Denmark ( Danish Danmark [ ˈdænmɑːk ]) is a country in Northern Europe and, along with Greenland and the Faroe Islands , one of the three countries of the Kingdom of Denmark . The Motherland, the part between the Scandinavian Peninsula and Central Europe , covers an area of 43,094 km², of which 23,872 km² is on the Jutland Peninsula and the rest on islands.
Denmark is one of the twelve founding members of NATO , which was founded in 1949, and has been a member of the European Union (or its predecessor , the EEC ) since January 1, 1973 .
Denmark's only land border is with Germany . A Danish minority lives in the former Danish southern Schleswig . There is a German minority in North Schleswig , which belonged to Prussia from 1866 to 1920 . There, German is a recognized regional minority language according to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages .
The national territory of Denmark (excluding the Faroe Islands and Greenland ) covers an area of 43,094 km². It is larger than that of Switzerland or the Netherlands , but only about half the size of Austria . Denmark measures 368 km from north to south and 452 km from east to west. The northernmost point of the country is Grenen , the southernmost point is at Gedser in the south of the island of Falster (this is also considered the southernmost point in all of Scandinavia ). The westernmost point is Blåvandshuk in Jutland, located in the former Ribe Amt , the easternmost point is at the Pea Islands (Danish Ertholmene ), 18 km north-east of Bornholm . The country's highest natural elevation is Møllehøj at meters .
Because of its islands and rugged bays, the country has a relatively long coastline of 7314 km. Denmark's 67 km long southern border with Germany forms the only land border. Otherwise the country is bordered by the North Sea , Skagerrak , Kattegat and Baltic Sea . The Oresund Bridge has been a permanent route to Sweden since July 2000 .
With the northern part of the Jutland peninsula and its islands, Denmark forms the transition from Central Europe to Scandinavia. In total there are 1419 islands with an area larger than 100 m² in Denmark. 394 islands have official names, of which only 74 were inhabited in 2016. The country's largest island is Zeeland with 7031 km², followed by Vendsyssel-Thy (North Jutland) with 4685 km² (but not perceived as an island) and Funen with a size of 2985 km². Zealand, on whose east coast lies the capital Copenhagen , is separated from the island of Funen by the Great Belt , which in turn is separated from Jutland by the Little Belt . A third major strait in the region is the Øresund between Zealand and the southern tip of Sweden .
The ice ages of the Pleistocene significantly shaped the landscapes of Denmark. While the Elster and Saale glaciations completely covered the Danish peninsula with deposits of ground moraine material , the Vistula glaciation around 20,000 years ago only extended to about the middle of Denmark. Today, this partial glaciation can still be traced using the main standstill line of the various stages of the Vistula glaciation. It divides Denmark into the distinctive East and West Jutland.
In West Jutland low-yield sandy areas dominate , in East Jutland there is mainly ground moraine and boulder clay . The standstill line runs roughly from the southern edge of the Limfjord to the middle of Jutland and from there southwards to Schleswig-Holstein. The country forms a continuation of the North German Plain , which also consists of deposits from the glacial period.
The western part of Jutland in particular is very flat, to the east it becomes hilly, and moraines from the Ice Age characterize the landscape. Here is also the highest natural elevation in Denmark, the Møllehøj with 170.86 m above sea level.
The islands are also characterized by an interplay of hills and lowlands. The only exception is the island of Bornholm , far to the east, which does not consist of deposits but of granite , slate and sandstone .
The course of the North Sea coast of Jutland is relatively balanced. The shoreline of the offshore islands is much shorter than that in the Baltic Sea . The lack of bays and large dune fields made it difficult to build a harbor and so it was not until the 19th century that Esbjerg , the only significant harbor on the west coast of Denmark, was built. The Limfjord to the north was a fjord until the storm surge of 1825 ; since then it has been an approximately 180 km long sound , connecting the North Sea with the Kattegat and closing off the Jutland Peninsula in the north.
The Baltic Sea coast of Jutland, on the other hand, is rich in forms. Sea bays, the fjords , reach far into the country. On them are some port cities that are among the oldest settlements in Denmark.
Despite Denmark's location on two seas, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, the annual rainfall is moderate at 700 to 800 mm in the west and even low in the east at 500 to 600 mm by Central European standards. The temperatures are also balanced: an average of 16 °C is measured on the North Sea in July, and 18 °C in eastern Zealand. Temperatures are usually above 20 °C during the day and around 13 °C at night. In winter, the moderating influence of the Gulf Stream and its offshoot, the North Atlantic Current, is noticeable: temperatures around the freezing point prevail across the country (around 2 °C during the day and around −3 °C at night). The water temperatures on the coasts vary between 3 °C in winter and 17 °C in summer.
