Friday, 28 August 2009

Denmark



Denmark (pronounced /ˈdɛnmɑrk/ ; Danish: Danmark, pronounced [ˈd̥ænmɑɡ̊], archaic: [ˈd̥anmɑːɡ̊]) is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe and the senior member of the Kingdom of Denmark. It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries; southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and it is bordered to the south by Germany.








Denmark borders both the Baltic and the North Sea. The country consists of a large peninsula, Jutland (Jylland) and many islands, most notably Zealand (Sjælland), Funen (Fyn), Vendsyssel-Thy, Lolland, Falster, and Bornholm as well as hundreds of minor islands often referred to as the Danish Archipelago.
Denmark has long controlled the approach to the Baltic Sea, and these waters are also known as the Danish straits.



Denmark is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. Denmark has a state-level government and local governments in 98 municipalities. Denmark has been a member of the European Union since 1973, although it has not joined the Eurozone. Denmark is a founding member of NATO and the OECD.
Denmark, with a free market capitalist economy and a large welfare state, ranks according to one measure, as having the world's highest level of income equality. Denmark has the best business climate in the world, according to the US business magazine Forbes. From 2006 to 2008, surveys ranked Denmark as "the happiest place in the world," based on standards of health, welfare, and education. The 2009 Global Peace Index survey ranks Denmark as the second most peaceful country in the world, after New Zealand. Denmark was also ranked as the least corrupt country in the world in the 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index, sharing a top position with Sweden and New Zealand. The national language, Danish, is close to Swedish and Norwegian, with which they share strong cultural and historical ties. 82.0% of the inhabitants of Denmark and 90.3% of the ethnic Danes are members of the Lutheran state church. About 9% of the population has foreign citizenship—a large portion of those are from other Scandinavian countries.

Etymology
The etymology of the word Denmark, and especially the relationship between Danes and Denmark and the unifying of Denmark as a single Kingdom is a subject that attracts some debate. The debate is centered primarily around the prefix 'Dan' and whether it refers to the Dani or a historical person Dan and the exact meaning of the -mark ending. The issue is further complicated by a number of references to various Dani people in Scandinavian or other places in Europe in ancient Greek and Roman accounts (like Ptolemy, Jordanes, and Gregory of Tours), as well as some medieval literature (like Adam of Bremen, Beowulf, Widsith, and Poetic Edda).
Most handbooks derive the first part of the word, and the name of the people, from a word meaning "flat land", related to German Tenne "threshing floor", English den "cave", Sanskrit dhánuṣ- "desert". The -mark is believed to mean woodland or borderland (see marches), with probable references to the border forests in south Schleswig, maybe similar to Finnmark, Telemark, or Dithmarschen.

Mythological explanations


Saxo Grammaticus




Some of the earliest descriptions of the origin of the word 'Denmark', describing a territory, are found in the Chronicon Lethrense (12th century), Svend Aagesen (late 12th century), Saxo Grammaticus (early 13th century), and the Ballad of Eric (mid 15th century). There are, however, many more Danish annals and yearbooks containing various other details, similar tales in other variations, other names or spelling variations, and so on.
The Chronicon Lethrense explains that when the Roman Emperor Augustus went against Denmark in the time of David, Denmark consisted of seven territories Jutland, Funen, Zealand, Møn, Falster, Lolland and Skåne which were governed by King Ypper of Uppsala. He had three sons, Nori, Østen, and Dan. Dan was sent to govern Zealand, Møn, Falster, and Lolland, which became known jointly as Videslev. When the Jutes were fighting Emperor Augustus they called upon Dan to help them. Upon victory, they made him king of Jutland, Fuen, Videslev, and Skåne. A council decided to call this new united land Danmark (Dania) (English: Denmark) after their new king, Dan. Saxo relates that it is the legendary Danish King Dan, son of Humbli, who gave the name to the Danish people, though he does not expressly state that he is also the origin of the word "Denmark". Rather he tells that England ultimately derives its name from Dan’s brother Angel.


