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Nordic FAQ - 3 of 7 - DENMARK

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S O C . C U L T U R E . N O R D I C
*** PART 3: DENMARK ***

Fact Sheet
General information
Geography, climate, vegetation
Population & culture
The Danish language
The Danish alphabet
A chronology of important dates
A list of Danish monarchs
@ Denmark during world war II
@ Sønderjylland - The Duchy of Slesvig
Main tourist attractions
Getting there and getting around
Zealand and surrounding islands
Fyn and surrounding islands
Danish literature
Faroe Islands
Fact sheet
General information
Main tourist attractions
Faroese language and literature
Books for learning Danish

Subject: 3.1 Fact Sheet

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Name:  Kongeriget Danmark

Telephone country code:  45

Area:  43,075 km² / 16,631 sq mi.

Terrain:  low and flat to gently rolling plains

Highest point:  Yding Skovhøj, 173 m (568 ft)

Natural resources:  crude oil, natural gas, fish, salt, limestone

Land boundaries:  Germany

Population:  5,163,955 (1992)

Population density:  119.9 persons per km² (310.5 per sq mi.)

Distribution:        84% urban, 16% rural (1989)

Life expectancy:     women 78; men 72 (1992)

Infant mortality:    7 per 1,000 live births (1992)

Capital:  København (Copenhagen) (pop. 467,850)
          [ pop. of Metropolitan area: 1.4 million ] (1989)

Other major towns:  Århus  (245,000),
                    Odense (170,000),
                    Ålborg (154,000)

Administrative units:  14 counties (amter)

Flag:  white cross on red background (the "Dannebrog")

Type:  Constitutional monarchy

Head of state:  Queen Margrethe II

National anthem:  Der er et yndigt land (Sound)

Royal anthem:  Kong Christian stod ved højen mast

Languages:  Danish

Currency:  krone (Danish crown, DKK)
           for the current exchange rate,
           see the URL <>

Climate:  temperate sea-climate
          average temperature in Copenhagen:
          -3°C - 2°C in Feb., and 14°C - 22°C in June

Religion:  Evangelic-Lutheran (91%, 1988) (official state-religion)