The highest temperature that Danmarks Meteorologiske Institut has ever recorded since recording weather data from 1874 was 36.4 °C on August 10, 1975 in Holstebro . The lowest temperature ever recorded was −31.2 °C and was measured on January 8, 1982 in Hørsted in Thy . Nationwide, the coldest year was 1874 with 5.9 °C, while 2007 with 9.5 °C was the highest annual average temperature measured so far. (as of October 3, 2011)
Monthly average temperatures and precipitation for Denmark
Danish society is highly urbanized , with over 86 percent of the population living in cities.
509,861 people live in Copenhagen Municipality (as of January 1, 2008), and 1,401,883 people live in its metropolitan area.
With Copenhagen, Zealand has the most densely populated area in Denmark. Around 40 percent of the population live on the 7000 km² island.
Other important cities are the seaport of Aarhus with 228,123 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2007) in eastern Jutland, followed by Odense with 158,453 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2007), until 2007 the administrative seat of the Fyn district (province of Funen).
Esbjerg in western Jutland is the country's most important North Sea port and, with 71,129 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2007), Denmark's fifth largest city.
The small town of Gedser , the southernmost town in Denmark, is an important transhipment point for the entire Baltic Sea region.
The cities (Danish: byer ; sing.: by ) are - since the municipal reform of April 1, 1970 and the reduction of the number of municipalities from 1098 to 277 and from 1974 to 275 municipalities - no administrative units, but only statistical or geographical units .
Since the municipal reform of 2007, there are 98 municipalities in Denmark.
bodies of water
Due to extensive straightening, hardly any of Denmark's watercourses still follow their natural course. The longest river in the country is the Gudenå with 160 kilometers, which was created by the glacial currents during the last ice age . The Kongeå (German: Königsau) was the border river between 1864 and 1920 between the German Empire and Denmark.
The country includes numerous smaller and larger lakes. The largest lake is Arresø with an area of about 40 km² - it lies east of Frederiksværk . The country's second largest lake is Stadil Fjord (19 km²) on Jutland and the third largest is Esromsee with an area of 17.36 km² – it is, like Arresø , partly in Hillerød municipality in the Hovedstaden region on the island of Zealand .
The country's environment has suffered severe damage after centuries of deforestation (see also timber shortage ) and destruction of grazing land. Overall, around 20 percent of arable land is at or just above sea level , and much of it in ecologically vulnerable wetlands that have been made arable by pumping water. A total of six national parks were set up to protect ecological diversity .
Flora and fauna
About 12 percent of Denmark is covered by trees. Old forest stands are rather rare. It is mostly deciduous forest , where beech and oak predominate. Elms , hazels , maples , pines , birches , aspens , lindens and chestnuts can also be found . Denmark's largest contiguous forest areas are to the south of Silkeborg and with the Rold Skov in Himmerland .
The largest terrestrial wild animal in Denmark is the red deer , which can weigh over 200 kg. You can also meet roe deer , fallow deer , rabbits , squirrels and hedgehogs . Land-dwelling predators include foxes , badgers , martens , raccoons , and raccoon dogs . Since 2015, more and more wolves have been sighted in the wild, which have returned to Denmark, since individual animals have been immigrating from Germany more and more often. Before that, free wolves lived in Denmark for the last time in 1813. Since mid-2016 there have been wild mooses in Denmark again after five moose calves were released into the wild in a moor area in Jutland ( Lille Vildmose ). The last time there were wild elk populations in Denmark was about 5000 years ago. A project is underway on Bornholm to reintroduce European bison , which became extinct in the country some 2500 years ago.
There are almost 400 species of birds in Denmark, the most common of which are magpies , pigeons , coots , geese and ducks . Due to the long coastline, the aquatic bird life with seagulls , loons and terns is extremely diverse.
On the coasts of the North Sea and Baltic Sea live the common seal and – with up to 300 kg, the largest native predator in Denmark – the gray seal . Many marine fish live in the seas around Denmark; especially cod , salmon , herring and plaice form the basis of the fisheries .