Earliest occurrences



The Jelling Stones, commonly referred to as Denmark's "birth certificate", seen from the north with "Gorm's Mound" in the background.



The earliest mention of a territory called "Denmark" is found in King Alfred the Great's modified translation into Old English of Paulus Orosius' Seven Books of History Against The Pagans ("Historiarum adversum Paganos Libri Septem"), written by Alfred when king of Wessex in the years 871-899. In a passage introduced to the text by Alfred, we read about Ohthere of Hålogaland’s travels in the Nordic region, during which 'Denmark [Denamearc] was on his port side... And then for two days he had on his [port side] the islands which belong to Denmark'.
The earliest recorded use of the word "Denmark" within Denmark itself is found on the two Jelling stones, which are rune stones believed to have been erected by Gorm the Old (c. 955) and Harald Bluetooth (c. 965). The larger stone of the two is often cited as Denmark's birth certificate, though both use the word "Denmark", in the form of accusative "tanmaurk" (Danish pronunciation: [danmɒrk]) on the large stone, and genitive "tanmarkar" (pronounced [danmarkaɽ]) on the small stone. The inhabitants of Denmark are there called "tani" ([danɪ]), or "Danes", in the accusative.
In the Song of Roland, estimated to have been written between 1040 and 1115, though the oldest manuscript dates to 1140–1170, the first mention of the legendary Danish hero Holger Danske appears; he is mentioned several times as "Holger of Denmark" (Oger de Denemarche).

History


Hankehøj, by Johan Lundbye.

A Danish down. Note the glacial character of the terrain and the burial mound of an early chief in the centre





The gilded side of the Trundholm sun chariot


Prehistory
The earliest archaeological findings in Denmark date back to 130,000–110,000 BC in the Eem interglacial period. People have inhabited Denmark since about 12,500 BC and agriculture has been in evidence since 3,900 BC. The Nordic Bronze Age (1,800–600 BC) in Denmark was marked by burial mounds, which left an abundance of findings including lurs and the Sun Chariot.
During the Pre-Roman Iron Age (500 BC – AD 1), native groups began migrating south, although the first Danish people came to the country between the Pre-Roman and the Germanic Iron Age, in the Roman Iron Age (AD 1–400). The Roman provinces maintained trade routes and relations with native tribes in Denmark and Roman coins have been found in Denmark. Evidence of strong Celtic cultural influence dates from this period in Denmark and much of northwest Europe and is among other things reflected in the finding of the Gundestrup cauldron.


Historians believe that before the arrival of the precursors to the Danes, who came from the east
Danish islands (Zealand) and Skåne and spoke an early form of north Germanic, most of Jutland and some islands were settled by Jutes.




Map of Zealand Island




They were later invited to Great Britain as mercenaries by Brythonic king Vortigern, and were granted the south-eastern territories of Kent, the Isle of Wight, among other areas, where they settled. They were later absorbed or ethnically cleansed by the invading Angles and Saxons, who formed the Anglo-Saxons. The remaining population in Jutland assimilated in with the Danes, due territorial expansions from the south and the east, and the Jutes being initially weakened after their emigrations.
The exact origins of the Danish nation have been lost in the mists of time. However, a short note about the Dani in "The Origin and Deeds of the Goths" from 551 by historian Jordanes is believed by some to be an early mention of the Danes, one of the ethnic groups from whom the modern Danish people are descended. The Danevirke defense structures were built in phases from the 3rd century forward, and the sheer size of the construction efforts in 737 are attributed to the emergence of a Danish king. The new runic alphabet was first used at the same time and Ribe, the oldest town of Denmark, was founded about AD 700.