Exports:  meat, dairy products, fish, machinery, electronics,chemicals, furnitu


Subject: 3.2 General information 3.2.1 Geography, climate, vegetation Denmark is the southernmost of the Nordic countries. Located between the North Sea on the west and the Baltic Sea on the southeast, Denmark is separated from Norway by the Skagerrak and from Sweden by the Kattegat and the Øresund. In the south, it shares a 68 km border with Germany. It consists of the peninsula of Jutland (Jylland) in the west, and an archipelago of 406 islands in the east, of which the most important ones are Zealand (Sjælland) on which Copenhagen is located, and Funen (Fyn). Denmark is part of Europe's temperate deciduous forest belt. The natural vegetation in most of the country is a mixed forest, with the beech most common tree. However, almost all parts of the country are under cultivation today, and virtually all the existing forests have been planted. Coniferous trees prevail in parts of the former heath areas in western Jutland, and the dune areas have been forested with spruce and pine. Denmark has a 12% forest cover. 3.2.2 Economy Denmark is one of the smaller states of Europe, only slightly larger than Switzerland. All of Denmark is very flat, the highest peak being only 173 meters high. This, as well as the fertile soil and temperate climate, makes it very suitable for agriculture; about 70% of Denmark's land surface is used for agricultural production (but only about 7% of the labor force is in agriculture). Barley is the most important crop, followed by grass and green fodder, and root crops. Most of the barley and root crops are grown primarily for use as livestock feed (some, of course, goes to the worldfamous Danish beers). About 90% of all farm income is derived from animal products; sausages, bacon, cheese and butter are the most famous products of Danish animal husbandry. Danish design is world famous. Denmark doesn't have much natural resources, although limestone, clay, and gravel are mined in many areas. In northern Jutland, salt deposits have been exploited since World War II, and granite and kaolin are mined on the island of Bornholm. Since 1972 petroleum and gas deposits of the Danish sector of the North Sea have been exploited. 3.2.3 Government According to the constitution Denmark is a constitutional monarchy with the legislative power jointly vested in the regent and the Parliament, but the responsibility for the actions of the king/queen solely taken by the ministers in the Cabinet. The Evangelical Lutheran Church is supported by the State as a State Church. The parliamentary system has been unicameral since 1953; the parliament is called the 'Folketing'. The 179 members (of which two are elected in Greenland and two in the Faroe Islands) are elected for four-year terms. The Prime Minister can call an early election. For the last 20 years there have never been fewer than 8 parties represented in the Folketing. Denmark is a member of the European Union, and elects 16 members of the European parliament. The Faroes and Greenland, on the other hand, are outside the EU. Since 1955 Denmark has had an ombudsman, who oversees the conduct of the cabinet and the decisions of the administration. All citizens have the right to appeal government actions to the ombudsman. [ the sections above are available at the www-page ] 3.2.4 Population & culture Denmark was settled already 10,000 years ago, when the ice retreated from Scandinavia. Danes descend from various Germanic tribes, including the Jutes and Angles who settled England in the 5th century. There is a small German minority living in southern Jutland and a Danish minority living in North Germany. Danish is a Germanic language of the Nordic branch, mutually intelligible (with some practice) with Norwegian and Swedish. The kingdom of Denmark includes also the autonomous areas of Greenland (area: 2.2 mill. km², pop. 53,000) and Faroe Islands (area: 1,400 km², pop. 48,000). The inhabitants speak a language (Faroese) resembling Icelandic and some Western Norwegian dialects. Eskimos speaking Greenlandic (a language based on a mid-19th century creation of a single literary language out of many Inuit dialects) form the largest group of Greenlanders; the inhabitants of Faroe Islands descend from the Viking settlers who arrived in the 9th century and the Irish monks and slaves who also made it to the Island. As can be expected Danish culture could be called more Central European in character than that of other Nordic countries. Particularly it could be noted that mentality and food are rather similar from Holland to Scania. Important figures include e. g. the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-55), the composer Carl Nielsen (1865-1931), the astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), the authors Hans Christian Andersen (1805-75) and Karen Blixen (1885-1962), the architect Jørn Utzon (1918-), the painter P. S. Krøyer (1851-1909), the sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (1768-1844), and the physicist and Nobel Prize winner Niels Bohr (1885-1962). 3.2.5 The Danish language This is a brief description of some of the characteristics of the Danish language and some of the differences and similarities between Danish and the other North Germanic languages. How do I identify a Danish text if I don't know the language? Look for the letters æ, ø, and å. If you find all three of them, you have narrowed your choices down to Danish or Norwegian (both bokmål and nynorsk). Telling written Danish from Norwegian (especially bokmål) can be fairly difficult; you sometimes come across whole sentences that are absolutely identical in the two languages. The easiest might be to look for double consonants at the end of words, Norwegian often has words ending in -ss, -kk, etc. while this is never the case in Danish. How is Danish pronunciation different from Swedish/Norwegian? The spoken Danish has a rather poor reputation for some reason. The many soft d's and g's are often a cause of much amusement among other Nordics (of course, _their_ languages sound pretty funny in our ears too :-). The soft Danish d's and g's are reasonably close to their Spanish (!) equivalents; this might give you an idea about the pronunciation. D's and g's tend to get soft between vowels but never at the beginning of a word. On the other hand, contemporary Danish does not have the Swedish or Norwegian "soft k" (in Swedish/Norwegian a k/kj is pronounced something like sh/ch before a front vowel - e, i, y, ä/æ, or ö/ø). In Danish (probably due to German influence) the k is always pronounced as a "hard k", i.e. like the English "key". However, this is a fairly recent thing; old spellings like "Kjøbenhavn" indicate that also Danish had "soft k" (only a century ago?). And also the dialects of Bornholm and Northern Jutland (these areas are often the last to pick up pronunciation trends originating in the capital) still follow "Swedish pronunciation rules" with regard to k (and g). The glottal stop ("stød" in Danish) is another characterstic feature. It is similiar to the non-pronunciation of "tt" in the Cockney "bottle". Genders and definite articles. Like Swedish, Danish has two genders: The common gender (originally there were both masculine and feminine) and the neuter gender. Some Danish dialects (e.g. in North Jutland) still have all three genders; dialects in western and southern Jutland have only the common gender. Like the other North Germanic languages Danish has the definite article at the end of the word, thus "a man" = "en mand", but "the man" = "manden". Surprisingly, dialects of western and southern Jutland follow the more usual system of English, German, French, etc.: "A man" = "en mand", "the man" = "æ mand". It is not clear why one of Europe's most significant linguistic borders (separating areas having the definite article before/after the word) is running straight through Jutland! 3.2.6 The Danish alphabet Danish has three additional letters compared to the English alphabet: æ, ø, and å (see the section 1.8 on the Nordic graphemes for more details). A question often asked by non-Danes is: "Why are Århus and Ålborg sometimes spelt with double-a and sometimes with a-with-circle? What's the difference?" Well, it is a matter of old and new spelling conventions. According to Søren Hornstrup <> the "Nudansk ordbog" (Concurrent Danish) quotes "Retskrivningsordbogen" for the proper usage of å versus aa: The letter å was substituted for aa in 1948 as the token for å-sound. It is still possible to use aa for å in Danish personal and place names. In personal names you should follow the way the named person uses. [...] In Danish place names Å, å is always the correct spelling, e.g., Århus, Tåstrup, Grenå. Only if you want to respect strong local traditions you could use Aa, aa, e.g., Ålborg or Aalborg, Åbenrå or Aabenraa. In Nordic place names you should use Å, å, e.g., Ålesund, Skåne. And from "Håndbog i Nudansk": It is always correct to use å in Danish place names. But you should know that you might offend the local residents. [...] Until 1984 the central administration (statsadministrationen) had to use å, but in 1984 it was allowed to follow local traditions. More from the same book: The Danish alphabet has 29 letters in the following order: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z æ ø å (aa) The letter aa is placed in parentheses. This is because it is not normally used in the language, only in names. Also note that the capitalization of the double-a is "Aa" and not "AA". Århus was among the first cities to adopt the a-ring; Ålborg on the contrary, has been insisting on using the double-a. Since the central administration between 1948 and 1984 only recognized the å-spelling, all road signs etc. said "Ålborg". After 1984 when a number of cities successfully readopted the old spelling with double-a, the new road signs said "Aalborg". So if you see a sign with the old spelling (double-a) it is probably a new sign, and if you see a sign with the new spelling (a-ring) it is probably an old sign ... confused? Surprisingly perhaps, the reason for cities like Ålborg, Åbenrå, and Grenå to readopt the double-a is not one of internationalization (though double-a is surely more "ASCII-friendly" than a-ring) but rather one of nostalgia, it seems. The alphabetical sorting is not affected by the aa/å controversy; Danish person names and place names with aa are alphabetized as if they were spelt with å (i.e. last in the alphabet), but _only_ when the aa represents the å sound rather than a "long a". Thus, in a Danish encyclopedia the city Aabenraa and the author Jeppe Aakjær are at the end of the encyclopaedia, while the German city Aachen and Finnish architect Alvar Aalto are found in the beginning! < A comment from Byrial Ole Jensen: > This is not quite correct. aa should be alphabetized as å when it is pronounced as one sound even if it is an "a" sound. So the right place to search for Aachen in a Danish encyclopaedia is a little after Åbenrå near the end of the encyclopaedia. This is according to official rules for the Danish language which is found in Retskrivningsordbogen (The Dictionary of Correct Writing??). But I must admit that only few people know this alphabetizing rule and it is likely that even not dictionaries follow it in order to not confuse people not knowing the rule. Retskrivningsordbogen itself places the word "kraal" BOTH between "kr." and "krabask" AND between "krøsus" and "kråse". [ the sections above are available at the www-page ]