In Denmark , hunting is tied to land ownership , so that according to Danish hunting law , one hectare of contiguous land is sufficient to be able to hunt. The most important hunted game in terms of the value of the venison and the game damage in the forest and open fields are red deer and roe deer. Concerned about the possible introduction of African swine fever via wild boar migrating from the south , Denmark erected a wildlife protection fence around 70 km long and 1.50 m high in 2019 , which – apart from a few border crossings – stretches along the entire length of its land border with Germany extends (see Danish wild boar fence ).
The population of Denmark is very homogeneous, almost 90 percent of the population are Danes . In the south of Jutland there is a national minority with the German minority . In addition, there are members of other Scandinavian peoples and, especially since the end of the 20th century, people with a migration background , especially from Turkey and Eastern Europe. In 2017, 11.5% of the population was foreign-born.
Like the Danish minority in the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein , the German minority occupies a special position. Most of the approximately 15,000 to 20,000 who call themselves German ethnic groups live close to the border with Germany; their share of the population is in the area of North Schleswig (corresponded to the district of Sønderjylland until the 2007 regional reform ) about 6 to 10%. In 1955, Germany and Denmark regulated the legal issues in two declarations of principle, the Bonn-Copenhagen Declarations: the respective minority received, among other things, funding for their schools, libraries, parish offices, etc. as well as the recognition of their own school degrees and also political privileges.
The fertility rate per woman was 1.73 children in 2016. In the same year, there were 10.4 births and 10.3 deaths per 1000 inhabitants. Life expectancy at birth in the period from 2010 to 2015 averaged 80.2 years (women: 82.2 years, men: 78.1 years). The median age was 42 years. Population growth was 0.2 percent per year.
The official language of Denmark is Danish. German is also recognized as the only minority language , according to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages applicable to the German minority in North Schleswig (in the Danish part of Schleswig or South Jutland ). In addition, dialects such as Sønderjysk and Bornholmsk are relatively well established in some parts of the country.
Up until the end of the Viking Age, the Scandinavian dialects differed only slightly from one another. The oldest common evidence are the runic inscriptions from the 3rd century found from Jutland to southern Sweden. It was not until the 12th century that Danish became clear. The most conspicuous phonetic feature was the impulse sound of stressed syllables. The air flow and thus the sound are interrupted for a moment by briefly closing the vocal folds. It is written with the Latin alphabet extended by three letters. The German umlauts ä and ö correspond in Danish to æ and ø , respectively ; plus the letter å , which was written aa until the Danish spelling reform of 1948 .
The Danish vocabulary contains many loanwords from Middle Low German . Middle Low German was the traditional lingua franca of the North and the Hanseatic League , at times also the language of the Danish kings and court, and the language of command of the army. Today, English is the most important foreign language in Denmark, but German and French still have a not inconsiderable influence. About 90% of the students learn German as a second foreign language at least part of the time.
Freedom of religion is guaranteed by Denmark 's constitution.
Although Danish society is highly secularised , almost 75% of the residents traditionally belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Danish People 's Church (Folkekirken) , which arose as part of Protestantism in the 16th century (see Reformation in Europe ). The Danish People's Church is the only denomination that is closely linked to the state. Parliament and the Queen exercise joint leadership of the Church, the highest administrative authority is the Church Minister.
The Roman Catholic Church in Denmark ( Bishopric of Copenhagen with the Cathedral Church of St. Ansgar ) (0.6%) and Muslims (5.3%) mostly come from immigrant families. Christian religions also include Jehovah's Witnesses (0.3%), Serbian Orthodox and Baptists . Jews (~0.1%) have lived in Denmark since the second half of the 17th century. There has been a ban on face coverings in Denmark since 2018 . Since then, nobody has been allowed to cover their face with a burqa or niqab , and masks or artificial beards are also forbidden.
In Denmark there are private and public schools. School education in Denmark begins after at least one year in kindergarten with the nine-year elementary school ( Folkeskole ), which ends with the final examination FSA (Folkeskolens Afgangsprøve). There is no separation of the pupils before the 9th grade, so there is a nine-year community school .
There is then the possibility of going to the Folkeskole for another year after the 9th grade and completing the extended final examination (the so-called FS10, formerly FSU). This roughly corresponds to the intermediate school leaving certificate. Since many Folkeskolen do not offer a 10th grade, many students complete a year on what is known as an Efterskole . These are boarding schools in which the young people are supposed to develop social, artistic, sporting or musical skills in addition to the subjects of the 10th class, with the focus being different for each Efterskole.