Viking Age


The Ladby ship, the largest ship burial found in Denmark



During the 8th–11th centuries, the Danes were known as Vikings, together with Norwegians, Swedes, Geats and Gotlanders. Viking explorers first discovered and settled Iceland in the 9th century, on their way toward the Faroe Islands. From there, Greenland and Vinland (probably Newfoundland) were also settled. Utilising their great skills in shipbuilding they raided and conquered parts of France and the British Isles. But they also excelled in trading along the coasts and rivers of Europe, running trade routes from Greenland in the north to Constantinople in the south via Russian rivers. The Danish Vikings were most active in Britain, Ireland and France, and they raided, conquered and settled parts of England (their earliest settlements included sites in the Danelaw, Ireland, and Normandy).
In the early 8th century, Charlemagne's Christian empire had expanded to the southern border of the Danes, and Frankish sources (e.g. Notker of St Gall) provide the earliest historical evidence of the Danes. These report a King Gudfred, who appeared in present day Holstein with a navy in 804 where diplomacy took place with the Franks; In 808, the same King Gudfred attacked the Obotrite, a Wendic people and conquered the city of Reric whose population was displaced or abducted, to Hedeby; In 809, King Godfred and emissaries of Charlemagne failed to negotiate peace and the next year, 810, King Godfred attacked the Frisians with 200 ships. The oldest parts of the defensive works of Danevirke near Hedeby at least date from the summer of 755 and were expanded with large works in the 10th century. The size and amount of troops needed to man it indicates a quite powerful ruler in the area, which might be consistent with the kings the Frankish sources. In 815 AD, Emperor Louis the Pious attacked Jutland apparently in support of a contender to the throne, perhaps Harald Klak, but was turned back by the sons of Godfred, who most likely were the sons of the above mentioned Godfred. At the same time Saint Ansgar traveled to Hedeby and started the Catholic Christianisation of Scandinavia.



Map showing Danevirke and Hærvejen



The Danes were united and officially Christianised in 965 AD by Harald Blåtand, the story of which is recorded on the Jelling stones. The exact extent of Harald's Danish Kingdom is unknown, although it's reasonable to believe that it stretched from the defensive line of Dannevirke, including the Viking city of Hedeby, across Jutland, the Danish isles and into southern present day Sweden; Scania and perhaps Halland and Blekinge. Furthermore, the Jelling stones attest that Harald had also "won" Norway. In retaliation for the St. Brice's Day massacre of Danes in England, the son of Harald, Sweyn Forkbeard mounted a series of wars of conquest against England, which was completed by Svend's son Canute the Great by the middle of the 11th century.
Following the death of Canute the Great, Denmark and England were divided. Sweyn Estridsen's son, Canute IV, raided England for the last time in 1085. He planned another invasion to take the throne of England from an aging William I. He called up a fleet of 1000 Danish ships, 60 Norwegian long boats, with plans to meet with another 600 ships under Duke Robert of Flanders in the summer of 1086. Canute, however, was beginning to realize that the imposition of the tithe on Danish peasants and nobles to fund the expansion of monasteries and churches and a new head tax (Danish:nefgjald) had brought his people to the verge of rebellion. Canute took weeks to arrive at Struer where the fleet had assembled, but he found only the Norwegians still there.
Canute thanked the Norwegians for their patience and then went from assembly to assembly (Danish:landsting) outlawing any sailor, captain, or soldier who refused to pay a fine which amounted to more than a years harvest for most farmers. Canute and his housecarls fled south with a growing army of rebels on his heels. Canute fled to the royal property outside the town of Odense on Funen with his two brothers. After several attempts to break in and then bloody hand to hand fighting in the church, Benedict was cut down and Canute struck in the head by a large stone and then speared from the front. He died at the base of the main altar 10 July 1086, where he was buried by the Benedictines. When Queen Edele came to take Canute's body to Flanders, a wonderful light allegedly shone around the church and it was taken as a sign that Canute should remain where he was.
The death of St Canute marks the end of the great Viking Age. Never again would massive flotillas of Scandinavians meet each year to ravage the rest of Christian Europe.



