrality or the League of the North was an alliance of the north European naval powers Denmark–Norway, Prussia, Sweden and Russia. It occurred between 1800 and 1801 during the War of the Second Coalition and was initiated by Paul I of Russia...

 with Russia
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, Sweden and Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
The Kingdom of Prussia was a German kingdom from 1701 to 1918. Until the defeat of Germany in World War I, it comprised almost two-thirds of the area of the German Empire...

.

The British
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 considered this a hostile act and attacked Copenhagen in both 1801
Battle of Copenhagen (1801)
The Battle of Copenhagen was an engagement which saw a British fleet under the command of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker fight and strategically defeat a Danish-Norwegian fleet anchored just off Copenhagen on 2 April 1801. Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson led the main attack. He famously disobeyed Parker's...

 and 1807
Battle of Copenhagen (1807)
The Second Battle of Copenhagen was a British preemptive attack on Copenhagen, targeting the civilian population in order to seize the Dano-Norwegian fleet and in turn originate the term to Copenhagenize.-Background:Despite the defeat and loss of many ships in the first Battle of Copenhagen in...

, in one case carrying off the Danish fleet
Royal Danish Navy
The Royal Danish Navy is the sea-based branch of the Danish Defence force. The RDN is mainly responsible for maritime defence and maintaining the sovereignty of Danish, Greenlandic and Faroese territorial waters...

 and burning large parts of the Danish capital. These events mark the end of the prosperous Florissant Age and resulted in the Dano-British Gunboat War
Gunboat War
The Gunboat War was the naval conflict between Denmark–Norway and the British Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. The war's name is derived from the Danish tactic of employing small gunboats against the conventional Royal Navy...

. British control over the waterways between Denmark and Norway proved disastrous to the union's economy; in 1813 Denmark-Norway
Denmark–Norway
Denmark–Norway is the historiographical name for a former political entity consisting of the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, including the originally Norwegian dependencies of Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands...

 went bankrupt.

The post-Napoleonic Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna
The Congress of Vienna was a conference of ambassadors of European states chaired by Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, and held in Vienna from September, 1814 to June, 1815. The objective of the Congress was to settle the many issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars, the Napoleonic Wars,...

 demanded the dissolution of the Dano-Norwegian union, and this was confirmed by the Treaty of Kiel
Treaty of Kiel
The Treaty of Kiel or Peace of Kiel was concluded between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the Kingdom of Sweden on one side and the Kingdoms of Denmark and Norway on the other side on 14 January 1814 in Kiel...

 in 1814. Denmark-Norway had briefly hoped to restore the Scandinavian union in 1809, but these hopes were dashed when the estates
Estates of the realm
The Estates of the realm were the broad social orders of the hierarchically conceived society, recognized in the Middle Ages and Early Modern period in Christian Europe; they are sometimes distinguished as the three estates: the clergy, the nobility, and commoners, and are often referred to by...

 of Sweden rejected a proposal to let Frederick VI of Denmark
Frederick VI of Denmark
Frederick VI reigned as King of Denmark , and as king of Norway .-Regent of Denmark:Frederick's parents were King Christian VII and Caroline Matilda of Wales...

 succeed the deposed Gustav IV Adolf
Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden
Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden also Gustav Adolph was King of Sweden from 1792 until his abdication in 1809. He was the son of Gustav III of Sweden and his queen consort Sophia Magdalena, eldest daughter of Frederick V of Denmark and his first wife Louise of Great Britain. He was the last Swedish...

 and instead gave the crown to Charles XIII
Charles XIII of Sweden
Charles XIII & II also Carl, , was King of Sweden from 1809 and King of Norway from 1814 until his death...

. Norway entered a new union with Sweden which lasted until 1905. Denmark kept the colonies of Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

, the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

 and Greenland
Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

. Apart from the Nordic colonies, Denmark ruled over Danish India
Danish India
Danish India is a term for the former colonies of Denmark, and until 1814 Denmark–Norway, in India. The colonies included the town of Tranquebar in present-day Tamil Nadu state, Serampore in present-day West Bengal, and the Nicobar Islands, currently part of India's union territory of the Andaman...

 from 1620 to 1869, the Danish Gold Coast
Danish Gold Coast
The Danish Gold Coast was a part of the Gold Coast , which is on the West African Gulf of Guinea...

 from 1658 to 1850, and the Danish West Indies
Danish West Indies
The Danish West Indies or "Danish Antilles", were a colony of Denmark-Norway and later Denmark in the Caribbean. They were sold to the United States in 1916 in the Treaty of the Danish West Indies and became the United States Virgin Islands in 1917...

 from 1671 to 1917.

The Danish liberal and national movement gained momentum in the 1830s, and after the European Revolutions of 1848
Revolutions of 1848
The European Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Spring of Nations, Springtime of the Peoples or the Year of Revolution, were a series of political upheavals throughout Europe in 1848. It was the first Europe-wide collapse of traditional authority, but within a year reactionary...

 Denmark peacefully became a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 on 5 June 1849. After the Second War of Schleswig (Danish: Slesvig) in 1864, Denmark was forced to cede Schleswig and Holstein
Province of Schleswig-Holstein
The Province of Schleswig-Holstein was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Free State of Prussia from 1868 to 1946. It was created from the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, which had been conquered by Prussia and the Austrian Empire from Denmark in the Second War of Schleswig in 1864...

 to Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

, in a defeat that left deep marks on the Danish national identity. After these events, Denmark returned to its traditional policy of neutrality, also keeping Denmark neutral in World War I.

20th and 21st centuries


Following the defeat of Germany, the Versailles powers
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

 offered to return the region of Schleswig-Holstein to Denmark. Fearing German irredentism
Irredentism
Irredentism is any position advocating annexation of territories administered by another state on the grounds of common ethnicity or prior historical possession, actual or alleged. Some of these movements are also called pan-nationalist movements. It is a feature of identity politics and cultural...

, Denmark refused to consider the return of the area and insisted on a plebiscite
Referendum
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. It is a form of...

 concerning the return of Schleswig. The two Schleswig Plebiscites
Schleswig Plebiscites
The Schleswig Plebiscites were two plebiscites, organized according to section XII, articles 109 to 114 of the Treaty of Versailles of June 28, 1919, in order to determine the future border between Denmark and Germany through the former duchy of Schleswig...

 took place on 10 February and 14 March 1920, respectively. On 10 July 1920 after the plebiscite and the king's signature (6 July) on the reunion document, King Christian X
Christian X of Denmark
Christian X was King of Denmark from 1912 to 1947 and the only King of Iceland between 1918 and 1944....

 rode across the old border on a white horse, and Northern Schleswig
South Jutland County
South Jutland County is a former county on the south-central portion of the Jutland Peninsula in southern Denmark....

 (Sønderjylland) was recovered by Denmark, thereby adding 163,600 inhabitants and 3,984 km². The reunion day (Genforeningsdag) is celebrated every year on Valdemarsdag, 15 June.

Germany's invasion of Denmark on 9 April 1940 – code named Operation Weserübung
Operation Weserübung
Operation Weserübung was the code name for Germany's assault on Denmark and Norway during the Second World War and the opening operation of the Norwegian Campaign...

 – met only two hours of military resistance before the Danish government surrendered. Economic co-operation between Germany and Denmark continued until 1943, when the Danish government refused further co-operation and its navy
Royal Danish Navy
The Royal Danish Navy is the sea-based branch of the Danish Defence force. The RDN is mainly responsible for maritime defence and maintaining the sovereignty of Danish, Greenlandic and Faroese territorial waters...

 sank most of its ships and sent as many of their officers as they could to neutral Sweden. During the war, the government was helpful towards the Danish Jewish minority, and the Danish resistance performed a rescue operation
Rescue of the Danish Jews
The rescue of the Danish Jews occurred during Nazi Germany's occupation of Denmark during World War II. On October 1st 1943 Nazi leader Adolf Hitler ordered Danish Jews to be arrested and deported...

 that managed to get most of them to Sweden and safety shortly before the Germans planned to round up the Danish Jews. Denmark also stopped most captured Jews and political prisoners from being sent to German camps by paying and supplying one in Denmark that had far better chances of survival for the prisoners. Denmark led many "inside operations" or sabotage against the German facilities. In 1944 Iceland severed ties to Denmark and became an independent republic, and in 1948 the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

 gained home rule
Home rule
Home rule is the power of a constituent part of a state to exercise such of the state's powers of governance within its own administrative area that have been devolved to it by the central government....

.

After the war, Denmark became one of the founding members of the United Nations and NATO, and in 1973, along with Britain and Ireland, joined the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

 (now the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

) after a public referendum
Danish European Communities membership referendum, 1972
A referendum on joining the European Economic Community was held in Denmark on 2 October 1972. The result was 63.3% in favour with a turnout of 90.1%...

. The Maastricht treaty
Maastricht Treaty
The Maastricht Treaty was signed on 7 February 1992 by the members of the European Community in Maastricht, Netherlands. On 9–10 December 1991, the same city hosted the European Council which drafted the treaty...

 was ratified after a further referendum in 1993 and the subsequent addition of concessions for Denmark under the Edinburgh Agreement
Edinburgh Agreement
The Edinburgh Agreement or Edinburgh Decision is a December 1992 agreement reached at a European Council meeting in Edinburgh, UK, that granted Denmark four exceptions to the Maastricht Treaty so that it could be ratified by Denmark. This was necessary because, without all member states of the...

.
Greenland
Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

 gained home rule
Home rule
Home rule is the power of a constituent part of a state to exercise such of the state's powers of governance within its own administrative area that have been devolved to it by the central government....

 in 1979 and was awarded self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

 in 2009. Neither Greenland nor the Faroe Islands are members of the European Union, the Faroese declining membership in EEC from 1973 and Greenland from 1986, in both cases because of fisheries policies.

Despite its modest size, Denmark has been participating in major UN sanctioned, and often NATO led, military and humanitarian operations notably including: Cyprus
Cyprus dispute
The Cyprus dispute is the result of the ongoing conflict between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey, over the Turkish occupied northern part of Cyprus....

, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnian War
The Bosnian War or the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina was an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between April 1992 and December 1995. The war involved several sides...

, Korea
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

, Egypt
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

, Croatia
Croatian War of Independence
The Croatian War of Independence was fought from 1991 to 1995 between forces loyal to the government of Croatia—which had declared independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia —and the Serb-controlled Yugoslav People's Army and local Serb forces, with the JNA ending its combat...

, Kosovo
Kosovo War
The term Kosovo War or Kosovo conflict was two sequential, and at times parallel, armed conflicts in Kosovo province, then part of FR Yugoslav Republic of Serbia; from early 1998 to 1999, there was an armed conflict initiated by the ethnic Albanian "Kosovo Liberation Army" , who sought independence...

, Ethiopia, Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

, Iraq, Somalia
Somali Civil War
The Somali Civil War is an ongoing civil war taking place in Somalia. The conflict, which began in 1991, has caused destabilisation throughout the country, with the current phase of the conflict seeing the Somali government losing substantial control of the state to rebel forces...

 and recently Libya. In 2009 Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Anders Fogh Rasmussen is a Danish politician, and the 12th and current Secretary General of NATO. Rasmussen served as Prime Minister of Denmark from 27 November 2001 to 5 April 2009....

 resigned as Prime Minister of Denmark to become the Secretary General of NATO.

Geography


Denmark shares a border of 68 kilometres with Germany to the south and is otherwise surrounded by 7,314 kilometres of tidal shoreline (including small bay
Bay
A bay is an area of water mostly surrounded by land. Bays generally have calmer waters than the surrounding sea, due to the surrounding land blocking some waves and often reducing winds. Bays also exist as an inlet in a lake or pond. A large bay may be called a gulf, a sea, a sound, or a bight...

s and inlet
Inlet
An inlet is a narrow body of water between islands or leading inland from a larger body of water, often leading to an enclosed body of water, such as a sound, bay, lagoon or marsh. In sea coasts an inlet usually refers to the actual connection between a bay and the ocean and is often called an...

s). It occupies 43,094 square kilometres. Since 2000 Denmark has been connected by the Øresund Bridge to southern Sweden.

Denmark's northernmost point is Skagen
Skagen
Skagen is a projection of land and a town, with a population of 8,515 , in Region Nordjylland on the northernmost tip of Vendsyssel-Thy, a part of the Jutland peninsula in northern Denmark...

s point (the north beach of the Skaw) at 57° 45' 7" northern latitude; the southernmost is Gedser
Gedser
Gedser is a town at the southern tip of the Danish island of Falster in the Guldborgsund Municipality in Sjælland region. It is the southernmost town in Denmark. The town has a population of 809...

 point (the southern tip of Falster
Falster
Falster is an island in south-eastern Denmark with an area of 514 km² and 43,398 inhabitants as of 1 January 2010. Located in the Baltic sea, it is part of Region Sjælland and is administered by Guldborgsund Municipality...

) at 54° 33' 35" northern latitude; the westernmost point is Blåvandshuk
Blåvandshuk
Blåvandshuk is a headland on the North Sea coast of Jutland northwest of Esbjerg, and is the westernmost point of metropolitan Denmark.Before January 1, 2007, Blåvandshuk was also the name of a municipality that contained the headland. The municipality covered an area of 223 km², and had a...

 at 8° 4' 22" eastern longitude; and the easternmost point is Østerskær
Østerskær
Østerskær is a skerry belonging to the Ertholmene archipelago which is situated approximately 18 km from the island of Bornholm, Denmark. Østerskær is the easternmost point of the country, at 15° 11' 55" eastern longitude....

 at 15° 11' 55" eastern longitude. This is in the archipelago Ertholmene
Ertholmene
Ertholmene, generally called Christiansø, is a small archipelago situated approximately 18 km northeast of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. Its permanent population is 96 and its area is 39 hectares...

 18 kilometres northeast of Bornholm
Bornholm
Bornholm is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea located to the east of the rest of Denmark, the south of Sweden, and the north of Poland. The main industries on the island include fishing, arts and crafts like glass making and pottery using locally worked clay, and dairy farming. Tourism is...

. The distance from east to west is 452 kilometres (281 mi), from north to south 368 kilometres (229 mi).

Denmark consists of the peninsula of Jutland
Jutland
Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...

 (Jylland) and 443 named islands (1,419 islands above 100 m² in total). Of these, 72 are inhabited, with the largest being Zealand (Sjælland) and Funen
Funen
Funen , with a size of 2,984 km² , is the third-largest island of Denmark following Zealand and Vendsyssel-Thy, and the 163rd largest island of the world. Funen is located in the central part of the country and has a population of 454,358 inhabitants . The main city is Odense, connected to the...

 (Fyn). The island of Bornholm
Bornholm
Bornholm is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea located to the east of the rest of Denmark, the south of Sweden, and the north of Poland. The main industries on the island include fishing, arts and crafts like glass making and pottery using locally worked clay, and dairy farming. Tourism is...

 is located east of the rest of the country, in the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

. Many of the larger islands are connected by bridges; the Øresund Bridge connects Zealand with Sweden; the Great Belt Bridge
Great Belt Fixed Link
The Great Belt Fixed Link is the fixed link between the Danish islands of Zealand and Funen across the Great Belt. It consists of a road suspension bridge and railway tunnel between Zealand and the island Sprogø, as well as a box girder bridge between Sprogø and Funen...

 connects Funen with Zealand; and the Little Belt Bridge
Little Belt Bridge (1970)
The New Little Belt Bridge is a suspension bridge that crosses the Little Belt strait between Jutland and the island of Funen in Denmark. The bridge is 1700 metres long, the main span is 600 metres, the pylons reaching a height of 120 metres, and the maximum clearance from the sea is 44...

 connects Jutland with Funen. Ferries
Ferry
A ferry is a form of transportation, usually a boat, but sometimes a ship, used to carry primarily passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water. Most ferries operate on regular, frequent, return services...

 or small aircraft
Small aircraft
Small aircraft means aircraft of 12,500 pounds or less, maximum certificated takeoff weight.-References:* Federal Aviation Administration FAR Part 1.1...

 connect to the smaller islands. Main cities are the capital Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

 on Zealand; Århus
Aarhus
Aarhus or Århus is the second-largest city in Denmark. The principal port of Denmark, Aarhus is on the east side of the peninsula of Jutland in the geographical center of Denmark...

, Aalborg
Aalborg
-Transport:On the north side of the Limfjord is Nørresundby, which is connected to Aalborg by a road bridge Limfjordsbroen, an iron railway bridge Jernbanebroen over Limfjorden, as well as a motorway tunnel running under the Limfjord Limfjordstunnelen....

 and Esbjerg
Esbjerg
Esbjerg Municipality is a municipality in Region of Southern Denmark on the west coast of the Jutland peninsula in southwest Denmark. Its mayor is Johnny Søtrup, from the Venstre political party...

 in Jutland; and Odense
Odense
The city of Odense is the third largest city in Denmark.Odense City has a population of 167,615 and is the main city of the island of Funen...

 on Funen.

The country is flat with little elevation; having an average height above sea level
Above mean sea level
The term above mean sea level refers to the elevation or altitude of any object, relative to the average sea level datum. AMSL is used extensively in radio by engineers to determine the coverage area a station will be able to reach...

 of 31 metres (102 ft). The highest natural point is Møllehøj
Møllehøj
Møllehøj is the highest natural point in Denmark at . It is in the Ejerbjerge hills in Skanderborg municipality, very close to Ejer Bavnehøj. The summit is marked with a millstone, a remnant of Ejer mill which was situated on the hill from 1838 to 1917...

, at 170.86 metres (560.56 ft). Other hills in the same area southwest of Århus are Yding Skovhøj
Yding Skovhøj
Yding Skovhøj in Horsens municipality, Jutland is one of Denmark's highest points. Its height is 172.54 m above sea level when the height of one of the Bronze Age burial mounds built on the top of the hill is included...

 at 170.77 metres (560.27 ft) and Ejer Bavnehøj
Ejer Bavnehøj
Ejer Bavnehøj is the third-highest natural point in Denmark . It lies in the southern part of Skanderborg municipality, between the villages of Riis and Ejer....

 at 170.35 metres (558.89 ft). The area of inland water is: (eastern Denmark) 210 km² (81 sq mi); (western D.) 490 km² (189 sq mi).

