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Velkommen til Danmarksportalen!

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Location of Denmark within Europe

Denmark is the smallest and southernmost of the Nordic countries. Unified in the 10th century, it is also the oldest. Located north of its only land neighbour, Germany, south-west of Sweden, and south of Norway, it is located in northern Europe. From a cultural point of view, Denmark belongs to the family of Scandinavian countries although it is not located on the Scandinavian Peninsula. The national capital is Copenhagen.

Denmark borders both the Baltic and the North Sea. The country consists of a large peninsula, Jutland, which borders Schleswig-Holstein; many islands, most notably Zealand, Funen, Vendsyssel-Thy, Lolland, and Bornholm; and hundreds of minor islands often referred to as the Danish Archipelago. Denmark has historically controlled the approach to the Baltic Sea, and those waters are also known as the Danish straits.

Denmark has been a constitutional monarchy since 1849 and is a parliamentary democracy. It became a member of the European Economic Community (now the European Union) in 1973. The Kingdom of Denmark also encompasses two off-shore territories, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, both of which enjoy wide-ranging home rule. The Danish monarchy is the oldest existing monarchy in Europe, and the national flag is the oldest state flag in continuous use.

Selected biography

Hans Christian Ørsted.

Hans Christian Ørsted (14 August 1777 – 9 March 1851) was a Danish physicist and chemist, influenced by the thinking of Immanuel Kant. He is best known for discovering the relationship between electricity and magnetism known as electromagnetism.

From 1806, Ørsted was a professor at the University of Copenhagen. He was instrumental in the founding of the university's Faculty of Science shortly before his death. In the 1960s, the main building complex of the university's new science campus was named in his honor.

Ørsted was the driving force behind the founding of the Technical University of Denmark in 1829 and served as its first director. The present-day department of applied electronics is named Ørsted·DTU in his honor.

Recently selected: N. F. S. GrundtvigCanute the GreatJacob Riis

Selected picture

The church in Villingerød, Denmark.
The church in Villingerød, Denmark.
The church in Villingerød, Denmark.

Photo credit: Malene Thyssen

Selected article

Buildings which burned are shown in yellow/orange on this map of Copenhagen in 1728 by Joachim Hassing.
The Copenhagen Fire of 1728 was the largest fire in the history of Copenhagen, Denmark. It began on the evening of October 20, 1728, and continued to burn until the morning of October 23. It destroyed approximately 28% of the city (measured by counting the number of destroyed lots from the cadastre), left 20% of the population homeless, and the reconstruction lasted until 1737. No less than 47% of the section of the city, which dates back to the Middle Ages, was completely lost, and along with the Copenhagen Fire of 1795, it is the main reason that few traces of medieval Copenhagen can be found in the modern city.

While the human and property losses were staggering, the cultural loss is still felt today. The University of Copenhagen library was without a doubt the greatest and the most frequently mentioned of such. 35,000 texts and a large archive of historical documents disappeared in the flames. Original works from the historians Hans Svaning, Anders Sørensen Vedel, Niels Krag, and Arild Huitfeldt and the scientists Ole Worm, Ole Rømer, Tycho Brahe and the brothers Hans and Caspar Bartholin were lost. Atlas Danicus by Hansen Resens and the archive of Zealand Diocese went up in flames as well. The archive of the diocese had been moved to the university library the very same day the fire started.

Several other book collections were lost as well. Professor Mathias Anchersen made the mistake of bringing his possessions to safety in Trinitatis Church. Árni Magnússon lost all his books, notes and records, but did manage to rescue his valuable collection of handwritten Icelandic manuscripts. At Borchs Kollegium 3,150 volumes burned along with its Museum Rarirorum containing collections of zoological and botanical oddities. The burned out observatory in Rundetårn had contained instruments and records by Tycho Brahe and Ole Rømer. The professors Horrebow, Steenbuch and the two Bartholins lost practically everything. And on top of all that a large part of the city archive of records burnt along with city hall.

Selected place

The centre of Kolding, with Koldinghus castle in the background.
Kolding is a seaport located at the head of Kolding Fjord in Kolding municipality, Region of Southern Denmark. It is a transportation, commercial, and manufacturing centre, and has numerous industrial companies, principally geared towards shipbuilding. The manufacturing of machinery and textiles and livestock export are other economically significant activities.

With a population of 89,071 (1 January 2010), the Kolding municipality is the seventh largest in Denmark. The city itself has a population of 57,197 (1 January 2011) and is also the seventh largest city in Denmark.

Kolding is well known as the location of the former royal castle of Koldinghus which was built in the 13th century. The castle is now a museum and tourist attraction.

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