Portal:Denmark

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Introduction

National Coat of arms of Denmark.svg

Denmark (Danish: Danmark, pronounced [ˈdanmɑɡ] (About this sound listen)), officially the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country and a sovereign state. The southernmost of the Scandinavian nations, it is south-west of Sweden and south of Norway, and 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 5,781,190 (as of 2018).

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 as one realm under 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. After the Napoleonic Wars, Norway was ceded to Sweden, while Denmark kept the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Iceland. Beginning in the 17th century, there were several devastating wars with the Swedish Empire, ending with large cessions of territory to Sweden. 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, maintaining 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

Ludvig Holberg.

Ludvig Holberg (December 3, 1684 – January 27, 1754) was a Dano-Norwegian writer and playwright born in Bergen, Norway, and is considered the founder of modern Danish literature. He died in Copenhagen. Holberg's works about natural and common law were widely read by many Danish law students over two hundred years.

Holberg was the youngest of six brothers. His father, Christian Nielsen Holberg, died before Ludvig was one year old. He was educated in Copenhagen, and was a teacher at the University of Copenhagen for many years. At the same time, he started his successful career as an author, writing the first of a series of comedies.

Holberg began to study theology at the University of Copenhagen and later taught himself law, history and language. He was not particularly interested in theology as a career, settling for an attestats (similar to a Bachelor's degree today), which gave him the right to work as a priest; he did not attempt a baccalaureus, magister or doctorate in the subject, nor did he follow a career as a theology professor, priest, or bishop.

Holberg was eventually appointed assistant professor after having first worked as one without pay, having to accept the first available position, which was teaching metaphysics. Later, he became a professor and taught rhetoric. Finally, he was given a professorship in the subject which he prized most and was most productive in, history.


Recently selected: Karen Blixen - Bertel Thorvaldsen - Rasmus Rask

Selected image


Tivoligardens2.jpg
The dragon boat lake in the Tivoli Gardens amusement park, Copenhagen.

Photo credit: Malte Hübner

Selected article

The old Manor House at Liselund
Liselund is an 18th-century aesthetically landscaped park, complete with several exotic buildings and monuments. Located close to Møns Klint on the north-eastern corner of the Danish island of Møn, it is deemed to be one of the finest examples in Scandinavia of Romantic English gardening. The park was created in the 1790s by French nobleman Antoine de Bosc de la Calmette for his wife Elisabeth, commonly known as Lisa. Liselund, roughly translated, means Lise's grove.

Antoine de la Calmette was a Hugenot whose family had been forced to leave France for Holland. His father was a diplomat who after terms in Switzerland and Portugal, finally arrived in Denmark where, in 1776, the family was naturalised and recognised as Danish nobility.

In January 1777, he married Catharina Elisabeth Iselin, the daughter of the Swiss baron Reinhard Iselin who had also emigrated to Denmark. In 1783, Antoine was appointed prefect of Møn. The same year, he bought six hectares of land on the eastern coast of the island in the parish of Magleby.

He and his wife, who travelled widely, had become interested in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's philosophy of naturalism in the Age of Enlightenment. As a result, Antoine designed the park in the Romantic spirit of the time as a loving gift for his wife. It was intended as a retreat where the family could spend a few days or weeks at a time, often with invited guests, away from the hardships of their working lives at Marienborg on the other side of the island.

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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