Subject: 3.3 History 3.3.1 A chronology of important dates 430 (circa) Saxo Grammaticus, in Gesta Danorum, says that the Danish King Frode raised a huge united army from many conquered lands and defeated a king of the Huns. 443 As Western Europe was threatened by the Huns (A.D. 406~436 - their most famous king was called Attila) and the Roman Empire wasn't capable of holding its position on the British islands any more, the Angles were (according to The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle) asked to come and participate in the war against the Picts. The Angles are believed to have lived somewhere in the area of Southern Jutland and the estuary of river Elbe, or maybe further north on Jutland. 449 The Jutes, the Saxons and more Angles participate in the war on Britain. Soon the Britons are fought by the new-comers. 515 The first Danish king known from contemporary sources is killed during a military attack against the Frankish Empire. Name: Huglik [or Chocillaicus in Gregor of Tours' annals]. 737 (circa) Danevirke is founded. 772 Charlemagne begins the Frankish expansion to the North. The deep woods of Holstein do however protect the Danes for several decades yet. 787-1066 (circa) Viking Age Danes raid e.g England, France and Spain. The beginning of the Viking era is by convention dated to the raid at Northumbria A.D. 793 (referred to in The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle that too, although the same source says that the first ships of the Danish men that sought the land of the English nation came A.D. 787). 808 (circa) The Danes defeat Slavic tribes. During the war the market at Haithabu is abandoned to the Slavic Vends. Haithabu /Hedeby/ is situated at the very same bay as the later town Schleswig /Slesvig, on the narrowest part of south Jutland, the short-cut between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea. 811 As Charlemagne extended his realm in the late 8th century he came to meet a united Danish army which successfully defended Danevirke. A Danish-Frankish border was established at the River Eider A.D. 811. Haithabu is regained. Frankish sources, for instance Annales regni Francorum against the year 811, gives a rather good picture of the Danish realm. Godfred, or perhaps a predecessor, seems to have brought the lands of the South- and North Danes together shortly before 800. And to end the war between the Franks and the Danes a hostage was sent to Charlemagne in Aachen. That Danish hostages came from Southern Jutland, Zealand and Scania ("Osfrid de Sconaowe"). Probably also southern Norway was held by the kings of Denmark of that time. 845 Hamburg is raided and burned by Danish Vikings. As a consequence Arch-bishop Ansgar moves the Cathedral to Bremen. 874 The Danes get control of northern and eastern England. 890-935 (circa) A separate kingdom of Haithabu was established by the Viking chieftain Olaf from Svealand. Olaf's son Gnupa was however killed in battle (against the Danish King Hardeknud?), and his kingdom vanished. King Gorm is said to have regained Haithabu A.D. 935. 911 (circa) Rollo, a Danish Viking chieftain, is granted Normandy as a Duchy by the Frankish king Charles the Simple. 948 A bishopric is established in Slesvig. 958-986/988 Harald Gormsson (a.k.a. "Black-tooth") unites Denmark and Norway as a single kingdom. Scania, Jutland and the islands in-between had been ruled by the same king now and then, for instance under King Godfred in the early 800s, but first with the Christianization of kings and magnates the kingdom of Denmark seems to have become a stabile entity. [ See also the web-site at the Royal Danish Embassy, Washington D.C. <> ] Lars Hemmingsen writes: Harald boasts at the rune stone in Jellinge that he has won "all of Denmark" - but what this really means is unclear: There are some circumstantial evidence that Gorm lost Scania and Norway, as well as his life, in 958 and that what Harald accomplished was merely a re-conquest. But the standard explanation is that Harald held the lands from the beginning and that what he won of Denmark was merely the area around Haithabu, A.D. 983, which he had first lost to Emperor Otto II. 965 Harald Gormsson (a.k.a. "Blåtand" - Black-Tooth) baptized. 983-1253 Southern Jutland (Sønderjylland) is an integrated part of the Danish realm. 1013 The King Svend Tveskæg ("Double-beard" or "Fork-beard") conquers England, which remains in Danish control until the year 1042. 1018-35 Knud den Store (Canute the Great) ruled over a vast kingdom that included present-day Denmark, England, Norway and southern Sweden, and during his reign Christianity became widespread. After his death, the empire disintegrated. 1022 Bishopric in Roskilde 1060 King Svend Estridsen lets build a stone church for the bishop Egino in Dalby, close to Lund. (This church is the oldest remaining stone church on the Scandinavian peninsula.) This year the Church was re-organized with new bishoprics also in: Lund, Aarhus, Borglum, Ribe and Odense. 1074 After King Svend Estridsen's death Denmark is from time to time split between his sons. The Thing in Scania supports Knud ("the Holy") against whom the Jutes revolt in 1086 and King Knud is murdered. 1080 The Bishop in Bremen and the Bishop in Canterbury have fought over dominance of Denmark, and as a move in this complicated struggle, rich funds are donated by the king for a cathedral in Lund. The cathedral school is opened in 1086. The school has been in function ever since. 1104 With the first arch-bishop of Lund, Scandinavia was made a separate church province, no longer belonging to Hamburg. 1137-1157 Denmark seems to divide itself in pieces. Scania, Zealand and Jutland can't agree on choosing the same king and Civil War follows, in which King Valdemar the Great comes out on top in 1157. 1145 The Lund cathedral is opened. (The church in Dalby had lost the competition for cathedral status.) 1167 Copenhagen (Havn) is founded. 1168 The Vendic castle Arkona on the island Rügen is captured by King Valdemar the Great. 1195 Saxo writes the history of Scandinavia. 1201-1227 King Valdemar II Sejr conquers Holstein with the town of Hamburg,which soon enough is re-captured by a united German army. He also conquers Pomerania, and Mecklenburg, and reestablishes the nation as a great power in northern Europe. Soon, however, a civil war between the nobles and the king vying for control of the country erupted. 1202-1210 The Scanian Law is written down. 50 years later it's also transcribed to runes. 1219 King Valdemar II Sejr conquers northern Estonia. According to the legend, the Danish flag "Dannebrogen" fell down from the sky during this mission. [ The Dannebrog is the oldest flag in the world still in use. All Nordic flags except the Greenland flag are variations of the Dannebrog. ] 1253-1325 Denmark's southern border had since long been guarded by troops under command of an Earl (Jarl), later Duke, in Schleswig /Slesvig in Sønderjylland. The Duchy had become also a means of providing for the expenses of younger royal princes. As the Hansa and the German Empire expanded, the Counts of Holstein, the Duke of Slesvig and the Hansa found a common enemy in the king of Denmark. The result was a long row of wars where the Dukes strived for independence from the Danish Crown. At the same time also the Arch-bishop in Lund strived for supremacy over the secular king, or at least for independence, and the nobility demanded the realm to be governed by a Senate (Danehof). 1320-32 King Christoffer II was forced to make major concessions to the nobles and clergy at the expense of royal power, which was also diminished by the influence of the German Hanseatic League. 1326-30 King Christoffer is replaced by an under-age king with Count Gerhard of Holstein as regent. The Scanian nobility (alternatively the Thing in Lund) had in the beginning of the 1330s chosen the young Magnus Eriksson to be king also for the Scanian provinces, after his regents had promised to pay Count Johan of Holstein to whom Scania was pawned. At that time Magnus Eriksson was the under-age king of both Norway and Sweden. 1332-40 Due to the expensive but failed wars almost all rights to taxes and custom fees are given in pawn to the creditors of the realm (mainly the Counts of Holstein). The Danish Crown has no incomes to speak of, and no king is appointed. 1340-75 King Valdemar IV Atterdag succeeded in restoring royal authority. 1346 After an Estonian uprising, Denmark sells its possessions in Northern Estonia to the Order of Teutonic Knights. 1360 Valdemar IV Atterdag re-conquers Scania. 1361 Valdemar IV Atterdag conquers Gotland. 1375 The five years old Crown Prince Olof of Norway is elected King of Denmark, with his mother Queen Margrete of Norway as regent. In 1380 he becomes King of Norway too. The union between Denmark and Norway will remain until 1814. 1386 To avoid a war on the southern border, and to regain the rich Slesvig region, Queen Margrete I (the daughter of Valdemar IV) unites the Danish Duchy of Slesvig with the German County of Holstein by giving Slesvig as a fief to the Counts of Holstein. The unity between Slesvig and Holstein has remained ever since, although the northern part of Slesvig was split of in 1920. Until 1440 the dukes of Slesvig fails to agree with their kings over the Duchy's duties in the realm. 1388 Margrete, Queen-widow and mother of the late King Oluf, who had died in 1387, is acclaimed as "plenipotentiary lady and rightful warden" for Norway and Sweden. 1389-96 Queen Margrete of Norway and Denmark unites all the Nordic countries as a single kingdom, the Kalmar Union, under the under-age Eric of Pomerania, who is crowned in Kalmar 1397. 1429 Duty on goods through Öresund is introduced by King Erik of Pomerania. This becomes an important income for the Danish Crown, and creates heaps of enemies to the State of Denmark. 1448 The house of Oldenburg (one of the branches of Counts of Holstein) was established on the throne in the person of Christian I and has continued to rule Denmark up to the present day. 1460-74 King Christian I becomes Duke of the duchies of Slesvig (1460) and Holstein (1474). Holstein and Slesvig become twin duchies with peculiar rules for succession. In 1490-1721 both of the duchies are split in two or more parts, one of which is held by the king of Denmark. 15th ct During the late 15th century male serfdom (vornedskab) was introduced on the islands. 1523 The Kalmar Union is dissolved as the Swedes revolt after the "Stockholm bloodbath" performed by King Christian II of Denmark. Denmark and Norway remain united, however. 