Secondary schools after the Folkeskole are the Gymnasium (STX), the Handelsgymnasium (HHX) and the Technische Gymnasium (HTX). The Gymnasium is comparable to the German Gymnasium and ends with the Danish Abitur (general higher education entrance qualification), the so-called Studentereksamen. There are two lines at the Gymnasium, the linguistic sproglig linje and the more mathematically and scientifically oriented matematisk linje .
Attendance at the grammar school lasts three years, which corresponds to the upper level of the grammar school . Depending on whether you go to grammar school after the 9th or 10th grade, it takes 12 or 13 years to graduate from high school.
In addition to the Studentereksamen (STX) mentioned above, there are two other types of exams in Denmark, the commercial school exam HHX (Højere Handelseksamen) and the technical Abitur HTX. While the former is of particular interest to those who aspire to work in business, the HTX is of particular interest to students who later aspire to an engineering career. The HHX and HTX are subject-related university entrance qualifications that do not come close to the flexibility of the student eksamen.
There is also the option of completing an apprenticeship after the 9th grade instead of attending a secondary school. There are also vocational schools for this, where theory and practice are combined.
The Danish school system therefore does not differentiate at all until the end of the Folkeskole, but very strongly after that. There is a basic consensus that the policy of late differentiation should be maintained. An early separation of the students, as it takes place in Germany after elementary school, is rejected.
There are five types of colleges: universities, colleges of architecture and art, business schools, university colleges , maritime training institutions.
The oldest and best-known university is the University of Copenhagen , founded in 1479. It is spread over several locations like other Danish universities. Denmark 's Technical University followed in 1829 in Kongens Lyngby . In the 20th century, the higher education sector expanded more and more:
- Copenhagen Business School (1917) in Frederiksberg
- Aarhus University (1928) in Aarhus
- University of Roskilde (1972) in Roskilde
- Aalborg University (1974) in Aalborg
- Syddansk Universitet (1998) in Odense
- IT University of Copenhagen (1999) in Copenhagen
- Selandia - Center for Erhvervsrettet Uddannelse in Slagelse
All Danish courses are subject to a numerus clausus , a central office allocates study places according to the average grade (so-called Kvote-1 procedure). Furthermore, a certain percentage of the study places are allocated according to social criteria, whereby one can improve one's chances through social work (so-called Kvote-2 procedure). Similar to Germany, some subjects are very overcrowded, making it difficult to get a place (e.g. medicine, media studies, psychology, law), while other subjects require a very low average, so that every applicant is accepted.
The Danes, a North Germanic tribe, appear to have spread from Scania to Jutland and the western Baltic Sea islands in the sixth century , where they displaced other Germanic tribes. The river Eider has formed Denmark's southern border since 811 with Charlemagne . In the 10th century, Gorm the Old († around 950) united the individual small kingdoms under his rule. His son Harald Bluetooth adopted the Christian faith around 960. By the time Canute the Great died in 1035, the Danish kings had succeeded in conquering large parts of the British Isles , Norway and the Franconian Mark Schleswig between Eider and Schlei from 975 to 1026 . At that time, the Danish Haithabu was the most important trading center in Northern Europe. Until well into the 11th century, the Danes, like Swedes and Norwegians, were referred to as Vikings , who founded colonies and traded throughout Europe, but also plundered entire countries and regions and waged wars.
After a short phase of weakness, a renewed rise began at the beginning of the reign of Valdemar I. Large parts of the southern coastal regions of the Baltic Sea, which had previously been settled by Elbe and Baltic Sea Slavs , fell to Denmark. In cooperation with the German Order of the Brothers of the Sword , agreed in 1219, even Livonia , the north of Estonia , came under Denmark's sphere of influence. Holding these lands did not last long, however, after a coalition of northern German sovereigns emerged victorious at the Battle of Bornhöved in 1227. Estonia was sold to the Teutonic Knights in 1346 and Denmark was forced to recognize Hanseatic dominance in the Baltic Sea in 1370. The Danish rulers now turned their gaze north: in 1397 the three Nordic kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden were united in the Kalmar Union , which was under Danish supremacy. The association existed until 1523, when Sweden finally regained its independence (see Gustav I Vasa ).
