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Denmark facts in brief

Map of Denmark

Exerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Kingdom of Denmark is the smallest Nordic country, situated in Scandinavia, in northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, on a peninsula and a number of islands north of Germany, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway.
Additionally, the territories of Greenland and the Faroe Islands are under Danish sovereignty.

Official language; Danish, co-official with Inuktitut in Greenland.
Capital; Copenhagen
Monarch; Margaret II of Denmark
Prime Minister; Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Area; 43,094 km²
Population; 5,352,815
Independence; before 8th century
Currency; Krone
Time zone; UTC +1
National anthem; Der er et yndigt land
Internet TLD; .DK
Phone Calling Code; 45
Electricity; 230V, 50 Hz.

Denmark was first united by Harold Bluetooth around 980.
Up into the 11th century the Danes were known as vikings, colonizing, raiding and trading in much of Europe.
At various times Denmark has controlled England, Norway, Sweden, parts of the Baltic coast and what is now northern Germany.
Skåne was part of Denmark for most of it's early history, but were lost to Sweden in 1658.
The union with Norway was dissolved in 1814, when Norway entered a new union with Sweden (until 1905).

The Danish liberal and national movement gained momentum in the 1830s, and after the European revolutions of 1848 Denmark became a constitutional monarchy in 1849.

After the Second War of Schleswig in 1864 Denmark was forced to cede Schleswig-Holstein to Prussia, in a defeat that left deep marks in the Danish national identity.
After this point Denmark adopted a policy of neutrality, following which Denmark stayed neutral in World War I.
On April 9, 1940, Denmark was invaded by Germany (Operation Weserübung) and remained occupied throughout World War II, despite some internal resistance.
After the war, Denmark became a member of NATO and, in 1973, the European Union.

Politics Since 1849, Denmark is a constitutional monarchy, governed by the monarch, whose powers are largely symbolical.
Denmark's parliament is unicameral, and named the Folketing (179 seats).
The Prime Minister is usually appointed from the largest party.
The Prime Minister heads the executive branch of government, assisted by a cabinet of ministers.
Elections for parliament are usually held every four years; but the prime minister can call for an earlier election, if he decides so.

Denmark is divided into 13 counties (amter), and 271 municipalities (kommuner):
Aarhus (Århus), Frederiksborg, Funen (Fyn), Copenhagen (København), North Jutland (Nordjylland), Ribe, Ringkøbing, Roskilde, South Jutland (Sønderjylland), Storstrøm, Vejle, Viborg, West Zealand (Vestsjælland).
Three municipalities have county privileges:
Bornholm (regional municipality), Copenhagen, Frederiksberg.
Copenhagen County comprise the municipalities in metropolitan Copenhagen, except Copenhagen Municipality and Frederiksberg Municipality.
Bornholm Regional Municipality comprise the five former municipalities on the island Bornholm and the island's former county.

Greenland and the Faroe Islands also belong to the Kingdom of Denmark, but have autonomous status and are largely self-governing, and are both represented by 2 seats in the parliament.

Geography Denmark consists of the Jutland peninsula (Jylland) and 405 named islands, of which 82 are inhabited, the most important are Funen (Fyn) and Zealand (Sjælland).
The island of Bornholm is located somewhat east of the rest of the country, in the Baltic Sea.
Many of the islands are connected by bridges; the Øresund Bridge connects Zealand with Scandinavia, and the Great Belt Bridge connects Funen with Zealand.
The country is mostly flat with little elevation (highest point is Yding Skovhøj, at 173 meters).
The climate is temperate, with mild winters and cool summers.
Main cities are the capital Copenhagen (on Zealand), Aarhus (on Jutland) and Odense (on Fyn).

Economy This thoroughly modern market economy features high-tech agriculture, up-to-date small-scale and corporate industry, extensive government welfare measures, comfortable living standards, a stable currency, and high dependence on foreign trade.
Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy and has a comfortable balance of payments surplus.
The government has been successful in meeting, and even exceeding, the economic convergence criteria for participating in the third phase (a common European currency) of the European Monetary Union (EMU), but Denmark, in a September 2000 referendum, reconfirmed its decision not to join the 11 other EU members in the euro.
Even so, the Danish currency remains pegged to the euro.

Demographics The majority of the population is of Scandinavian descent, with small groups of Inuit (from Greenland), Faroese, and immigrants. Danish is spoken in the entire country, although a small group near the German border speaks German.

About 95% of the Danes are Lutherans; the rest are of other Christian denominations or muslims.

Culture The best known Dane is probably Hans Christian Andersen, a writer mostly famous for his fairy tales, such as The Emperor's New Clothes and The Ugly Duckling.
Other well known Danes are existentialist philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and physicist Niels Bohr.

Holidays January 1; New Year's Day
Thursday before Easter Sunday; Maundy Thursday
Friday before Easter Sunday; Good Friday
March/April Easter Sunday (The Danish celebrate three days of Easter.)
The day after Easter Sunday; Easter Monday 2
May 1; Labour Day (Not everybody has this day off).
June 5; Constitution Day (The signing of the Danish constitution in 1849).
St. Bededag; (Varies, a collection of smaller christian holidays into one full day).
Ascension Day; (40 days after Easter)
Pentecost; (7 weeks after Easter, the Danish celebrate two days of Pentecost.
December 24; Christmas Eve (The children get presents on the eve before Christmas day.)
December 25; Christmas Day (The Danish celebrate three days of Christmas).
December 26; 2. Christmas Day.

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