1534-36 After the death of King Frederik I, the Civil "War of the Counts" (Grevefejden) between the rivals to throne follows. The parties struggled mainly over two issues: for or against Hanseatic influence and for or against a national Lutheran State Church. After 1536 the Hansa's dominance in Denmark's domestic politics was broken. Frederik's Lutheran son becomes King Christian III. 1536 Reformation. Denmark becomes Lutheran. 1645 Denmark-Norway has to cede Gotland, Jämtland, Ösel and Härjedal to Sweden in the Brömsebro peace after King Christian IV had intervened in the Thirty Years' War. Halland is ceded for 30 years. 1658-60 In the peace treaty of Roskilde, Denmark-Norway cedes Skåne, Halland, Blekinge, Bohuslän, and Trøndelag (i.e. the district of Trondheim) to Sweden after a failed war against Sweden declared by King Frederik III the year before. After the peace treaty Sweden continues the war and besieges Copenhagen for two years. However, this results in Trøndelag being returned to Norway and Bornholm (after an uprising) to Denmark. A consequence of the disastrous war was that the monarchy was made hereditary in 1660, and royal Autocracy was introduced in 1661. The Autocracy came to last until 1848. The high aristocracy had lost its influence over the government. 1671-85 Religious tolerance Catholics (1671), Jews (1684) and Calvinists (1685) were granted rights to perform their own worship. 1675-79, 1700-21 In the "war of Scania" and later in the "Great Northern War", Denmark tries to conquer back the territory lost in 1658 but without success, due to pressure from the great powers of Europe. Sweden's collapse after the Great Northern War does, however, return Denmark some of its earlier position as a northern power. 1702/33 The serfdom (vornedskab) is first abolished in 1702 (it was in use only on the islands), then re-invented for all of Denmark in 1733 under the name of stavnsbåndet - male peasants below the age of 36 were disallowed to move from the manor without consent of the landowner. (Less than 5% of the land was owned by peasants.) 1721-1864 All of the Duchy of Slesvig is ruled by the King of Denmark. In 1773 Denmark formally obtains the whole of Slesvig in exchange for Oldenburg. The Danish king also becomes Duke of Holstein (under the German Emperor), initially only with half of the Duchy, but from 1773 on, Holstein is united. 1781 Grand reform of farming decided. Villages were split into separate farms, so farmers came to live closer to their land, more distant from their neighbors. 1800 Serfdom (stavnsbåndet) is again abolished. As a consequence land-rent is fixed and paid in money, not in work, and then most farms are sold to the peasants. In 1815 60% of the farmers owned their own land, however heavily in debt. The difference between farm workers and farmers increased. (The farm workers constituted approximately the half of Denmark's population in 1801.) April 1801 The battle of the Roadstead of Copenhagen (Slaget på Reden). The British force Denmark to retreat from the Armed Neutral Alliance with Sweden and Russia. Admiral Nelson was in charge of the part of the British fleet which partook in the battle. September 1807 The British under Wellington bombard Copenhagen, to make Denmark cede its navy. Denmark becomes a French ally. 1813-14 The alliance with Napoleon becomes a disaster for Denmark: the country goes bankrupt. In the peace treaty of Kiel, Denmark has to cede Norway to Sweden. Denmark also gets Swedish Pomerania which is traded with Prussia for Lauenburg. Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands remain with Denmark. 1848-51 After a Prussian-inspired revolt in Schleswig-Holstein, the first war of Slesvig ends with status quo. Denmark still controls the duchies of Slesvig, Holstein, and Lauenburg. 1849 King Fredrik VII authorized a new constitution instituting a representative form of government. In addition, wide ranging social and educational reforms took place. Religious freedom was enacted and the Church was declared independent of the State, although this independence never has been realized - mainly due to internal conflicts in the Church - The King (the Queen) has remained the head of Church who appoints priests, confirms hymnals, etcetera. 1863-64 Denmark adopts the "November Constitution" which aims to unite Slesvig (but not Holstein) with the Danish Kingdom and therefore is a violation of the peace treaty of 1851 in which Denmark had promised not to separate the two duchies. Due to this, Prussia and Austria declare war and conquer Slesvig, Holstein, and Lauenburg in the second war of Slesvig. 1901 Parliamentarism is introduced in Denmark: No government can rule against the majority of the parliament. 1914-18 Denmark remains neutral during World War I. 1917 Denmark sells her three Caribbean islands to the USA for 25 million dollars (the present-day US Virgin Islands). 1920 The northern part of /Sønderjylland (the former duchy of Slesvig) is rejoined with Denmark after a referendum. 1933 Great social reforms were instituted, in effect founding Denmark's modern welfare state. 1940 On April 9th, Germany occupies Denmark despite Denmark having declared itself neutral; the Danish government gives up military resistance. However, the Danes retain control of their government and parliament, which initially remain remarkably intact regardless of the Nazi occupation. 1943 The relations between the Danish Government and the occupying German forces worsen rapidly. Most of the Danish Jews are evacuated to Sweden. Local resistance groups perform a number of sabotage actions during the war, and the Nazis retaliate with counter-terror. 1944 Iceland breaks away from union with Denmark and declares independence. 1945 4-5th of May: The German forces in Denmark surrender to Britain. The end of World War II ends the German occupation of Denmark. The German forces on Bornholm refuse to surrender to the Red Army, and Bornholm has to suffer Soviet bombardment before the Germans finally surrender a few days later. 1948 The Faroe Islands are granted autonomy within the Danish Kingdom. 1949 Denmark joins NATO as one of the founding members. 1953 A new constitution alters the status of Greenland from colony to a "county" (amt) of Denmark. Parliament changes from a two-chamber system to a single-chamber system. By the same constitutional changes, Princess Margrethe becomes heir to the throne. The Nordic Council founded. 1972 Denmark joins the European Community (EC) after a referendum. 1979 Greenland is granted home rule and starts taking over some of its internal affairs. 1992 In a referendum Denmark votes "NO" to the Maastricht treaty (which designs a more federalized European Union). The "NO" vote shakes the whole European Community. 1993 A new referendum on the Maastricht treaty - allowing Denmark to opt out on issues such as a common European currency, citizenship, defense policy, and police - is arranged and Denmark votes "YES" to that. Note: Present-day (i.e., Swedish or German) spellings for the former Danish/Norwegian landscapes and Danish controlled duchies have been used. 3.3.2 The list of Danish monarchs Denmark is probably the only country in the world that can produce an uninterrupted list of monarchs for more than thousand years. So here goes: Chochilaichus (Hugleik?) mentioned 515 Ongendeus (Angantyr? or Yngvin?) mentioned in the beginning of the 8th century Sigfred mentioned in the end of the 8th century Gudfred died around 810, mentioned 804 Hemming 810-812 Harald Klak 812-813 Sons of Gudfred mentioned 813-817 Hårik I (Horik) died 854, mentioned from 827 Hårik II (Horik) 854-around 870 Helge Olav mentioned in the 890's Gnupa (Chnob) and Gurd mentioned 909-919 Sigtryg Hardeknud (Hardegon) Gorm den Gamle died around 940 Harald I Blåtand around 940-around 986 Svend I Tveskæg around 986-1014 Harald II 1014-1018 Knud I den Store 1018-1035 Hardeknud 1035-1042 Magnus den Gode 1042-1047 Svend II Estridsen 1047-1074 Harald III Hen 1074-1080 Knud II den Hellige 1080-1086 Oluf I Hunger 1086-1095 Erik I Ejegod 1095-1103 Niels 1104-1134 Erik II Emune 1134-1137 Erik III Lam 1137-1146 Oluf II Haraldsen 1140-1143 Svend III Grathe 1146-1157 Knud III 1146-1151 and 1154-1157 Valdemar I den Store 1154-1182 Knud IV (VI) 1182-1202 Valdemar II Sejr 1202-1241 Erik IV Plovpenning 1241-1250 Abel 1250-1252 Christoffer I 1252-1259 Erik V Klipping 1259-1286 Erik VI Menved 1286-1319 Christoffer II 1320-1326 and 1330-1332 Valdemar III 1326-1330 Valdemar IV Atterdag 1340-1375 Oluf III 1376-1387 Margrethe I 1375-1412 Erik VII af Pommern 1396-1439 Christoffer III af Bayern 1440-1448 Christian (Christiern) I 1448-1481 Hans 1481-1513 Christian (Christiern) II 1513-1523 Frederik I 1523-1533 Christian III 1534-1559 Frederik II 1559-1588 Christian IV 1588-1648 Frederik III 1648-1670 Christian V 1670-1699 Frederik IV 1699-1730 Christian VI 1730-1746 Frederik V 1746-1766 Christian VII 1766-1808 Frederik VI 1808-1839 Christian VIII 1839-1848 Frederik VII 1848-1863 Christian IX 1863-1906 Frederik VIII 1906-1912 Christian X 1912-1947 Frederik IX 1947-1972 Margrethe II 1972- 3.3.3 Denmark during world war II This section will probably get more material. Actually, this is one of the regular topics of discussion in the group. But few have yet had energy enough to write and propose a text for the faq. From: Stan Brown <> Subject: Yellow Stars (was Re: Denmark during WW2) Date: Sun, 26 May 1996 12:03:02 -0400 > I also thought that Jews were required to wear stars, but that > the King himself put on a star, as did many others, and therefore > that the star identification system of the Nazis failed? On page 14 of Queen in Denmark by Anne Wolden-Ræthinge (Gyldendal, 1989, ISBN 87-01-08622-7 and 87-01-08623-5), HM Queen Margrethe II says: "One of the stories one often hears about the Occupation, and which I persist in denying each time I hear it, is the story about Christian X wearing the yellow star of David as a demonstration during the Occupation. It is a beautiful and symbolic story, but it is not true. I do not mind it existing or being told, but I will not support a myth, even a good one, when I know it isn't true, it would be dishonest. But the moral behind the story is a far better one for Denmark than if the King had worn the star. The fact of the matter is that the Germans never did dare insist that Danish Jews wear the yellow star. This is a credit to Denmark which our country has cause to be proud of: I think this is an important fact to remember. The myth about the King wearing the star of David, well, I can imagine that this could have originated from a typical remark by a Copenhagen errand boy on his bicycle: 'If they try to enforce the yellow star here, the King will be the first to wear it!' -- I don't know whether this was the actual remark, but I imagine it could have been how the myth started. It is certainly a possible explanation I offer whenever I am asked. To me, the truth is an even greater honor for our country than the myth." From: Henrik Ernoe <> Subject: Re: Denmark during WW2 Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 11:14:42 +0100 > If the Germans were mere occupiers, why did > they sanction the destruction of the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen? First of all, the bombing of tivoli was a "Schalburgtage" committed by Danish Nazies not but the Germans, and it happenened after august 43, were the Danish government demissioned and the "peaceful" occupation and collaboration ended. > But they did they effectively steal all of the Danish gold > reserves to finance their own war effort and bankrupt the > Danish treasury? The Germans did not steal the Danish gold reserves. The base for this story is the system with "clearing-accounts" in the National bank. The system worked as follows: When the German wanted to "buy" butter, bacon, guns, or whatever in Denmark, they paid with vouchers which the sellers would take to national bank to get their money. The Danish National bank then paid from the "clearing-account", which was then supposed to be repaid by the Germans, this however never happened (the account still amounts to several milliards in 1996). That the Germans plundered Denmark this way is true, that they stole the gold reserves is not! A lot of the stories are inaccurate or untrue and tend to polish the Danish image, which in view of the Governments acts from April 9th 1940 to 29 August 1943 is deeply tarnished by a policy of collaboration with Nazi Germany. There are things to proud of in Danish WWII history but the policy of the government and political establishment until 43 is not one of them. It should never be forgotten that until 29 August 1943 the Danish government did all it could to hinder sabotage and other acts of resistance. And the greatest danger to the resistance was the Danish police not the Gestapo! When agents (Danes) from from the British SOE were parachuted into Denmark, it was the Danish police that hunted them down and murdered Rottböll and his comrades! What saved our honor as a nation was the acts of a few people defying not only the Germans but also the Danish King, government and all the lawful authorities. [ the sections above are available at the www-page ]
Subject: 3.3.4 Sønderjylland through the times The medieval history of Southern Jutland (Danish: Sønder Jylland) is complicated, and the Nationalistic fuss of the 19th century produced some extra confusion. Both pro-Germans and pro-Danes used the history to prove that the Duchy of Slesvig rightfully ought to be a part of Germany - or Denmark - respectively. Jutland is a long peninsula. From the old Sagas we get the impression that Jutland "always" has been divided in a northern and a southern part at the Kongeå River. However, if archeology and Roman sources are balanced, one can assume that the Jutish people inhabited both the Kongeå region and the more northern part of the peninsula, while the Anglians lived approximately where the towns Haithabu and Schleswig later would emerge. The pattern of populated and unpopulated areas was relatively constant through Bronze Age and Iron Age. After a lot of Anglians had emigrated to the British Islands in the 5th century, the land of the Anglians came in closer contact with the Danish islands - plausibly by immigration/occupation by the Danes. Later also the contacts increased between the Danes and the people on the northern half of the Jutish peninsula. As Charlemagne extended his realm in the late 8th century, he met a united Danish army which successfully defended Danevirke. A border was established at the River Eider A.D. 811. Danevirke was erected immediately south for the road where boats or goods had to be hauled for approximately 5 kilometers between a bay of the Baltic Sea and a small river (Rheider Au / Reider Å) connected to the North Sea. There, on the narrowest part of southern Jutland, an important transit market (Haithabu /Hedeby close to the later town Slesvig) was established, and protected by the fortification Danevirke. During the 9th century the border was adjusted to the south, and during a period Hamburg was occupied by Danes. This strength was enabled by three factors: * the fishing, * the good soil giving good pasture and harvests, and * in particular the tax and customes revenues from the market in Haithabu, where all trade between the Baltic Sea and Western Europe passed. The wealth of southern Jutland and the taxes from the Haithabu market was, of course, enticing. A separate kingdom of Haithabu /Hedeby was established around year 900 A.D. by the Viking chieftain Olaf from Svealand. Olaf's son and successor Gnupa was however killed in battle agains the Danish king, and his kingdom vanished. The southern border was then adjusted back and forth a few times. For instance the German Emperor Otto II did occupy land north of the River Eider in the years 974-983, stimulating German colonialization. Later Haithabu /Hedeby was burned by Swedes, and first under the reign of King Svend Forkbeard (986-1014) the situation was stabilized, although raids against Haithabu would be repeated. Again in 1066 Haithabu was destroyed by fire. Knud Lavard (killed 1131) was called Duke of Jutland, and during the rule of his dynasty Southern Jutland functioned as the Duchy which provided for the expences of Royal Princes, which led to longlasting feuds between the Dukes and the Kings 1253-1325. Knud Lavard had inherited also parts of Holstein, and thereby come in conflict with Count Adolf in the German part of Holstein, as they both were very keen on expanding their influence and pacifying the Wagrian tribe. Count Adolf succeeded and established the County of Holstein (1143) with about the borders it has had since then. Holstein was Christianized, lots of the Wagrians were killed and the land was inhabited by settlers from Westphalia, Friesland and Holland. Soon the towns of Holstein, as Lübeck and Hamburg, became serious trade competitors on the Baltic Sea. Denmark tried her best to expand her influence to Holstein too, and during 1203-1227 the Count of Holstein acknoledged the King of Denmark as feudal lord. The wars between the kings of Denmark and the dukes of Slesvig were expensive, and Denmark had to finance them through extensive loans. The Dukes were usually allied with the Counts of Holstein, who happened to be the main creditors of the Danish Crown, too. In 1326, after a war between Denmark and Holstein, the underage Duke of Jutland was made king of Denmark, and his guardian Count Gerhard of Holstein was entfeofed with the Duchy as an inheritable fief. This was the time when almost all of Denmark came under the supremacy of the Counts of Holstein, who possessed different parts of Denmark as pawns for their credits. King Valdemar VI (Atterdag) started to regain the kingdom part by part. King Valdemar's son Henrik was in 1364 nominally entfeofed with the Duchy, although he never reached to regain more than the northernmost parts as he couldn't raise the neccessary founds to repay the loans. As both Duke Henrik and King Valdemar died (1374 & 1375) the Duchy was the only important part of Denmark which still was controlled by the Counts of Holstein, who now declared the Duchy to be independent of the Danish Crown. Queen Margrete managed however in 1386 to reach an agreement with the creditors, who acknowledged the Danish Queen as feudal lord. The Duchy of Slesvig was thereby again a part of the Danish realm - nominally - but it took another 54 years of feuds until the Duchy in practice contributed with troops or taxes. In 1448 the Duke of Slesvig was influential enough to get his nephew Count Christiern elected King of Denmark, and when the Duke had died King Christiern was appointed Duke of Slesvig and Count of Holstein in 1460. It followed a period of a hundred years when the Duchy many times was devided between inheritors. From the end of the 16th century the Duchy was split in only two parts: one held by the King of Denmark, and the other held by the Duke of Slesvig. During the 30-years War the relations between the Duke and the King worsened. Finally in 1658, after the Danes had invaded Swedish territories south of Hamburg, the Duke cooperated with the Swedes in their counter-attack which almost eradicated the Danish Kingdom. The peace treaty stipulated that the Duke no longer was a vassal of the Danish Crown. As Sweden in 1721 had lost its strength, Denmark could again incorporate the Duchy in the Danish realm, and the prior royal and ducal regions of the Duchy were united. The prior Duke remained Duke of Holstein under the German Emperor until 1773 when (almost) all of Holstein was gained by the King of Denmark (in his role as German Duke of Holstein). German had been the governmental language during the times of more or less independent Dukes, and remained so. Since the Reformation, German had also been dominating in Church and schools, while Danish was the dominating language among the peasantry. After the Napoleonic wars most of Europe experienced a national awakening. Not the least in the German speaking parts of Europe, as for instance in Slesvig and Holstein. 1806-1815 the government of Denmark had claimed Slesvig and Holstein to be parts of Denmark, which wasn't popular among the Germans. The revolutions 1848 all over Europe led in Slesvig and Holstein to a failed separatist rebellion, and Nationalists in Denmark advocated danification of Slesvig (but not Holstein). In 1864 the Danish government saw a historical opportunity to achieve this, but instead Prussia and Austria attacked. After a short war Slesvig and Holstein was ceded - and from 1866 incorporated with Prussia. After Germany had lost the first World War it was possible for Denmark to support the Danish speaking peasantry in Slesvig in their national strive. A referendum was held, and Slesvig was split between Germany and Denmark along a line immediately north for the town Flensburg. 500-800 Southern Jutland probably inhabited by Danes 800-900 [INLINE] Southern Jutland held by Danes 900-936 Southern Jutland a kingdom of its own. The king was from Sweden. 936-974 [INLINE] Southern Jutland held by Danes 974-983 The German Emperor established a small colony on southernmost Jutland 986-~1140 [INLINE] Danish Earls ("Jarl") defend the border. ~1140-1325 Royal Princes are supported by revenues from a Duchy comprising rather limited parts of Southern Jutland. The dukes strive for independence from the Danish Crown. 1326-1375 Southern Jutland ruled by the creditors, the Conts of Holstein 1376-1386 The Duchy of Slesvig is claimed independent. 1386-1440 The Duchy is in theory a part of the Danish realm, however mostly in war with the King of Denmark. 1440-1460 [INLINE] The Dynasty to which the Duke of Slesvig belongs increases their influence in the Danish realm. The Duchy is in practice a part of the Danish realm. 1460-~1658 Holstein and Slesvig twin-duchies with peculiar rules for succession. All, or parts, of the Duchies held by the King of Denmark. Other parts by brothers and cousins. The dukes strive for independence from the Danish Crown. 1658-1721 Half of the Duchies Slesvig and Holstein ruled by a sovereign Duke, the other half ruled by the King of Denmark. 1721-1773 [INLINE] All of the Duchy of Slesvig and the half of Holstein ruled by the King of Denmark. 1773-1864 [INLINE] All of the Duchy of Slesvig and all of Holstein ruled by the King of Denmark. 1864-1920 All of the Duchy of Slesvig and all of Holstein incorporated in the German Imperium. 1920-- The northernmost part of the Duchy of Slesvig (Sønderjylland) is re-united with Denmark [ the sections above are available at the www-page ]