Denmark's tidal shoreline is 7314 km (4,545 mi). No location in Denmark is further from the coast than 52 km (32 mi). The size of the land area of Denmark cannot be stated exactly since the ocean constantly erodes and adds material to the coastline, and because of human land reclamation
Land reclamation
Land reclamation, usually known as reclamation, is the process to create new land from sea or riverbeds. The land reclaimed is known as reclamation ground or landfill.- Habitation :...

 projects (to counter erosion). On the southwest coast of Jutland, the tide is between 1 and 2 m (3.3 and 6.6 ft), and the tideline moves outward and inward on a 10 km (6.2 mi) stretch.

Phytogeographically
Phytogeography
Phytogeography , also called geobotany, is the branch of biogeography that is concerned with the geographic distribution of plant species...

, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands) belongs to the Boreal Kingdom
Boreal Kingdom
The Boreal Kingdom or Holarctic Kingdom is a floristic kingdom identified by botanist Ronald Good , which includes the temperate to Arctic portions of North America and Eurasia. Its flora is inherited from the ancient supercontinent of Laurasia...

 and is shared between the Arctic
Arctic
The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost...

, Atlantic European and Central European provinces of the Circumboreal Region
Circumboreal Region
The Circumboreal Region is a floristic region within the Holarctic Kingdom in Eurasia and North America, as delineated by such geobotanists as Josias Braun-Blanquet and Armen Takhtajan....

. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature
World Wide Fund for Nature
The World Wide Fund for Nature is an international non-governmental organization working on issues regarding the conservation, research and restoration of the environment, formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States...

, the territory of Denmark can be subdivided into two ecoregion
Ecoregion
An ecoregion , sometimes called a bioregion, is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than an ecozone and larger than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural...

s: the Atlantic mixed forests and Baltic mixed forests. The Faroe Islands are covered by the Faroe Islands boreal grasslands, while Greenland hosts the ecoregions of Kalaallit Nunaat high arctic tundra and Kalaallit Nunaat low arctic tundra.

Climate



The climate is in the temperate zone. The winters are not particularly cold, with mean temperatures in January and February of 0.0 °C, and the summers are cool, with a mean temperature in August of 15.7 °C. Denmark has an average of 121 days per year with precipitation, on average receiving a total of 712 mm per year; autumn is the wettest season and spring the driest.


Because of Denmark's northern location, the length of the day with sunlight
Sunlight
Sunlight, in the broad sense, is the total frequency spectrum of electromagnetic radiation given off by the Sun. On Earth, sunlight is filtered through the Earth's atmosphere, and solar radiation is obvious as daylight when the Sun is above the horizon.When the direct solar radiation is not blocked...

 varies greatly. There are short days during the winter with sunrise coming around 8:45 am and sunset 3:45 pm, as well as long summer days with sunrise at 4:30 am and sunset at 10 pm Christmas (Danish: jul), is celebrated on Christmas Eve, 24 December. The celebration for the longest day is known in Denmark as St. Hans Aften (St. John's
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was an itinerant preacher and a major religious figure mentioned in the Canonical gospels. He is described in the Gospel of Luke as a relative of Jesus, who led a movement of baptism at the Jordan River...

 evening). Celebrations of Midsummer have taken place since pre-Christian times.

Environment


Denmark has historically taken a progressive stance on environmental preservation; in 1971 Denmark established a Ministry of Environment and was the first country in the world to implement an environmental law
Environmental law
Environmental law is a complex and interlocking body of treaties, conventions, statutes, regulations, and common law that operates to regulate the interaction of humanity and the natural environment, toward the purpose of reducing the impacts of human activity...

 in 1973.

To mitigate environmental degradation and global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

 the Danish Government has signed the following international agreements:
Antarctic Treaty; Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change , aimed at fighting global warming...

; Endangered Species Act
Endangered Species Act
The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is one of the dozens of United States environmental laws passed in the 1970s. Signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973, it was designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a "consequence of economic growth and...

 These agreements have helped in the reduction in CO2 emissions by Denmark.

Denmark was ranked as the 10th best country in the world for "Living Green" by a 2007 Readers Digest survey, and Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

 is recognised as one of the most environmentally friendly
Environmentally friendly
Environmentally friendly are terms used to refer to goods and services, laws, guidelines and policies claimed to inflict minimal or no harm on the environment....

 cities in the world. Much of the city's success can be attributed to a strong municipal policy combined with a sound national policy
National Policy
The National Policy was a Canadian economic program introduced by John A. Macdonald's Conservative Party in 1876 and put into action in 1879. It called for high tariffs on imported manufactured items to protect the manufacturing industry...

; in 2006 Copenhagen Municipality received the European Environmental Management Award. The award was given for long-term holistic environmental planning
Environmental planning
Environmental Planning is the process of facilitating decision making to carry out development with due consideration given to the natural environmental, social, political, economic and governance factors and provides a holistic frame work to achieve sustainable outcomes.-Elements of environmental...

. Recently many of Denmark's smaller Municipalities such as Lolland
Lolland
Lolland is the fourth largest island of Denmark, with an area of 1,243 square kilometers . Located in the Baltic sea, it is part of Region Sjælland...

 and Bornholm
Bornholm
Bornholm is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea located to the east of the rest of Denmark, the south of Sweden, and the north of Poland. The main industries on the island include fishing, arts and crafts like glass making and pottery using locally worked clay, and dairy farming. Tourism is...

 have also become environmental leaders. Denmark is home to five of the world's ten largest central solar heating
Central solar heating
Central solar heating is the provision of central heating and hot water from solar energy by a system in which the water is heated centrally by arrays of solar thermal collectors and distributed through district heating pipe networks .For block systems, the solar collectors are...

 plants (CSHP). The world's largest CSHP is situated in the small community of Marstal on the island of Ærø
Ærø
Ærø is one of the Danish Baltic Sea islands, and part of Region of Southern Denmark. The western portion of the island was the municipality of Ærøskøbing; the eastern portion of the island was the municipality of Marstal...

.

Copenhagen is the spearhead of the bright green
Bright green environmentalism
Bright green environmentalism is an ideology based on the belief that the convergence of technological change and social innovation provides the most successful path to sustainable development.-Origin and evolution of bright green thinking:...

 environmental movement
Environmental movement
The environmental movement, a term that includes the conservation and green politics, is a diverse scientific, social, and political movement for addressing environmental issues....

 in Denmark. In 2008, Copenhagen was mentioned by Clean Edge
Clean Edge
Clean Edge is a leading U.S. research and publishing firm that helps companies, investors, and policymakers understand and profit from clean technologies...

 as one of the key cleantech clusters to watch in the book The Cleantech Revolution. The city is the focal point for more than half of Denmark's 700 cleantech companies and draws on some 46 research institutions. The cluster employs more than 60,000 people and is characterised by a close collaboration between universities, business and governing institutions. The capital's most important cleantech research institutions are the University of Copenhagen
University of Copenhagen
The University of Copenhagen is the oldest and largest university and research institution in Denmark. Founded in 1479, it has more than 37,000 students, the majority of whom are female , and more than 7,000 employees. The university has several campuses located in and around Copenhagen, with the...

, Copenhagen Business School
Copenhagen Business School
Copenhagen Business School, also known as CBS, is situated in Copenhagen, Denmark. With more than 17,000 students and 1,300 staff members, CBS is also one of the largest business schools in Europe. CBS offers a wide range of business-oriented university programmes and a research environment...

, Risø DTU National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy
Risø DTU National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy
Risø DTU National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy is a scientific research organization north of Roskilde, Denmark. From 1 January 2008 it was made an institute under Technical University of Denmark...

 and the Technical University of Denmark
Technical University of Denmark
The Technical University of Denmark , often simply referred to as DTU, is a university just north of Copenhagen, Denmark. It was founded in 1829 at the initiative of Hans Christian Ørsted as Denmark's first polytechnic, and is today ranked among Europe's leading engineering institutions, and the...

 which Risø is now part of. Leading up to the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference
2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference
The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly known as the Copenhagen Summit, was held at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark, between 7 December and 18 December. The conference included the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate...

 the University of Copenhagen held the Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions
Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions
Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions was a conference on Climate Change held at the Bella Center by the University of Copenhagen. The event was organised with the assistance of other universities in the International Alliance of Research Universities...

 conference where the need for comprehensive action to mitigate climate change
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

 was stressed by the international scientific community
Scientific community
The scientific community consists of the total body of scientists, its relationships and interactions. It is normally divided into "sub-communities" each working on a particular field within science. Objectivity is expected to be achieved by the scientific method...

. Notable figures such as Rajendra K. Pachauri
Rajendra K. Pachauri
Rajendra Kumar Pachauri has served as the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 2002, during which his tenure has engendered controversy. He is also been director general of TERI, a research and policy organization in India, and chancellor of TERI University...

, Chairman of the IPCC, Professor Nicholas Stern, author of the Stern Report
Stern Review
The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change is a 700-page report released for the British government on 30 October 2006 by economist Nicholas Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and also chair of the Centre...

 and Professor Daniel Kammen
Daniel Kammen
Daniel Kammen is the Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy at the University of California, Berkeley and a climate advisor to the Obama administration. He is a coordinating lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, for their...

 all emphasised the good example set by Copenhagen and Denmark in capitalising on cleantech and achieving economic growth while stabilising carbon emissions
Greenhouse gas
A greenhouse gas is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone...

.

Denmark's green house gas emissions per dollar of value produced has been for the most part unstable since 1990, seeing sudden growths and falls. Overall though, there has been a reduction in gas emissions per dollar value added to its market. It is comparable to countries such as Germany, but lagging behind other Scandinavian countries such as Norway and Sweden.

Administrative divisions


For the administrative divisions used until 2006, see Counties of Denmark
Counties of Denmark
Denmark was until December 31, 2006 divided into 15 counties , and 270 municipalities . On January 1, 2007, the counties were replaced by five Regions and the number of municipalities slashed to 98....

.


Denmark is divided into five regions
Regions of Denmark
The Regions of Denmark were created as part of the 2007 Danish Municipal Reform. The five regions replace the former sixteen counties . At the same time, the number of municipalities was cut from 270 to 98. The reform was made effective on 1 January 2007.- List of regions :The names of the regions...

  and a total of 98 municipalities. The regions were created on 1 January 2007 as part of the 2007 Danish Municipal Reform to replace the country's traditional thirteen counties
Counties of Denmark
Denmark was until December 31, 2006 divided into 15 counties , and 270 municipalities . On January 1, 2007, the counties were replaced by five Regions and the number of municipalities slashed to 98....

 (amter). At the same time, smaller municipalities (kommuner) were merged into larger units, cutting the number of municipalities from 270 to 98. Most municipalities have a population of at least 20,000 people to give them financial and professional sustainability, although a few exceptions were made to this rule.

The most important area of responsibility for regions is the national health service. Unlike the former counties, the regions are not allowed to levy taxes, and the health service
Health care
Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers...

 is primarily financed by a national 8% (sundhedsbidrag) tax combined with funds from both government and municipalities. Each Regional Council consists of 41 elected politicians elected as part of the 2005 Danish municipal elections.

The Ertholmene
Ertholmene
Ertholmene, generally called Christiansø, is a small archipelago situated approximately 18 km northeast of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. Its permanent population is 96 and its area is 39 hectares...

 archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

 (96 inhabitants (2008)) is neither part of a municipality nor a region but belongs to the Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence (Denmark)
The Ministry of Defence of Denmark is a ministry in the Danish government. It is charged with overall planning, development, and strategic guidance of the entire area of responsibility of the Danish Defence minister, including the armed forces and the emergency management sector...

.


Danish name English name Seat of administration Largest city Population
(1 January 2008) !! Area
(km²) !! Pop. density
(per km²)
Region Hovedstaden Capital Region of Denmark  Hillerød
Hillerød
Hillerød Kommune is a municipality in Region Hovedstaden . The municipality covers an area of 191 km² , and has a total population of 46,568...

 
Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

 
1,645,825 2,561 642.6
Region Midtjylland Central Denmark Region  Viborg
Viborg, Denmark
Viborg , a town in central Jutland, Denmark, is the seat of both Viborg municipality and Region Midtjylland. Viborg is also the seat of the Western High Court, the High Court for the Jutland peninsula...

 
Århus  1,237,041 13,142 94.2
Region Nordjylland North Denmark Region  Aalborg
Aalborg
-Transport:On the north side of the Limfjord is Nørresundby, which is connected to Aalborg by a road bridge Limfjordsbroen, an iron railway bridge Jernbanebroen over Limfjorden, as well as a motorway tunnel running under the Limfjord Limfjordstunnelen....

 
Aalborg
Aalborg
-Transport:On the north side of the Limfjord is Nørresundby, which is connected to Aalborg by a road bridge Limfjordsbroen, an iron railway bridge Jernbanebroen over Limfjorden, as well as a motorway tunnel running under the Limfjord Limfjordstunnelen....

 
578,839 7,927 73.2
Region Sjælland Region Zealand  Sorø
Sorø
Sorø is a town in Sorø municipality in Region Sjælland on the island of Zealand in east Denmark. The population is 7,805 . The municipal council and the regional council are located in Sorø....

 
Roskilde
Roskilde
Roskilde is the main city in Roskilde Municipality, Denmark on the island of Zealand. It is an ancient city, dating from the Viking Age and is a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network....

 
819,427 7,273 112.7
Region Syddanmark Region of Southern Denmark  Vejle
Vejle
Vejle is a town in Denmark, in the southeast of the Jutland Peninsula at the head of Vejle Fjord, where the Vejle and Grejs Rivers and their valleys converge. It is the site of the councils of Vejle Municipality and the Region of Southern Denmark...

 
Odense
Odense
The city of Odense is the third largest city in Denmark.Odense City has a population of 167,615 and is the main city of the island of Funen...

 
1,194,659 12,191 97.99
Entire country 5,475,791 43,094 127.0 |


Greenland and the Faroe Islands have autonomous status within the Danish Realm
Kingdom of Denmark
The Kingdom of Denmark or the Danish Realm , is a constitutional monarchy and sovereign state consisting of Denmark proper in northern Europe and two autonomous constituent countries, the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic and Greenland in North America. Denmark is the hegemonial part, where the...

 and are largely self-governing
Self-governance
Self-governance is an abstract concept that refers to several scales of organization.It may refer to personal conduct or family units but more commonly refers to larger scale activities, i.e., professions, industry bodies, religions and political units , up to and including autonomous regions and...

; They are represented by two seats in the parliament each.
Country Population
(2011 estimate)
Area
(km²)
Density
(pop per km²)
  Denmark 5,564,219 43,075 129
  Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

49,267 1,399 35
  Greenland
Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

56,615 2,166,086 0.027
  Kingdom of Denmark
Kingdom of Denmark
The Kingdom of Denmark or the Danish Realm , is a constitutional monarchy and sovereign state consisting of Denmark proper in northern Europe and two autonomous constituent countries, the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic and Greenland in North America. Denmark is the hegemonial part, where the...

5,670,101 2,220,097 2.6

Politics





The Kingdom of Denmark is a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

. The current and reigning monarch is Queen Margrethe II
Margrethe II of Denmark
Margrethe II is the Queen regnant of the Kingdom of Denmark. In 1972 she became the first female monarch of Denmark since Margaret I, ruler of the Scandinavian countries in 1375-1412 during the Kalmar Union.-Early life:...

. As stipulated in the Danish Constitution
Constitution of Denmark
The Constitutional Act of Denmark is the Kingdom of Denmark's constitution, or fundamental law. Originally verified in 1849, the last revision was signed on 5 June 1953 as "the existing law, for all to unswerving comply with, the Constitutional Act of Denmark".-Idea and structure:The main...

, the monarch is not answerable for their actions, and their person is sacrosanct. The monarch formally appoints and dismisses the prime minister and other ministers. The prime minister is customarily chosen through negotiation between the parliament party leaders.

Before being validated through royal assent
Royal Assent
The granting of royal assent refers to the method by which any constitutional monarch formally approves and promulgates an act of his or her nation's parliament, thus making it a law...

, all bills and important government measures must be discussed in Statsrådet
Danish Council of State
The Council of State is the privy council of Denmark. The body of advisors to the Danish sovereign, the council is a formal institution, with largely ceremonial functions. Chaired by the sovereign, the council comprises all cabinet ministers and the Crown prince or hereditary princess when he or...

, a privy council
Privy council
A privy council is a body that advises the head of state of a nation, typically, but not always, in the context of a monarchic government. The word "privy" means "private" or "secret"; thus, a privy council was originally a committee of the monarch's closest advisors to give confidential advice on...

 headed by the monarch. The Danish privy council's protocols are secret. Although the monarch is formally given executive power
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

 this power is strictly ceremonial. The monarch is expected to be entirely apolitical and refrain from influencing the government. For example, members of the royal family do not cast their votes in elections and referendums even though they have the right.

Legislative authority is vested in the executive (prime minister) and the Danish parliament conjointly. Judicial authority lies with the courts of justice.

Executive authority is exercised on behalf of the monarch by the prime minister
Prime Minister of Denmark
The Prime Minister of Denmark is the head of government in Danish politics. The Prime Minister is traditionally the leader of a political coalition in the Folketing and presides over the cabinet....

 and other cabinet ministers
Cabinet of Anders Fogh Rasmussen II
Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen retained his parliamentary support in the 2005 Danish parliamentary election, and was able to continue as head of his government. On 18 February 2005, he presented his updated cabinet, the Cabinet of Anders Fogh Rasmussen II...

 who head departments. The cabinet, prime minister and other ministers collectively make up the government. These ministers are responsible to Folketing
Folketing
The Folketing , is the national parliament of Denmark. The name literally means "People's thing"—that is, the people's governing assembly. It is located in Christiansborg Palace, on the islet of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen....

et (the Danish Parliament), the legislative body
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

, which is traditionally considered to be supreme (that is, able to legislate on any matter and not bound by decisions of its predecessors).

The Folketing is the national legislature. It has the ultimate legislative authority according to the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty
Parliamentary sovereignty
Parliamentary sovereignty is a concept in the constitutional law of some parliamentary democracies. In the concept of parliamentary sovereignty, a legislative body has absolute sovereignty, meaning it is supreme to all other government institutions—including any executive or judicial bodies...

