Denmark is a Scandinavian country situated in northern Europe. The Kingdom of Denmark comprises Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands.
The Vikings were the people of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway during the 8th through the 10th centuries, who were known for being seafaring explorers. The Danish Vikings explored Western Europe, settling in the Faroe Islands, Iceland, and Newfoundland. The Vikings also invaded parts of Britain and France. Denmark became a Christian nation around 965, and the country was united around this time, and controlled many other territories in Europe. The history of Denmark is closely tied to Sweden and Norway, with the three joining together in 1397 as one kingdom. When Sweden separated in 1523, Denmark-Norway persisted as a powerful union until 1814, when Norway joined Sweden and Denmark kept the colonies. Denmark became a constitutional monarchy in 1849, which it remains to this day. Over its more recent history, Denmark has been invaded by Prussia, losing territories, and then during World War II, the Nazis occupied Denmark throughout. At the end of the war, parts of Denmark were occupied by the Soviet Army.
The Kingdom of Denmark includes the Faroe Islands and Greenland within its realm.
Denmark borders Sweden, Norway, and Germany, as well as the North Sea and Baltic Sea.
- Copenhagen (capital)
Denmark’s territory includes the Faroe Islands and Greenland, which are located in the Atlantic Ocean. The mainland territory consists of Jutland, the peninsula, and over 400 islands in the Danish archipelago. Some of the main islands of Denmark are Zealand, Funen, and Bornholm. Many of the islands are close together, connected by various bridges. Because of its many islands and its location on a peninsula, much of Denmark is coastal land, along which there are sandy beaches. Denmark is primarily flat lands, as the roots of its name suggest, with its highest point on the top of a hill called Mollehoj, measuring 170 meters (560 feet) above sea level. Most of Denmark is urbanized, but there are forests throughout the peninsula.
The longest river in Denmark is the Guden, flowing 176 kilometers (109 miles) through the country. Other rivers include the Kongea, Odense, and the Skjern River, which is the largest river in the country by volume.
Points of Interest
Denmark’s capital is a great place to start a tour of the country, with plenty of cultural sites and a variety of neighborhoods. Historical parts of Copenhagen include Centrum (the inner city) and Christiania. One of Denmark’s most famous attractions is Tivoli, its gardens and amusement park are a lush oasis in the city with several roller coasters and performances. Another famous amusement park is Legoland, as Denmark boasts the creation of this beloved building toy. Other popular amusement parks are Faarup Sommerland, Dyrehavsbakken, and BonBon-Land. Zoos in Copenhagen and Odense also make the list of great Danish attractions, as well as museums like the National Museum in the capital.
One of Denmark’s UNESCO World Heritage sites is the historically significant Jelling rune stones, dating back to the beginning of Danish history, around the 900s. Another World Heritage Site is the Roskilde Cathedral, an ornate Gothic church, and the first of its kind in Northern Europe. Another site, the Kronborg Castle, is also famous as Elsinore, the castle in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Denmark has a good system of transportation, with several airports, trains, buses, boats and ferries, and Copenhagen’s metro. Major airports in Denmark include the Copenhagen Airport, and airports in Billund, Aalborg, Aarhus, and Malmo-Sturup. Rail service is available between Denmark and Germany, Sweden, and much of Europe. Denmark’s cities are well connected by the train service, but buses are available as well as ferries, which connect the smaller islands. Driving is another option, but cities, particularly Copenhagen, are not the most car-friendly, with a lack of parking and a preference for bikes. Copenhagen is a bicycle-friendly city, with bike paths all across town.
Some Facts to Know about Denmark
What are the ethnic groups in Denmark?
Denmark has a homogenous population. Ninety-seven percent of the Danes are ethnic Scandinavians, followed by Inuit, Faroese, and Germans.
What are the administrative divisions of Denmark?
Denmark is divided into five regions and ninety-eight municipalities. The Central Denmark Region is the largest area in the country.