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1.a constitutional monarchy in northern Europe; consists of the mainland of Jutland and many islands between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea
ensemble de pays (fr)[Classe]
global organization, international organisation, international organization, world organisation, world organization - alliance, confederation - geographical area, geographical region, geographic area, geographic region - European country, European nation - peninsula - Ottoman Empire, Turkish Empire - continent, main, mainland[Hyper.]
État membre de la Communauté Européenne (fr)[Classe...]
Denmark (n.) [géographie]
Denmark (n.) [MeSH]
|Kingdom of Denmark
|Motto: (Royal) "Guds hjælp, Folkets kærlighed, Danmarks styrke"[a]
"God's Help, the People's Love, Denmark's Strength"
|Anthem: Der er et yndigt land
There is a lovely country
Royal anthem: Kong Christian stod ved højen mast
King Christian stood by the lofty mast
Greenland, the Faroe Islands and Denmark (dark green)
(and largest city)
|Recognised regional languages||Faroese, Greenlandic, German[c]|
|Demonym||Danish or Dane(s)|
|Government||Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|-||Prime Minister||Helle Thorning-Schmidt|
|-||Speaker of the Folketing||Mogens Lykketoft|
|-||Denmark[b]||43,094 km2 (134th)
(16,639) sq mi
|-||Greenland||2,166,086 km2 (836,330 sq mi)|
|- Faroe Islands||1,399 km2 (540.16 sq mi)|
|-||2012 estimate||5,543,453 (111th)|
| - Greenland
- Faroe Islands
- Density (Denmark)
128/km2 (333/sq mi)
|GDP (PPP)||2011 estimate|
|-||Total||$206.586 billion[d] (52nd)|
|-||Per capita||$37,151 (20th)|
|GDP (nominal)||2011 estimate|
|-||Total||$333.238 billion[d] (32nd)|
|-||Per capita||$59,928 (7th)|
|Gini (2009)||24.7[d] (low) (1st)|
|HDI (2010)||0.866[d] (very high) (19th)|
|Currency||Danish krone[e] (
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1[d])|
|-||Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Drives on the||right|
|ISO 3166 code||DK|
Denmark (i//; Danish: Danmark, pronounced [ˈdænmɑɡ̊] ( listen)), officially the Kingdom of Denmark (Danish: Kongeriget Danmark, pronounced [ˈkɔŋəʁiːəð ˈdanmɑɡ̊] ( listen)), is a sovereign state in Northern Europe, with two additional overseas constituent countries also forming integral parts of the kingdom; the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic and Greenland in North America. Denmark proper[b] is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, located southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. The country consists of a large peninsula, Jutland and many islands, most notably Zealand, Funen, Lolland, Falster and Bornholm, as well as hundreds of minor islands often referred to as the Danish Archipelago.
The Kingdom of Denmark is a constitutional monarchy organised in the form of a parliamentary democracy, with its seat of government in in the capital city of Copenhagen. The kingdom is unitary, with some power being devolved from the central government to Greenland and the Faroe Islands; this polity is referred to as the Danish Realm. Denmark proper is the hegemonial area, where judicial, executive, and legislative power resides. The Faroe Islands are defined to be a community of people within the kingdom, and the Greenlandic people are defined as a separate people with the right to self-determination.
Denmark's history has particularly been influenced by its geographical location between the North and Baltic seas. This meant that it was between Sweden and Germany and thus at the center of the mutual struggle for control of the Baltic Sea; before the digging of the Kiel Canal, water passage to the Baltic Sea was possible only through the three channels known as the "Danish straits". Denmark was long in disputes with Sweden over control of Skånelandene (Scanian War) and Norway, and in disputes with the Hanseatic League over the duchies of Schleswig (a Danish fief) and Holstein (a German fief). Eventually Denmark lost the conflicts and ended up ceding first Skånelandene to Sweden and later Schleswig-Holstein to the German Empire. Denmark obtained Greenland and the Faroe Islands in 1814 after the dissolution of a personal union with Norway, although the Danish monarchy, which had ruled over both Norway and Denmark, had been in possession of the colonies since the fourteenth century. The Faroe Islands and Greenland both became integral parts of the Danish Realm in the twentieth century and were granted home rule in 1948 and 1979 respectively.
Denmark became a member of the European Union in 1973 but remains outside the Eurozone, while both Greenland and the Faroe Islands have exercised their right to remain outside the EU entirely. A founding member of the United Nations, NATO and the OECD, Denmark is also a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). With a mixed market economy and a large welfare state, Denmark ranks as having the world's highest level of income equality,[h] and has the world's seventh highest per capita income. It has frequently ranked as the happiest and least corrupt country in the world. In 2011, Denmark was listed 16th on the Human Development Index (8th on the inequality-adjusted HDI), 3rd on the Democracy Index and 2nd on the Corruption Perceptions Index. The national language, Danish, is closely related to Swedish and Norwegian, with which it shares strong cultural and historical ties. Denmark, along with Sweden and Norway, is part of the cultural region known as "Scandinavia" and is also a member of the Nordic Council.
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 which attracts some debate. This is centred 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 Scandinavia or other places in Europe in Greek and Roman accounts (like Ptolemy, Jordanes, and Gregory of Tours), as well as some mediaeval 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- (धनुस्; "desert"). The -mark is believed to mean woodland or borderland (see marches), with probable references to the border forests in south Schleswig,
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 annuals and yearbooks containing various other details, similar tales in other variations, other names or spelling variations.