, however questions over sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 have been brought forward because of Denmark’s entry into the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. In theory the doctrine prevails. Parliament consists of 175 members elected by proportional majority, plus two members each from Greenland and Faroe Islands. Parliamentary elections are held at least every four years, but it is within the powers of the prime minister to ask the monarch to call for an election before the term has elapsed. On a vote of no confidence
Motion of no confidence
A motion of no confidence is a parliamentary motion whose passing would demonstrate to the head of state that the elected parliament no longer has confidence in the appointed government.-Overview:Typically, when a parliament passes a vote of no...

, the parliament may force a single minister or the entire government to resign.

The Danish political system has traditionally generated coalitions. Most Danish post-war governments have been minority coalitions ruling with the support of non-government parties.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Anders Fogh Rasmussen is a Danish politician, and the 12th and current Secretary General of NATO. Rasmussen served as Prime Minister of Denmark from 27 November 2001 to 5 April 2009....

 from the Venstre
Venstre (Denmark)
VenstreThe party name is officially not translated into any other language, but is in English often referred to as the Liberal Party. Similar rules apply for the name of the party's youth wing Venstres Ungdom. , full name Venstre, Danmarks Liberale Parti , is the largest political party in Denmark...

 party, a center-right
Centre-right
The centre-right or center-right is a political term commonly used to describe or denote individuals, political parties, or organizations whose views stretch from the centre to the right on the left-right spectrum, excluding far right stances. Centre-right can also describe a coalition of centrist...

 liberal party was prime minister from November 2001 to April 2009. His government was a coalition consisting of Venstre and the Conservative People's Party
Conservative People's Party (Denmark)
The Conservative People's Party , also known as Conservatives is a Danish political party.-History:The party was founded 1915 based mostly on its predecessor, Højre , but also on the Free Conservatives and a moderate faction of Venstre , the liberals.The party has participated in several coalition...

, with parliamentary support from the national-conservative Danish People's Party
Danish People's Party
The Danish People's Party is a political party in Denmark which is frequently described as right-wing populist by political scientists and commentators. The party is led by Pia Kjærsgaard...

 (Dansk Folkeparti). The three parties obtained a parliamentary majority in the 2001 election
Danish parliamentary election, 2001
Parliamentary elections were held in Denmark on 20 November 2001. For the first time since the 1924 the Social Democrats did not win the most seats. Anders Fogh Rasmussen of the centre-right Venstre became Prime Minister in coalition with the Conservative People's Party, as the head of the first...

 and maintained it virtually unchanged in the 2005 election
Danish parliamentary election, 2005
Parliamentary elections were held in Denmark on 8 February 2005. Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen's Venstre retained the largest number of seats in parliament. The governing coalition between the Venstre and the Conservative People's Party remained intact, with the Danish People's Party...

. On 24 October 2007, an early election
Danish parliamentary election, 2007
The 66th Folketing election in Denmark was held on 13 November 2007. The election allowed prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to continue for a third term in a coalition government consisting of the Liberals and the Conservative People's Party with parliamentary support from the Danish People's...

 was called by the Prime Minister for 13 November. Following the election the Danish People's Party was strengthened while Anders Fogh Rasmussen's Venstre lost 6 seats and the Conservative People's Party retained the same number of seats in Parliament as prior to the election. The result ensured that Anders Fogh Rasmussen could continue as prime minister for a third term.

From the autumn of 2008 rumours persisted that Anders Fogh Rasmussen aspired to head NATO. On 4 April 2009, during a NATO summit in Strasbourg
Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

, Rasmussen confirmed these speculations. Opposition within NATO, especially from Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, was overcome, and Rasmussen was appointed Secretary General of NATO
Secretary General of NATO
The Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is the chairman of the North Atlantic Council, the supreme decision-making organisation of the defence alliance. The Secretary-General also serves as the leader of the organisation's staff and as its chief spokesman...

. On 5 April 2009, Rasmussen resigned, leaving minister of finance
Finance minister
The finance minister is a cabinet position in a government.A minister of finance has many different jobs in a government. He or she helps form the government budget, stimulate the economy, and control finances...

 and vice president of Venstre Lars Løkke Rasmussen
Lars Løkke Rasmussen
Lars Løkke Rasmussen is a Danish politician who served as Prime Minister of Denmark from April 2009 to October 2011. He is the leader of the centre-right liberal party, Venstre....

 to be the prime minister.

With the parliamentary election held September 2011 the right wing coalition known as blue bloc, lost by a small margin to the opposing coalition, lead by Helle Thorning-Schmidt
Helle Thorning-Schmidt
Helle Thorning-Schmidt is a Danish politician and the current Prime Minister of Denmark. She has been leader of the Danish Social Democrats since April 2005 and prime minister since October 2011....

 who on 3 October 2011 formed a new government
Cabinet of Helle Thorning-Schmidt
The cabinet of Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt is the current cabinet of Denmark. It is a coalition government between the Social Democrats, Social Liberal Party and Socialist People's Party...

 consisting of the Social Democratic Party, Danish Social Liberal Party and Socialist People's Party.

Foreign relations


Danish foreign policy is based on its identity as a sovereign nation in Europe. As such its primary foreign policy focus is on its relations with other nations as a sovereign independent nation. Denmark has long had good relations with other nations. It has been involved in coordinating Western assistance to the Baltic states (Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

, and Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

). The country is a strong supporter of international peacekeeping
Peacekeeping
Peacekeeping is an activity that aims to create the conditions for lasting peace. It is distinguished from both peacebuilding and peacemaking....

.

Denmark is today pursuing an active foreign policy, where human rights, democracy and other crucial values are to be defended actively. In recent years Greenland
Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

 and The Faroe Islands have been guaranteed a say in foreign policy issues such as fishing, whaling
Whaling
Whaling is the hunting of whales mainly for meat and oil. Its earliest forms date to at least 3000 BC. Various coastal communities have long histories of sustenance whaling and harvesting beached whales...

, and geopolitical concerns.

Military


Denmark's armed forces are known as the Danish Defence . During peacetime, the Ministry of Defence in Denmark
Ministry of Defence (Denmark)
The Ministry of Defence of Denmark is a ministry in the Danish government. It is charged with overall planning, development, and strategic guidance of the entire area of responsibility of the Danish Defence minister, including the armed forces and the emergency management sector...

 employs around 33,000 in total. The main military branches employ almost 27,000: 15,460 in the Royal Danish Army, 5,300 in the Royal Danish Navy
Royal Danish Navy
The Royal Danish Navy is the sea-based branch of the Danish Defence force. The RDN is mainly responsible for maritime defence and maintaining the sovereignty of Danish, Greenlandic and Faroese territorial waters...

 and 6,050 in the Royal Danish Air Force
Royal Danish Air Force
The Royal Danish Air Force is the air force of Denmark with the capability to undertake homeland defense and homeland security roles as well international operations.-History:...

 (all including conscripts).

The Danish Emergency Management Agency
Danish Emergency Management Agency
The Danish Emergency Management Agency is a Danish governmental agency under the Ministry of Defence. Its principal task is to manage an operational part who work out of six Emergency Management Centres, and administrative and legalizing part, who supervises the national and municipal rescue...

  employs 2,000 (including conscripts), and about 4,000 are in non-branch-specific services like the Danish Defence Command
Defence Command (Denmark)
The Defence Command of Denmark short FKO, is the Danish branch-combined military command and the top coordination and controlling authority of the Danish military...

, the Danish Defence Research Establishment
Danish Defence Research Establishment
Danish Defence Research Establishment short FOFT was the consultative, guiding and promotion organ in the scientific and technical area for the Danish military. It was an independent institute under the Ministry of Defence...

 and the Danish Defence Intelligence Service. Furthermore around 55,000 serve as volunteers in the Danish Home Guard .

The Danish Defence has around 1,400 staff in international missions, not including standing contributions to NATO SNMCMG1
Standing NRF Mine Countermeasures Group 1
Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 is a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation standing mine countermeasures Immediate Reaction Forces...

. The three largest contributions are in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 (ISAF
International Security Assistance Force
The International Security Assistance Force is a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations Security Council on 20 December 2001 by Resolution 1386 as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement...

), Kosovo
Kosovo
Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

 (KFOR) and Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 (UNIFIL
United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, was created by the United Nations, with the adoption of Security Council Resolution 425 and 426 on 19 March 1978, to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon which Israel had invaded five days prior, restore international peace and security,...

). Between 2003 and 2007, there were approximately 450 Danish soldiers in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

.

Economy


Denmark's mixed economy
Mixed economy
Mixed economy is an economic system in which both the state and private sector direct the economy, reflecting characteristics of both market economies and planned economies. Most mixed economies can be described as market economies with strong regulatory oversight, in addition to having a variety...

 features above average European living standards
Standard of living
Standard of living is generally measured by standards such as real income per person and poverty rate. Other measures such as access and quality of health care, income growth inequality and educational standards are also used. Examples are access to certain goods , or measures of health such as...

 and high amount of free trade. Denmark ranks 16th in the world in terms of GDP (PPP) per capita and ranks 5th in nominal GDP per capita.

According to World Bank Group
World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is a family of five international organizations that makes leveraged loans, generally to poor countries.The Bank came into formal existence on 27 December 1945 following international ratification of the Bretton Woods agreements, which emerged from the United Nations Monetary...

, Denmark has the most flexible labour market
Labour economics
Labor economics seeks to understand the functioning and dynamics of the market for labor. Labor markets function through the interaction of workers and employers...

 in Europe; the policy is called flexicurity
Flexicurity
Flexicurity is a welfare state model with a pro-active labour market policy. The term was first coined by the social democratic Prime Minister of Denmark Poul Nyrup Rasmussen in the 1990s....

. It is easy to hire and fire (flexibility), and between jobs, unemployment compensation is very high (security). Denmark has a labour force of about 2.9 million. Denmark has the fourth highest ratio of tertiary degree
Tertiary education
Tertiary education, also referred to as third stage, third level, and post-secondary education, is the educational level following the completion of a school providing a secondary education, such as a high school, secondary school, university-preparatory school...

 holders in the world. GDP per hour worked was the 13th highest in 2009. Denmark has the world's lowest level of income inequality, according to the UN, and the world's highest minimum wage, according to the IMF. As of June 2010 the unemployment rate is at 6.6%, which is below the EU average of 9.6%.

Denmark is one of the most competitive economies in the world according to World Economic Forum
World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum is a Swiss non-profit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva, best known for its annual meeting in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland....

 2008 report, IMD and The Economist
The Economist
The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843...

. According to rankings by OECD, Denmark has the most free financial market
Financial market
In economics, a financial market is a mechanism that allows people and entities to buy and sell financial securities , commodities , and other fungible items of value at low transaction costs and at prices that reflect supply and demand.Both general markets and...

s in EU-15 and also one of the most free product market
Product market
Product market is a mechanism that allows people to easily buy and sell products. Services are often included in the scope of the term. Product market regulation is an economic term that describes restrictions in the market....

s.

Denmark has a company tax
Corporate tax
Many countries impose corporate tax or company tax on the income or capital of some types of legal entities. A similar tax may be imposed at state or lower levels. The taxes may also be referred to as income tax or capital tax. Entities treated as partnerships are generally not taxed at the...

 rate of 25% and a special time limited tax regime for expatriates. The Danish taxation system is broad based, with a 25% VAT
Vat
Vat or VAT may refer to:* A type of container such as a barrel, storage tank, or tub, often constructed of welded sheet stainless steel, and used for holding, storing, and processing liquids such as milk, wine, and beer...

, in addition to excise taxes, income taxes and other fees. The overall tax burden (sum of all taxes, as a percentage of GDP) is estimated to be 46% in 2011.

Denmark's national currency, the krone
Danish krone
The krone is the official currency of the Kingdom of Denmark consisting of Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. It is subdivided into 100 øre...

 (plural: kroner), is de facto linked to the Euro through the ERM
European Exchange Rate Mechanism
The European Exchange Rate Mechanism, ERM, was a system introduced by the European Community in March 1979, as part of the European Monetary System , to reduce exchange rate variability and achieve monetary stability in Europe, in preparation for Economic and Monetary Union and the introduction of...

. The exchange rate is pegged
Fixed exchange rate
A fixed exchange rate, sometimes called a pegged exchange rate, is a type of exchange rate regime wherein a currency's value is matched to the value of another single currency or to a basket of other currencies, or to another measure of value, such as gold.A fixed exchange rate is usually used to...

 at approximately 7.46 kroner per euro. While Denmark in a September 2000 referendum
Danish euro referendum, 2000
A referendum on joining the Euro was held in Denmark on 28 September 2000. It was rejected by 53.2% of voters with a turnout of 87.6%.-Background:...

 rejected replacing the Danish kroner with the euro, the country in practice follows the policies set forth in the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union
Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union
The Economic and Monetary Union is an umbrella term for the group of policies aimed at converging the economies of members of the European Union in three stages so as to allow them to adopt a single currency, the euro. As such, it is largely synonymous with the eurozone.All member states of the...

 (EMU) and meets the economic convergence criteria for participating in the third phase (the Euro) of the EMU. The majority of the political parties in the parliament are for the Euro, but as yet a new referendum has not been held, despite plans; skepticism of the EU among Danish voters has historically been strong.

Denmark is known for the Danish cooperative movement
Danish cooperative movement
The Danish cooperative movement was a means of economical organization under leadership of consumer- or producer-controlled corporations, where each individual member owned a part of the corporation. The type of organization was especially used in the farming industry and in consumer organizations...

 within among others farming, the food industry
Food industry
The food production is a complex, global collective of diverse businesses that together supply much of the food energy consumed by the world population...

 (Danish Crown
Danish Crown AmbA
Danish Crown AmbA is a Danish food processing company, dealing primarily in meat processing of pork and beef. It is Europe's largest pork producer. Through its subsidiaries, known as the Danish Crown Group, it is also involved in a long list of other food products...

), dairy production (Arla Foods
Arla Foods
Arla Foods is a Swedish-Danish cooperative based in Århus, Denmark, and the largest producer of dairy products in Scandinavia. Arla Foods was formed as the result of a merger between the Swedish dairy cooperative Arla and the Danish dairy company MD Foods on 17 April 2000.Arla Foods is the seventh...

), retailing (Brugsen
Brugsen
right|thumb|250px|A Dagli'Brugsen in Northeast Copenhagen. Brugsen is a shorthand for the Danish word 'Brugsforeningen', which means consumers' cooperative. It is also the name of a Danish supermarket chain which was born as a consumers' cooperative....

), wind turbine cooperatives and co-housing associations.

Support for free trade
Free trade
Under a free trade policy, prices emerge from supply and demand, and are the sole determinant of resource allocation. 'Free' trade differs from other forms of trade policy where the allocation of goods and services among trading countries are determined by price strategies that may differ from...

 is high – in a 2007 poll 76% responded that globalisation is a good thing. 70% of trade flows are inside the European Union. Denmark has the 9th highest export per capita in the world. Main exports include: machinery, animals and foodstuffs, chemicals and oil and gas. Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy and has for a number of years had a balance of payments
Balance of payments
Balance of payments accounts are an accounting record of all monetary transactions between a country and the rest of the world.These transactions include payments for the country's exports and imports of goods, services, financial capital, and financial transfers...

 surplus while battling an equivalent of approximately 39% of GNP foreign debt
External debt
External debt is that part of the total debt in a country that is owed to creditors outside the country. The debtors can be the government, corporations or private households. The debt includes money owed to private commercial banks, other governments, or international financial institutions such...

 or more than 300 billion DKK. Also of importance is the sea territory of more than 105,000 km² (40,000+ sq mi).

Denmark has ranked as the world's 11th most free economy, of 162 countries, in an index created by the Wall Street Journal and Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation is a conservative American think tank based in Washington, D.C. Heritage's stated mission is to "formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong...

, the Index of Economic Freedom
Index of Economic Freedom
The Index of Economic Freedom is a series of 10 economic measurements created by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. Its stated objective is to measure the degree of economic freedom in the world's nations....

 2008. The Index has been categorised as using inappropriately weighted indicators for economic freedom
Economic freedom
Economic freedom is a term used in economic and policy debates. As with freedom generally, there are various definitions, but no universally accepted concept of economic freedom...

, leading to wealthy and/or conservative countries with barriers to trade
Trade barrier
Trade barriers are government-induced restrictions on international trade. The barriers can take many forms, including the following:* Tariffs* Non-tariff barriers to trade** Import licenses** Export licenses** Import quotas** Subsidies...

 placing high on the list, while poor and/or socialist countries with fewer restrictions on trade place low. The Index has only a 10% statistical correlation with a standard measure of economic growth at GDP per capita
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

. Neither does the Index account for the actions of governments to nurture business in the manner of the Japanese Zaibatsu
Zaibatsu
is a Japanese term referring to industrial and financial business conglomerates in the Empire of Japan, whose influence and size allowed for control over significant parts of the Japanese economy from the Meiji period until the end of World War II.-Terminology:...

s during the late 20th century that helped lead to the Japanese economic miracle
Japanese post-war economic miracle
The Japanese post-war economic miracle is the name given to the historical phenomenon of Japan's record period of economic growth following World War II, spurred mainly by Japanese economic policy, in particular through the Ministry of International Trade and Industry...

.

StatBank
StatBank
StatBank is the name of a large statistical database maintained by the central authority of statistics in Denmark.Online distribution of statistics has been a part of the dissemination strategy in Denmark since 1985....

 is the name of a large statistical database maintained by the central authority of statistics in Denmark. Online distribution of statistics has been a part of the dissemination strategy in Denmark since 1985. By this service, Denmark is a leading country in the world regarding electronic dissemination of statistics. There are about 2 million hits every year.

Energy



Denmark has considerable sources of oil and natural gas in the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 and ranks as number 32 in the world among net exporters of crude oil
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

. Most electricity is produced from coal, but Denmark also has a share of wind power. Wind turbines produce 16–19% of electricity demand. Denmark is connected by transmission lines to other European countries.

