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Denmark

Denmark

Denmark is a Western European country that shares its only land border with Germany. It also borders the Baltic and North seas, and the Öresund bridge links it to nearby Sweden.

denmark-flag

Quick Facts

  • Capital: Copenhagen
  • Population: 5.8 million
  • Key Cities: Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense, Aalborg
  • Official Language: Danish
  • Major Religions: Evangelical Lutheran People’s Church of Denmark

Geography

  • Bordering Countries: Germany
  • Size: 853,500 sq. miles
  • Lowest point: Lammefjord at -23 feet
  • Highest point: Ejer Baunehøj at 561 feet

Denmark is located in Western Europe, and it’s made up of the Jutland Peninsula and numerous islands. Except for a hilly central area on the Jutland Peninsula, Denmark consists of mostly flat lands.

jutland-peninsula

The country contains over 440 named islands in total. The largest is named Zealand, followed by Funen, Lolland, Falster and Bornholm.

Denmark is drained by about a dozen rivers, most significantly the Guden, Odense, Skjern, Stora, Susa and Vida. The longest river in Denmark is the Guden, which is 99 miles long.

Summers in Denmark are pleasant and warm. September is often a very rainy month, and winters can be extremely cold. It’s possible to have a snowstorm even as late as April.

During the winter, snow, ice, and icy winds dominate the country. From October to March, the days are short and dark.

Common trees in Denmark include beech and spruce, and there are also many species of ferns, fungi, flowers, and mosses.

There are few large or wild animals in Denmark, but there are plenty of bird species, along with fish and insects.

History

Since its early prehistoric history, Denmark has been inhabited by the Danes. This is unusual for a European country, as most of them were ruled by several different nations and empires throughout history.

Beginning in the 9th century, Vikings from Denmark and other Scandinavian countries raided Europe.The majority of Denmark’s largest cities were formed after the Viking era.

In the late 14th century, Queen Margrethe united Denmark, Norway, and Sweden as the Union of Kalmar. Sweden separated from the Union in 1523, but Denmark continued to rule Norway until 1814.

During World War II, Denmark had an agreement with Germany that they would not attack each other. Unfortunately, Nazi Germany still invaded and took control of Denmark in 1940.

Denmark formed resistance groups to fight against the Nazis. In 1945, the Allies freed Denmark from the rule of Nazi Germany.

Today, Denmark’s government is a constitutional monarchy. Queen Margrethe has ruled since 1972, along with a Prime Minister and a Parliament called the Folketing.

Denmark is a member of the European Union.

Economy

Denmark’s major industries are iron, steel, chemicals, food processing, textiles and clothing, electronics, construction, furniture and other wood products, windmills, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment.

The country’s top agricultural products include barley, wheat, potatoes, sugar beets, dairy products, fish, and pork.

Denmark is one of the ten wealthiest countries in the world (based on the average amount of money earned by each person in the country).

They have one of the highest standards of living in the world, and every family receives over $1,500 from the government each year for each child under 18 years of age.

Denmark’s currency is called the Danish krone.

Culture

Danes are Nordic Scandinavians, and many of them are tall with blond hair and blue eyes.

Danish is the only official language of Denmark, but minority languages such as Faroese, German, and Greenlandic are also spoken.

About 86% of Danes also speak English as a second language. Beginning in first grade, it’s mandatory (required) to learn English in Danish schools.

75% of Denmark residents belong to the Evangelical Lutheran People’s Church of Denmark. Islam is the second most-practiced religion in Denmark, and there are small amounts of Protestants and Catholics.

About 20% of Danes don’t practice any religion at all, which is a large percentage compared to most other countries.

A traditional Danish lunch consists of an open-faced sandwich called a smørrebrød, usually made of rye bread, cold cuts, and cheese.

Dinners usually include an appetizer, main dish, and dessert. The main dish is typically made of boiled potatoes and vegetables, along with fried meat such as meatballs, cutlets, or roast pork served with brown gravy.

In Denmark, one of the most common forms of transportation is the bicycle. The capital city of Copenhagen is especially known for its bike culture. In fact, Denmark has twice as many bicycles as cars.

Famous Danish People

  • May Andersen- model
  • Hans Christian Andersen- author
  • Caroline Wozniacki- tennis player
  • Brigitte Nielsen- actress
  • Lars Ulrich- drummer

Fun Facts

  • According to the World Happiness Report, Denmark is the happiest country in the world. It has been in the top three happiest countries for many years in a row.
  • Swimming lessons are a requirement in Danish schools, so nearly every Dane knows how to swim. This may be because no place in Denmark is more than 30 miles from the sea.
  • Walt Disney got the inspiration for Disneyland when he visited Tivoli Gardens, an amusement park in Denmark’s capital city of Copenhagen.
  • Over 60% of Danes have a last name that ends in “sen,” like the famous writer of fairy tales, Hans Christian Andersen. Born in Denmark, he wrote stories such as “The Little Mermaid,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and “The Ugly Duckling.”

hans-christian-andersen

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