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 first 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 (dåbsattest, literally "baptismal certificate"), though both use the word "Denmark", in the form of accusative ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ "tanmaurk" ([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, the first mention of the legendary Danish hero Holger Danske appears; he is mentioned several times as "Ogier the Dane" (Ogier de Denemarche).
The earliest archaeological findings in Denmark date back to the Eem interglacial period from 130,000–110,000 BC. Denmark has been inhabited since around 12,500 BC and agriculture has been evident since 3900 BC. The Nordic Bronze Age (1800–600 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 – 1 AD), 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 (1–400 AD). 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 North-West 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. They were later invited to Great Britain as mercenaries by Brythonic King Vortigern and were granted the southeastern 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.
A short note about the Dani in "Getica" 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 defence 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 around the same time, and Ribe, the oldest town of Denmark, was founded about 700.
From the 8th to the 10th century, the Danes were known as Vikings. Together with Norwegians and Swedes, they colonised, raided and traded in all parts of Europe. Viking explorers first discovered Iceland by accident in the 9th century, on the way towards the Faroe Islands and eventually came across "Vinland" (Land of wine) also known today as Newfoundland, in Canada. The Danish Vikings were most active in British Isles and Western Europe. They temporarily conquered and settled parts of England (known as the Danelaw), Ireland, France and founded Normandy. More Anglo-Saxon pence of this period have been found in Denmark than in England. As attested by the Jelling stones, the Danes were united and Christianised about 965 by Harald Bluetooth. It is believed that Denmark became Christian for political reasons so as not to get invaded by the rising Christian power in Europe, Germania, which was an important trading area for the Danes. In that case Harald built six fortresses around Denmark called Trelleborg and built a further Danevirke. In the early 11th century Canute the Great won and united Denmark, England and Norway for almost 30 years.
Throughout the High and Late Middle Ages, Denmark also included Skåneland (Skåne, Halland and Blekinge) and Danish kings ruled Danish Estonia, as well as the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. Most of the latter two now form the state of Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany.
In 1397, Denmark entered the Kalmar Union with Norway and Sweden, united under Queen Margaret I. The three countries were to be treated as equals in the union. However, even from the start Margaret may not have been so idealistic—treating Denmark as the clear "senior" partner of the union. Thus, 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 17 June 1523, as Swedish King Gustav Vasa conquered the city of Stockholm.
The Protestant Reformation came to Scandinavia in the 1530s, and following the Count's Feud civil war, Denmark converted to Lutheranism in 1536. Later that year, Denmark entered into a union with Norway.
After Sweden permanently broke away from the Kalmar Union in 1523, Denmark tried on two occasions to reassert control over Sweden. The first was in the Northern Seven Years War which lasted from 1563 until 1570. The second occasion was the Kalmar War when King Christian IV attacked Sweden in 1611 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 of Oslo), 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 Ceylon as a colony, but the company only managed to acquire Tranquebar on India's Coromandel Coast. Denmark's large colonial aspirations were limited to a few key trading posts in Africa and India.
In the Thirty Years' War, Christian tried to become the leader of the Lutheran states in Germany but suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Lutter. The result was that the Catholic army under Albrecht von Wallenstein was able to invade, occupy and pillage Jutland, forcing Denmark to withdraw from the war. 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. Swedish armies invaded Jutland in 1643 and claimed Skåne in 1644. According to Geoffrey Parker, "The Swedish occupation caused a drop in agricultural production and a shortage of capital; harvest failure and plague ravaged the land between 1647 and 1651; Denmark's population fell by 20 per cent."
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.
Denmark tried to regain control of Skåne in the Scanian War (1675–79) but this attempt was a 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. In the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark originally tried to pursue a policy of neutrality and trade with both France and the United Kingdom and joined the League of Armed Neutrality with Russia, Sweden and Prussia. The British considered this a hostile act and attacked Copenhagen in both 1801 and 1807, in one case carrying off the Danish fleet, in the other, burning large parts of the Danish capital. This led to the so-called Danish-British Gunboat War, but the British control of the waterways between Denmark and Norway proved disastrous to the union's economy and in 1813, Denmark-Norway went bankrupt. The Danish-Norwegian union was dissolved by the Treaty of Kiel in 1814. 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 5 June 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.
After the defeat of Germany in World War I, 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 (9 July) on the reunion document, 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 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 UN sanctioned, and often NATO led, military and humanitarian operations notably including: Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Korea, Egypt, Croatia, Kosovo, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and recently Libya. In 2009 Anders Fogh Rasmussen resigned as Prime Minister of Denmark to become the Secretary General of NATO.
Denmark proper shares a border of 68 kilometres with Germany to the south and is otherwise surrounded by 7,314 km (4,545 mi) of tidal shoreline (including small bays and inlets). No location in Denmark is further from the coast than 52 km (32 mi). On the southwest coast of Jutland, the tide is between 1 and 2 m (3.28 and 6.56 ft), and the tideline moves outward and inward on a 10 km (6.2 mi) stretch.
Denmark occupies an area of 43,094 square kilometres (16,638.69 sq mi) (excluding the Faroe Islands, and Greenland). 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).
Denmark's northernmost point (excluding the Faroe Islands, and Greenland) 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).
Located in Northern Europe, Denmark consists of the peninsula of Jutland and 443 named islands (1,419 islands above 100 m² in total). Of these, 72 are inhabited, with the largest being Zealand and Funen. 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. The largest cities with populations over 100,000 are the capital Copenhagen on Zealand; Århus, Aalborg in Jutland; and Odense on Funen.
The country is flat with little elevation; having an average height above sea level of 31 metres (102 ft). The highest natural point is Møllehøj, at 170.86 metres (560.56 ft). The area of inland water is 700 km2 (270 sq mi).