Medieval Denmark

From the Viking age towards the end of the 13th century, the kingdom of Denmark consisted of Jutland, north from the Eider River and the islands of Zealand, Funen, Bornholm, Skåne, Halland and Blekinge. From the end of the 1200s the lands between the Eider River and the river Kongeåen were separated from the kingdom as two vassal duchies of Schleswig and Holstein.
Following the end of the 11th century, Denmark underwent a transition from a patchwork of regional chiefs (Danish:jarls) with a weak and semi-elected royal institution, into a realm which more reflected European feudalism, with a powerful king ruling through an influential nobility. The period is marked by internal strife and the generally weak geopolitical position of the realm, which for long stretches fell under German influence. The period also featured the first of large stone buildings (mostly churches), a deep penetration by the Christian religion, the appearance of monastic orders in Denmark and the first written historical works such as the Gesta Danorum ("Deeds of the Danes"). German political as well as religious influence firmly ended in the last decades of the 12th century under the rule of King Valdemar the Great and his foster brother Absalon Hvide, Archbishop of Lund; through successful wars against Wend peoples of northeast Germany and the German Empire.



The tomb of Margrethe I in Roskilde Cathedral





A high point was reached during the reign of Valdemar II, who led the formation of a Danish "Baltic Sea Empire", which by 1221 extended control from Estonia in the east to Norway in the north. In this period several of the "regional" law codes were given; notably the Code of Jutland from 1241, which asserted several modern concepts like right of property; "that the king cannot rule without and beyond the law"; "and that all men are equal to the law". Following the death of Valdemar II in 1241 and to the ascension of Valdemar IV in 1340, the kingdom was in general decline due to internal strife and the rise of the Hanseatic League. The competition between the sons of Valdemar II, had the longterm result that the southern parts of Jutland were separated from the kingdom of Denmark and became semi-independent vassal duchies/counties.
During the reign of Valdemar IV and his daughter Margrethe I, the realm was re-invigorated and following the Battle of Falköping, Margrethe I had her sister's son, Eric of Pomerania crowned King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden after the signing of the union charter of Kalmar (the Kalmar Union), Trinity Sunday 1397. Much of the next 125 years of Scandinavian history revolves around this union, with Sweden breaking off and being re-conquered repeatedly. The issue was for practical purposes resolved on the June 17, 1523, as Swedish King Gustav Vasa conquered the city of Stockholm. Denmark and Norway remained in a personal union until the Congress of Vienna, 1814.
The Protestant Reformation came to Scandinavia in 1520s. On Easter Sunday 1525, Hans Tausen, a monk in the Order of St John's Hospitalers, proclaimed aloud the need for Luther's reforms in the Catholic Church. His sermon was the beginning of a ten year struggle which would change Denmark forever. Tausen was hustled off to a monastery in Viborg in northern Jutland where he would be isolated and away from Copenhagen and the court. Tausen simply preached through the window of his locked chamber. At first curious Danes came to hear the strange new ideas that Tausen was preaching. Within weeks Tausen was freed by his loyal followers and then a Franciscan abbey church was broken open so Viborgers could hear God's word under a roof. Luther's ideas were accepted so rapidly that the local bishop and other churchmen in Viborg were unable to cope. In many churches the mass was celebrated alongside Lutheran sermons and then Tausen's version of Luther's teachings began to spread to other parts of Jutland. Within a year Tausen was the personal chaplain of King Frederik I. Frederik tried to balance the old and new ideas insisting that they coexist; it lasted only as long as Frederik did.
A mob stormed Our Lady Church in Copenhagen in 1531 tearing down statues, destroying side altars, artwork, and relics that had accumulated through its long history. Similar events happened through the country, although for the most part the change was peaceful. The majority of common people saw the reduced influence and wealth of the church as a liberating thing, but their new found influence did not last long.
At the death of Frederick I, two claimants to the throne, one backed by Protestant Lũbeck and the other by Catholic nobles, caused a civil war known as the Count's Feud (Danish: Grevens Fejde). The massacre of Skipper Clement's peasant army at Aalborg brought an end of the war with the pro-Lutheran party firmly in charge. Denmark became officially Lutheran in 1536. Denmark's Catholic bishops were arrested and imprisoned. Abbeys, nunneries, monasteries, and other church properties were confiscated by local nobility and the crown. Monks, nuns, and clergy lost their livelihood. The bishops who agreed to marry and not stir up trouble were given former church lands as personal estates.
Catholic influence remained longest in Viborg and the nearby area, northern Jutland, where change permeated slowly, although the reformation originally began there.



