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Introduction

National Coat of arms of Denmark.svg

Denmark (Danish: Danmark, pronounced [ˈdanmɑɡ] (About this soundlisten)), officially the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country and the southernmost of the Scandinavian nations. Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and is bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark also comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark proper consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand, Funen and the North Jutlandic Island. The islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2 (16,573 sq mi), land area of 42,394 km2 (16,368 sq mi), and the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2 (853,509 sq mi), and a population of 5.8 million ().

The unified kingdom of Denmark emerged in the 10th century as a proficient seafaring nation in the struggle for control of the Baltic Sea. Denmark, Sweden, and Norway were ruled together under one sovereign ruler in the Kalmar Union, established in 1397 and ending with Swedish secession in 1523. The areas of Denmark and Norway remained under the same monarch until 1814, often referred to as the Dano-Norwegian Realm, or simply Denmark-Norway. Beginning in the 17th century, there were several devastating wars with the Swedish Empire, ending with large cessions of territory to Sweden. After the Napoleonic Wars, Norway was ceded to Sweden, while Denmark kept the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Iceland. In the 19th century there was a surge of nationalist movements, which were defeated in the 1864 Second Schleswig War. Denmark remained neutral during World War I. In April 1940, a German invasion saw brief military skirmishes while the Danish resistance movement was active from 1943 until the German surrender in May 1945. An industrialised exporter of agricultural produce in the second half of the 19th century, Denmark introduced social and labour-market reforms in the early 20th century that created the basis for the present welfare state model with a highly developed mixed economy.

The Constitution of Denmark was signed on 5 June 1849, ending the absolute monarchy, which had begun in 1660. It establishes a constitutional monarchy organised as a parliamentary democracy. The government and national parliament are seated in Copenhagen, the nation's capital, largest city, and main commercial centre. Denmark exercises hegemonic influence in the Danish Realm, devolving powers to handle internal affairs. Home rule was established in the Faroe Islands in 1948; in Greenland home rule was established in 1979 and further autonomy in 2009. Denmark became a member of the European Economic Community (now the EU) in 1973, but negotiated certain opt-outs; it retains its own currency, the krone. It is among the founding members of NATO, the Nordic Council, the OECD, OSCE, and the United Nations; it is also part of the Schengen Area.

Selected biography

N. F. S. Grundtvig.

Nikolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig (8 September 1783 – 2 September 1872) was a Danish teacher, writer, poet, philosopher, historian, minister, and even politician. He is one of the most influential people in Danish history, his philosophy giving rise to a new form of non-aggressive nationalism in Denmark in the last half of the 19th century. He was married three times, the last time in his seventy-sixth year.

Grundtvig and his followers, Grundtvigians, are credited with being very influential in the formulation of modern Danish national consciousness. Their attitude is well illustrated in the very different reaction of Danes to their national defeat in 1864 against Prussia versus the national trauma of German defeat in World War I.

Recently selected: Canute the GreatJacob RiisBertel Thorvaldsen

Selected image

Constantin HansenThorvald BindesbøllMartinus RørbyeWilhelm MarstrandAlbert KüchlerDitlev BlunckJørgen SonneConstantin Hansen 1837 - Et selskab af danske kunstnere i Rom.jpg
Constantin Hansen: "A company of Danish artists in Rome".

Image credit: Constantin Hansen (1837). Image located at the National Museum of Art in Copenhagen.

Selected article

Riders from Team CSC in Danmark Rundt, August 2006
Team Saxo Bank-SunGard (UCI Team Code: CSC) is a professional cycling team from Denmark which competes in the road bicycle racing series the UCI ProTour. The team is owned and managed by former Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis, under the management of his company Riis Cycling. The sponsor is a Danish investment bank.

Founded for 1998 Team home – Jack & Jones, the team started in cycling's second division. In 2000 it moved into the UCI ProTour, previously as the First Division. Since 2000, under differing sponsor names (Memory Card-Jack & Jones and CSC-Tiscali), the team rode the Tour de France. It has won stages in all three Grand Tours and won overall in two of them. In the 2008 Tour de France, Carlos Sastre won the general classification, Andy Schleck won the young rider classification, and the team won the overall team classification, and Ivan Basso won the 2006 Giro d'Italia, as well as finishing third and second in the 2004 and 2005 Tour de France. In addition, the team has won many major classics, including 6 Monuments.

The team has a reputation for consistently being ranked as one of the top cycling teams in the world, having won the UCI ProTour's team classification each year from 2005 through 2007, as well as winning the CQ Team Rankings from 2005 through 2008.

Selected place

Entrance to Christiania
Freetown Christiania, is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood and Anarchist community of about 850 residents, covering 34 hectares (85 acres) in the borough of Christianshavn in the Danish capital Copenhagen. Civic authorities in Copenhagen regard Christiania as a large commune, but the area has a unique status in that it is regulated by a special law, the Christiania Law of 1989 which transfers parts of the supervision of the area from the municipality of Copenhagen to the state. The rules forbid stealing, violence, guns, knives, bulletproof vests, hard drugs and bikers' colors.

Famous for its main drag, known as Pusher Street, where hash and skunk weed were sold openly from permanent stands until 2004, it nevertheless does have rules forbidding 'hard drugs', such as cocaine, amphetamine, ecstasy and heroin. The region negotiated an arrangement with the Danish defence ministry (which still owns the land) in 1995. Since 1994, residents have paid taxes and fees for water, electricity, trash disposal, etc. The future of the area remains in doubt, though, as Danish authorities push for its removal.

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