Phytogeographically, the Kingdom of 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 World Wide Fund for Nature, 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.
The climate in Denmark is temperate, characterised by mild winters, 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 8:45 am and sunset 3:45 pm, as well as long summer days with sunrise at 4:30 am and sunset at 10 pm
Denmark has historically taken a progressive stance on environmental preservation; in 1971 Denmark established a Ministry of Environment and was the first country in the world to implement an environmental law in 1973. To mitigate environmental degradation and global warming the Danish Government has signed the following international agreements: Antarctic Treaty; Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol; Endangered Species Act
Copenhagen is the spearhead of the bright green environmental movement in Denmark. In 2008, Copenhagen was mentioned by Clean Edge as one of the key cleantech clusters to watch in the book The Cleantech Revolution. The city is the focal point for more than half of Denmark's 700 cleantech companies and draws on some 46 research institutions. The cluster employs more than 60,000 people and is characterised by a close collaboration between universities, business and governing institutions. The capital's most important cleantech research institutions are the University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen Business School, Risø DTU National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy and the Technical University of Denmark which Risø is now part of. Leading up to the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference the University of Copenhagen held the Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions conference where the need for comprehensive action to mitigate climate change was stressed by the international scientific community. Notable figures such as Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC, Professor Nicholas Stern, author of the Stern Report and Professor Daniel Kammen all emphasised the good example set by Copenhagen and Denmark in capitalising on cleantech and achieving economic growth while stabilising carbon emissions.
Denmark's green house gas emissions per dollar of value produced has been for the most part unstable since 1990, seeing sudden growths and falls. Overall though, there has been a reduction in gas emissions per dollar value added to its market. It lags behind other Scandinavian countries such as Norway and Sweden.
The Kingdom of Denmark is a constitutional monarchy. The current and reigning monarch is Queen Margrethe II. As stipulated in the Danish Constitution, the monarch is not answerable for his or her actions, and the monarch's person is sacrosanct. The monarch formally appoints and dismisses the prime minister and other ministers. The prime minister is customarily chosen through negotiation between the parliament party leaders.
The Folketing is the national legislature. In theory it has the ultimate legislative authority according to the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, it is able to legislate on any matter and not bound by decisions of its predecessors. However questions over sovereignty have been brought forward because of Denmark's entry into the European Union. Parliament consists of 175 members elected by proportional majority, plus two members each from Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Parliamentary elections are held at least every four years, but it is within the powers of the prime minister to ask the monarch to call for an election before the term has elapsed. On a vote of no confidence, the parliament may force a single minister or the entire government to resign.
The Danish political system has traditionally generated coalitions. Most Danish post-war governments have been minority coalitions ruling with the support of non-government parties.
Executive authority is exercised on behalf of the monarch by the prime minister and other cabinet ministers who head departments. The cabinet, prime minister and other ministers collectively make up the government.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen from the Venstre party, a center-right liberal party was prime minister from November 2001 to April 2009. His government was a coalition consisting of Venstre and the Conservative People's Party, with parliamentary support from the national-conservative Danish People's Party (Dansk Folkeparti). The three parties obtained a parliamentary majority in the 2001 election and maintained it virtually unchanged in the 2005 election. On 24 October 2007, an early election was called by the Prime Minister for 13 November. Following the election the Danish People's Party was strengthened while Anders Fogh Rasmussen's Venstre lost 6 seats and the Conservative People's Party retained the same number of seats in Parliament as prior to the election. The result ensured that Anders Fogh Rasmussen could continue as prime minister for a third term.
With the parliamentary election held September 2011 the right wing, led by Lars Løkke Rasmussen, lost by a small margin to the opposing coalition, led by Helle Thorning-Schmidt who on 3 October 2011 formed a new government consisting of the Social Democratic Party, Danish Social Liberal Party and Socialist People's Party.
Danish foreign policy is based on its identity as a sovereign nation in Europe. As such its primary foreign policy focus is on its relations with other nations as a sovereign independent nation. Denmark has long had good relations with other nations. It has been involved in coordinating Western assistance to the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania). The country is a strong supporter of international peacekeeping.
Denmark is today pursuing an active foreign policy, where human rights, democracy and other crucial values are to be defended actively. In recent years Greenland and The Faroe Islands have been guaranteed a say in foreign policy issues such as fishing, whaling, and geopolitical concerns.
Denmark's armed forces are known as the Danish Defence (Danish: Forsvaret). During peacetime, the Ministry of Defence in Denmark employs around 33,000 in total. The main military branches employ almost 27,000: 15,460 in the Royal Danish Army, 5,300 in the Royal Danish Navy and 6,050 in the Royal Danish Air Force (all including conscripts).
The Danish Emergency Management Agency (Danish: Beredskabsstyrelsen) employs 2,000 (including conscripts), and about 4,000 are in non-branch-specific services like the Danish Defence Command, the Danish Defence Research Establishment and the Danish Defence Intelligence Service. Furthermore around 55,000 serve as volunteers in the Danish Home Guard (Danish: Hjemmeværnet).
The Danish Defence has around 1,400 staff in international missions, not including standing contributions to NATO SNMCMG1. The three largest contributions are in Afghanistan (ISAF), Kosovo (KFOR) and Lebanon (UNIFIL). Between 2003 and 2007, there were approximately 450 Danish soldiers in Iraq.