Subject: 3.4 Main tourist attractions <by Jens Chr. Madsen, except for the part on Copenhagen> 3.4.1 Getting there and getting around Copenhagen Airport has a large number of connections to destinations within the Nordic Countries and the rest of the world. Numerous ferries connect Denmark to Britain, Norway, Sweden, Poland, and Germany; and of course there is also a "land connection" from Germany. There are several daily direct trains to Denmark from Germany and Sweden. Due to the country's modest size and general topography it is easy to get around in Denmark, be it by bicycle, car, or public transportation. Denmark is an almost ideal country for cyclists: Relatively short distances, practically no steep roads, and a dense network of bike paths and small country roads. Even large cities are bicycle-friendly (compared to many other countries at least) with bike paths on most major streets. The reason for this, of course, is that a significant number of Danes from all groups of society commute by bicycle. There is not much to be said about traveling by car in Denmark, except that you should be aware of the large number of bicycles, as mentioned above. *Please* be careful and look for bicycles, especially when you make a right turn. Apart from that, the most special thing about driving a car in Denmark is that you will have to get on a ferry if you intend to travel between the western (Jutland, Funen) and eastern (Sealand, Lolland, Falster) parts of the country. The shortest and busiest crossing is between Halsskov on Sealand and Knudshoved on Funen. That crossing will be replaced by a bridge-tunnel system in a few years (train connection to open in 1996). There are also a number of ferries between Sealand and Jutland - Ebeltoft-Odden is the shortest and most frequent. Traveling by air in Denmark is also possible of course; all domestic flights go to/from Copenhagen and none of them is longer than 45 minutes. You do save some time, but often at a rather high price. However, there are often some good offers during the summer holiday period, so especially if you are going to Bornholm, Billund or Ålborg from Copenhagen, flying there might be worth considering. Otherwise, public long-distance traveling is done by train (there are, however, a few coach lines from Copenhagen to Århus, Ålborg, and Fjerritslev; 2-3 departures per day and prices approximately as for the train). There is an hourly intercity train service connecting cities on "the main line" from Copenhagen via Odense and Århus to Ålborg. Intercity services to other larger cities in Jutland normally run every two hours. (The intercity trains are transferred on the ferry between Sealand and Funen. The concept of putting a passenger train on a ferry is possibly unique to Denmark; international trains from Copenhagen to Sweden or Germany also travel on board ferries.) In addition to the intercity, there are regional trains every hour on most lines. Short distance travelling is mostly done by bus. 3.4.2 Copenhagen Copenhagen's metropolitan area is the home of more than 25% of Denmark's population. The city lies on the eastern shore of the island of Sjælland (Zealand), at the southern end of Øresund (The Sound), the waterway that separates Denmark from Sweden and links the Baltic with the North Sea. Copenhagen is protected from the Baltic by the small island of Amager. Between Amager and Sjælland there was formerly a group of sand flats. Drained and reclaimed, they now constitute the islet of Christianshavn, which has been developed as the chief dock area of the city. The harbor of Copenhagen occupies the narrow waterway between Christianshavn and Sjælland. The nucleus of the city is Slotsholmen, or Castle Isle, where a fortification was built in 1167. Its site is now occupied by Christiansborg Palace, constructed between 1907 and 1915 as a home for the legislature and government ministries. Nearby are the Thorvaldsen Museum and the Exchange (Børsen), built from 1619 to 1640, with a twisting spire made up of the interwoven tails of four sculptured dragons. North of the old city is Frederikstad, a planned suburb built in the 18th century. In it is the Amalienborg Palace, originally luxurious town houses but since 1794 the residence of the Danish monarch; a ceremonial changing of guards takes place every day at 12 noon. Nearby is the massive Marble Church started in 1749 but finished only almost 150 later, and to the west of the church is Rosenborg Palace, built in the early 17th century as the summer residence of the king but now acts as a museum. The city's university was founded in 1479 by King Christian I and was re-founded in the 19th century. To the southeast, beyond the dock quarter of Christianshavn, is the largely residential suburb of Amager. The island of Amager, much of which is low-lying and marshy, is the site of Copenhagen's Kastrup airport, one of the largest in Europe. A gigantic bridge has been planned for Amager across Øresund to Malmö in Sweden. Copenhagen has many canals, wide boulevards and public parks and gardens. Among these is the famous Tivoli, in the heart of the city to the southwest of the old town, a highly sophisticated amusement park laid out in 1843, with e.g 28 restaurants, music, dance, and theater, fountains, carousels, etc., as well as more modern amusement park devices. Other parks worth a visit and maybe a picnic are the Botanical Gardens (Botanisk Have) and Rosenborg Gardens with the palace. The famous pedestrian shopping street Strøget starts from The City Hall (Rådhuset), which is an impressive piece of neo-gothic architecture, and runs to Kongens Nytorv where Charlottenborg palace and the Royal Theater are located. The pedestrian center itself, which includes many winding, medieval streets, is a marvellous place to stroll around, but keep in mind that businesses close by early afternoon on Saturday and aren't open on Sunday. There are a couple of old churches in the pedestrian center as well, e.g. Nikolaj Church and the neo-classic Cathedral. In Christianshavn, be sure to climb to the spiral tower of the baroque Vor Frelsers Kirke (Our Saviour's Church) for a great view. Christiania While you're in Christianshavn you may want to visit the "alternative city" of Christiania. The story of Christiania began in 1971 when a large number of hippies took over the abandoned military barracks in Bådmanstrædes Kaserne; after futile attempts by police to empty the area, the matter ended up in the parliament and Christiania got political exemption and acceptance as a "social experiment" in return for agreeing to pay for the use of water and electricity. After many colourful struggles against threats of closing and "normalization" as well as hard drugs and violent motorcycle gangs, Christiania's tale still continues. The Freetown's self-government is arranged in an anarchist fashion, with common decisions being made in various councils such as the Common Meeting, The Economy Meeting, The House Meeting, etc. Christiania has no laws, but there's a series of bans put up by the inhabitants of the Freetown: no hard drugs, no weapons, no violence, no trading with buildings or residential areas. Christiania is probably best known to the outside world for the free availability of cannabis products; they are indeed being openly sold on the main street, but this does not mean hash is legal in Denmark, or that you can't be punished for carrying or using it. The Danish police have a policy of not fining for small amounts of cannabis and for the most part tolerate the trade in Christiania, but they do sometimes patrol the area. Tourists should think twice before abusing the liberal attitudes and good will of the Danish officials. Also, don't take photos of Christiania or Christianians, they won't like it and you may have your film taken from you if do. Legal intoxicants can be tried out by taking a guided excursion to the two major Danish breweries, Carlsberg and Tuborg. Tuborg is located in the suburb of Hellerup in northern Copenhagen, Strandvejen 54, excursions are Monday-Friday 10 a.m, 12.30 and 2.30 p.m. Carlsberg breweries are at Ny Carlsbergvej (at the Elephant Gate; take bus 16 from Rådhuspladsen toward Sydhavn), excursions Monday-Friday at 11 a.m and 2 p.m. Carlsberg has always been a major patron of the arts in Denmark, and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (near the Tivoli gardens), which houses a collection of antique artifacts as well as French and Danish art, is well worth a visit. Nyhavn canal close to Kongens Nytorv square is a popular place to walk around; there's also a H. C. Andersen exhibition at Nyhavn 69. Statens Museum før Kunst (Sølvgade 48-50) is the Danish National Gallery; European masters and Danish art. Nationalmuseet (National Museum) has, among other things, a splendid collection of unique prehistoric finds (rich, well-preserved bronze age bog-finds, the Gundestrup Cauldron, the Solvagn, Viking age gold treasures, etc) and an exhibition of Eskimo culture. North of Copenhagen lies Frilandsmuseet: open air museum of the history of folk architecture in Denmark and the formerly Danish part of Sweden (Skåne) - it can be accessed by train or bus. 3.4.3 Zealand and surrounding islands <From: Durant Imboden> * Hillerød: Frederiksborg Castle * Roskilde: the cathedral and, as long as you're there, the Viking Ship Museum. * Louisiana art museum has excellent collections of contemporary art, while Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek concentrates on older sculpture and painting. * The view from the top of the City Hall (Radhuset) is not to be missed. 3.4.4 Bornholm <From: Durant Imboden> * Bornholm: an island in the Baltic, easily reached by overnight ferry from the Copenhagen waterfront. Well worth a few days--or even a week, if you're in a mood for leisurely exploration. (There's also a ferry from Bornholm to Sweden, making Bornholm a convenient stopover on a tour through Scandinavia.) 