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This article is about the country. For other uses see Denmark (disambiguation).

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.

Kongeriget Danmark
(In Detail)
National motto: None
Official languageDanish
MonarchMargaret II of Denmark
Prime MinisterAnders Fogh Rasmussen[?]
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 130th
43,094 km²
 - Total (2001)
 - Density
Ranked 104th
Independencebefore 8th century
Time zoneUTC +1
National anthemDer er et yndigt land
Internet TLD.DK
Calling Code45

Table of contents

History Main article: History of Denmark

Forming the centre of the westward Viking raids from the 9th to the 11th century, Danish kings ruled briefly over England.
about year 1200 Bornholm incorporated.
In 1397 the Kalmar Union unified the present-day countries Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands under the same Monarch.
Sweden (with Finland) left the union in 1523. Denmark subsequently lost its South-Scandinavian land (Skåneland) to Sweden (1658). In the 19th century Norway was ceded (1814) to Sweden after the Napoleonic Wars, and the rich duchies of Schleswig-Holstein were lost (1864) to Prussia. Gradually Iceland became independent during the 20th century, and today the Faroe Islands and are Greenland on the road of increased autonomy.

On April 9, 1940, Denmark was invaded by Germany and remained occupied througout World War II. After the war, Denmark became a member of NATO and, in due time, the European Union.

Politics Main article: Politics of Denmark

Since 1849, Denmark is a constitutional monarchy, governed by the monarch, whose powers are largely symbolical. Denmark's parliament is unicameral, and named Folketing (179 seats). The party with the largest number of votes usually appoints a prime minister, who 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.

Counties Main article: Counties of Denmark

Denmark is divided into 14 counties (amter), and 273 municipalities[?] (kommuner):

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 Main article: Geography of Denmark

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 Sweden, and the Great Belt Bridge connects Fyn with Zealand.

The country is mostly flat with little elevation (highest point is Yding Skovhøj[?], at 173 m). 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 Main article: Economy of Denmark

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 Main article: Demographics of Denmark

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 Main article: Culture of Denmark[?]

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.

DateEnglish NameLocal NameRemarks
January 1New Year's DayNytårsdag 
The Thursday before Easter SundayMaundy ThursdaySkærtorsdag 
The Friday before Easter SundayGood FridayLangfredag 
March/AprilEaster SundayPåskesøndagThe Danish celebrate three days of Easter.
The day after Easter SundayEaster Monday[?]2. Påskedag 
May 1Labour DayArbejdernes kampdagNot everybody has this day off.
June 5Constitution Day[?]GrundlovsdagThe signing of the Danish constitution in 1849.
Varies St. BededagA collection of smaller christian holidays into one full day.
40 days after EasterAscension DayKr. Himmelfartsdag 
7 weeks after EasterPentecostPinseThe Danish celebrate two days of Pentecost.
December 24Christmas EveJuleaftenThe children get presents on the eve before Christmas day.
December 25Christmas DayJuledagThe Danish celebrate three days of Christmas.
December 262. Christmas Day[?]2. Juledag 

Miscellaneous topics

External Links

European Union:
Austria  |  Belgium  |  Denmark  |  Finland  |  France  |  Germany  |  Greece  |  Ireland
Italy  |  Luxembourg  |  Netherlands  |  Portugal  |  Spain  |  Sweden  |  United Kingdom

Countries acceding to membership on May 1, 2004:
Cyprus  |  Czech Republic  |  Estonia  |  Hungary  |  Latvia  |  Lithuania  |  Malta  |  Poland  |  Slovakia  |  Slovenia

Countries of the world  |  Europe

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