Denmark proper is divided into five regions (Danish: regioner, singular: region) and a total of 98 municipalities. The regions were created on 1 January 2007 to replace the former counties. At the same time, smaller municipalities were merged into larger units, cutting the number of municipalities from 270 to 98. Most municipalities have a population of at least 20,000 people to give them financial and professional sustainability, although a few exceptions were made to this rule. The most important area of responsibility for regions is the national health service. Unlike the former counties, the regions are not allowed to levy taxes, and the health service is primarily financed by a national health care contribution of 8% (Danish: sundhedsbidrag) combined with funds from both government and municipalities. Municipalities and regions are led by directly elected councils, elected every four years. The last Danish local elections were held on 17 November 2009.
|English name||Danish name||Seat of administration||Largest city||Population
(1 January 2008)
(pop. per km²)
|No. of municipalities|
|Capital Region of Denmark||Region Hovedstaden||Hillerød||Copenhagen||1,645,825||2,561||642.6||29 (list)|
|Central Denmark Region||Region Midtjylland||Viborg||Århus||1,237,041||13,142||94.2||19 (list)|
|North Denmark Region||Region Nordjylland||Aalborg||Aalborg||578,839||7,927||73.2||11 (list)|
|Region Zealand||Region Sjælland||Sorø||Roskilde||819,427||7,273||112.7||17 (list)|
|Region of Southern Denmark||Region Syddanmark||Vejle||Odense||1,194,659||12,191||97.99||22 (list)|
The Kingdom of Denmark is a unitary state, however the Faroe Islands and Greenland were granted home rule (political autonomy) in 1948 and 1979 respectively, having previously had the status of counties. Extensive powers have been devolved to the Faroe Islands and Greenland which have their own governments and legislatures and are effectively self-governing in regards to domestic affairs. However, the devolved legislatures are subordinate to the Folketing where the two territories are represented by two seats each. High Commissioners (Danish: Rigsombudsmand) act as representatives of the Danish government.
(pop per km²)
|Total Danish Realm||Folketing||5,670,101||2,220,097||2.6|
A liberalization of import tariffs in 1797 marked the end of mercantilism and further liberalization in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century established the Danish liberal tradition in international trade that was only to be broken by the 1930s. Property rights have enjoyed strong protection. Denmark's economy stands out as one of the most free in the Index of Economic Freedom and the Economic Freedom of the World. The economy has high levels of international trade and Denmark is known as a free trade advocate in the European Union. Denmark ranks 16th in the world in terms of GDP (PPP) per capita and ranks 5th in nominal GDP per capita. Denmark is one of the most competitive economies in the world according to World Economic Forum 2008 report, IMD and The Economist.
As a result of its acclaimed "flexicurity" model, Denmark has the most free labour market in Europe, according to the World Bank. Employers can hire and fire whenever they want (flexibility), and between jobs, unemployment compensation is very high (security). The World Bank ranks Denmark as the easiest place in Europe to do business. Establishing a business can be done in a matter of hours and at very low costs. Denmark has a competitive company tax rate of 25% and a special time limited tax regime for expatriates. The Danish taxation system is broad based, with a 25% VAT, in addition to excise taxes, income taxes and other fees. The overall tax burden (sum of all taxes, as a percentage of GDP) is estimated to be 46% in 2011.
Denmark has a labour force of about 2.9 million. Denmark has the fourth highest ratio of tertiary degree holders in the world. GDP per hour worked was the 13th highest in 2009. Denmark has the world's lowest level of income inequality, according to the World Bank Gini (%), and the world's highest minimum wage, according to the IMF. As of June 2010 the unemployment rate is at 7.4%, which is below the EU average of 9.6%.
Denmark's currency, the krone, is pegged at approximately 7.46 kroner per euro through the ERM. The exchange rate. Although a September 2000 referendum rejected adopting the euro, the country in practice follows the policies set forth in the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union and meets the economic convergence criteria needed to adopt the euro. The majority of the political parties in the parliament are for the euro, but as yet a new referendum has not been held, despite plans; skepticism of the EU among Danish voters has historically been strong. Denmark is known for the Danish cooperative movement within among others farming, the food industry (Danish Crown), dairy production (Arla Foods), retailing (Brugsen), wind turbine cooperatives and co-housing associations.
Support for free trade is high – in a 2007 poll 76% responded that globalisation is a good thing. 70% of trade flows are inside the European Union. Denmark has the 9th highest export per capita in the world. Denmark's main exports are: industrial production/manufactured goods 73.3% (of which machinery and instruments were 21.4%, and fuels, chemicals, etc. 26%); agricultural products and others for consumption 18.7% (in 2009 meat and meat products were 5.5% of total export; fish and fish products 2.9%). Denmark is a net exporter of food and energy and has for a number of years had a balance of payments surplus while battling an equivalent of approximately 39% of GNP foreign debt or more than 300 billion DKK.
StatBank is the name of a large statistical database maintained by the central authority of statistics in Denmark. Online distribution of statistics has been a part of the dissemination strategy in Denmark since 1985. By this service, Denmark is a leading country in the world regarding electronic dissemination of statistics. There are about 2 million hits every year.
Denmark has considerable sources of oil and natural gas in the North Sea and ranks as number 32 in the world among net exporters of crude oil and was producing 259,980 barrels of crude oil a day in 2009. Most electricity is produced from coal, but 16–19% of electricity demand is supplied through wind turbines. Denmark is a long time leader in wind energy, and as of May 2011[update] Denmark derives 3.1% of its gross domestic product from renewable (clean) energy technology and energy efficiency, or around €6.5 billion ($9.4 billion). Denmark is connected by electric transmission lines to other European countries.