Denmark is a long time leader in wind energy, and Denmark derives 3.1 percent of its Gross Domestic Product from renewable (Clean) energy technology and energy efficiency, or around €6.5 billion ($9.4 billion).

Transport



Significant investment has been made in building road and rail links between regions in Denmark, most notably the Great Belt Fixed Link
Great Belt Fixed Link
The Great Belt Fixed Link is the fixed link between the Danish islands of Zealand and Funen across the Great Belt. It consists of a road suspension bridge and railway tunnel between Zealand and the island Sprogø, as well as a box girder bridge between Sprogø and Funen...

, which connects Zealand and Funen
Funen
Funen , with a size of 2,984 km² , is the third-largest island of Denmark following Zealand and Vendsyssel-Thy, and the 163rd largest island of the world. Funen is located in the central part of the country and has a population of 454,358 inhabitants . The main city is Odense, connected to the...

. It is now possible to drive from Frederikshavn
Frederikshavn
This article is about a Danish town. For the German town, see Friedrichshafen, and for the Finnish town, see Fredrikshamn .Frederikshavn is a Danish town in Frederikshavn municipality, Region Nordjylland on the northeast coast of the Jutland peninsula in northern Denmark. Its name translates to...

 in northern Jutland
Jutland
Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...

 to Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

 on eastern Zealand without leaving the motorway. The main railway operator is DSB for passenger services and DB Schenker Rail for freight trains. The railway tracks are maintained by Banedanmark
Banedanmark
Banedanmark is a Danish company responsible for maintenance and traffic control of most of the Danish railway network...

. Copenhagen has a small Metro system, the Copenhagen Metro
Copenhagen Metro
Copenhagen Metro is a rapid transit system serving Copenhagen, Frederiksberg and Tårnby in Denmark. The system opened between 2002 and 2007, and has two lines, M1 and M2. The driverless light metro supplements the larger S-train rapid transit system, and is integrated with DSB local trains and...

, and the greater Copenhagen area has an extensive electrified suburban railway network, the S-train
S-Train
The S-train network is a combined urban rapid transit and suburban rail network of Metropolitan Copenhagen, Denmark. It connects the city center with the inner suburbs of Copenhagen, and has close to half of the stations within the urban city. The first line was opened in 1934...

. Denmark's national airline
Flag carrier
A flag carrier is a transportation company, such as an airline or shipping company, that, being locally registered in a given country, enjoys preferential rights or privileges, accorded by the government, for international operations. It may be a state-run, state-owned or private but...

 (together with Norway and Sweden) is Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), and Copenhagen Airport
Copenhagen Airport
Copenhagen Airport is the main international airport serving Copenhagen, Denmark and the Oresund Region. It is located on the island of Amager, south of Copenhagen city centre, and west of Malmö city centre on the other side of the Oresund Bridge. The airport lies mainly in the municipality...

 is the largest in Scandinavia. A ferry link to the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

 is maintained by Smyril Line
Smyril Line
Smyril Line is a Faroese shipping company, linking the Faroe Islands with Denmark and Iceland, previously, it also served Norway and the United Kingdom. Smyril is the Faroese word for the merlin....

. Other international ferry services are mainly operated by DFDS
DFDS
DFDS is a Danish shipping company. It is one of the world's largest ferry operators. The companies name is an acronym of Det Forenede Dampskibs-Selskab DFDS is a Danish shipping company. It is one of the world's largest ferry operators. The companies name is an acronym of Det Forenede...

 (to Norway and the UK), Scandlines
Scandlines
Scandlines is a major German-Danish ferry operator.It consists of a parent company, Scandlines AG, and under this parent company a German subsidiary named Scandlines Deutschland GmbH and a Danish subsidiary named Scandlines Danmark A/S...

 (to Germany and Sweden), Stena Line
Stena Line
Stena Line is one of the world's largest ferry operators, with ferry services serving Scotland, Sweden, Northern Ireland, Denmark, Norway, England, Wales, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland. Stena Line is a major unit of Stena AB, itself a part of the Stena Sphere, a grouping of Stena AB,...

 (to Norway, Sweden, and Poland), Color Line (to Norway), and FjordLine (to Norway).

Private vehicles are increasingly used as a means of transport. Because of the high registration tax (180%), VAT
Vat
Vat or VAT may refer to:* A type of container such as a barrel, storage tank, or tub, often constructed of welded sheet stainless steel, and used for holding, storing, and processing liquids such as milk, wine, and beer...

 (25%), and the world's highest income tax rate, new cars are very expensive. The purpose of the tax is to discourage car ownership. The car fleet has increased by 45% over the last 30 years.
In 2007 an attempt was made by the government to favour environmentally-friendly cars by slightly reducing taxes on high mileage vehicles. However, this has had little effect, and in 2008 Denmark experienced an increase in the import of fuel inefficient old cars (mostly older than 10 years), primarily from Germany, as the cost for older cars—including taxes—keeps them within the budget of many Danes.

Bicycling in Denmark is a common form of transportation, particularly for the young and for city dwellers. With a network of bicycle routes extending more than 12,000 km and an estimated 7,000 km of segregated dedicated bicycle paths and lanes
Segregated cycle facilities
Segregated cycle facilities are marked lanes, tracks, shoulders and paths designated for use by cyclists from which motorised traffic is generally excluded...

, Denmark has a solid bicycle infrastructure.

Denmark has integrated fluctuating and unpredictable energy sources such as wind power into the grid. Denmark now aims to focus on intelligent battery systems (V2G
Vehicle-to-grid
Vehicle-to-grid describes a system in which plug-in electric vehicles, such as electric cars and plug-in hybrids , communicate with the power grid to sell demand response services by either delivering electricity into the grid or by throttling their charging rate.Vehicle-to-grid can be used with...

) and plug-in vehicles
Electric vehicle
An electric vehicle , also referred to as an electric drive vehicle, uses one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion...

 in the transport sector.

Public policy


After deregulating the labour market in the 1990s, Denmark has one of the most free labour markets in European countries. According to World Bank labour market rankings, the labour market flexibility is at the same levels as the United States. Around 80% of employees belong to unions and the unemployment funds that are attached to them. Labour market policies is mainly determined in negotiations between the workers' unions and employers' unions, and the government only interferes if labour strikes extend for too long.

Despite the success of the trade unions, a growing number of people make contracts individually rather than collectively, and many (four out of ten employees) are contemplating dropping especially unemployment fund but occasionally even union membership altogether. The average employee receives a benefit at 47% of their wage level
Wage
A wage is a compensation, usually financial, received by workers in exchange for their labor.Compensation in terms of wages is given to workers and compensation in terms of salary is given to employees...

 if they have to claim benefits when unemployed. With low unemployment, very few expect to be claiming benefits at all. The only reason then to pay the earmarked money to the unemployment fund would be to retire early and receive early retirement
Retirement
Retirement is the point where a person stops employment completely. A person may also semi-retire by reducing work hours.Many people choose to retire when they are eligible for private or public pension benefits, although some are forced to retire when physical conditions don't allow the person to...

 pay (efterløn), which is possible from the age of 60 provided an additional earmarked contribution is paid to the unemployment fund.

The unemployment rate
Unemployment
Unemployment , as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work within the past four weeks...

 for December 2007 was 2.7%, for a total of 74,900 persons, a reduction by 112,800 persons—2,400 per month—or 60% since December 2003. The Eurostat
Eurostat
Eurostat is a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in Luxembourg. Its main responsibilities are to provide the European Union with statistical information at European level and to promote the integration of statistical methods across the Member States of the European Union,...

 unemployment number for August 2008 is 2.9%. This has been achieved by employing more than 38% (800,000 people) of the total workforce in public sector jobs. Another measure of the situation on the labour market is the employment rate, that is the percentage of people aged 15 to 64 in employment out of the total number of people aged 15 to 64. The employment rate for Denmark in 2007 was 77.1% according to Eurostat. Of all countries in the world, only Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 with 78.% and Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 with 85.1% had a higher employment rate.

In December 2008, Statistics Denmark
Statistics Denmark
Statistics Denmark is a Danish governmental organization under the Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs. The organization is responsible for creating statistics on the Danish society, for example employment statistics, trade balance, and demographics....

 reported that 100,000 Danes were affected by unemployment in the third quarter of 2008. Of these, 62% received a job within two months, and 6% had been unemployed for two years or more.

The number of unemployed is forecast to be 65,000 in 2015. The number of people in the working age
Legal working age
The legal working age is the minimum age required by law for a person to work, in each country or jurisdiction.Some types of labor are commonly prohibited even for those above the working age, if they have not reached yet the age of majority. Activities that are dangerous, harmful to the health or...

 group, less disability pensioners etc., will grow by 10,000 to 2,860,000, and jobs by 70,000 to 2,790,000; part time jobs are included. Because of the present high demand and short supply of skilled labour, for instance for factory and service jobs, including hospital nurses and physicians, the annual average working hours
Working time
Working time is the period of time that an individual spends at paid occupational labor. Unpaid labors such as personal housework are not considered part of the working week...

 have risen, especially compared with the recession
Recession
In economics, a recession is a business cycle contraction, a general slowdown in economic activity. During recessions, many macroeconomic indicators vary in a similar way...

 1987–1993. Increasingly, service workers of all kinds are in demand, i.e. in the postal services
Mail
Mail, or post, is a system for transporting letters and other tangible objects: written documents, typically enclosed in envelopes, and also small packages are delivered to destinations around the world. Anything sent through the postal system is called mail or post.In principle, a postal service...

 and as bus drivers, and academics. In the fall of 2007, more than 250,000 foreigners are working in the country, of which 23,000 still reside in Germany or Sweden. According to a sampling survey of over 14,000 enterprises from December 2007 to April 2008 39,000 jobs were not filled, a number much lower than earlier surveys, confirming a downturn in the economic cycle
Business cycle
The term business cycle refers to economy-wide fluctuations in production or economic activity over several months or years...

.

The level of unemployment benefits is dependent on former employment (the maximum benefit is at 90% of the wage) and at times also on membership of an unemployment fund, which is almost always—but need not be—administered by a trade union, and the previous payment of contributions. However, the largest share of the financing is still carried by the central government and is financed by general taxation, and only to a minor degree from earmarked contributions. There is no taxation, however, on proceeds gained from selling one´s home (provided there was any home equity
Home equity
Home equity is the market value of a homeowner's unencumbered interest in their real property—that is, the difference between the home's fair market value and the outstanding balance of all liens on the property. The property's equity increases as the debtor makes payments against the...

 (da:friværdi)), as the marginal tax rate on capital income from housing savings is around 0%.

The Danish welfare model is accompanied by a taxation system that is both broad based (25% VAT, not including excise, duty and tax) and with a progressive income tax
Progressive tax
A progressive tax is a tax by which the tax rate increases as the taxable base amount increases. "Progressive" describes a distribution effect on income or expenditure, referring to the way the rate progresses from low to high, where the average tax rate is less than the marginal tax rate...

 model, meaning the more money that is earned, the higher income tax percentage that gets paid (minimum tax rate for adults is 42% scaling to over 60%, except for the residents of Ertholmene
Ertholmene
Ertholmene, generally called Christiansø, is a small archipelago situated approximately 18 km northeast of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. Its permanent population is 96 and its area is 39 hectares...

 that escape the otherwise ubiquitous 8% healthcare tax fraction of the income taxes). Other taxes include the registration tax on private vehicles, at a rate of 180%, on top of VAT. Lately (July 2007) this has been changed slightly in an attempt to favour more fuel efficient
Fuel efficiency
Fuel efficiency is a form of thermal efficiency, meaning the efficiency of a process that converts chemical potential energy contained in a carrier fuel into kinetic energy or work. Overall fuel efficiency may vary per device, which in turn may vary per application, and this spectrum of variance is...

 cars but maintaining the average taxation level more or less unchanged.

Demographics


According to 2009 figures from Statistics Denmark, 90.5% of Denmark’s population of over 5.4 million was of Danish
Danes
Danish people or Danes are the nation and ethnic group that is native to Denmark, and who speak Danish.The first mention of Danes within the Danish territory is on the Jelling Rune Stone which mentions how Harald Bluetooth converted the Danes to Christianity in the 10th century...

 descent. Many of the remaining 9.5% were immigrants—or descendants of recent immigrants—from Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

, neighbouring countries, South Asia, and Western Asia. Many have arrived since the "Alien law" (Udlændingeloven) was enacted in 1983, which allows for the immigration of family members of those who had already arrived. There are also small groups of Inuit
Inuit
The Inuit are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Canada , Denmark , Russia and the United States . Inuit means “the people” in the Inuktitut language...

 from Greenland and Faroese
Faroese people
The Faroese or Faroe Islanders are a Germanic ethnic group native to the Faeroe Islands. The Faroese are of mixed Norse and Gaelic origins.About 21,000 Faroese live in neighbouring countries, particularly in Denmark, Iceland and Norway....

.During recent years, anti mass-immigration sentiment has resulted in some of the toughest immigration laws
Nationality law
Nationality law is the branch of law concerned with the questions of nationality and citizenship, and how these statuses are acquired, transmitted, or lost. By custom, a state has the right to determine who its nationals and citizens are. Such determinations are usually made by custom, statutory...

 in the European Union. The number of residence permits granted related to labour and to people from within the EU/EEA
European Economic Area
The European Economic Area was established on 1 January 1994 following an agreement between the member states of the European Free Trade Association and the European Community, later the European Union . Specifically, it allows Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to participate in the EU's Internal...

 has increased since implementation of new immigration laws in 2001. The number of immigrants allowed into Denmark for family reunification decreased 70% between 2001 and 2006 to 4,198.(see 24 year rule
24 year rule
The 24 year rule is a rule in Danish immigration law meant to cut down forced marriages and family reunification immigration.The rule has four requirements...

) During the same period the number of asylum permits granted has decreased by 82.5% to 1,095, reflecting a 84% decrease in asylum seekers
Right of asylum
Right of asylum is an ancient juridical notion, under which a person persecuted for political opinions or religious beliefs in his or her own country may be protected by another sovereign authority, a foreign country, or church sanctuaries...

 to 1,960.

Denmark’s population is 5,475,791, giving Denmark a population density of 129.16 inhabitants per km² (334.53 per sq mi). As in most countries, the population is not distributed evenly. Although the land area east of the Great Belt
Great Belt
The Great Belt is a strait between the main Danish islands of Zealand and Funen . Effectively dividing Denmark in two, the Belt was served by the Great Belt ferries from the late 19th century until the islands were connected by the Great Belt Fixed Link in 1997–98.-Geography:The Great Belt is the...

 only makes up 9622 km² (3,715.1 sq mi), 22.7% of Denmark's land area, it has 45% (2,465,348) of the population. The average population density of this area is 256.2 inhabitants per km² (663.6 per sq mi). The average density in the west of the country (32,772 km²/12,653 sq mi) is 91.86/km² (237.91 per sq mi) (3,010,443 people) (2008).

The median
Median
In probability theory and statistics, a median is described as the numerical value separating the higher half of a sample, a population, or a probability distribution, from the lower half. The median of a finite list of numbers can be found by arranging all the observations from lowest value to...

 age is 39.8 years, with 0.98 males per female. 98.2% of the population (age 15 and up) is literate. The birth rate
Birth rate
Crude birth rate is the nativity or childbirths per 1,000 people per year . Another word used interchangeably with "birth rate" is "natality". When the crude birth rate is subtracted from the crude death rate, it reveals the rate of natural increase...

 is 1.74 children born per woman (2006 est.). Despite the low birth rate, the population is still growing at an average annual rate of 0.33%. An international study conducted by Adrian White at Leicester University in 2006 showed that the population of Denmark had the highest life satisfaction in the world.

Danish
Danish language
Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in the country of Denmark. It is also spoken by 50,000 Germans of Danish ethnicity in the northern parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where it holds the status of minority language...

 is the official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 and is spoken throughout the country. English and German are the most widely-spoken foreign languages.

A total of 1,516,126 Americans reported Danish ancestry in the 2006 American Community Survey. According to the 2006 census, there were 200,035 Canadians with Danish background.

Religion



Church of Denmark
year population members percentage
1984 5,113,500 4,684,060 91.6%
1990 5,135,409 4,584,450 89.3%
2000 5,330,500 4,536,422 85.1%
2005 5,413,600 4,498,703 83.3%
2007 5,447,100 4,499,343 82.6%
2008 5,475,791 4,494,589 82.1%
2009 5,511,451 4,492,121 81.5%
2010 5,534,738 4,479,214 80.9%
2011 5.560.628 4,469,109 80.4%
statistical data 1984–2002, 1990–2009 and 2010-2011. Source Kirkeministeriet


According to official statistics from January 2011, 80.4% of the population of Denmark are members of the Danish National Church , a Lutheran
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 church that was made the official state religion by the Constitution of Denmark
Constitution of Denmark
The Constitutional Act of Denmark is the Kingdom of Denmark's constitution, or fundamental law. Originally verified in 1849, the last revision was signed on 5 June 1953 as "the existing law, for all to unswerving comply with, the Constitutional Act of Denmark".-Idea and structure:The main...

. This is down 0.6% compared to the year earlier and 1.2% down compared to two years earlier. Article 6 of the Constitution states that the Royal Family
Danish Royal Family
The Danish Royal Family includes the Queen of Denmark and her family. All members except the Queen hold the title of Prince/Princess of Denmark with the style of His/Her Royal Highness or His/Her Highness. The Queen is styled Her Majesty. The Queen and her siblings belong to the House of...

 must belong to this Church, though the rest of the population is free to adhere to other faiths. About 15% of the Danes do not belong to any denomination.

Denmark's Muslims
Islam in Denmark
Islam is the largest minority religion in Denmark. According to the U.S. Department of State, approximately 3.7% of the population in Denmark is Muslim...

 make up less than 2% of the population and is the country's second largest religious community. As per an overview of various religions and denominations by the Danish Foreign Ministry, other groups comprise less than 1% of the population individually and approximately 2% when taken all together.

According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll
Eurobarometer
Eurobarometer is a series of surveys regularly performed on behalf of the European Commission since 1973. It produces reports of public opinion of certain issues relating to the European Union across the member states...