Disputes with Sweden continued to dominate well into the 17th century, as both kingdoms fought for supremacy in Scandinavia and the Baltic region. Scania, Blekinge and Halland (parts of today's Sweden), i.e. the actual homeland and area of origin of the Danes, fell to Sweden in 1658, only the island of Bornholm remained with Denmark. The capital Copenhagen, which had been centrally located until then, became a border town. The intellectual life of that time was determined by the Reformation , which was initiated in 1536 by Christian III. was introduced. Frederick III replaced the existing elective monarchy in favor of a hereditary monarchy in 1660/61 .
The reform ministers Johann Hartwig Ernst von Bernstorff , Johann Friedrich Struensee and Andreas Peter von Bernstorff modernized the country between 1751 and 1797 in the spirit of the Enlightenment , with the peasant liberation of 1788 being particularly significant. During the Napoleonic era, Denmark remained neutral until the second naval battle of Copenhagen (1807), then cooperated with France and, after its decline, had to cede Helgoland to Great Britain and Norway to Sweden in the Peace of Kiel on January 14, 1814 . However , Iceland, the Faroe Islands , Greenland and the Danish West Indies (until 1917) remained with Denmark.
The Danish National Movement and the Liberals began to gain power in the 1830s, and after the European revolutions of 1848/49 a constitutional monarchy was established in Denmark under the Glücksburg line of the House of Oldenburg in 1849 : it received its first constitution . The important Danish theologian, educator, poet and politician NFS Grundtvig played an important role in this period .
The ideas of the French Revolution had also strengthened the national idea in Denmark and with it the opposition between Danes and Germans, who were competing for southern Jutland in the form of the Duchy of Schleswig (also known as Süderjütland ). Denmark finally lost to Prussia and Austria in the German-Danish War . Schleswig and Holstein became part of the German Empire in 1871. This defeat caused deep cuts in the development of Denmark's national identity. This is still remembered today by the national memorial at the Düppeler Schanzen , where the anniversary of the lost decisive battle is celebrated every year on April 18th. The nation's foreign policy took a strict course of neutrality , whereby the big German neighbor should not be provoked. This policy was maintained in principle until the end of the Second World War . That went very far. In an important vote by the Council of the League of Nations on April 17, 1935 against German rearmament, Denmark was the only one of 17 countries to abstain.
The country remained neutral during World War I. In 1920, after a referendum in northern and central Schleswig (Danish also Sønderjylland / Süderjylland), its northern part - North Schleswig - fell to Denmark. The central and southern part - southern Schleswig - remained with Germany. The line drawn in this way still forms the border today.
Although Denmark also behaved neutrally in World War II, the country was occupied by Germany on April 9, 1940 as part of Operation Weserübung , almost without a fight, and remained under German control until the end of World War II . The prevention of the Holocaust against the Danish Jews is considered the "great moment of the Danish resistance". In October 1943 an unprecedented act took place, the rescue of the Danish Jews . However, around 6,000 Danes joined the Waffen-SS and fought on the German side until the end of the war. About 25% of these Danish volunteers came from the ranks of the German minority in North Schleswig. On May 4, 1945, German troops in Denmark surrendered to Field Marshal Montgomery . After the Second World War, tens of thousands of German refugees starved to death in Danish internment camps. Overall, more Germans died of starvation in Danish camps than Danes overall during World War II. Both the Danish Medical Association and the Danish Red Cross had refused any help for Germans. Around 80% of the small German children who came to Denmark died.
After liberation in 1945, Denmark was a co-founder of the UN , NATO (1949), the Council of Europe (1949) and the Nordic Council (1952). In 1960 it joined EFTA , but after a referendum on October 2, 1972, Denmark switched to the EC on January 1, 1973 . The referendum on the Maastricht Treaty , which converted the EC into the EU , only brought a positive vote at the second attempt in 1993, and accession to the euro zone failed after a vote in 2000.
The Mohammed caricatures , which the newspaper Jyllands-Posten printed on September 30, 2005 , attracted international attention . They triggered anti-Danish and anti-Western protests, especially in countries in the Islamic world.
head of state
After 1848 Denmark developed into a constitutional monarchy . In 1901 the parliamentary principle prevailed, but it was only enshrined in the Danish constitution in 1953 . Since this constitutional amendment, a female succession to the throne is also possible.
The king or queen, Margrethe II since 1972 , is the head of state . De jure, i. H. purely constitutionally, the executive power is in their hands. But the "constitutional reality - not to mention the political reality - [...] is only incompletely grasped by the written constitution". De facto, Denmark is now a parliamentary monarchy, in which the Queen performs almost exclusively representative and public notarial functions. It appoints and dismisses the head of government and his ministers, can dissolve parliament and signs laws.