Denmark has integrated fluctuating and unpredictable energy sources such as wind power into the grid. Denmark now aims to focus on intelligent battery systems (V2G) and plug-in vehicles in the transport sector.
Significant investment has been made in building road and rail links between regions in Denmark, most notably the Great Belt Fixed Link, which connects Zealand and Funen. It is now possible to drive from Frederikshavn in northern Jutland to Copenhagen on eastern Zealand without leaving the motorway. The main railway operator is DSB for passenger services and DB Schenker Rail for freight trains. The railway tracks are maintained by Banedanmark. Copenhagen has a small Metro system, the Copenhagen Metro, and the greater Copenhagen area has an extensive electrified suburban railway network, the S-train. Denmark's national airline (together with Norway and Sweden) is Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), and Copenhagen Airport is the largest in Scandinavia. A ferry link to the Faroe Islands is maintained by Smyril Line. Other international ferry services are mainly operated by DFDS (to Norway and the UK), Scandlines (to Germany and Sweden), Stena Line (to Norway, Sweden, and Poland), Color Line (to Norway), and FjordLine (to Norway).
Private vehicles are increasingly used as a means of transport. Because of the high registration tax (180%), VAT (25%), and one of the world's highest income tax rates, new cars are very expensive. The purpose of the tax is to discourage car ownership. The car fleet has increased by 45% over the last 30 years. In 2007 an attempt was made by the government to favor environmentally friendly cars by slightly reducing taxes on high mileage vehicles. However, this has had little effect, and in 2008 Denmark experienced an increase in the import of fuel inefficient old cars (mostly older than 10 years), primarily from Germany, as the cost for older cars—including taxes—keeps them within the budget of many Danes.
Bicycling in Denmark is a common form of transportation, particularly for the young and for city dwellers. With a network of bicycle routes extending more than 12,000 km and an estimated 7,000 km of segregated dedicated bicycle paths and lanes, Denmark has a solid bicycle infrastructure.
After deregulating the labour market in the 1990s, Denmark has one of the most free labour markets in European countries. According to World Bank labour market rankings, the labour market flexibility is at the same levels as the United States. Around 80% of employees belong to unions and the unemployment funds that are attached to them. Labour market policies are mainly determined in negotiations between the workers' unions and employers' unions, and the government only interferes if labour strikes extend for too long.
Despite the success of the trade unions, a growing number of people make contracts individually rather than collectively, and many (four out of ten employees) are contemplating dropping especially unemployment fund but occasionally even union membership altogether. The average employee receives a benefit at 47% of their wage level if they have to claim benefits when unemployed. With low unemployment, very few expect to be claiming benefits at all. The only reason then to pay the earmarked money to the unemployment fund would be to retire early and receive early retirement pay (efterløn), which is possible from the age of 60 provided an additional earmarked contribution is paid to the unemployment fund.
The unemployment rate for December 2007 was 2.7%, for a total of 74,900 persons, a reduction by 112,800 persons—2,400 per month—or 60% since December 2003. The Eurostat unemployment number for August 2008 is 2.9%. Another measure of the situation on the labour market is the employment rate, that is the percentage of people aged 15 to 64 in employment out of the total number of people aged 15 to 64. The employment rate for Denmark in 2007 was 77.1% according to Eurostat. Of all countries in the world, only Switzerland with 78.% and Iceland with 85.1% had a higher employment rate. Of the employed more than 38% (800,000 people) of the total workforce work in public sector jobs.
In December 2008, Statistics Denmark reported that 100,000 Danes were affected by unemployment in the third quarter of 2008. Of these, 62% received a job within two months, and 6% had been unemployed for two years or more.
The number of unemployed is forecast to be 65,000 in 2015. The number of people in the working age group, less disability pensioners etc., will grow by 10,000 to 2,860,000, and jobs by 70,000 to 2,790,000; part time jobs are included. Because of the present high demand and short supply of skilled labour, for instance for factory and service jobs, including hospital nurses and physicians, the annual average working hours have risen, especially compared with the recession 1987–1993. Increasingly, service workers of all kinds are in demand, i.e. in the postal services and as bus drivers, and academics. In the fall of 2007, more than 250,000 foreigners are working in the country, of which 23,000 still reside in Germany or Sweden. According to a sampling survey of over 14,000 enterprises from December 2007 to April 2008 39,000 jobs were not filled, a number much lower than earlier surveys, confirming a downturn in the economic cycle.
The level of unemployment benefits is dependent on former employment (the maximum benefit is at 90% of the wage) and at times also on membership of an unemployment fund, which is almost always—but need not be—administered by a trade union, and the previous payment of contributions. However, the largest share of the financing is still carried by the central government and is financed by general taxation, and only to a minor degree from earmarked contributions. There is no taxation, however, on proceeds gained from selling one´s home (provided there was any home equity (da:friværdi)), as the marginal tax rate on capital income from housing savings is around 0%.. In 2011, 13.4% of Denmark's population was reported to live below the poverty line.
Along with Sweden and Norway, Denmark follows the Nordic Model of a mixed economy, characterised by a large welfare state, a high level of public expenditure and a universal social system (including health care), financed by taxes and not by social contributions. The welfare model is accompanied by a taxation system that is both broad based (25% VAT, not including excise, duty and tax) and with a progressive income tax model, meaning the more money that is earned, the higher income tax percentage that gets paid (minimum tax rate for adults is 42% scaling to over 60%, except for the residents of Ertholmene that escape the otherwise ubiquitous 8% healthcare tax fraction of the income taxes). Other taxes include the registration tax on private vehicles, at a rate of 180%, on top of VAT. Lately (July 2007) this has been changed slightly in an attempt to favor more fuel efficient cars but maintaining the average taxation level more or less unchanged.