Modern history

King Christian IV attacked Sweden in the 1611–13 Kalmar War, but failed to accomplish his main objective of forcing Sweden to return to the union with Denmark. The war led to no territorial changes, but Sweden was forced to pay a war indemnity of 1 million silver riksdaler to Denmark, an amount known as the Älvsborg ransom. King Christian used this money to found several towns and fortresses, most notably Glückstadt (founded as a rival to Hamburg), Christiania (following a fire destroying the original city), Christianshavn, Christianstad, and Christiansand. Christian also constructed a number of buildings, most notably Børsen, Rundetårn, Nyboder, Rosenborg, a silver mine and a copper mill. Inspired by the Dutch East India Company, he founded a similar Danish company and planned to claim Sri Lanka as a colony but the company only managed to acquire Tranquebar on India's Coromandel Coast. In the Thirty Year's War, Christian tried to become the leader of the Lutheran states in Germany, but suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Lutter resulting in a catholic army under Albrecht von Wallenstein occupying and pillaging Jutland. Denmark managed to avoid territorial concessions, but Gustavus Adolphus' intervention in Germany was seen as a sign that the military power of Sweden was on the rise while Denmark's influence in the region was declining. In 1643, Swedish armies invaded Jutland and in 1644 Skåne. In the 1645 Treaty of Brømsebro, Denmark surrendered Halland, Gotland, the last parts of Danish Estonia, and several provinces in Norway. In 1657, King Frederick III declared war on Sweden and marched on Bremen-Verden. This led to a massive Danish defeat and the armies of King Charles X Gustav of Sweden conquered both Jutland, Funen, and much of Zealand before signing the Peace of Roskilde in February 1658 which gave Sweden control of Skåne, Blekinge, Trøndelag and the island of Bornholm. Charles X Gustav quickly regretted not having destroyed Denmark completely and in August 1658 he began a two-year long siege of Copenhagen but failed to take the capital. In the following peace settlement, Denmark managed to maintain its independence and regain control of Trøndelag and Bornholm.




Bornholm shown Red














Den Grundlovsgivende Rigsforsamling (The Constitutional Assembly.



The Assembly created The Danish constitution), 1860–1864 painting by Constantin HansenDenmark tried to regain control of Skåne in the Scanian War (1675–79), but it ended in failure. Following the Great Northern War (1700–21), Denmark managed to restore control of the parts of Schleswig and Holstein ruled by the house of Holstein-Gottorp in 1721 and 1773, respectively. Denmark prospered greatly in the last decades of the 18th century due to its neutral status allowing it to trade with both sides in the many contemporary wars. In the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark originally tried to pursue a policy of neutrality to continue the lucrative trade with both France and the United Kingdom and joined the League of Armed Neutrality with Russian Empire, Sweden, and Kingdom of Prussia. The British considered this a hostile act and attacked Copenhagen in both 1801 and 1807, in one case carrying off the Danish fleet and burning large parts of the Danish capital. These events mark the end of the prosperous Florissant Age and resulted in the Dano-British Gunboat War. British control over the waterways between Denmark and Norway proved disastrous to the union's economy and in 1813, Denmark-Norway went bankrupt. The post-Napoleonic Congress of Vienna demanded the dissolution of the Dano-Norwegian union, and this was confirmed by the Treaty of Kiel in 1814. Denmark-Norway had briefly hoped to restore the Scandinavian union in 1809, but these hopes were dashed when the estates of Sweden rejected a proposal to let Frederick VI of Denmark succeed the deposed Gustav IV Adolf and instead gave the crown to Charles XIII. Norway entered a new union with Sweden which lasted until 1905. Denmark kept the colonies of Iceland, Faroe Islands and Greenland. Apart from the Nordic colonies, Denmark ruled over Danish India (Tranquebar in India) from 1620 to 1869, the Danish Gold Coast (Ghana) from 1658 to 1850, and the Danish West Indies (the U.S. Virgin Islands) from 1671 to 1917.
The Danish liberal and national movement gained momentum in the 1830s, and after the European Revolutions of 1848 Denmark peacefully became a constitutional monarchy on June 5, 1849. After the Second War of Schleswig (Danish: Slesvig) in 1864, Denmark was forced to cede Schleswig and Holstein to Prussia, in a defeat that left deep marks on the Danish national identity. After these events, Denmark returned to its traditional policy of neutrality, also keeping Denmark neutral in World War I.