In practice, executive power is exercised by the Cabinet, which is headed by the Prime Minister (Danish statsminister ). This is appointed by the Queen after consultation with the political parties. The prerequisite for this is that the head of government does not have an obvious majority in parliament against him. This negative parliamentarism has determined Danish constitutional life since 1901.
From 2001 to 2011 Denmark was led by a minority government of liberal Venstre and Conservative People's Party with the toleration of the Danish People's Party . In the parliamentary elections on September 15, 2011 , the centre-left parties won a majority. Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt ( Social Democrats ) formed a minority government of Social Democrats, People's Socialists and Social Liberals . It relied on close cooperation with the left-wing unit list to secure its parliamentary majority. At the end of January 2014, the People's Socialists withdrew from the coalition, but supported Thorning-Schmidt's second government . In 2015, a minority government was formed by the Liberal Party, which had previously won only 19 percent of the parliamentary seats.
Since June 27, 2019, the Social Democratic Party has led a minority government with other red bloc parties.
The Danish parliament , the Folketing , passes the laws, elects and controls the government. It has only one chamber. Parliamentary laws require the formal approval of the King to be effective. The government must always have declarations of war and peace agreements confirmed by Parliament. A third of the deputies can submit passed laws to a referendum . In order to overturn the law, the no votes must reach a simple majority and account for at least 30 percent of all eligible voters (Basic Law § 42).
The legislative period is limited to four years. The 179 deputies are elected in general, direct, free, equal and secret elections. The electoral system is based on proportional representation . Every citizen who has reached the age of 18 and is in possession of civil rights has active and passive voting rights .
In 1915 Denmark, along with Iceland , was the fifth country in the world after New Zealand , Australia , Finland and Norway to include women's suffrage in its constitution. It was used for the first time in 1918.
The 2019 general election took place on June 5, 2019.
The Højesteret (Supreme Court) is Denmark's highest court of appeal in civil and criminal matters. It negotiates judgments and proceedings of the two regional courts as well as the Maritime and Commercial Court. The Constitution guarantees direct review by the Supreme Court when an association is forcibly dissolved by an Act of Parliament . There is no administrative jurisdiction.
|Index name||index value||World Rank||interpretation aid||year|
|Fragile States Index||17.2 out of 120||175 of 178||Stability of the country: very sustainable
0 = very sustainable / 120 = very alarming
|democracy index||9.15 out of 10||7 of 167||Full democracy
0 = authoritarian regime / 10 = full democracy
|Freedom in the World Index||97 out of 100||—||Freedom status: free
0 = not free / 100 = free
|Press Freedom Index||8.57 out of 100||4 out of 180||Good situation for press freedom
0 = good situation / 100 = very serious situation
|Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)||88 out of 100||1 of 180||0 = very corrupt / 100 = very clean||2020|
Since January 1, 2007, Denmark has been divided into the following five regions with a total of 98 municipalities :
as of January 1, 2021
For a long time, the legal history of Denmark was characterized by a strong legal fragmentation, which was only eliminated with the beginning of absolutism. During the period of absolutism in Denmark from 1661 to 1849, the king formally presided over the country's highest court, the Supreme Court, which had been established in 1661. Finally, in 1849, independent courts were set up. These became independent in their functions, but the judges continued to be appointed by the king (to this day). The constitution promised the introduction of juries in major criminal and political criminal trials, a promise not fulfilled until the 1916 Judiciary Act.
According to the constitution of June 5, 1953, the independence of the judges in their office is guaranteed by § 64, according to which the judges are to act exclusively according to the law in their office. Unlike other government personnel, judges are protected against administrative dismissal and can only be dismissed by court decision.
Cases are generally dealt with at first instance by a district court, and the district court's judgment may be appealed to one of two regional courts. Individual larger procedures as well as cases relating to administrative issues are handled by one of the two regional courts in the first instance. The highest authority is the Højesteret ; it only deals with cases that have previously been decided by a regional court.
The total state budget in 2015 was around 94 billion euros.
The economic crisis and the associated higher unemployment as well as the government economic stimulus programs and financial aid for banks had led to sometimes high budget deficits in Denmark since 2009.
Thanks to an austerity policy , the budget deficit was reduced again in 2013 and 2014 to below 1 percent of GDP.
The national debt in 2011 was around DKK 831 billion or 46.6% of GDP. By 2016, it had dropped to 37.7%.