According to 2012 figures from Statistics Denmark, 89.6% of Denmark’s population of over 5,580,516 was of Danish descent. Many of the remaining 10.6% were immigrants—or descendants of recent immigrants—from neighbour countries, Bosnia and Herzegovina, South Asia, and Western Asia. Many have arrived since the "Alien law" (Udlændingeloven) was enacted in 1983, which allows for the immigration of family members of those who had already arrived. There are also small groups of Inuit and Faroese. During recent years, anti mass-immigration sentiment has resulted in some of the toughest immigration laws in the European Union. The number of residence permits granted related to labour and to people from within the EU/EEA has increased since implementation of new immigration laws in 2001. The number of immigrants allowed into Denmark for family reunification decreased 70% between 2001 and 2006 to 4,198. During the same period the number of asylum permits granted has decreased by 82.5% to 1,095, reflecting a 84% decrease in asylum seekers to 1,960.
As of 2012, Denmark's population is 5,475,791, giving Denmark a population density of 129.16 inhabitants per km² (334.53 per sq mi), although the population is not distributed evenly. Although the land area east of the Great Belt only makes up 9,622 km2 (3,715 sq mi), 22.7% of Denmark's land area, it has 45% (2,465,348) of the population. The average population density of this area is 256.2 inhabitants per km² (663.6 per sq mi). The average density in Jutland (32,772 km²/12,653 sq mi) is 91.86/km² (237.91 per sq mi) (3,010,443 people) (2008).
The median age is 39.8 years, with 0.98 males per female. 98.2% of the population (age 15 and up) is literate. The birth rate is 1.74 children born per woman (2006 est.). Despite the low birth rate, the population is still growing at an average annual rate of 0.33%. An international study conducted by Adrian White at Leicester University in 2006 showed that the population of Denmark had the highest life satisfaction in the world.
Danish, Faroese, and Greenlandic are the official languages of mainland Denmark, the Faroes, and Greenland, respectively; German is an official minority language in the former South Jutland County near the German border. Danish is spoken throughout the country. English and German are the most widely spoken foreign languages.
|statistical data 1984–2002, 1990–2009 and 2010–2011. Source Kirkeministeriet|
According to official statistics from January 2011, 80.4% of the population of Denmark are members of the Church of Denmark (Folkekirke), a Lutheran church that was made the Established Church and official state religion by the Constitution of Denmark. This is down 0.6% compared to the year earlier and 1.2% down compared to two years earlier. Article 6 the Constitution states that a member of the Royal Family must be a part of the Established Church, though the rest of the population is free to adhere to other faiths.
Although Lutheranism is the state religion of Denmark, the constitution grants freedom of religion to all citizens. In 1682 the state granted limited recognition to three religious groups dissenting from the Established Church: Roman Catholicism, the Reformed Church and Judaism, although conversion to these groups from the Church of Denmark remained illegal initially. Until the 1970s, the state formally recognised "religious societies" by royal decree. Today, religious groups do not need official government recognition in Denmark, they can be granted the right to perform weddings and other ceremonies without this recognition.
Denmark's Muslims make up approximately 3% of the population and form the country's second largest religious community and largest minority religion. As of 2009 there are nineteen recognised Muslim communities in Denmark. As per an overview of various religions and denominations by the Danish Foreign Ministry, other religious groups comprise less than 1% of the population individually and approximately 2% when taken all together.
According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005, 31% of Danish citizens responded that "they believe there is a God", whereas 49% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force" and 19% that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God or life force".
The Danish education system provides access to primary school, secondary school and higher education. All college education in Denmark is free; there are no tuition fees to enroll in courses. Students in secondary school or higher and aged 18 or above may apply for student support which provides fixed financial support, disbursed monthly. The Education Index, published with the UN's Human Development Index in 2008, based on data from 2006, lists Denmark as 0.993, amongst the highest in the world, tied for first with Australia, Finland and New Zealand.
Primary school in Denmark is called "Public School" (Folkeskole). Attendance at primary school is compulsory for a minimum of 10 years (aged 6 to 16). Pupils can alternatively attend "free schools" (Friskole), or private schools (Privatskole) - schools that are not under the administration of the municipalities, such as Christian schools or Waldorf schools.
Following graduation from Public School, there are several other educational opportunities, including Gymnasium (academically oriented upper secondary education), Higher Preparatory Examination (HF) (similar to Gymnasium, but one year shorter), Higher Technical Examination Programme (HTX) (with focus on mathematics and engineering), and Higher Commercial Examination Programme (HHX) (with a focus on trade and business), as well as vocational education, training young people for work in specific trades by a combination of teaching and apprenticeship.
Danish universities and other Danish higher education institutions also offer international students a range of opportunities for obtaining an internationally recognised qualification in Denmark. Many programmes are taught in English, including Bachelor's, Master's, PhD, exchange and summer school programmes 
Historically, Denmark, like its Scandinavian neighbors, has been one of the most socially progressive cultures in the world. For example, in 1969, Denmark was the first country to legalise pornography, and in 2012, Denmark repealed its "registered partnership" laws, which it had been the first country to introduce in 1989, and fully replaced them with gender-neutral marriage. Modesty, punctuality but above all equality are important aspects of the Danish way of life.