 2005, 31% of Danish citizens responded that "they believe there is a God", whereas 49% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 19% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force". According to a 2005 study by Zuckerman, Denmark has the third highest proportion of atheists and agnostics in the world, estimated to be between 43% and 80%.

For more than a hundred years after the Reformation, Lutheranism was the only legal religion in Denmark, but in 1682 the state recognised three other faiths: Roman Catholicism
Roman Catholicism in Denmark
The Roman Catholic Church in Denmark is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope and curia in Rome.The number of Catholics in Denmark, a predominantly Protestant country, comprises less than 1% of the population....

, the Reformed Church
Reformed Synod of Denmark
The Reformed Synod of Denmark is a synod of four Reformed free church congregations in Denmark. A member of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, it has approximately 700 members.The current Moderator is Sabine Hofmeister...

 and Judaism
History of the Jews in Denmark
The Jewish community of Denmark constitutes a small minority with a known history back to the 17th century.-Origins:Medieval Danish art contains depictions of Jews – visibly wearing pointed hats – but there is no evidence any Jews actually lived in Denmark during that time...

. Until the recent immigration of Muslims, these three were practically the only non-Lutheran religions practiced in Denmark. As of 2005, 19 Muslim communities have been officially recognised. Forn Siðr (English: Old Custom), based on the much older, native pagan religion, gained official recognition in November 2003.

Religious societies and churches do not need to be state-recognised in Denmark and can be granted the right to perform weddings and other ceremonies without this recognition.

Education



The Danish education system provides access to primary school
Danish Folkeskole Education
The Folkeskole is one type of school in Denmark, covering the entire period of compulsory education. This form of education cannot, as in the case of many other nations' education systems, be divided into primary and secondary education....

, secondary school
Secondary education in Denmark
Secondary education in Denmark usually takes two to four years and is attended by students between the ages of 15 and 20. Secondary education is not compulsory, but usually free of charge, and students have a wide range of programmes to choose from...

 and most kinds of higher education. Attendance at "Folkeskole
Danish Folkeskole Education
The Folkeskole is one type of school in Denmark, covering the entire period of compulsory education. This form of education cannot, as in the case of many other nations' education systems, be divided into primary and secondary education....

" or equivalent education is compulsory for a minimum of 9 years (aged 7 to 16). Equivalent education could be in private schools or classes attended at home. About 99% of students attend primary school, 86% attend secondary school, and 41% pursue further education
Further education
Further education is a term mainly used in connection with education in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is post-compulsory education , that is distinct from the education offered in universities...

. All college education in Denmark is free; there are no tuition fees to enroll in courses. Students in secondary school or higher and aged 18 or above may apply for student support which provides fixed financial support, disbursed monthly.

Primary school in Denmark is called "den Danske Folkeskole
Danish Folkeskole Education
The Folkeskole is one type of school in Denmark, covering the entire period of compulsory education. This form of education cannot, as in the case of many other nations' education systems, be divided into primary and secondary education....

" ("Danish Public School"). It runs from the introductory "kindergarten class"/0'th grade ("børnehaveklasse"/ "0. Klasse") to 10th grade
Tenth grade
In majority of the world,Tenth grade is the tenth year of school post-kindergarten. The variants of "10th grade" in various nations is described below.-Australia:...

, though 10th grade is optional. Pupils can alternatively attend "free schools" ("Friskole"), or private schools ("Privatskole"), i.e. schools that are not under the administration of the municipalities, such as Christian school
Christian school
A Christian school is a school run on Christian principles or by a Christian organization.The nature of Christian schools varies enormously from country to country, according to the religious, educational, and political cultures...

s or Waldorf schools. The Programme for International Student Assessment
Programme for International Student Assessment
The Programme for International Student Assessment is a worldwide evaluation in OECD member countries of 15-year-old school pupils' scholastic performance, performed first in 2000 and repeated every three years...

, coordinated by the OECD
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade...

, ranked Denmark's education as the 24th best in the world in 2006, being neither significantly higher nor lower than the OECD average.

Following graduation from Folkeskolen, there are several other educational opportunities, including Gymnasium
Gymnasium (Denmark)
The Danish Gymnasium offers a 3-year general academically-oriented upper secondary programme which builds on the 9th-10th form of the Folkeskole and leads to the upper secondary school exit examination...

 (academically oriented upper secondary education), Higher Preparatory Examination (HF)
Higher Preparatory Examination (HF)
The Higher Preparatory Examination is a 2-year general upper secondary programme building on to the 10th form of the Folkeskole and leading to the higher preparatory examination , which qualifies for admission to higher education, subject to the special entrance regulations applying to the...

 (similar to Gymnasium, but one year shorter), Higher Technical Examination Programme (HTX)
Higher Technical Examination Programme (HTX)
In Denmark, the Higher Technical Examination Programme is a 3-year vocationally oriented general upper secondary programme which builds on the 10th-11th form of the Folkeskole...

 (with focus on mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 and engineering), and Higher Commercial Examination Programme
Higher Commercial Examination Programme
The Higher Commercial Examination Programme is a business-oriented education in Denmark. The 3-year HHX programme requires a completed 9-year folkeskole and offers general subjects in addition to business administration, economics, and foreign language...

 (HHX) (with a focus on trade and business), as well as vocational education
Vocational secondary education in Denmark
Vocational secondary education in Denmark takes place at special state-funded vocational schools , most of which are either technical schools or business colleges...

, training young people for work in specific trades by a combination of teaching and apprenticeship
Apprenticeship
Apprenticeship is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a skill. Apprentices or protégés build their careers from apprenticeships...

.

Gymnasium (STX), HF, HTX and HHX aim at qualifying pupils for higher education in universities and colleges. Denmark also teaches the IB Diploma.

Denmark has several universities; the largest and oldest are the University of Copenhagen
University of Copenhagen
The University of Copenhagen is the oldest and largest university and research institution in Denmark. Founded in 1479, it has more than 37,000 students, the majority of whom are female , and more than 7,000 employees. The university has several campuses located in and around Copenhagen, with the...

 (founded 1479) and Aarhus University (founded 1928). There are thirteen Danish Nobel laureates.

Danish universities and other Danish higher education institutions also offer international students a range of opportunities for obtaining an internationally recognised qualification in Denmark. Many programmes are taught in English, including Bachelor´s, Master´s, PhD, exchange and summer school programmes

Folkehøjskolerne
Folk high school
Folk high schools are institutions for adult education that generally do not grant academic degrees, though certain courses might exist leading to that goal...

, ("Folk high schools") introduced by politician, clergyman and poet N.F.S. Grundtvig
Nikolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig
Nikolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig , most often referred to as simply N. F. S. Grundtvig, was a Danish pastor, author, poet, philosopher, historian, teacher, and politician. He was one of the most influential people in Danish history, as his philosophy gave rise to a new form of nationalism in...

 in the 19th century, are social, informal education structures without tests or grades but with an emphasis on communal learning, self-discovery, enlightenment and learning how to develop your own opinions through open debate. Grundtvig helped to develop an understanding of the relationship between individual and society, and he has had a significant influence on the didactic ideas underlying Danish education.

Culture


Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author, fairy tale writer, and poet noted for his children's stories. These include "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," "The Snow Queen," "The Little Mermaid," "Thumbelina," "The Little Match Girl," and "The Ugly Duckling."...

 is known beyond Denmark for his fairy tale
Fairy tale
A fairy tale is a type of short story that typically features such folkloric characters, such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments. However, only a small number of the stories refer to fairies...

s, such as The Emperor's New Clothes
The Emperor's New Clothes
"The Emperor's New Clothes" is a short tale by Hans Christian Andersen about two weavers who promise an Emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent...

, The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid
"The Little Mermaid" is a popular fairy tale by the Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen about a young mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince...

 and The Ugly Duckling
The Ugly Duckling
"The Ugly Duckling" is a literary fairy tale by Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen . The story tells of a homely little bird born in a barnyard who suffers abuse from his neighbors until, much to his delight , he matures into a beautiful swan, the most beautiful bird of all...

. Karen Blixen
Karen Blixen
Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke , , née Karen Christenze Dinesen, was a Danish author also known by her pen name Isak Dinesen. She also wrote under the pen names Osceola and Pierre Andrézel...

 (pen name: Isak Dinesen
Karen Blixen
Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke , , née Karen Christenze Dinesen, was a Danish author also known by her pen name Isak Dinesen. She also wrote under the pen names Osceola and Pierre Andrézel...

), Nobel laureate author Henrik Pontoppidan
Henrik Pontoppidan
Henrik Pontoppidan was a realist writer who shared with Karl Gjellerup the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1917 for "his authentic descriptions of present-day life in Denmark." Pontoppidan's novels and short stories — informed with a desire for social progress but despairing, later in his...

, Nobel laureate physicist Niels Bohr
Niels Bohr
Niels Henrik David Bohr was a Danish physicist who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. Bohr mentored and collaborated with many of the top physicists of the century at his institute in...

, comedy pianist Victor Borge
Victor Borge
Victor Borge ,born Børge Rosenbaum, was a Danish comedian, conductor and pianist, affectionately known as The Clown Prince of Denmark,The Unmelancholy Dane,and The Great Dane.-Early life and career:...

 and philosopher Søren Kierkegaard
Søren Kierkegaard
Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was a Danish Christian philosopher, theologian and religious author. He was a critic of idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time, such as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel...

 have also made a name for themselves outside Denmark.

Copenhagen is home to many famous sites and attractions, including Tivoli Gardens, Amalienborg Palace
Amalienborg Palace
Amalienborg Palace is the winter home of the Danish royal family, and is located in Copenhagen, Denmark. It consists of four identical classicizing palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard ; in the centre of the square is a monumental equestrian statue of Amalienborg's...

 (home of the Danish monarchy), Christiansborg Palace
Christiansborg Palace
Christiansborg Palace, , on the islet of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen, is the seat of the Folketing , the Danish Prime Minister's Office and the Danish Supreme Court...

, Copenhagen Cathedral
Church of Our Lady (Copenhagen)
The Church of Our Lady is the cathedral of Copenhagen and the National Cathedral of Denmark. It is situated on Vor Frue Plads and next to the main building of the University of Copenhagen....

, Rosenborg Castle
Rosenborg Castle
Rosenborg Castle is a renaissance castle located in the centre of Copenhagen, Denmark. The castle was originally built as a country summerhouse in 1606 and is an example of Christian IV's many architectural projects...

, Opera House, Frederik's Church
Frederik's Church
Frederick's Church , popularly known as The Marble Church is a church in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is located just north of Amalienborg Palace....

 (Marble Church), Thorvaldsens Museum
Thorvaldsens Museum
The Thorvaldsen Museum is a single-artist museum in Copenhagen, Denmark, dedicated to the art of Danish neoclassicistic sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen , who lived and worked in Rome for most of his life . The museum is located on the small island of Slotsholmen in central Copenhagen next to...

, Rundetårn
Rundetårn
The Rundetårn is a 17th-century tower located in central Copenhagen, Denmark. One of the many architectural projects of Christian IV, it was built as an astronomical observatory...

, Nyhavn
Nyhavn
Nyhavn is a 17th century waterfront, canal and entertainment district in Copenhagen, Denmark. Stretching from Kongens Nytorv to the harbour front just south of the Royal Playhouse, it is lined by brightly coloured 17th and early 18th century townhouses and bars, cafes and restaurants...

 and the Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid (statue)
The statue of The Little Mermaid sits on a rock in the harbour of the capital of Denmark. Based on a tale by Hans Christian Andersen, the small and unimposing statue is a Copenhagen icon and a major tourist attraction....

 sculpture. Copenhagen was ranked the most liveable city in the world in 2008 by Monocle magazine, (currently it is their third most liveable city).

The second largest city in Denmark is Aarhus
Aarhus
Aarhus or Århus is the second-largest city in Denmark. The principal port of Denmark, Aarhus is on the east side of the peninsula of Jutland in the geographical center of Denmark...

. Aarhus is an old Viking Age city and one of the oldest cities in the country. The largest cathedral in Denmark and the second largest cathedral in Northern Europe is Aarhus Cathedral.

Historically, Denmark, like its Scandinavian neighbours, has been one of the most socially progressive cultures in the world. For example, in 1969, Denmark was the first country to legalise pornography. And in 1989, Denmark enacted a registered partnership law, becoming the first country in the world to grant same-sex couples
Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage typically refer to such recognition as marriage equality....

 nearly all of the rights and responsibilities of marriage.

Architecture


Denmark's architecture became firmly established in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 when first Romanesque, then Gothic churches and cathedrals sprang up throughout the country. From the 16th century, Dutch and Flemish designers were brought to Denmark, initially to improve the country's fortifications, but increasingly to build magnificent royal castles and palaces in the Renaissance
Renaissance architecture
Renaissance architecture is the architecture of the period between the early 15th and early 17th centuries in different regions of Europe, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Stylistically, Renaissance...

 style.
During the 17th century, many impressive buildings were built in the Baroque
Baroque architecture
Baroque architecture is a term used to describe the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late sixteenth century Italy, that took the Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical and theatrical fashion, often to express the triumph of the Catholic Church and...

 style, both in the capital and the provinces. Neoclassicism
Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing...

 from France was slowly adopted by native Danish architects who increasingly participated in defining architectural style. A productive period of Historicism
Historicism (art)
Historicism refers to artistic styles that draw their inspiration from copying historic styles or artisans. After neo-classicism, which could itself be considered a historicist movement, the 19th century saw a new historicist phase marked by a return to a more ancient classicism, in particular in...

 ultimately merged into the 19th century National Romantic style
National Romantic Style
The National Romantic style was a Nordic architectural style that was part of the national romantic movement during the late 19th and early 20th century. Designers turned to early Medieval and even prehistoric precedents to construct a style appropriate to the perceived character of a people...

.

It was not, however, until the 1960s that Danish architects such as Arne Jacobsen
Arne Jacobsen
Arne Emil Jacobsen, usually known as Arne Jacobsen, was a Danish architect and designer. He is remembered for contributing so much to architectural Functionalism as well as for the worldwide success he enjoyed with simple but effective chair designs.-Early life and education:Arne Jacobsen was born...

 entered the world scene with their highly successful Functionalism. This, in turn, has evolved into more recent world-class masterpieces including Jørn Utzon
Jørn Utzon
Jørn Oberg Utzon, , AC was a Danish architect, most notable for designing the Sydney Opera House in Australia. When it was declared a World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007, Utzon became only the second person to have received such recognition for one of his works during his lifetime...

's Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in the Australian city of Sydney. It was conceived and largely built by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, finally opening in 1973 after a long gestation starting with his competition-winning design in 1957...

 and Johann Otto von Spreckelsen
Johann Otto von Spreckelsen
Johann Otto von Spreckelsen was a Danish architect.He was born in Viborg and studied at the Viborg Katedralskole and Royal Academy of Arts in Copenhagen, and later served as director up to his death....

's Grande Arche de la Défense
Grande Arche
La Grande Arche de la Défense is a monument and building in the business district of La Défense and in the commune of Puteaux, to the west of Paris, France...

 in Paris, paving the way for a number of contemporary Danish designers such as Bjarke Ingels
Bjarke Ingels
Bjarke Ingels is a Danish architect. He heads the architectural practice Bjarke Ingels Group which he founded in 2006. In 2009 he co-founded the design consultancy KiBiSi...

 to be rewarded for excellence both at home and abroad.

Art



While Danish art was influenced over the centuries by trends in Germany and the Netherlands, the 15th and 16th century church frescos
Church frescos in Denmark
Church frescos or church wall paintings are to be found in some 600 churches across Denmark, no doubt representing the highest concentration of surviving church murals anywhere in the world. Most of them date back to the Middle Ages...

 which can be seen in many of the country's older churches are of particular interest as they were painted in a style typical of native Danish painters.

The Danish Golden Age, which began in the first half of the 19th century, was inspired by a new feeling of nationalism and romanticism. Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg
Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg
Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg was a Danish painter. He was born in Blåkrog in the Duchy of Schleswig , to Henrik Vilhelm Eckersberg, painter and carpenter, and Ingeborg Nielsdatter...

 was not only a productive artist in his own right but taught at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts where his students included notable painters such as Wilhelm Bendz
Wilhelm Bendz
Wilhelm Ferdinand Bendz Danish painter mainly known for genre works and portrait which often portray his artist colleagues and their daily lives...

, Christen Købke
Christen Købke
Christen Schiellerup Købke , Danish painter, was born in Copenhagen to Peter Berendt Købke, a baker, and his wife Cecilie Margrete. He was one of 11 children...

, Martinus Rørbye
Martinus Rørbye
Martinus Christian Wesseltoft Rørbye was a Danish painter, known both for genre works and landscapes. He was a central figure of the Golden Age of Danish painting during the first half of the 19th century....

, Constantin Hansen
Constantin Hansen
Carl Christian Constantin Hansen was one of the painters associated with the Golden Age of Danish Painting. He was deeply interested in literature and mythology, and inspired by art historian Niels Lauritz Høyen, he tried to recreate a national historical painting based on Norse mythology...

, and Wilhelm Marstrand
Wilhelm Marstrand
Nicolai Wilhelm Nikolaj Marstrand , painter and illustrator, was born in Copenhagen, Denmark to Nicolai Jacob Marstrand, instrument maker and inventor, and Petra Othilia Smith...

. The sculpture of Bertel Thorvaldsen
Bertel Thorvaldsen
Bertel Thorvaldsen was a Danish-Icelandic sculptor of international fame, who spent most of his life in Italy . Thorvaldsen was born in Copenhagen into a Danish/Icelandic family of humble means, and was accepted to the Royal Academy of Arts when he was eleven years old...

 was also significant during this period.