20th and 21st centuries



Denmark is a founding member of the European Union in 1993 and signed the Maastricht Treaty.



Following the defeat of Germany, the Versailles powers offered to return the then-German region of Schleswig-Holstein to Denmark. Fearing German irredentism, Denmark refused to consider the return of the area and insisted on a plebiscite concerning the return of Schleswig. The two Schleswig Plebiscites took place on 10 February and 14 March, respectively. On 10 July 1920 after the plebiscite and the King's signature (6 July) on the reunion document, King Christian X rode across the old border on a white horse, and Northern Schleswig (Sønderjylland) was recovered by Denmark, thereby adding 163,600 inhabitants and 3,984 km². The reunion day (Genforeningsdag) is celebrated every year 15 June on Valdemarsdag.
Germany's invasion of Denmark on 9 April 1940 – code named Operation Weserübung – met only two hours of military resistance before the Danish government surrendered. Economic co-operation between Germany and Denmark continued until 1943, when the Danish government refused further co-operation and its navy sank most of its ships and sent as many of their officers as they could to Sweden. During the war, the government was extremely helpful towards the Danish Jewish minority, and the Danish resistance performed a rescue operation that managed to get most of them to Sweden and safety shortly before the Germans planned to round up the Danish Jews. Denmark led many "inside operations" or sabotage against the German facilities. Iceland severed ties to Denmark and became an independent republic, and in 1948, the Faroe Islands gained home rule. After the war, Denmark became one of the founding members of the United Nations and NATO, and in 1973, along with Britain and Ireland, joined the European Economic Community (now the European Union) after a public referendum. The Maastricht treaty was ratified after a further referendum in 1993 and the subsequent addition of concessions for Denmark under the Edinburgh Agreement. Greenland gained home rule in 1979 and was awarded self-determination in 2009. Neither Greenland, nor the Faroe Islands are members of the European Union, the Faroese declining membership in EEC from 1973 and Greenland from 1986, in both cases because of fisheries policies.
Despite its modest size, Denmark has been participating in major military and humanitarian operations, most notably the UN and NATO led operations on Cyprus and in Bosnia, Korea, Croatia, Kosovo, Ethiopia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

Geography


Map of Denmark within Europe shown Dark green



Denmark is the smallest country in Scandinavia. Denmark's northernmost point is Skagens point (the north beach of the Skaw) at 57° 45' 7" northern latitude, the southernmost is Gedser point (the southern tip of Falster) at 54° 33' 35" northern latitude, the westernmost point is Blåvandshuk at 8° 4' 22" eastern longitude, and the easternmost point is Østerskær at 15° 11' 55" eastern longitude. This is in the archipelago Ertholmene 18 kilometres northeast of Bornholm. The distance from east to west is 452 kilometres (281 mi), from north to south 368 kilometres (229 mi).


Skagens Point the northern most point



Denmark consists of the peninsula of Jutland (Jylland) and 443 named islands (1419 islands above 100 m² in total (2005)).



Jutland Penisular



Of these, 72 are inhabited (2008), with the largest being Zealand (Sjælland) and Funen (Fyn). The island of Bornholm is located east of the rest of the country, in the Baltic Sea. Many of the larger islands are connected by bridges; the Øresund Bridge connects Zealand with Sweden, the Great Belt Bridge connects Funen with Zealand, and the Little Belt Bridge connects Jutland with Funen. Ferries or small aircraft connect to the smaller islands.