Danish government bonds are rated AAA by the rating agency Standard & Poor's (as of 2018).
In 2006, government spending (as a percentage of GDP) accounted for the following areas:
After the liberation from German occupation in World War II in May 1945, the Danish defense had to start almost from scratch with the rebuilding of the armed forces. In 1950 the US began its arms assistance program, including to Denmark, and in the same year there was a reorganization of the military and political leadership of defence. Only then did the armed forces progressively reach troop levels and levels of preparedness that approached NATO's regularly scheduled target levels. During the Cold War, however, Denmark's troop strength was always at the lower limit of the Alliance's requirements. The defense agreements between the government and the opposition, which provide the financial and political basis for defense tasks, have traditionally been supported by a broad majority in the Folketing. There are currently 750 Danish soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. Denmark also provides 35 soldiers for KFOR .
Denmark spent almost 1.2 percent of its economic output, or $3.8 billion, on its armed forces in 2017.
The army (Danish: Hæren ) has a strength of about 15,000 men. Army operations are managed by the Army Operations Command in Karup and in the logistical area by the Army Support Command in Hjørring . The army consists of 17 regiments of the various branches of service, which train the soldiers up to the unit level ( company , etc.). Combined arms combat training takes place in the major unit of the brigade or military region in which they are integrated. These are, among others, three armored infantry brigades of the Danish Division. A fourth armored infantry brigade was formed as the Danish International Brigade (DIB). The brigade consists of 4,500 active soldiers and reservists. About a third of these can be deployed abroad within the framework of the UN or OSCE . The number roughly corresponds to that which Denmark placed primarily in the service of the UN in mid-1995. The DIB is part of NATO 's rapid reaction force .
The Navy (Danish Kongelige Danske Marine ) has a manpower of about 4500 men. The direction of their operations lies with the Fleet Command in Aarhus , the Greenland Command and the Faroe Islands Command, and in the higher level logistic area with the Naval Support Command in Copenhagen. The main bases are the naval bases in Korsør and Frederikshavn . The main color of the Navy is gray (camouflage).
The day-to-day operations take place in the squadrons, which are basically made up of ships that have one and the same mission. Squadrons include patrol frigates , corvettes , missile boats, minelayers , as well as various smaller ships. In addition, the Navy has mobile land-based anti-ship missile batteries. Most of the smaller vessels belong to the STANDARD FLEX 300 class, a type of vessel based on modular construction. Depending on the equipment and training of the crew, it can be used as a surveillance boat, submarine hunt boat and minelayer/minesweeper boat. In addition to their support functions, the tasks of the naval bases include the surveillance of Danish waters, divided between three naval section commands and training facilities on land. The Navy has permanently stationed units to monitor fisheries and to protect sovereignty rights off Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The Navy has regularly delegated a corvette to NATO to participate in peacekeeping operations. Since the withdrawal of US troops from the island state of Iceland , the Danish Navy has taken over responsibility for Icelandic coastal defense together with the Icelandic Coast Guard.
- air force
The Air Force (Dan.: Flyvevåbnet ) has a manpower of about 6000 men. Its operations are managed by the Air Force Command in Karup or, in the higher level of logistics, by the Air Force Support Command in Brabrand, western Aarhus and Karup. The aviation units are divided between the fighter and fighter-bomber squadrons with F-16 fighter aircraft at the air bases in Skrydstrup and Ålborg and the transport and rescue squadron with C-130 Hercules and Gulfstream III aircraft at Aalborg and helicopters of the type S-61 Sea King at Karup Air Force Base. The radar stations of the control and early warning group constantly monitor the airspace over Denmark and can use fighter planes for immediate defense and air defense, and in the event of war, on the orders of the Air Force Command, additional anti-aircraft missiles .
- Home Guard
The Home Guard (Dan.: Hjemmeværnet ) consists of around 56,000 volunteers, whose leadership in peacetime is in the hands of the Home Guard Command. The force includes the Heeresheimwehr, which is organized into territorially defined Heimwehr companies that constantly monitor the entire country and, in the event of war, are assigned to the troops of the Army's military regions, the Naval Home Guard, which supports the Navy, and finally the Luftwaffe Home Guard, which controls and Luftwaffe Early Warning Group by monitoring airspace at low altitudes, assisted in guard duties.