In 1871, Holger Drachmann
Holger Drachmann
Holger Henrik Herholdt Drachmann , was a Danish poet and dramatist. He is an outstanding figure of the Modern Break-Through....

 and Karl Madsen
Karl Madsen
Carl Johan Wilhelm Madsen, commonly known as Karl Madsen, was a Danish painter and art historian who after close connections with the Skagen Painters joined the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts where he was museum director from 1911–1925....

 visited Skagen
Skagen
Skagen is a projection of land and a town, with a population of 8,515 , in Region Nordjylland on the northernmost tip of Vendsyssel-Thy, a part of the Jutland peninsula in northern Denmark...

 in the far north of Jutland
Jutland
Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...

 where they quickly built up one of Scandinavia's most successful artists' colonies
Skagen Painters
The Skagen Painters were a group of Scandinavian artists who gathered in the area of Skagen, the northernmost part of Denmark, from the late 1870s until the turn of the century...

 specializing in Naturalism and Realism
Realism (arts)
Realism in the visual arts and literature refers to the general attempt to depict subjects "in accordance with secular, empirical rules", as they are considered to exist in third person objective reality, without embellishment or interpretation...

 rather than in the traditional approach favoured by the Academy. Hosted by Michael and his wife Anna
Anna Ancher
Anna Ancher was a Danish artist associated with the Skagen Painters, an artists' colony in the very north of Jutland.-Background:...

, they were soon joined by P.S. Krøyer, Carl Locher
Carl Locher
Carl Locher was a Danish realist painter who from an early age became a member of the Skagen group of painters.-Biography:...

 and Laurits Tuxen
Laurits Tuxen
Laurits Tuxen was a Danish painter and sculptor, sculptor, specialising in figure painting. He was also associated with the Skagen Painters...

. All participated in painting the natural surroundings and local people. Similar trends developed on Funen with the Fynboerne who included Johannes Larsen
Johannes Larsen
Johannes Larsen was a Danish nature painter.-Biography:Born in Kerteminde on Funen, Larsen studied art at the Free School in Copenhagen under Kristian Zahrtmann in the 1880s. There he met other painters from Funen, notably Fritz Syberg and Peter Hansen, both from the southern port of Faaborg, and...

, Fritz Syberg
Fritz Syberg
Christian Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Syberg, generally known as Fritz Syberg, was a Danish painter and illustrator, one of the reactionary Fynboerne or "Funen Painters" group living and working on the island of Funen.-Biography:Syberg, from a poor background in Fåborg, first served a house...

 and Peter Hansen
Peter Hansen (painter)
Peter Marius Hansen was a Danish painter who became one of the Fynboerne or "Funen Painters" group living and working on the island of Funen.-Biography:...

, and on the island of Bornholm with the Bornholm school of painters
Bornholm school of painters
The Bornholm school of painters started to take shape towards the beginning of the 20th century on the Danish island of Bornholm when a number of artists developed a distinctive style of classic modernism, inspired by the island's unique landscapes and light...

 icluduing Niels Lergaard
Niels Lergaard
Niels Lergaard was a Danish painter. After training as a house painter, he spent a few years in Norway, where he became interested in Norwegian landscape painting...

, Kræsten Iversen
Kræsten Iversen
Kristen "Kræsten" Iversen was a Danish artist who is remembered both for his paintings and his painted glass windows.While studying at Copenhagen's Technical Academy, he quickly developed contacts with the artists of the day. By 1919, his colourful work was already being successfully exhibited...

 and Oluf Høst
Oluf Høst
Oluf Høst was the only member of the Bornholm school of painters who was a real Bornholmer. Although he had studied in Copenhagen, he returned to the Danish island of Bornholm in 1929 where he remained with his family until he died. Bognemark, the little farmhouse near Gudhjem was one of Høst's...

.

Collections of modern art enjoy unusually attractive settings at the Louisiana Museum
Louisiana Museum
Louisiana Museum can refer to:*Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark*Louisiana State Museum in the United States...

 north of Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

 and at the North Jutland Art Museum in Aalborg
Aalborg
-Transport:On the north side of the Limfjord is Nørresundby, which is connected to Aalborg by a road bridge Limfjordsbroen, an iron railway bridge Jernbanebroen over Limfjorden, as well as a motorway tunnel running under the Limfjord Limfjordstunnelen....

. Notable artists include the Neo-Expressionist
Neo-expressionism
Neo-expressionism is a style of modern painting and sculpture that emerged in the late 1970s and dominated the art market until the mid-1980s...

 Per Kirkeby
Per Kirkeby
Per Kirkeby is a Danish painter, poet, filmmaker and sculptor.-Biography:1962 Studies at the Experimental Art School in Copenhagen; works in the School on painting, graphic arts, 8 millimeter films and performance pieces...

, Tal R
Tal R
Tal R is an artist based in Copenhagen.Tal R studied at Billedskolen, Copenhagen, 1986–1988 and at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, 1994–2000....

 with his wild and colourful paintings, Olafur Eliasson
Olafur Eliasson
Olafur Eliasson is a Danish-Icelandic artist known for sculptures and large-scale installation art employing elemental materials such as light, water, and air temperature to enhance the viewer’s experience. In 1995 he established Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin, a laboratory for spatial research...

's space exhibitions and Jeppe Hein
Jeppe Hein
Jeppe Hein is an artist based in Berlin and Copenhagen. Hein is widely known for his production of experiential and interactive artworks that can be positioned at the junction where art, architecture, and technical inventions intersect...

's installations.

Cinema


The three big internationally important waves of Danish cinema
Cinema of Denmark
Denmark has been producing films since 1897 and since the 1980s has maintained a steady stream of product due largely to funding by the state-supported Danish Film Institute. Historically, Danish films have been noted for their realism, religious and moral themes, sexual frankness and technical...

 have been the erotic melodrama
Melodrama
The term melodrama refers to a dramatic work that exaggerates plot and characters in order to appeal to the emotions. It may also refer to the genre which includes such works, or to language, behavior, or events which resemble them...

 of the silent era
Silent film
A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially with no spoken dialogue. In silent films for entertainment the dialogue is transmitted through muted gestures, pantomime and title cards...

, the increasingly explicit sex films of the 1960s and 1970s, and lastly, the Dogme95-movement of the late 1990s.


Danish filmmakers of note include:
  • Carl Th. Dreyer
    Carl Theodor Dreyer
    Carl Theodor Dreyer, Jr. was a Danish film director. He is regarded by many critics and filmmakers as one of the greatest directors in cinema.-Life:Dreyer was born illegitimate in Copenhagen, Denmark...

     (1889–1968), one of the most acclaimed directors in the history of cinema.
  • Erik Balling, Oscar-nominated creator of Olsen-banden
    Olsen Gang
    The Olsen Gang is a fictional Danish criminal gang in the movies of the same name. The gang's leader is the criminal genius and habitual offender Egon Olsen. The other members of the gang are Benny and Kjeld . The gang members are harmless and never use violence...

     (1968).
  • Gabriel Axel
    Gabriel Axel
    Gabriel Axel is an Oscar winning Danish film director, actor, writer and producer, best known for the Oscar-winning Babette's Feast , which he wrote and directed....

    , Oscar-winner for Babette's Feast
    Babette's Feast
    Babette's Feast is a 1987 Danish film directed by Gabriel Axel. The film's screenplay was written by Axel based on the story by Isak Dinesen , who also wrote the story which inspired the 1985 Academy Award winning film Out of Africa...

     (1987).
  • Bille August
    Bille August
    Bille August is a Danish Academy Award winning film and television director. His film Pelle the Conqueror from 1987 won the Palme D'or, Academy Award and Golden Globe. He is one of the very few directors to win the Palme D'or twice, winning the prestigious award again in 1991 for The Best...

    , Oscar-, Palme d'Or
    Palme d'Or
    The Palme d'Or is the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival and is presented to the director of the best feature film of the official competition. It was introduced in 1955 by the organising committee. From 1939 to 1954, the highest prize was the Grand Prix du Festival International du...

    - and Golden Globe
    Golden Globe Award
    The Golden Globe Award is an accolade bestowed by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign...

    -winner for Pelle the Conqueror
    Pelle the Conqueror
    Pelle the Conqueror is a 1987 Danish film by Bille August that tells the story of two Swedish immigrants to Denmark, a father and son, who try to build a new life for themselves...

     (1987).
  • Lars von Trier
    Lars von Trier
    Lars von Trier is a Danish film director and screenwriter. He is closely associated with the Dogme 95 collective, although his own films have taken a variety of different approaches, and have frequently received strongly divided critical opinion....

    , European Film Award-winning director of Dancer in the Dark
    Dancer in the Dark
    Dancer in the Dark is a 2000 Danish musical drama film directed by Lars von Trier and starring Icelandic singer Björk, Catherine Deneuve, David Morse, Cara Seymour, Peter Stormare, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, and Joel Grey...

     (2000), co-creator of Dogme95
    Dogme 95
    Dogme 95 was an avant-garde filmmaking movement started in 1995 by the Danish directors Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg, who created the "Dogme 95 Manifesto" and the "Vow of Chastity". These were rules to create filmmaking based on the traditional values of story, acting, and theme, and...

     and of Zentropa
    Zentropa
    Europa is a film directed by Lars von Trier. Released in 1991, it is von Trier's third theatrical feature film and is the final film in the Europa trilogy....

    .
  • Susanne Bier
    Susanne Bier
    Susanne Bier is a Danish film director best known for her feature films Brothers, After the Wedding and the Academy-Award-winning In a Better World.-Life and work:Susanne Bier was born to Jewish parents in Copenhagen, Denmark...

     won a Golden Globe
    Golden Globe Award
    The Golden Globe Award is an accolade bestowed by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign...

     and an Oscar for her movie In a Better World
    In a Better World
    In a Better World is a 2010 Danish-Swedish drama thriller film written by Anders Thomas Jensen and directed by Susanne Bier. The film stars Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, and Ulrich Thomsen in a story which takes place in small-town Denmark and a refugee camp in Africa.A Danish majority...

    .

A locally popular film genre is the charmingly good-natured "folkekomedie" (folk comedy), which originated in the 1930s and gained widespread dominance from the 1950s until the 1970s, usually scorned by critics and loved by the audience. Notable folkekomedie-films include Barken Margrethe (1934), De røde heste (1950), Far til fire
Father of Four
Far til Fire, , is a 1953 Danish family comedy directed by Alice O'Fredericks and starring Ib Schønberg and Birgitte Bruun. The film is based on the comic strip by Kaj Engholm and Olaf Hast...

 (1953) and Olsen-banden
Olsen Gang
The Olsen Gang is a fictional Danish criminal gang in the movies of the same name. The gang's leader is the criminal genius and habitual offender Egon Olsen. The other members of the gang are Benny and Kjeld . The gang members are harmless and never use violence...

 (1968).

Since the 1980s, Danish filmmaking has been important to changing governments. The National Film School of Denmark
National Film School of Denmark
TheNational Film School of Denmark is an independent institution under the Danish Ministry of Cultural Affairs. It was established in 1966 and is based on Holmen in the harbour of Copenhagen.-History:...

 has educated a generation of new award-winning directors. The funds for film project has been administrated by the Danish Film Institute
Danish Film Institute
The Danish Film Institute is the national Danish agency responsible for supporting and encouraging film and cinema culture, and for conserving these in the national interest....

, but their focus on movies that would achieve high tickets sales locally has been criticised for being both too populist and too narrow-minded, by directors wishing to be artistic or international.

In recent years, Danish cinema has suffered a crisis of limited innovation resulting in very few box office hits, yet Danish films continue to receive many awards at major international film festivals.

Design



Danish applied art and industrial design have won many international awards. Georg Jensen
Georg Jensen
Georg Arthur Jensen was a Danish silversmith.Born in 1866, Jensen was the son of a knife grinder in the town of Raadvad just to the north of Copenhagen. Jensen began his training in goldsmithing at the age of 14 in Copenhagen...

 (1866–1935) is noted for his modern design in silver. The Danish Porcelain Factory ("Royal Copenhagen
Royal Copenhagen
Royal Copenhagen, officially the Royal Porcelain Factory is a manufacturer of porcelain products and was founded in Copenhagen 1 May 1775 under the protection of Queen Juliane Marie...

") is famous for the quality of its ceramics and export products worldwide. Danish design
Danish design
Danish Design is a term often used to describe a style of functionalistic design and architecture that was developed in mid-20th century. Influenced by the German Bauhaus school, many Danish designers used the new industrial technologies, combined with ideas of simplicity and functionalism to...

 is also a well-known brand, often associated with world-famous designers and architects such as Børge Mogensen, Poul Kjærholm, Hans Wegner
Hans Wegner
Hans Jørgen Wegner, , was a successful Danish furniture designer who contributed to the international popularity of mid-century Danish design. His work belongs to a modernist school with emphasis on functionality. He is probably best known for his chairs.-Early years:Born to cobbler Peter M...

, Poul Henningsen
Poul Henningsen
Poul Henningsen , Danish author, architect and critic, was one of the leading figures of the cultural life of Denmark between the World Wars. In Denmark, he is often referred to as PH.-Early life and education:...

 and Arne Jacobsen
Arne Jacobsen
Arne Emil Jacobsen, usually known as Arne Jacobsen, was a Danish architect and designer. He is remembered for contributing so much to architectural Functionalism as well as for the worldwide success he enjoyed with simple but effective chair designs.-Early life and education:Arne Jacobsen was born...

.

The Danish Museum of Art & Design in Copenhagen exhibits the best in Danish design.

Literature


The first known Danish literature
Danish literature
Danish literature, a subset of Scandinavian literature, stretches back to the Middle Ages. Of special note across the centuries are the historian Saxo Grammaticus, the playwright Ludvig Holberg, the storyteller Hans Christian Andersen, the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, and Karen Blixen who...

 is myths and folk stories from the 10th and 11th century. Saxo Grammaticus
Saxo Grammaticus
Saxo Grammaticus also known as Saxo cognomine Longus was a Danish historian, thought to have been a secular clerk or secretary to Absalon, Archbishop of Lund, foremost advisor to Valdemar I of Denmark. He is the author of the first full history of Denmark.- Life :The Jutland Chronicle gives...

, normally considered the first Danish writer, worked for bishop Absalon
Absalon
Absalon was a Danish archbishop and statesman, who was the Bishop of Roskilde from 1158 to 1192 and Archbishop of Lund from 1178 until his death. He was the foremost politician and churchfather of Denmark in the second half of the 12th century, and was the closest advisor of King Valdemar I of...

 on a chronicle of Danish history
History of Denmark
The history of Denmark dates back about 12,000 years, to the end of the last ice age, with the earliest evidence of human inhabitation. The Danes were first documented in written sources around 500 AD, including in the writings of Jordanes and Procopius. With the Christianization of the Danes c...

 (Gesta Danorum
Gesta Danorum
Gesta Danorum is a patriotic work of Danish history, by the 12th century author Saxo Grammaticus . It is the most ambitious literary undertaking of medieval Denmark and is an essential source for the nation's early history...

). Very little is known of other Danish literature from the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. With the Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 came Ludvig Holberg
Ludvig Holberg
Ludvig Holberg, Baron of Holberg was a writer, essayist, philosopher, historian and playwright born in Bergen, Norway, during the time of the Dano-Norwegian double monarchy, who spent most of his adult life in Denmark. He was influenced by Humanism, the Enlightenment and the Baroque...

 whose comedy plays are still being performed.

Romanticism
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

 influenced world famous writer Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author, fairy tale writer, and poet noted for his children's stories. These include "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," "The Snow Queen," "The Little Mermaid," "Thumbelina," "The Little Match Girl," and "The Ugly Duckling."...

 known for his stories and fairy tale
Fairy tale
A fairy tale is a type of short story that typically features such folkloric characters, such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments. However, only a small number of the stories refer to fairies...

s, e.g. The Ugly Duckling, and contemporary philosopher Søren Kierkegaard
Søren Kierkegaard
Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was a Danish Christian philosopher, theologian and religious author. He was a critic of idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time, such as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel...

 greatly influenced existentialism
Existentialism
Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

. In the late 19th century, literature was seen as a way to influence society. Known as the Modern Breakthrough
Modern Breakthrough
The Modern Breakthrough is the normal name of the strong movement of naturalism and debating literature of Scandinavia near the end of the 19th century which replaced romanticism....

, this movement was championed by Georg Brandes
Georg Brandes
Georg Morris Cohen Brandes was a Danish critic and scholar who had great influence on Scandinavian and European literature from the 1870s through the turn of the 20th century. He is seen as the theorist behind the "Modern Breakthrough" of Scandinavian culture...

, Henrik Pontoppidan
Henrik Pontoppidan
Henrik Pontoppidan was a realist writer who shared with Karl Gjellerup the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1917 for "his authentic descriptions of present-day life in Denmark." Pontoppidan's novels and short stories — informed with a desire for social progress but despairing, later in his...

 (awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

) and J. P. Jacobsen
Jens Peter Jacobsen
Jens Peter Jacobsen was a Danish novelist, poet, and scientist, in Denmark often just written as "J. P. Jacobsen" and pronounced "I. P. Jacobsen"...

. In recent history Johannes Vilhelm Jensen
Johannes Vilhelm Jensen
*Not to be confused with German author Wilhelm Jensen .Johannes Vilhelm Jensen, in Denmark always called Johannes V. Jensen, was a Danish author, often considered the first great Danish writer of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1944...

 was also awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Karen Blixen
Karen Blixen
Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke , , née Karen Christenze Dinesen, was a Danish author also known by her pen name Isak Dinesen. She also wrote under the pen names Osceola and Pierre Andrézel...

 is famous for her novels and short stories
Short story
A short story is a work of fiction that is usually written in prose, often in narrative format. This format tends to be more pointed than longer works of fiction, such as novellas and novels. Short story definitions based on length differ somewhat, even among professional writers, in part because...

. Other Danish writers of importance are Grundtvig
Nikolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig
Nikolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig , most often referred to as simply N. F. S. Grundtvig, was a Danish pastor, author, poet, philosopher, historian, teacher, and politician. He was one of the most influential people in Danish history, as his philosophy gave rise to a new form of nationalism in...

, Gustav Wied
Gustav Wied
Gustav Johannes Wied was a Danish writer.The fifth of the eleven children of Carl August Wied and Catha Wied, Wied was born in Branderslev near Nakskov....

, William Heinesen
William Heinesen
Andreas William Heinesen was a poet, composer and painter from the Faroe Islands.- His Writing :The Faroese capital Tórshavn is always the centre of Heinesen's writing. He is famous for having once called Tórshavn "The Navel of the World". His writing focuses on contrasts between darkness and...