Arhus shown in Red


Main cities are the capital Copenhagen (on Zealand), Århus, Aalborg and Esbjerg (in Jutland), and Odense (on Funen).





Windmills and yellow brick houses accent the gently rolling meadowlands of Karlebo, in North Zealand.



The country is flat with little elevation; having an average height above sea level of only 31 metres (102 ft) and the highest natural point is Møllehøj, at 170.86 metres (560.56 ft). Other hills in the same area southwest of Århus are Yding Skovhøj at 170.77 metres (560.27 ft) and Ejer Bavnehøj at 170.35 metres (558.89 ft). The area of inland water is: (eastern Denmark) 210 km² (81 sq mi); (western D.) 490 km² (189 sq mi).


A forest burial ground in Yding Skovhøj, one of Denmark's highest points.



Denmark is split into one peninsula and 443 named islands which results in a long coastline, 7,314 kilometres (4,544 mi). A perfect circle enclosing the same area as Denmark would have a circumference of only 742 kilometres (461 mi). Another feature that shows the close connection between the land and ocean is that no location in Denmark is further from the coast than 52 kilometres (32.3 mi). The size of the land area of Denmark cannot be stated exactly since the ocean constantly erodes and adds material to the coastline, and because of human land reclamation projects (to counter erosion). On the southwest coast of Jutland, the tide is between 1 and 2 metres (3 to 6.5 ft), and the tideline moves outward and inward on a 10 kilometres (6 mi) stretch.
Phytogeographically, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands) belongs to the Boreal Kingdom and is shared between the Arctic, Atlantic European and Central European provinces of the Circumboreal Region. According to the WWF, the territory of Denmark can be subdivided into two ecoregions: the Atlantic mixed forests and Baltic mixed forests. The Faroe Islands are covered by the Faroe Islands boreal grasslands, while Greenland hosts the ecoregions of Kalaallit Nunaat high arctic tundra and Kalaallit Nunaat low arctic tundra.


Denmark seen from space



The climate is in the temperate zone.
The winters are not particularly cold, with mean temperatures in January and February of 0.0 °C, and the summers are cool, with a mean temperature in August of 15.7 °C. Denmark has an average of 121 days per year with precipitation, on average receiving a total of 712 mm per year; autumn is the wettest season, and spring the driest.
Because of Denmark's northern location, the length of the day with sunlight varies greatly. There are short days during the winter with sunrise coming around 9:00 a.m. and sunset 4:30 p.m., as well as long summer days with sunrise at 4:00 a.m. and sunset at 10 p.m. The shortest and longest days of the year have traditionally been celebrated. The celebration for the shortest day corresponds roughly with Christmas (Danish: jul) and modern celebrations concentrate on Christmas Eve, 24 December. The Norse word jól is a plural, indicating that pre-Christian society celebrated a season with multiple feasts. Christianity introduced the celebration of Christmas, resulting in the use of the Norse name also for the Christian celebration. Efforts by the Catholic Church to replace this name with kristmesse were unsuccessful. The celebration for the longest day is Midsummer Day, which is known in Denmark as sankthansaften (St. John's evening). Celebrations of Midsummer have taken place since pre-Christian times.

Environmental Issues
There are also many environmental issues that Denmark currently faces such as:
Air pollution, principally from vehicle and power plant emissions Nitrogen and phosphorus pollution of the North Sea Drinking and surface water becoming polluted from animal wastes and pesticides However, the Danish Government has signed many international agreements to mitigate environmental degradation and global warming.



Sweden in the 12th century before the incorporation of Finland during the 13th century.
Blue- Geats

Yellow -Swedes

Green- Gotlanders





Scandinavia in 1219. The realms of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the Sword Brethren.

In light green: the Estonian island of Saaremaa (Ösel) claimed by Denmark (conquered by the Sword Brethren in 1227) and the territories conquered by Denmark in northern Germany

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