The astronomical discoveries of Tycho Brahe (1546–1601), Ludwig A. Colding's (1815–1888) neglected articulation of the principle of conservation of energy, and the brilliant contributions to atomic physics of Niels Bohr (1885–1962) indicate the range of Danish scientific achievement. The fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875), the philosophical essays of Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855), the short stories of Karen Blixen (penname Isak Dinesen, (1885–1962), the plays of Ludvig Holberg (1684–1754), the modern authors such as Herman Bang and Nobel laureate Henrik Pontoppidan and the dense, aphoristic poetry of Piet Hein (1905–1996), have earned international recognition, as have the symphonies of Carl Nielsen (1865–1931). From the mid 1990s, Danish films have attracted international attention, especially those associated with Dogme 95 like those of Lars Von Trier. Indeed, the country has always had a strong tradition of movie making and Carl Theodor Dreyer is recognised as having been one of the world's greatest film directors.
Copenhagen is home to many famous sites and attractions, including Tivoli Gardens, Amalienborg Palace (home of the Danish monarchy), Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen Cathedral, Rosenborg Castle, Opera House, Frederik's Church (Marble Church), Thorvaldsens Museum, Rundetårn, Nyhavn and the Little Mermaid sculpture.
Denmark's architecture became firmly established in the Middle Ages when first Romanesque, then Gothic churches and cathedrals sprang up throughout the country. From the 16th century, Dutch and Flemish designers were brought to Denmark, initially to improve the country's fortifications, but increasingly to build magnificent royal castles and palaces in the Renaissance style. During the 17th century, many impressive buildings were built in the Baroque style, both in the capital and the provinces. Neoclassicism from France was slowly adopted by native Danish architects who increasingly participated in defining architectural style. A productive period of Historicism ultimately merged into the 19th century National Romantic style.
It was not, however, until the 1960s that Danish architects such as Arne Jacobsen entered the world scene with their highly successful Functionalism. This, in turn, has evolved into more recent world-class masterpieces including Jørn Utzon's Sydney Opera House and Johann Otto von Spreckelsen's Grande Arche de la Défense in Paris, paving the way for a number of contemporary Danish designers such as Bjarke Ingels to be rewarded for excellence both at home and abroad.
The cuisine of Denmark, like that in the other Nordic countries as well as that of Northern Germany, consists mainly of meat and fish. This stems from the country's agricultural past, as well as its geography and climate of long, cold winters. With 145.9kg of meat per person in 2002, Denmark is the country with the largest meat consumption of the world.
The open sandwiches, known as smørrebrød, which in their basic form are the usual fare for lunch, can be considered a national speciality when prepared and decorated with a variety of fine ingredients. Hot meals traditionally consist of ground meats, such as frikadeller (meat balls), or of more substantial meat and fish dishes such as flæskesteg (roast pork with crackling) or kogt torsk (poached cod) with mustard sauce and trimmings. Denmark is known for its Carlsberg and Tuborg beers and for its akvavit and bitters although imported wine is now gaining popularity.
Danish chefs, inspired by continental practices, have in recent years developed an innovative series of gourmet dishes based on high-quality local produce. As a result, Copenhagen and the provinces now have a considerable number of highly acclaimed restaurants of which several have been awarded Michelin stars.
Danish design is a term often used to describe a style of functionalistic design and architecture that was developed in mid-20th century, originating in Denmark. Danish design is typically applied to industrial design, furniture and household objects, which have won many international awards.
The Danish Porcelain Factory ("Royal Copenhagen") is famous for the quality of its ceramics and export products worldwide. Danish design is also a well-known brand, often associated with world-famous designers and architects such as Børge Mogensen (1914–1972), Finn Juhl (1912–1989), Hans Wegner (1914–2007), Arne Jacobsen (1902–1971), Poul Kjærholm (1929–1980), Poul Henningsen (1894–1967) and Verner Panton (1926–1998) Georg Jensen (1866–1935) is noted for his modern design in silver.
Other designers of note include Kristian Solmer Vedel (1923–2003) in the area of industrial design, Jens Harald Quistgaard (1919–2008) for kitchen furniture and implements and Ole Wanscher (1903–1985) who had a classical approach to furniture design.
The first known Danish literature is myths and folk stories from the 10th and 11th century. Saxo Grammaticus, normally considered the first Danish writer, worked for bishop Absalon on a chronicle of Danish history (Gesta Danorum). Very little is known of other Danish literature from the Middle Ages. With the Age of Enlightenment came Ludvig Holberg whose comedy plays are still being performed.
Romanticism influenced world famous writer Hans Christian Andersen known for his stories and fairy tales, e.g. The Ugly Duckling, and contemporary philosopher Søren Kierkegaard greatly influenced existentialism. In the late 19th century, literature was seen as a way to influence society. Known as the Modern Breakthrough, this movement was championed by Georg Brandes, Henrik Pontoppidan (awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature) and J. P. Jacobsen. In recent history Johannes Vilhelm Jensen was also awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Karen Blixen is famous for her novels and short stories. Other Danish writers of importance are Grundtvig, Gustav Wied, William Heinesen, Martin Andersen Nexø, Hans Scherfig, Tom Kristensen, Klaus Rifbjerg, Dan Turéll, Tove Ditlevsen, Inger Christensen and Peter Høeg.
Danish philosophy has a long tradition as part of Western philosophy. Perhaps the most influential Danish philosopher was Søren Kierkegaard, the creator of Christian existentialism, which inspired the philosophical movement of Existentialism. Kierkegaard had a few Danish followers, including Harald Høffding, who later in his life moved on to join the movement of positivism. Among Kierkegaard's other followers include Jean-Paul Sartre who was impressed with Kierkegaard's views on the individual, and Rollo May, who helped create humanistic psychology.