, Martin Andersen Nexø
Martin Andersen Nexø
Martin Andersen Nexø was a Danish writer. He was the first significant Danish author to depict the working class in his writings, and the first great Danish socialist, later communist, writer.-Biography:...

, Hans Scherfig
Hans Scherfig
Hans Scherfig was a renowned Danish author and artist.His most famous works of literature include Stolen Spring, Frydenholm, Idealists, and The Scorpion, the last of which was published in over 20 countries...

, Tom Kristensen
Tom Kristensen (poet)
Tom Kristensen , was a Danish poet and novelist.-Life and work:Kristensen was born in London to Danish parents, but grew up in Copenhagen and was educated at the University of Copenhagen. Kristensen is considered one of the most colourful and artistic poets of his generation...

, Klaus Rifbjerg
Klaus Rifbjerg
Klaus Rifbjerg is a Danish writer. He has written more than 170 novels, books and essays.- Biography :Rifbjerg was born in Copenhagen and grew up on the island of Amager, a part of the city, the child of two teachers...

, Dan Turéll
Dan Turèll
Dan Turèll , affectionately nicknamed "Onkel Danny" , was a popular Danish writer with notable influence on Danish literature.-Overview:...

, Tove Ditlevsen
Tove Ditlevsen
Tove Ditlevsen was a female Danish poet and author.She was born in Copenhagen and grew up in the working-class neighbourhood of Vesterbro. Her childhood experiences were the focal points of her work. Ditlevsen was married four times.She published 29 books including short stories, poetry and...

, Inger Christensen
Inger Christensen
Inger Christensen was a Danish poet, novelist, essayist and editor considered the foremost Danish poetic experimentalist of her generation.-Life and work:...

 and Peter Høeg
Peter Høeg
Peter Høeg is a Danish writer of fiction. He received a Master of Arts in Literature from the University of Copenhagen in 1984.-Early life:Høeg was born in Copenhagen, Denmark...

.

Media


Danish media is dominated by a few large corporations. In printed media JP/Politikens Hus
JP/Politikens Hus
JP/Politikens Hus A/S is a Danish media company. It was established on January 1, 2003 as a merger of the publishing companies of the major broadsheet newspapers Jyllands-Posten and Politiken as well as Politikens tabloid Ekstra Bladet...

 and Berlingske Media, between them, control the largest news papers Politiken
Politiken
Politiken is a Danish daily broadsheet newspaper, published by JP/Politikens Hus.The newspaper comes third among Danish newspapers in terms of both number of readers and circulated copies ....

, Berlingske Tidende
Berlingske Tidende
Berlingske, previously known as Berlingske Tidende , is a Danish national daily newspaper based in Copenhagen...

 and Jyllands Posten and major tabloids BT and Ekstrabladet. In television publicly owned stations Danmarks Radio (DR) and TV2
TV 2 (Denmark)
TV 2 is a publicly owned television station in Denmark based in Odense. The station began broadcasting on 1 October 1988, thereby ending the television monopoly previously exercised by the Danmarks Radio ....

 have large shares of the viewers. In radio DR has a near monopoly, currently broadcasting on all 4 nationally available FM
FM broadcasting
FM broadcasting is a broadcasting technology pioneered by Edwin Howard Armstrong which uses frequency modulation to provide high-fidelity sound over broadcast radio. The term "FM band" describes the "frequency band in which FM is used for broadcasting"...

 channels, competing only with local stations. The share of Danish people that go online for news and entertainment is growing, however the newspapers and TV stations are still dominant.

Music


Denmark has long been a center of cultural innovation. Copenhagen and its multiple outlying islands have a wide range of folk traditions. The Royal Danish Orchestra
Royal Danish Orchestra
The Royal Danish Orchestra is a Danish orchestra based in Copenhagen. The Danish name for the orchestra indicates its original function as an ensemble geared to supplying the music for court events...

 is among the world's oldest orchestras. Carl Nielsen
Carl Nielsen
Carl August Nielsen , , widely recognised as Denmark's greatest composer, was also a conductor and a violinist. Brought up by poor but musically talented parents on the island of Funen, he demonstrated his musical abilities at an early age...

, with his six imposing symphonies, was the first Danish composer to gain international recognition, while an extensive recording industry has produced pop stars and a host of performers from a multitude of genres. Internationally only a few artists have gained significant success. Lars Ulrich
Lars Ulrich
Lars Ulrich is a Danish drummer, and one of the founding members of the American thrash metal band Metallica. He was born in Gentofte, Denmark to an upper-middle class family. A tennis player in his youth, Ulrich moved to Los Angeles, California at age sixteen to pursue his training; though rather...

 from Metallica
Metallica
Metallica is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1981 when James Hetfield responded to an advertisement that drummer Lars Ulrich had posted in a local newspaper. The current line-up features long-time lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo ...

 is from Denmark, along with Raveonettes, D-A-D
D-A-D
D-A-D is a Danish rock band previously known as "Disneyland After Dark", a name that had to be changed after a threatening lawsuit from The Walt Disney Company. Their style of music is often categorized as melodic heavy rock...

, Volbeat
Volbeat (band)
Volbeat is a Danish rock band formed in Copenhagen. They play a fusion of rock and roll, heavy metal, punk and rockabilly. They are inspired by classic rock and roll artists such as Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, as well as more contemporary hard rock, punk rock and metal bands, such as AC/DC,...

, Mercyful Fate
Mercyful Fate
Mercyful Fate was a Danish heavy metal band from Copenhagen. Initially active from 1981 to 1985, they reunited in 1992. The band went on hiatus again in 2000, when frontman King Diamond decided to continue his solo career...

, Medina
Medina (singer)
Medina Danielle Oona Valbak , known by the mononym Medina is a Danish pop, dance and R&B singer and songwriter....

, Junior Senior
Junior Senior
Junior Senior was a pop musical duo from Denmark. The duo consisted of Jesper "Junior" Mortensen and Jeppe "Senior" Laursen ....

, King Diamond
King Diamond
Kim Bendix Petersen , better known by his stage name King Diamond, is a Grammy Award nominated Danish heavy metal musician. As a vocalist, he is known for his extensive vocal range, in particular his usage of falsetto. He is the lead vocalist for both Mercyful Fate and the eponymous King Diamond...

, Goodiepal
Goodiepal
Goodiepal or Gæoudjiparl van den Dobbelsteen, whose real name is Parl Kristian Bjørn Vester, is a controversial Danish/Faroese musician/composer wanted by the Danish police authorities for an unsolved theft from the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus...

, Whigfield
Whigfield
Sannie Charlotte Carlson , best known as Whigfield and also as Naan, is a Danish singer best known for the song "Saturday Night", a hugely popular single during the summer of 1994.-Biography:...

, Michael Learns to Rock
Michael Learns to Rock
Michael Learns to Rock are a Danish pop-soft rock band that performs songs in English. Formed in 1988, the band has sold over 11 million records worldwide, mainly in Asia, and in addition, another 6 million or more paid downloads for their single "Take Me To Your Heart" which was awarded "Most...

, Alphabeat
Alphabeat
Alphabeat are a Danish pop band from Silkeborg, fronted by singers Stine Bramsen and Anders SG and signed to Polydor Records. Their single "Fascination" was a major hit in Denmark during the summer of 2007 and a significant hit in the United Kingdom in 2008...

, Infernal
Infernal (band)
Infernal is dance/pop group from Denmark, consisting of members Lina Rafn and Paw Lagermann. They made their Danish debut in 1997 with the release of the track "Sorti de L'enfer", and have gone on to international chart success in recent years. Their most successful single to date has been "From...

, Oh Land
Oh Land
Nanna Øland Fabricius , better known by her stage name Oh Land, is a Danish singer-songwriter and record producer. She lives in Brooklyn, New York City.-Personal life:...

, the 1990s pop band Aqua
Aqua (band)
Aqua is a Danish dance-pop group, best known for their 1997 breakthrough single "Barbie Girl". The group formed in 1989 and achieved huge success across the globe in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The group managed to top the UK Singles Chart with their first three singles. The group released two...

 and the alternative rock bands Kashmir
Kashmir (band)
Kashmir is a Danish alternative rock band consisting of Kasper Eistrup ; Mads Tunebjerg ; Asger Techau and Henrik Lindstrand .-History:...

 and Mew
Mew (band)
Mew is a Danish alternative music band consisting of Jonas Bjerre, Bo Madsen, and Silas Utke Graae Jørgensen. Bassist Johan Wohlert was also a founding member of the band, but left in 2006...

. In recent years, the best selling Danish artist abroad has been Rune RK
Rune RK
Rune Reilly Kølsch , also known as Rune RK, Rune and Enur, is a record producer and DJ from Denmark. Together with his half-brother Johannes Torpe they make up the musical production team Artificial Funk.-Career:...

 with the number 1 iTunes
ITunes
iTunes is a media player computer program, used for playing, downloading, and organizing digital music and video files on desktop computers. It can also manage contents on iPod, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad....

 hit Calabria
Calabria (song)
"Calabria" is a house music single by Danish producer Rune. It was co-produced by Rune's half-brother Johannes Torpe and originally released in 2003 by Credence, a sublabel of Parlophone Records....


Photography


Pioneers such as Mads Alstrup
Mads Alstrup
Mads Alstrup was the first Danish portrait photographer with his own studio. For 16 years, he produced an enormous number of daguerreotypes, in Copenhagen and the provinces, before his business suffered from the financial crisis of 1857. He moved to Sweden in 1858 and continued to take portraits...

 and Georg Emil Hansen
Georg Emil Hansen
Georg Emil Hansen was one of Denmark's pioneering photographers in the second half of the 19th century. He had his own studio in Copenhagen and later became a successful court photographer.-Early life:...

 paved the way for a rapidly growing profession during the last half of the 19th century while both artistic and press photographers have since made internationally recognised contributions. Today Astrid Kruse Jensen
Astrid Kruse Jensen
Astrid Kruse Jensen is a Danish photographer who specializes in artistic night photography where she brings out the mysteriously unreal, working on the play between artificial light and darkness...

 and Jacob Aue Sobol
Jacob Aue Sobol
Jacob Aue Sobol is a Danish photographer. He has worked around the world, including in East Greenland, Guatemala, Tokyo, Bangkok and Copenhagen.Since 2007 Sobol has been a nominee at Magnum Photos...

 participate in key exhibitions around the world.

Cuisine



The cuisine
Cuisine
Cuisine is a characteristic style of cooking practices and traditions, often associated with a specific culture. Cuisines are often named after the geographic areas or regions that they originate from...

 of Denmark, like that in the other Nordic countries as well as that of Northern Germany
Northern Germany
- Geography :The key terrain features of North Germany are the marshes along the coastline of the North Sea and Baltic Sea, and the geest and heaths inland. Also prominent are the low hills of the Baltic Uplands, the ground moraines, end moraines, sandur, glacial valleys, bogs, and Luch...

, consists mainly of meat and fish. This stems from the country's agricultural past, as well as its geography and climate of long, cold winters.

Danish food includes a variety of open rugbrød
Rugbrød
Rugbrød is a very commonly used bread in Denmark. The common rugbrød usually resembles a long brown rectangle, no more than 12 cm high, and 30–35 cm wide, although shapes and sizes may vary, as well as the ingredients...

 (Rye-bread) sandwiches or smørrebrød
Smørrebrød
Smørrebrød usually consists of a piece of buttered rye bread , a dense, dark brown bread. Pålæg , the topping, then among others can refer to commercial or homemade cold cuts, pieces of meat or fish, cheese or spreads...

 traditionally served for the mid-day meal or frokost (lunch). An ordinary frokost consists just of 2 to 6 pieces of simple smørrebrød prepared during breakfast and packed in a lunch box
Lunch box
The lunch box, also referred to as a lunch pail or lunch kit, is used to store food to be taken to work or school. The concept of a food container has existed for a long time, but it wasn't until people began using tobacco tins to haul meals in the early 20th century, followed by the use of...

. A luxury frokost usually starts with fish such as pickled herring
Herring
Herring is an oily fish of the genus Clupea, found in the shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans, including the Baltic Sea. Three species of Clupea are recognized. The main taxa, the Atlantic herring and the Pacific herring may each be divided into subspecies...

, smoked eel
Eel
Eels are an order of fish, which consists of four suborders, 20 families, 111 genera and approximately 800 species. Most eels are predators...

 or hot fried plaice. Then come meat sandwiches such as cold roast beef with remoulade
Remoulade
Remoulade or rémoulade, invented in France, is a popular condiment in many countries. Very much like the tartar sauce of some English-speaking cultures, remoulade is often aioli- or mayonnaise-based. Although similar to tartar sauce, it is often more yellowish , often flavored with curry, and...

 and fried onions, roast pork and crackling
Pork rind
Pork rind , is the fried or roasted skin of a pig. Frying melts most of the fat from the pork rind...

 with red cabbage
Red Cabbage
The red cabbage is a sort of cabbage, also known as Red Kraut or Blue Kraut after preparation....

, hot veal medallions
Filet mignon
Filet mignon is a steak cut of beef taken from the smaller end of the tenderloin, or psoas major of the beef carcass, usually a steer or heifer...

, Danish meat balls (frikadeller
Frikadeller
Frikadeller are flat, pan-fried dumplings of minced meat, often likened to the Danish version of meatballs. They are a popular dish in Germany, where they are known as Frikadellen, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Norway, Poland , Russia, Ukraine and the Netherlands...

) or liver paté
Leverpostej
Leverpostej , leverpostei , leverpastej , , maksapasteija or leverpastei is a "pâté" made of pork liver and lard, which is a popular spread in northern Europe...

 with bacon and mushrooms.

Some typically Danish items are Sol over Gudhjem
Sol over Gudhjem
Sol over Gudhjem, literally 'sun over Gudhjem', is a Danish dish, an open sandwich with rugbrød, smoked herring, chives and a raw egg yolk on top. The island of Bornholm, where Gudhjem is situated, is known for its smoking houses ....

, literally "sun over God's home" (Gudhjem
Gudhjem
Gudhjem is a small town and fishing port on the northern coast of the Baltic island of Bornholm, Denmark. Its population is 724 ....

 is a town on Bornholm where a lot of herring is landed and smoked), consisting of smoked herring, chives and with raw egg yolk
Egg yolk
An egg yolk is a part of an egg which feeds the developing embryo. The egg yolk is suspended in the egg white by one or two spiral bands of tissue called the chalazae...

 (the "sun") on top; or Dyrlægens natmad, 'vet's late-night bite', with liver paté
Leverpostej
Leverpostej , leverpostei , leverpastej , , maksapasteija or leverpastei is a "pâté" made of pork liver and lard, which is a popular spread in northern Europe...

, saltmeat (corned veal), sliced onions and jellied consommé
Consommé
In cooking, a consommé is a type of clear soup made from richly flavored stock or bouillon that has been clarified usually through a fining process involving egg protein. It usually requires an advanced knowledge of cooking and past experience to create a high quality consommé...

. Finally cheese is served with crackers, radishes, or grapes. Lager
Lager
Lager is a type of beer made from malted barley that is brewed and stored at low temperatures. There are many types of lager; pale lager is the most widely-consumed and commercially available style of beer in the world; Pilsner, Bock, Dortmunder Export and Märzen are all styles of lager...

 beer accompanied by small glasses of snaps or aquavit
Akvavit
Akvavit or aquavit is a traditional flavoured spirit that is principally produced in Scandinavia, where it has been produced since the 15th century....

 are the preferred drinks for a Danish frokost. An other Danish meal is Danish Pastry. It is not made other places than Denmark. In Danish it is called 'Wienerbrød'.

The large hot meal of the day is called middag and is usually served in the evening. It normally consists of meat (pork, beef, lamb or fish) with gravy and a source of starch (non-sugar carbohydrates) such as boiled potatoes, rice or pasta, sometimes supplemented by salad and/or cabbage. This may be followed by a dessert such as ice cream
Ice cream
Ice cream is a frozen dessert usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavours. Most varieties contain sugar, although some are made with other sweeteners...

, mousse
Mousse
Mousse is derived from the French word mousse which means "lather" or "foam". A mousse is a prepared food that incorporates air bubbles to give it a light and airy texture...

 or rødgrød
Rødgrød
Rødgrød , Rote Grütze , or Rode Grütt is a dish from Denmark and Germany.Grød or Grütze was traditionally made of groat or grit, as revealed by the second component of the name in Danish, German or Plattdeutsch...

. The meal may be preceded by soup or hot porridge.

Popular meat dishes include pork steak with crispy skin, frikadeller
Frikadeller
Frikadeller are flat, pan-fried dumplings of minced meat, often likened to the Danish version of meatballs. They are a popular dish in Germany, where they are known as Frikadellen, Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Norway, Poland , Russia, Ukraine and the Netherlands...

 (fried pork and veal meatballs), fried meat patties made from minced beef, beef tenderloin
Beef tenderloin
A beef tenderloin, known as an eye fillet in New Zealand and Australia, filet in France and Germany and fillet in the United Kingdom, is cut from the loin of beef. As with all quadrupeds, the tenderloin refers to the psoas major muscle ventral to the transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae,...

, "million-beef" (minced beef in gravy), karbonader/krebinetter (breaded and fried minced meat, typically pork), all kinds of roast
Roasting
Roasting is a cooking method that uses dry heat, whether an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting usually causes caramelization or Maillard browning of the surface of the food, which is considered by some as a flavor enhancement. Roasting uses more indirect, diffused heat , and is...

 etc. Popular combined meat and starch dishes include Spaghetti alla Bolognese
Bolognese sauce
Bolognese sauce is a meat-based sauce for pasta originating in Bologna, Italy. It is traditionally used to dress tagliatelle and is one of the two sauces used to prepare "lasagne alla Bolognese"...

, hash
Hash (food)
Hash is a dish consisting of meat, potatoes, and spices, that are mashed together into a smooth, creamy consistency, and then cooked either alone or with other ingredients such as onions....

 etc.

Fish is traditionally more widely eaten on the west coast of Jutland
Jutland
Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...

, where fishing is a major industry. Smoked fish
Smoked fish
Smoked fish are fish that have been cured by smoking.Foods have been smoked by humans throughout history. Originally this was done as a preservative...

 dishes (herring
Herring
Herring is an oily fish of the genus Clupea, found in the shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans, including the Baltic Sea. Three species of Clupea are recognized. The main taxa, the Atlantic herring and the Pacific herring may each be divided into subspecies...