3.4.5 Fyn and surrounding islands * Odense, the largest town of Fyn, has Hans Christian Andersen's birthplace [someone could add something here] 3.4.6 Jutland Compared to Sealand and Copenhagen, Jutland has not many castles etc. to offer. Jutland's main asset is nature, which spans a wide spectrum from lakes, hills, and forests (very like the landscape of Sealand and Funen) to heaths, moors, marsh and dunes, unique to the Jutland landscape. Some of Europe's finest beaches are found on Jutland's North Sea coast. Here is a brief description of some of the attractions in Jutland - going from south to north. * Sønderjylland: This part of the country was the northern part of the duchy of Schleswig - a Danish "dominion". It was ceded from 1864 to 1920 (see history section) and became re-unified with Denmark after a referendum. Close to Sønderborg, the windmill and embankments of Dybbøl is part of the national heritage. It was here that Denmark was defeated in the 1864 war against Austria and Prussia. Further west, the marshlands and dikes form a unique landscape with an abundant bird life. The islands of Rømø and Fanø are popular resorts. * Vejle and the Jelling Stones: In south-east Jutland the city of Vejle is a good starting point for an excursion. On both sides of the Vejle Fjord there are beautiful beech forests with some (for Danish conditions) unusually steep hills. The train from Vejle to Jelling will take you through the Grejs Valley; again with some unusually hilly terrain and beautiful forests. In the village of Jelling the "Birth Certificate" of Denmark can be studied: Two large stones with runic inscriptions set by King Harald Blåtand for his father Gorm den Gamle (Gorm the Old) and his mother Thyra. The inscriptions on the stones are some of the oldest known writings in "Danish" translating approximately as: "Harald had this stone made, for his father Gorm and his mother Thyra; the Harald who united all of Denmark and Norway and christianized the Danes". Two large burial mounds adjacent to the stones are popularly believed to be the graves of Gorm and Thyra. * Billund: About 28 km west of Vejle is the small (but world famous) town of Billund - home to the Lego factories and Legoland. It's not just for kids. The centerpiece is "Miniland", a great many models of cities, palaces, and harbors, all made of Legos and constructed in scale of 20-to-1. The Amalienborg Palace is there, and Bavaria's Neuschwandstein Castle, and a Dutch town, and a Norwegian fishing village, and an oil refinery, and trains, and Mount Rushmore, and the U.S. Capitol, and zebras, and rabbits, and much more. Many of the exhibits have moving parts: boats are drawn up into dry dock, trucks pick up loads, bridges rise and fall, and so on. The DSB (state railway) sells a very attractively priced ticket at the central train station in Copenhagen: DKK 344 round trip (as of May 1994), including transfer to the Vejle-Billund bus and admission to the park. The town also has Denmark's second largest airport with many European connections. "Museum Center Billund" houses a collection of vintage cars and aircraft. * "Lake District": Further north-east you enter the "Jutland Highlands" and the "Lake District" - the area between Horsens, Silkeborg, and Skanderborg. The world's oldest still-operating paddle steamer will take you on a sightseeing tour of the lakes. On the southern shore of one of the lakes is "Sky Mountain" (Himmel-bjerget), so named for its astonishing height -- 147 meters! There is a nice look-out from the tower on top of Himmelbjerget. * Århus: North-east of the Lake District is Århus, Denmark's second city, which offers a wide range of things worth seeing. The Moesgaard Museum is located in a forest some 15 km south of the city center (bus #6) and it gives a splendid display of prehistoric Denmark. The museum's main attraction is the Grauballe Man, a ~2000 year old body found in a bog in eastern Jutland in 1952. Also in the city center you will find museums, e.g. the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Art, both located in the southern part of the university campus (which BTW is well worth visiting in its own right). You will also find lots of restaurants, cafes, places with live music etc. The concert hall (Musikhuset) opposite the City Hall was completed in 1982 and is home to the Jutland Opera and the Århus Symphony Orchestra. The university campus is both a beautiful park and a good example of Danish architecture (by Danish architect C.F.Møller). The university is an architectural unity where there is no random mixing of different styles as at many other campuses; the same simple (some might say barren) design with yellow bricks has been maintained right from the first buildings of the 1930's to present-day new constructions. Århus' main attraction, however, has to be the museum "The Old Town" (Den Gamle By). This is a collection of old houses from all over Denmark, carefully dismantled at their original sites and re-erected at this open-air museum adjacent to the Botanical Gardens, within walking distance from the city center. * The "Mid West": In the central and western parts of Jutland you find the infertile moor which is probably the closest Denmark has to a "wilderness". In late summer the purple heather provides a nice setting for a long hike. Last century large parts of the moor were converted into plantations and farmland. This was a consequence of the defeat in the war in 1864; the pioneer of moor plantation E. M. Dalgas put it like this (approximately): "What was lost abroad must be won at home". West of Viborg there are two old chalk mines (Daugbjerg and Mønsted) with guided tours. Further west there is an open-air museum at Hjerl Hede with a display of iron age life. At the west coast the large lagoon Ringkøbing Fjord is home to a bird sanctuary - Tipperne. Also the tongue of land separating the Fjord from the North Sea is a popular resort. * The Limfjord and Himmerland: The western part of the Limfjord is great for yachting. The island of Mors in the Limfjord has many splendid landscapes, e.g., the cliff of Hanklit at the northern part of the island. The porous clay (called mo-ler) of this cliff consists of zillions of fossilized diatomers, and this type of clay is not found anywhere else in the World. Another large bird sanctuary can be found at Bygholm Vejle 20 km east of the city of Thisted. This marshland is a result of a failed draining project, and the would- have- been farmland is now left in a "neither land nor fjord" state. Close to the city Hobro between Århus and Ålborg you find the remains of a circular Viking fort called "Fyrkat". A Viking house has been rebuilt there as accurately as possible. In the middle of Himmerland (the landscape between Hobro and Ålborg) the Rold Forest and the Rebild Hills (Rebild Bakker) are found. Every year, the beautiful hills at Rebild are home to what is said to be the largest 4th of July celebration outside the USA. There is also a small museum showing aspects of life of Danish immigrants in the USA in the 19th century. * Ålborg and Nørresundby: Like Århus, the city of Ålborg at the eastern part of the Limfjord provides lots of city entertainment like bars, restaurants, museums, a zoo and an amusement park. On the northern side of the Limfjord in Nørresundby is one of Scandinavia's largest Viking burial sites, the "Lindholm Hills" (Lindholm Høje). The remains of a big town from 600-1100 AD have been found. For more information on Ålborg have a look at: <>. * North of the Limfjord - Vendsyssel: As mentioned, the west coast of Jutland is more or less one long beach. Especially the beaches of northern Jutland - facing the Skagerrak - are excellent. But treat the ocean with respect; each year people unfamiliar with the North Sea do silly things like drifting to sea on air mattresses etc. Also, the surf and current can be strong some days. The resorts of Blokhus and Løkken are among the most popular (and thus the most crowded) in Scandinavia. Løkken offers a range of hotels and camp grounds as well as restaurants and some night life. Further north, the small hamlet of Lønstrup is a scaled-down version of Løkken; however, the coast line is somewhat different with rather steep slopes and cliffs. Just south of Lønstrup there is an old light-house at Rubjerg Knude. The lighthouse was abandoned in 1968 when the sand dunes grew taller than the lighthouse itself. Some years ago it was converted into a museum with displays on the problems of sand migration, but it will now have to close because of ... yes, sand migration. The city of Hirtshals is one of Denmark's most important fishing ports and a gateway to Norway with ferries to Kristiansand and Oslo. In 1981 a large North Sea research center was built, housing a lot of Denmark's fishing research. The center also houses the North Sea Museum - a nice exhibition and aquarium (including seals), situated close to the highway leading to the ferry terminal. The Hjørring-Hirtshals railway also stops at the North Sea Center. The coast line between Hirtshals and Skagen also has some excellent beaches, which are generally much less crowded than the ones in Blokhus or Løkken. Approaching Skagen, one passes the migrating dune of "Råbjerg Mile". It is the largest of its kind in northern Europe and gives you a small-scale Sahara feeling. The dune migrates a distance of 8-10 m per year. Also, between Råbjerg Mile and Skagen you will find "the buried church"; a church abandoned due to problems with sand migration. Skagen at the very top of Denmark was probably the first Danish holiday resort. In the last century it became popular with a school of Scandinavian painters, who were attracted to Skagen because of the special light and reflections the two seas (Skagerrak and Kattegat) give. (If the weather conditions are right you can see waves from the two seas engage in a head-on collision off the tip of Grenen.) The Museum of Skagen houses a fine collection of the work of the Skagen painters. Another - partly outdoor - museum "Skagens Fortidsminder" gives a good impression of the local culture and history, which is almost 100% based on fishing. Approximately 40 km south of Skagen is the city of Frederikshavn, naval base and home to Denmark's ice breakers. Frederikshavn has ferry connections to Larvik, Oslo, and Moss (Norway) and to Göteborg (Sweden). [ the sections above are available at the www-page ]
