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

Karen Blixen (right).

Karen von Blixen-Finecke (April 17, 1885 – September 7, 1962), née Dinesen, was a Danish author also known under her pen name Isak Dinesen. Blixen wrote works both in Danish and in English. She is best known, at least in English, for her account of living in Kenya, Out of Africa, and a film based on one of her stories, Babette's Feast.

Daughter of Ingeborg Westenholz Dinesen, and the writer and army officer Wilhelm Dinesen, and sister of Thomas Dinesen, she was born into a Unitarian aristocratic family in Rungsted on the island of Zealand, in Denmark, and was schooled in art in Copenhagen, Paris, and Rome. She began publishing fiction in various Danish periodicals in 1905 under the pseudonym Osceola, the name of the Seminole Indian leader, and possibly inspired by her father's connection with American Indians. From August 1872 to December 1873, Wilhelm Dinesen had lived among the Chippewa Indians, in Wisconsin, where he fathered a daughter, who was born after his return to Denmark.


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Mastekranen
Mastekranen (lit. the crane for masts) on Holmen in Copenhagen. Build in 1746 to serve the Danish navy during the rapid in colonisation of Africa and the Caribbean.

Selected article

Haraldskær Woman in a glass covered coffin, Vejle, Denmark
The Haraldskær Woman is a well-preserved Iron Age bog body naturally preserved in a bog in Jutland, Denmark. The body was discovered in 1835 by labourers excavating peat on the Haraldskær Estate. Disputes regarding the age and identity of this mysterious well preserved body were settled in 1977, when radiocarbon dating determined conclusively that her death occurred around 500 BC. This archaeological find was one of the earliest bog bodies discovered, the other two known being Tollund Man from Denmark and Lindow Man from the UK.

The body of the Haraldskær Woman is remarkably preserved due to the anaerobic conditions and tannins of the peat bog in which she was found. Not only was the intact skeleton found, but also the skin and internal organs. Her body lies in state in an ornate glass-covered coffin, allowing viewing of the full frontal body, inside the Church of Saint Nicolas in central Vejle, Denmark.

After discovery of the body, early theories of her identity centered around the persona of the Norwegian Queen Gunhild, who lived around 1000 AD. Most of the bog bodies recovered indicate the victim died from a violent murder or ritualistic sacrifice. These theories are consistent with the body being hurled into a bog as opposed to burial in dry earth.

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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