Danish mass media is dominated by a few large corporations. In printed media JP/Politikens Hus and Berlingske Media, between them, control the largest news papers Politiken, Berlingske Tidende and Jyllands Posten and major tabloids BT and Ekstrabladet. In television, publicly owned stations Danmarks Radio (DR) and TV2 have large shares of the viewers. In radio, DR has a near monopoly, currently broadcasting on all four nationally available FM channels, competing only with local stations. The mainstream media is still very much dominant in Denmark, but the share of Danes going online for news is steadily growing.
Danish cinema dates back to 1897 and since the 1980s has maintained a steady stream of product due largely to funding by the state-supported Danish Film Institute. The three big internationally important waves of Danish cinema have been the erotic melodrama of the silent era, the increasingly explicit sex films of the 1960s and 1970s, and lastly, the Dogme95-movement of the late 1990s. Danish films have been noted for their realism, religious and moral themes, sexual frankness and technical innovation. The Danish filmmaker Carl Th. Dreyer (1889–1968) is considered one of the greatest directors in the history of cinema.
Other Danish filmmakers of note include include the creator of the popular Olsen-banden films Erik Balling; Gabriel Axel, an Oscar-winner for Babette's Feast in 1987; and Bille August, the Oscar-, Palme d'Or- and Golden Globe-winner for Pelle the Conqueror in 1988. In the modern era, notable filmmakers in Denmark include Lars von Trier, who co-created the Dogme film movement, and multiple award-winners Susanne Bier and Nicolas Winding Refn.
Wind Quintet, Op. 43
Copenhagen and its multiple outlying islands have a wide range of folk traditions. The Royal Danish Orchestra is among the world's oldest orchestras. Denmark's most famous classical composer is Carl Nielsen, especially remembered for his six symphonies and his Wind Quintet, while the Royal Danish Ballet specializes in the work of Danish choreographer August Bournonville. Danes have distinguished themselves as jazz musicians, and the Copenhagen Jazz Festival has acquired an international reputation.
In the early days of rock and beat, some Danish artists quickly adapted this new type of music with success and jazz's popularity waned. The modern pop and rock scene has produced a few names of note, including Aqua, D-A-D, The Raveonettes, Michael Learns to Rock, Alphabeat, Medina, Oh Land, Kashmir and Mew. All together, Lars Ulrich, drummer of the band Metallica, has become the first Danish musician to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
While Danish art was influenced over the centuries by trends in Germany and the Netherlands, the 15th and 16th century church frescos which can be seen in many of the country's older churches are of particular interest as they were painted in a style typical of native Danish painters.
The Danish Golden Age, which began in the first half of the 19th century, was inspired by a new feeling of nationalism and romanticism. Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg was not only a productive artist in his own right but taught at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts where his students included notable painters such as Wilhelm Bendz, Christen Købke, Martinus Rørbye, Constantin Hansen, and Wilhelm Marstrand. The sculpture of Bertel Thorvaldsen was also significant during this period.
In 1871, Holger Drachmann and Karl Madsen visited Skagen in the far north of Jutland where they quickly built up one of Scandinavia's most successful artists' colonies specializing in Naturalism and Realism rather than in the traditional approach favored by the Academy. Hosted by Michael and his wife Anna, they were soon joined by P.S. Krøyer, Carl Locher and Laurits Tuxen. All participated in painting the natural surroundings and local people. Similar trends developed on Funen with the Fynboerne who included Johannes Larsen, Fritz Syberg and Peter Hansen, and on the island of Bornholm with the Bornholm school of painters including Niels Lergaard, Kræsten Iversen and Oluf Høst.
Photography in Denmark has developed from strong participation and interest in the very beginnings of the art in 1839 to the success of a considerable number of Danes in the world of photography today. Pioneers such as Mads Alstrup and Georg Emil Hansen paved the way for a rapidly growing profession during the last half of the 19th century while both artistic and press photographers made internationally recognised contributions. Today Danish photographers such as Astrid Kruse Jensen and Jacob Aue Sobol are active both at home and abroad, participating in key exhibitions around the world.
Collections of modern art enjoy unusually attractive settings at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art north of Copenhagen and at the North Jutland Art Museum in Aalborg. Notable artists include the Neo-Expressionist Per Kirkeby, Tal R with his wild and colorful paintings, Olafur Eliasson's space exhibitions and Jeppe Hein's installations.
Sports are popular in Denmark, and its citizens participate in and watch a wide variety. The national sport is football (soccer), with the most notable results being qualifying for the European Championships six times in a row (1984–2004) and winning the Championship in 1992. Other significant achievements include winning the Confederations Cup in 1995 and reaching the quarter-final of the 1998 World Championships.
Denmark's numerous beaches and resorts are popular locations for fishing, canoeing, kayaking and a broad-range of other water-themed sports.
In recent years, Denmark has made a mark as a strong cycling nation, with Bjarne Riis winning Tour de France in 1996, and Michael Rasmussen reaching King of the Mountains status, in the Tour 2005 and 2006. In speedway racing Denmark has won several world championships, including the Speedway World Cup in 2006 and 2008. Other popular sports include golf, mostly popular among the older demographic; tennis, in which Denmark is successful on a professional level; Danish Rugby Union, which dates back to 1950; and indoor sports such as badminton, handball and various forms of gymnastics.
As of January 2012[update], the national handball team are the current reigning European champions and the team with most medals won in European championship history on the men's side with a total of five medals, those being two gold medals (2008, 2012), and three bronze medals (2002, 2004 & 2006).
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