Subject: 3.5 Danish literature Skaldic poetry in the Danish language no doubt existed already in before the Viking age, but none of it was written down except for some Latinized versions later rendered by Saxo Grammaticus. Saxo's Gesta Danorum (History of the Danes), which recounts the history of Denmark up to 1186 and includes Danish versions (in a somewhat Christianized form) the Scandinavian myths and sagas, including the earliest version of the Hamlet story, is the first major Danish contribution to world literature. In the middle ages also a large number of religious poetry in Latin was written, as well as a great variety of folk ballads in Danish, which are among the more significant achievements of medieval Danish literature. German influence remained strong, however, up until the Reformation, and only in the 1600's did Danish poets really start writing in their own language. In the early 18th century the French Enlightenment and English rationalism started to influence Danish literary circles, and satires became fashionable. As a result, the Danish drama was created by Ludvig Holberg (born in Norway), whose joyous and witty comedies had an enormous impact on all Scandinavian playwrights of the following generations. Holberg may perhaps be called the father of modern Danish literature. In the latter half of 18th century, Johannes Ewald, a writer of lyric poetry and heroic tragedies written in verse, was the foremost of Danish authors. In the early 19th century Adam Oehlenschlager introduced Romanticism in Denmark, while Steen Steensen Blicher [portrait on the left] represented bleak, Danish realism. Among their contemporaries were the two perhaps most famous figures of Danish literature throughout the ages: the fairy tale writer Hans Christian Andersen (1805-75) [portrait on the right] and the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-55) whose influence was fully felt only with 20th-century existentialism. In the 1870's, romanticism was replaced by naturalism, the most ardent advocate of which was the famous literary critic Georg Brandes. He had much influence on e.g the novelist Jens Peter Jacobsen, the poet Holger Drachmann, and the Nobel Prize winners of 1917, Henrik Pontoppidan and Karl Gjellerup. Major early 20th-century figures Danish literature were the proletarian novelist Martin Andersen Nexø (1869 - 1954) and the poet and novelist Johannes V. Jensen (who won a Nobel Prize in 1944). The most famous of all modern Danish writers was Karen Blixen (pseudonym Isak Dinesen), who wrote her gothic tales and African memoirs in English. In the 1940s and 1950s, H.C. Branner wrote brilliant short stories; the poet Thorkild Bjørnvig and the novelist Klaus Rifbjerg won fame in the following decades. Among the young generation e.g. Peter Høeg has recently won international fame with his best-seller Smilla's Sense of Snow. For electronic versions of some of the works of Nordic literature, see the collection of Project Runeberg: * Icelandic Literature * Literature from the Viking Age * Medieval Nordic Literature * Danish Literature * Norwegian Literature * Literature of Finland * Literature from the Age of Liberty [ in Sweden and Finland (1719-1772) ] [ the sections above are available at the www-page ]
Subject: 3.6 Faroe Islands <From: Jens C. Madsen & Jacob Sparre Andersen> 3.6.1 Fact Sheet Name: Føroyar (Danish: Færøerne) (Bokmål: Færøyene) (Nynorsk: Færøyane) (Swedish: Färöarna) (Finnish: Färsaaret) Autonomous region of Denmark Head of state: Queen Margrethe II represented by a High Commissioner Flag: a red Nordic cross outlined in blue on a white background, dimensions (6-1-2-1-12 * 6-1-2-1-6) Languages: Faroese, Danish (both official) Administrative units: 7 counties (sýslur) each with several municipalities Area: 1,399 km² Terrain: 18 islands of volcanic origin, steep cliffs, Land boundaries: None Population: 48,065 (1993) - Much lower today, because of economic crisis Life expectancy: male: 74.5 years, female: 81.5 years Capital: Tórshavn (pop: 13,636) Other major towns: Klaksvík (pop: 4,923 in 1987) Religion: Evangelic-Lutheran (approximately 75%) Currency: króna (Danish crown, DKK). The Faroes issue their own bank notes but use Danish coins. Climate: temperate sea-climate. Average temp.: 3 C in the coldest month, 11 C in the warmest Annual precipitation: 1430 mm Natural resources: fish, sheep, potatoes, whaling Exports: fish and fish products (88% of total export), ships 3.6.2 General information The Faroe Islands consist of 18 islands of which only Koltur and Lítla Dímun are unpopulated. The largest islands are Streymoy, Eysturoy, Vágar, and Suðuroy. The inhabitants of the Faroe Islands descend from the Viking settlers who arrived in the 9th century and the pre-existing Celtic population. Apart from fishing and sheep husbandry the Faroese have traditionally also been netting birds, gathering eggs, and hunting the small pilot whale. These activities remain an important supplement to the economy in the Faroese society today. The Faroese have a rich cultural heritage; language and customs (such as the old traditional Faroese chain dance) are kept very much alive. The parliament (Fa: Løgtingið, Da: Lagtinget) consists of 27-32 members. The government (Fa: Landsstýrið, Da: Landsstyret) has executive power in all local affairs. The political parties in the Faroe Islands cover the traditional left-right spectrum. But in addition to that (and independent from that) there is another political spectrum regarding the relations to Denmark; from unionists over more-home-rule advocates to republicans. The Faroes elect two members to the Danish parliament. These days the Faroese must cope with the decline of the all-important fishing industry and one of the world's heaviest per capita external debts of nearly 30,000 USD. The fishing industry has been plagued with bankruptcies. Denmark has threatened to withhold its annual subsidy of 130 million USD - roughly one-third of the islands' budget revenues - unless the Faroese make significant efforts to balance their budget. In addition to its annual subsidy, the Danish government has (through the Faroese government) bailed out the second largest bank, the Føroya Banki, to the tune of 140 million USD since October 1992. [ the sections above are available at the www-page ] 3.6.3 History ca.600 ? Celtic settlers (Irish monks) make it to the Faroes. ca.900 The Faroe Islands are colonized by Norwegian settlers. 1035 The Faroe Islands become a Norwegian dependency. 1380 Along with Norway, the Faroes become united with Denmark. 1709 The Faroes become (technically) a part of Zealand, Denmark. 1814 When Denmark cedes Norway in the peace treaty of Kiel, the Faroes remain with Denmark. 1880 The independence movement starts. 1940-45 The Faroes are occupied by British forces during WWII. Trade with the UK leads to economic growth. The Faroese flag is commonly used since the UK does not tolerate the flag of German-occupied Denmark. 1948 The Faroe Islands are granted autonomy within the Danish Kingdom. 1973 When Denmark joins the European Community (EC) the Faroe Islands choose to stay outside the EC. 1980s Good prospects in the fishing industry lead the Faroes to invest large sums in infrastructure to prevent depopulation of small villages. 1990s A recession in the fishing industry leaves the Faroes with a large debt and in an economic crisis. Emigration to Denmark increases. [ the sections above are available at the www-page ] 3.6.4 Main tourist attractions You can get to the Faroes by air from Copenhagen daily (Maersk Air and Atlantic Airways). There are several weekly connections from Iceland with Icelandair. The airport is located on the island of Vágar with a bus-ferry-bus shuttle to Tórshavn. Also Smyril Line operates the ferry Norröna during the summer months in cooperation with Scandinavian Seaways. The ferry sails to Tórshavn from Esbjerg (Denmark) on Saturdays; from Bergen (Norway) on Tuesdays; and from Seyðisfjörður (Iceland) on Thursdays (1994 schedule). Strandfaraskip Landsins is operating Smyril on the route to Scotland once a week. There is an official camping site in Tórshavn and Selatrað. There are a few youth hostels on the islands and a few hotels also. Camping can be a somewhat wet experience since the weather is highly variable - even for Nordic standards, but on a clear day the views are absolutely breathtaking. Popular places are the westernmost island of Mykines with its large colonies of gannets (Súla; sea birds); - on Streymoy the ruins of the never-finished Magnus Cathedral at Kirkjubøur, the tiny community of Saksun with its magnificent fjord and the bird-cliffs between Saksun and Vestmanna. Also, the capital Tórshavn is a very charming city with small narrow streets and beautiful old houses in the center. On Eysturoy some attractions are the rock formations "Risin og kellingin" north of Eiði; the village of Gjógv with its very characteristic natural harbour - and nice youth hostel. Also Slættaratindur, the islands' highest point of 882 m is a popular destination for a hike. < From: Durant Imboden > - The Faroe Islands, a Danish dependency in the North Atlantic reached via car ferry from Esbjerg on the Smyril Line. (It's a two-night trip.) You can continue on to a fishing town in Eastern Iceland, if you like, in which case you'll see some lovely and dramatic scenery as you pass between the islands on the m/v Norröna. [ the sections above are available at the www-page ] 3.6.5 Faroese literature and language The Faroese language resembles both Icelandic and Western Norwegian dialects. It is almost mutually intelligible with other North Germanic languages - at least in its written form. The written form of Faroese was established in the 19th century by Venzel Hammershaimb and modeled after Icelandic with almost the same alphabet. Written Faroese apperared rather late and at a time when the language was under strong pressure from Danish, which had become the established language for the church and civil servants of the Faroes. But when written Faroese was established, it meant a great boost for Faroese culture and language. Today the Faroes have one of the highest number of books published per capita. The best known authors are William Heinesen (1900-1991) and Heðin Brú (alias Hans Jacob Jacobsen, 1901-1987). [ the sections above are available at the www-page ]
Subject: 3.7 Books for learning Danish Dictionaries: Gyldendals røde ordbøger (Gyldendal's red dictionaries) Dansk-engelsk, ISBN 87-00-73972-3 (niende udgave, 10. oplag) Engelsk-dansk, ISBN 87-01-09312-2 (11. udgave, 6. oplag) These dictionaries are very much the standard dictionaries in use. In the same series Gyldendal publishes Danish-German and Danish-French dictionaries plus a couple of others. They are, however, rather expensive in the States (over 100 dollars the pair). Persons who are just starting out might buy the yellow pocket-size Berlitz dictionary (ISBN 2-8315-0946-7), available in many bookstores. Unlike the Gyldendals books, it does indicate pronunciation, which can be a help to students. Readers might want to stay away from the Hippocrene Practical Dictionary, which does not indicate the genders of nouns. Books for learning Danish: Teach Yourself Danish, by H. A. Koefoed. Reissued as a paperback in 1995. Colloquial Danish, by W Glyn Jones and Kirsten Gade (available in pack of book + 2 cassettes, from the publisher, Routledge: +1 212 244-3336 in New York; there's also a London office) Danish: A Grammar (same authors) (published by Gyldendal) (available with cassettes and workbook) A source in the U.S. for dictionaries and grammars of Nordic and other languages is IBD limited 24 Hudson Street Kinderhook NY 12106 phone in USA: 1-800-343-3531 [ the sections above are available at the www-page ] -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- END OF PART 3 -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- © Copyright 1994-98 by Antti Lahelma and Johan Olofsson. You are free to quote this page as long as you mention the URL for the original archive (as: <>), where the most recent version of this document can be found. -- e-mail: s-mail: Majeldsvägen 8a, 587 31 LINKÖPING, Sweden www:

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