Portal:Denmark

Welcome to the Denmark Portal!
Velkommen til Danmarksportalen!

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Location of Denmark within Europe

Denmark is the smallest and southernmost of the Nordic countries. Unified in the 10th century, it is also the oldest. Located north of its only land neighbour, Germany, south-west of Sweden, and south of Norway, it is located in northern Europe. From a cultural point of view, Denmark belongs to the family of Scandinavian countries although it is not located on the Scandinavian Peninsula. The national capital is Copenhagen.

Denmark borders both the Baltic and the North Sea. The country consists of a large peninsula, Jutland, which borders Schleswig-Holstein, and many islands, most notably Zealand, Funen, Vendsyssel-Thy, Lolland, and Bornholm, as well as hundreds of minor islands often referred to as the Danish Archipelago. Denmark has historically controlled the approach to the Baltic Sea, and those waters are also known as the Danish straits.

Denmark has been a constitutional monarchy since 1849 and is a parliamentary democracy. It became a member of the European Economic Community (now the European Union) in 1973. The Kingdom of Denmark also encompasses two off-shore territories, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, both of which enjoy wide-ranging home rule. The Danish monarchy is the oldest existing monarchy in Europe, and the national flag is the oldest state flag in continuous use.

Selected biography

Hans Christian Ørsted.

Hans Christian Ørsted (August 14, 1777 – March 9, 1851) was a Danish physicist and chemist, influenced by the thinking of Immanuel Kant. He is best known for discovering the relationship between electricity and magnetism known as electromagnetism.

From 1806, Ørsted was a professor at the University of Copenhagen. He was instrumental in the founding of the university's Faculty of Science shortly before his death. In the 1960's the main building complex of the university's new science campus was named in his honor.

Ørsted was the driving force behind the founding of the Technical University of Denmark in 1829 and served as its first director. The present-day department of applied electronics is named Ørsted·DTU in his honor.

Recently selected: Bjørn Lomborg - Tycho Brahe - Ludvig Holberg

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Christianshavns Kanal morning.jpg


Christianshavns Kanal, Copenhagen, in morning light.

Photo credit: Mahlum

Selected article

Viking longship
The Viking Age is the term for the period in European history, especially Northern European and Scandinavian history, spanning the late 8th to 11th centuries. The Viking Age followed the late Germanic Iron Age. During this period, the Vikings, Norse warriors and traders, raided and explored much of Europe, Southwest Asia, Northern Africa and Northeastern North America. As well from the exploration of Europe's oceans and rivers with their advanced knowledge of navigation and extending their trading routes across vast parts of the continent, they also engaged in war, looted and set slavery in many Christian communities of medieval Europe for centuries, contributing to the development of the feudal system in Europe, including the castles and barons (serving as defense against Viking raids).

Norse society was based on agriculture and trade with other peoples and placed great emphasis on the concept of honour, both in combat and in the criminal justice system. It was, for example, unfair and wrong to attack an enemy already in a fight with another.

Their language, Old Norse, became the mother-tongue of present-day Nordic languages (notably including Danish).

Selected place

A view over Frederikshavn
Frederikshavn is a town in Frederikshavn municipality, Region Nordjylland on the northeast coast of the Jutland peninsula in northern Denmark. Its name translates to "Frederik's harbour". Frederikshavn has a population of 23,331 (1 January 2010), and is an important traffic portal with its ferry connections to Sweden and Norway. The town is well known for fishing, and its fishing and industrial harbours. The Danish term "frederikshavner" ("Someone from Frederikshavn") is used to denote a quality plaice fish, probably the most popular eating fish in Denmark.

Due to its advantageous proximity to the entrance to the Baltic Sea, Frederikshavn has historically been a naval base of some strategic importance. Peder Tordenskjold barricaded himself here in the fortress that German troops had already built in the 17th century.

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