, mackerel
Mackerel
Mackerel is a common name applied to a number of different species of fish, mostly, but not exclusively, from the family Scombridae. They may be found in all tropical and temperate seas. Most live offshore in the oceanic environment but a few, like the Spanish mackerel , enter bays and can be...

, eel
Eel
Eels are an order of fish, which consists of four suborders, 20 families, 111 genera and approximately 800 species. Most eels are predators...

) from local smoking houses or røgerier, especially on the island of Bornholm
Bornholm
Bornholm is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea located to the east of the rest of Denmark, the south of Sweden, and the north of Poland. The main industries on the island include fishing, arts and crafts like glass making and pottery using locally worked clay, and dairy farming. Tourism is...

, are increasingly popular.

In recent years, Copenhagen restaurants like Noma
Noma (restaurant)
Noma is a two Michelin star restaurant run by chef René Redzepi in Copenhagen, Denmark. The name is an acronym of the two Danish words "nordisk" and "mad" , and the restaurant is known for its reinvention and interpretation of the Nordic Cuisine...

, Geranium and MR has played an important role in re-inventing the Danish and Nordic cuisine, making Copenhagen a centre of gourmet dining with a Nordic twist.

Sports



The most popular sport in Denmark is football. Sailing and water sports are popular, as are golf, tennis, cycling and indoor sports such as badminton, handball
Team handball
Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

 and various forms of gymnastics. There is also a small group of people doing motorsport and with some success. In speedway racing
Motorcycle speedway
Motorcycle speedway, usually referred to as speedway, is a motorcycle sport involving four and sometimes up to six riders competing over four anti-clockwise laps of an oval circuit. Speedway motorcycles use only one gear and have no brakes and racing takes place on a flat oval track usually...

 Denmark has won several world championships.
In 1992, the national football team
Denmark national football team
The Denmark national football team represents Denmark in association football and is controlled by the Danish Football Association , the governing body for the football clubs which are organized under DBU...

 won the European championship. The team finished second in their qualifying group behind Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia national football team
The Yugoslavia national football team represented the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in association football. It enjoyed a modicum of success in international competition. In 1992, during the Yugoslav wars, the team was suspended from international...

 and as a result had failed to qualify for the final tournament. They gained their place in the tournament at the last moment when the Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

 national team and local clubs were banned from all international/continental competitions because of the ongoing Yugoslav Wars
Yugoslav wars
The Yugoslav Wars were a series of wars, fought throughout the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995. The wars were complex: characterized by bitter ethnic conflicts among the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, mostly between Serbs on the one side and Croats and Bosniaks on the other; but also...

. The Danes won the final by defeating reigning 1990 FIFA World Cup
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...

 champions Germany
Germany national football team
The Germany national football team is the football team that has represented Germany in international competition since 1908. It is governed by the German Football Association , which was founded in 1900....

 2-0 on goals by John Jensen
John Jensen
John Jensen , nicknamed Faxe, is a former Danish international footballer who is unemployed. He is known for his temper and is often outspoken in interviews. His playing career lasted over a decade, during which he played most famously for Arsenal F.C...

 and Kim Vilfort
Kim Vilfort
Kim Vilfort is a former Danish professional football player who is now head talent scout at the Danish football club Brøndby IF...

.

A number of smaller sports are also played in Denmark. E.g. the Danish Australian Football League is commonly known as the largest Australian Rules Football League outside the English-speaking world. The national team; the Danish Vikings, became second in the first ever European Championship, losing the final to Ireland. Denmark was also co-hosts of the competition alongside Sweden.
Notable Danish sportspeople include:
  • Tom Kristensen
    Tom Kristensen
    Tom Kristensen is a Danish racing driver. He has won many championships in auto racing but his most famous achievement is being the only person to win the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans eight times, six of which were consecutive...

    , the most successful driver on the 24 Hours of Le Mans
    24 Hours of Le Mans
    The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world's oldest sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since near the town of Le Mans, France. Commonly known as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency, race teams have to balance speed against the cars' ability to run for 24 hours without sustaining...

     race ever, with eight 1st places
  • American football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

    's National Football League
    National Football League
    The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

     all-time leading scorer Morten Andersen
    Morten Andersen
    Morten Andersen , nicknamed "The Great Dane", is a former National Football League kicker. He holds the distinction of being the all-time leading scorer in NFL history, as well as being the all-time leading scorer for two different teams; the New Orleans Saints, with whom he spent 13 seasons, and...

  • 12 times windsurfing
    Windsurfing
    Windsurfing or sailboarding is a surface water sport that combines elements of surfing and sailing. It consists of a board usually two to four metres long, powered by the orthogonal effect of the wind on a sail. The rig is connected to the board by a free-rotating universal joint and comprises a...

     world champion Björn Dunkerbeck
    Björn Dunkerbeck
    Björn Dunkerbeck is a professional windsurfer who has won Professional Windsurfers Association Overall World Championships a record twelve times....

  • Sailors Jesper Bank
    Jesper Bank
    Jesper Bank is a Danish sailor and Olympic champion.He received a bronze medal in the Soling Class at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul....

     and Paul Elvstrøm one of only four persons ever to win four consecutive individual Olympic gold medals
  • Cyclists Bjarne Riis
    Bjarne Riis
    Bjarne Lykkegård Riis , nicknamed The Eagle from Herning , is a Danish former professional road bicycle racer who placed first in the 1996 Tour de France, and is now the team owner and manager of Danish UCI ProTour outfit Team Saxo Bank Sungard...

     winner of the 1996 Tour de France
    1996 Tour de France
    The 1996 Tour de France was the 83rd Tour de France, starting on June 29 and ending on July 21, featuring 19 regular stages, 2 individual time trials, a prologue and a rest day ....

    , Rolf Sørensen
    Rolf Sørensen
    Rolf Sørensen is a former Danish professional road bicycle racer. He is the most successful Danish bicycle racer ever, with his 53 victories over 17 seasons. He is currently working as a cycling commentator and agent. Born in Helsinge in Denmark, Sørensen moved to Italy at the age of 17, where he...

     with 53 career wins, Jesper Skibby
    Jesper Skibby
    Jesper Skibby was born 21 March 1964 in Silkeborg, Denmark. He was a professional rider in road bicycle racing, and one of the most popular in Denmark, not only because of his talent, but also because of his wit and his constant banter...

    , Brian Holm
    Brian Holm
    Brian Holm Sørensen is a retired Danish professional rider in road bicycle racing from 1986 to 1998, and rode for Team Telekom from 1993 to 1997, and was part of the team that brought his fellow Dane Bjarne Riis to victory in the 1996 Tour de France...

    , Ole Ritter
    Ole Ritter
    Ole Ritter is a former Danish racing cyclist.-Amateur years:As an amateur he rode for ABC Denmark....

    , Henrik Djernis
    Henrik Djernis
    Henrik Djernis is a Danish cyclist....

     and Michael Rasmussen
    Michael Rasmussen
    Michael Rasmussen is a Danish professional road bicycle racer who rides for the Danish team Christina Watches-Onfone. In the 2007 Tour de France, Rasmussen, while in the yellow jersey, had his contract terminated by his team and was removed from the Tour...

  • Speedway
    Motorcycle speedway
    Motorcycle speedway, usually referred to as speedway, is a motorcycle sport involving four and sometimes up to six riders competing over four anti-clockwise laps of an oval circuit. Speedway motorcycles use only one gear and have no brakes and racing takes place on a flat oval track usually...

     riders Hans Nielsen
    Hans Nielsen (speedway rider)
    Hans Hollen Nielsen - a prominent speedway rider active from the 1970s to the late 1990s; a former World Champion....

    , Ole Olsen, Erik Gundersen
    Erik Gundersen
    Erik Gundersen was a speedway rider in the late 1970s and 1980s. Gundersen was the Speedway World Championship on three occasions, a two time Long Track World Champion and a seven time World Team Cup winner with Denmark.-Career:Gundersen rode for the Cradley Heath Heathens from 1979 until 1989...

     and Nicki Pedersen
    Nicki Pedersen
    Nicki Pedersen is a Danish motorcycle speedway rider. He has won the World Championship in 2003, 2007 and 2008 and was a World Cup winner with Denmark in 2006 and 2008. His brother, Ronni Pedersen, has also ridden in the Speedway Grand Prix and World Cup.-Domestic teams:Pedersen began speedway...

     all winners of several world championships.
  • Badminton players Morten Frost
    Morten Frost
    Morten Frost or Morten Frost Hansen, aka "Mr Badminton", is a former badminton player and later coach, who represented Denmark...

    , Erland Kops
    Erland Kops
    Erland Kops is a former badminton player from Denmark who won numerous major international singles and doubles titles from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. Kops was the first Westerner to win major singles titles in the Far East. He combined abundant speed, power, and stamina with impressive...

    , Peter Gade
    Peter Gade
    Peter Høeg Gade is a Danish professional badminton player. He currently resides in Holte in Copenhagen...

    , Poul-Erik Høyer Larsen
    Poul-Erik Høyer Larsen
    Poul-Erik Høyer Larsen is a retired Danish badminton player who won major international singles titles in the 1990s, and ranks among Denmark's badminton greats.-Badminton career:...

    , Flemming Delfs
    Flemming Delfs
    Flemming Delfs is a former Danish badminton player who won Danish national and international championships from the early 1970s to the early 1980s.-Career:...

    , Camilla Martin
    Camilla Martin
    Camilla Martin Nygaard née Martin is a retired badminton player from Denmark. She and Lene Køppen, who played two decades earlier, are the only Danish women to have won both the All-England and World singles titles....

    , Tine Baun and Lene Køppen
    Lene Køppen
    Lene Køppen is a former badminton player from Denmark who won numerous Danish national and major international championships from the early 1970s through the early 1980s. Noted for her speed and athleticism, she and Camilla Martin are the only Danish women to win both the World and All-England ...

  • Table tennis player Michael Maze
    Michael Maze
    Michael Maze is a male table tennis player from Faxe, Denmark. He normally plays both in the men's singles and in men's doubles. As of 2005, he is one of the top five left-handed players in the world. His strength is in his strong forehand loop and lobbing. He is considered to be one of the best,...

  • Handball
    Team handball
    Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

     player Anja Andersen
    Anja Andersen
    Anja Andersen is a former female handball player and currently coach.-Career:Anja Andersen is known for both her skills as an offensive player, her strong temper and courage to make dramatic scenes and daring tricks during a match. She was an important part of the renaissance in Danish handball...

     and Mikkel Hansen
    Mikkel Hansen
    Mikkel Hansen is a Danish handballer, currently playing for Danish Handball League side AG København. Hansen is widely regarded as one of the biggest talents ever seen in Danish handball....

  • Poker
    Poker
    Poker is a family of card games that share betting rules and usually hand rankings. Poker games differ in how the cards are dealt, how hands may be formed, whether the high or low hand wins the pot in a showdown , limits on bet sizes, and how many rounds of betting are allowed.In most modern poker...

     Hall of Fame player Gus Hansen
    Gus Hansen
    Gustav "Gus" Hansen is a professional Danish poker player who lives in Monaco. In his poker career, Hansen has won three World Poker Tour open titles, the 2007 Aussie Millions main event and was the season one winner of the Poker Superstars Invitational Tournament...

     and Peter Eastgate
    Peter Eastgate
    Peter Eastgate is a poker player from Denmark, best known as the winner of the Main Event at the 2008 World Series of Poker. At the time, he became the youngest player ever to win the event. He was consequently surpassed by Joe Cada in 2009.-Early life:Eastgate was raised in Dalum, a suburb of...

  • Snowboarder Julie Wendel Lundholdt
    Julie Wendel Lundholdt
    Julie Wendel Lundholdt is a Danish snowboarder from Copenhagen, Denmark. Julie Lundholdt is currently ranked 17th in the world.-2010 Olympics:...

  • Skateboarder Rune Glifberg
    Rune Glifberg
    Rune Glifberg is a professional skateboarder who currently resides in the Leucadia district of Encinitas, California. Glifberg began skating at age 11 after a friend brought a board over to his house. In the early 1990s, Glifberg turned professional as a vert skater and made the trek across the...

  • Football players Michael
    Michael Laudrup
    Michael Laudrup is a retired Danish footballer, who works as a manager and last coached La Liga side RCD Mallorca. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of football. His most prominent run of football came with Spanish club Barcelona, with whom he won four straight La...

     and Brian Laudrup
    Brian Laudrup
    Brian Laudrup is a Danish former football player and current football commentator, pundit and analyst on TV3+. Along with former international goalkeeper Lars Høgh, Laudrup manages a football academy for marginalized youth...

    , Preben Elkjær Larsen
    Preben Elkjær Larsen
    Preben Elkjær Larsen , known as Elkjær, is a retired Danish professional footballer who played as a striker.Amongst others, he played with Hellas Verona in Italy, helping it to the only major title of its history, the 1985 Serie A...

     winner of the 1984–85 Serie A with Hellas Verona F.C.
    Hellas Verona F.C.
    Hellas Verona Football Club is a professional Italian association football team, based in Verona, Veneto. The team's colours are yellow and blue and gialloblu is the team's most widely used nickname...

     the club's first and only Scudetto, Allan Simonsen
    Allan Simonsen
    Allan Rodenkam Simonsen is a former Danish footballer and manager. He most prominently played for German team Borussia Mönchengladbach, winning the 1975 and 1979 UEFA Cups, as well as for Barcelona from Spain, winning the 1982 Cup WInners' Cup...

     winner of the 1977 Ballon d'Or, Johnny Hansen European Cup winner in 1974, 1975 and 1976 with FC Bayern Munich
    FC Bayern Munich
    FC Bayern Munich , is a German sports club based in Munich, Bavaria. It is best known for its professional football team, which is the most successful football club in Germany, having won 22 national titles and 15 cups....

     and Peter Schmeichel
    Peter Schmeichel
    Peter Bolesław Schmeichel MBE is a retired Danish professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper, and was voted the "World's Best Goalkeeper" in 1992 and 1993...

     winner of the 1999 treble with Manchester United, Daniel Agger
    Daniel Agger
    Daniel Munthe Agger is a Danish footballer who plays for Liverpool and the Denmark national football team. He started his senior career at Danish club Brøndby IF in July 2004, with whom he won the 2005 Danish Superliga championship. The Liverpool fans have created a song for him to the tune of...

     who currently plays for Liverpool F.C.
    Liverpool F.C.
    Liverpool Football Club is an English Premier League football club based in Liverpool, Merseyside. Liverpool has won eighteen League titles, second most in English football, seven FA Cups and a record seven League Cups...

    , Nicklas Bendtner
    Nicklas Bendtner
    Nicklas Bendtner , is a Danish international footballer who plays for Sunderland on loan from Arsenal as a striker...

     who plays for Sunderland A.F.C.
    Sunderland A.F.C.
    Sunderland Association Football Club is an English association football club based in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear who currently play in the Premier League...

     and Anders Lindegaard
    Anders Lindegaard
    Anders Rozenkrantz Lindegaard is a Danish footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Manchester United, having joined the club in November 2010. He initially came through the ranks of hometown club Odense Boldklub, but left due to a lack of first team opportunities. He got his senior breakthrough...

     who plays for Manchester United.
  • Track and field athlete Wilson Kipketer
    Wilson Kipketer
    Wilson Kosgei Kipketer is a Kenyan born Danish former middle distance runner. He holds the current indoor world records at the 1000 and 800 metres distance. While dominating the 800 m distance for a decade, remaining undefeated for a three-year period and running 8 of the 17 currently all-time...

     who held the men's 800 metres world record until 22 August 2010;
  • Tennis player Caroline Wozniacki
    Caroline Wozniacki
    Caroline Wozniacki is a Danish professional tennis player. She is the current world no. 1 on the WTA Tour. As of 7 November 2011, she has held this position for 56 weeks...

     who on 11 October 2010 claimed the top spot in the WTA
    Women's Tennis Association
    The Women's Tennis Association , founded in 1973 by Billie Jean King, is the principal organizing body of Women's Professional Tennis. It governs the WTA Tour which is the worldwide professional tennis tour for women. Its counterpart organization in the men's professional game is the Association of...

     Singles Rankings.
  • Former WBC
    World Boxing Council
    The World Boxing Council was initially established by 11 countries: the United States, Argentina, United Kingdom, France, Mexico, Philippines, Panama, Chile, Peru, Venezuela and Brazil plus Puerto Rico, met in Mexico City on February 14, 1963, upon invitation of the then President of Mexico, Adolfo...

     Super middleweight
    Super middleweight
    Super Middleweight is a boxing and Muay Thai weight division that has a weight limit of 168 pounds .- 1960s–1983 :There was interest in a division between Middleweight and Light Heavyweight in the late 1960s, the mid-1970s, and the early 1980s...

     boxing champion, Mikkel Kessler
    Mikkel Kessler
    Mikkel Kessler is a Danish professional boxer and former two time WBA & WBC Super Middleweight champion. In his professional career he has a record of 44–2 with 33 knockouts...

  • European tour golfer Thomas Bjørn
    Thomas Bjørn
    Thomas Bjørn is a professional golfer from Denmark who plays on the European Tour. He is the most successful Danish golfer to have played the game having won thirteen tournaments worldwide on the European Tour. In 1999 he also became the first Dane to qualify for a European Ryder Cup team...

    , who has won nineteen professional tournaments. Of which thirteen were on the European Tour
  • UFC Welterweight
    Welterweight
    Welterweight is a weight class division in combat sports. Originally the term "welterweight" was used only in boxing, but other combat sports like kickboxing, taekwondo and mixed martial arts also began to use it for their own weight division system...

     fighter Martin Kampmann
    Martin Kampmann
    Martin Kampmann Frederiksen is a Danish mixed martial artist who is currently fighting out of Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. and trains at the Xtreme Couture gym. He is known for his precise strikes and his quick submissions...


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  • Vifanord.de – a digital library that provides scientific information on the Nordic and Baltic countries as well as the Baltic region as a whole