Amager ([ˈɑmɑːˀ] or, especially among older speakers, [ˈɑmæjˀɐ]) in the Øresund is Denmark's most densely populated island, with almost 200,000 inhabitants on the small appendix to Zealand. The protected natural area of Naturpark Amager (including Kalvebod Fælled) makes up more than one-third of the island's total area of 96 km2.
Aerial view of Amager
|Area||96 km2 (37 sq mi)|
|Population||196,094 (1 January 2017)|
The Danish capital, Copenhagen, is partly situated on Amager, which is connected to the much larger island of Zealand by eight bridges and a metro tunnel. Amager also has a connection across the Øresund to Sweden, the Øresund Bridge. Its western part begins with a tunnel from Amager to another Danish island, Peberholm. Copenhagen Airport is located on the island, around 7 km (4 mi) from Copenhagen city centre.
Amager is the largest island in the Øresund, and the only one with a large population. As of 2017[update], 196,045 people lived on the island, including its northern tip, Christianshavn. The northern part is included in the Copenhagen municipality. The middle part comprises Tårnby municipality, and Dragør municipality is located on the southeast part of the island.
Most of the western part is land that was claimed from the sea from the 1930s-1950s. This enlargement, from the shallow sound towards Zealand, is known as Kalveboderne. The enlargement has never been built-up and its soil isn't suitable for agricultural use. However the area between Dragør town and the airport is cultivated land of high quality. Amager has in the past been referred to as the "kitchen of Copenhagen". At the border of the enlargement there is an old beech forest, Kongelunden (The King's Grove).
Amager has long been populated, and well used, thanks to its rich soil and proximity to Copenhagen. In 1521, Christian II invited some Dutch farmers to move to Amager and grow vegetables to supply the Danish Court and Copenhagen. It was only in the late 19th century that Copenhagen began to expand onto the island (Sundbyerne), and in 1902 these built-up areas were incorporated into Copenhagen.
During the Second World War, high unemployment in Copenhagen led authorities to drain a large part of the sea, west of the island, and build a dam to hold out the water, effectively adding one half of Amager's previous area to the island.
The reclaimed area is currently known as Kalvebod Fælled, and was originally a military area, but today it is part of a major construction area called the Ørestad, being thought of as an extension to central Copenhagen. The area houses major facilities such as:
- Bella Center, a convention and exposition center
- Field's, the second-largest shopping center in Scandinavia
- Royal Arena, a multi-use indoor arena
This project was initiated by the Danish government.
The beach area to the east of the island, known as Amager Strandpark (Amager Beach Park), which had fallen into disrepair since its inception in the 1930s, was extensively redeveloped between May 2004 and August 2005. A 2-km-long artificial island was constructed just off the mainland, from which it is separated by a small lagoon.
Large parts of Kalvebod Fælled are rich in nature and have many grazing cows and horses. This area allows the citizens of Copenhagen to experience nature, without travelling far from the city.
Amager is also home to the Amager Bio, a cinema, concert and cultural venue. Top bands from the last 40 years have played there, both those of international origin (Prince, Aimee Mann, Uriah Heep, King Crimson, Cradle of Filth, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Jethro Tull, The Moody Blues, MGMT, Nas, Andrew Bird) and from Denmark (D.A.D, Dodo and the Dodos, Johnny Deluxe, Big Fat Snake).
Amager is connected by tunnel to the artificial island Peberholm from which Øresund Bridge connects Denmark to Sweden. The construction of the bridge has had a significant impact on the physical geography of the island, largely due to the construction of new highways.
The Copenhagen Metro connects Amager to central Copenhagen. The metro line from Vanløse to Amager divides into M1 and M2 lines at Christianshavn and then continue to Vestamager and Lufthavnen (Copenhagen Airport).
Copenhagen Airport is in the eastern part of Amager. It is linked by train, metro and bus services.