Denmark joined the European Community in 1973. According to the Danish constitution, any transfer of sovereignty rights must be decided by a referendum. Accordingly, the Danish people have already voted five times on EU issues. In 1992 the Maastricht Treaty was rejected in a referendum. A second attempt in 1993 then brought approval due to several "opt-outs" in economic and monetary union, security and defense policy, justice and home affairs and EU citizenship. Since then, the "opt-outs" have been repeatedly questioned because they stand in the way of further integration into the EU. With the entry into force of the EU reform treaty, they will even increase. It is planned to hold referendums on the individual policy areas again in the next few years. In April 2008, the Danish Parliament voted in favor of the EU Reform Treaty of Lisbon .
Denmark has a road network of 71,347 km including 1010 km of expressways. In 1998 the Storebælt Bridge was inaugurated and opened to road traffic as a toll motorway (the tollbooth is on the Zeeland side) in the summer. Two years later, the Scandinavian peninsula was connected with the Øresund connection . The European route E 20 leads over the bridge.
In 2000, the Danish rail network was about 2875 km long (of which 508 km are operated by private railways ). In addition to the state railway company Danske Statsbaner , the branch lines in particular are often used by private railways. In 2000 the Øresund Bridge was opened. It connects Copenhagen with the southern Swedish city of Malmö. There is a rail connection between Hamburg and Copenhagen (“ Jutland Line ”) via the Lillebæltsbro (across the Little Belt) and via the Storebælt Bridge (across the Great Belt). The previous railway ferry from Puttgarden to Rødby ( Vogelfluglinie ) last carried passenger trains on 14 December 2019, freight traffic had already been abandoned earlier. In the planned Fehmarnbelt tunnel , trains are to run again from 2028.
There were tram companies in the three cities Copenhagen (from 1883 to 1972), Aarhus (electric tram company from 1904 to 1971). and Odense (1911–1952) For Denmark's major cities, the construction of new tram operations as Letbane (light railway) is being implemented. A network was set up in Aarhus in 2017-2019; followed by the Odense Letbane (planned to open in 2022) and Copenhagen Light Rail (planned to open in 2023/24).
Denmark has five international airports at Copenhagen-Kastrup , Billund , Aalborg , Aarhus and Esbjerg airports. By far the largest in the country is the airport in Kastrup near Copenhagen, which was used by 25.6 million air travelers in 2014. The most booked destination was London ahead of Oslo and Stockholm; the most frequented destination in Germany was Frankfurt/Main with 653,000 passengers (8th place).
Seatbelts are compulsory in Denmark and you have to drive with dipped headlights even during the day . Telephone calls are only permitted with a hands-free system while driving. The priority rule is "right before left", but small white triangles on the road at intersections mean "give way!".
The maximum speed is 50 km/h in built-up areas, 80 km/h outside of built-up areas and on expressways and 130 km/h on motorways . A maximum speed of 70 km/h applies to trailers and mobile homes over 3.5 t, and 80 km/h on motorways. The maximum blood alcohol concentration ( per mille limit ) is 0.5 ‰.
The country's road traffic is among the safest in the world. In 2013, Denmark had a total of 3.5 road deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. For comparison: In Germany there were 4.3 deaths in the same year.
Reformers like to cite Denmark as an example of a deregulated labor market because the country does not have protection against dismissal comparable to that in Germany. However, the share of public employees with approx. 28% (800,000) (2006) of all employees (approx. 2,800,000) is about twice as high as in Germany. Converted to full-time employment, this public share increases to over 38% of a total of over 2.3 million full-time employees. Liberal employment regulations, a high level of social security and an active labor market policy are combined under the motto " Flexicurity ". Unemployed people receive significantly higher unemployment benefits than in Germany if they have paid into the unemployment fund ( a-kasse ) and are eligible to receive unemployment benefits. For example, people who have been outside the EU for more than one year (the last 7 years before applying for unemployment benefit) lose their right to unemployment benefit, regardless of whether they have paid into the unemployment fund or not. People who are entitled to unemployment benefits are fully qualified for new jobs.
Union density is extremely high (68% in 2015). Collective bargaining is centralized between employers and unions. Although Denmark does not have a statutory minimum wage , minimum wages are usually standardized by collective agreements and complied with by companies. Unions have the right to call for a boycott of employers who do not abide by collective bargaining agreements. Although the Danish system demands high concessions from employers, it is generally accepted by all parties involved because it has proven to be very successful over the past 100 years.
In international comparisons, Denmark usually does very well. The employment rate, including among older workers, is the highest in the EU . Despite the extremely high tax and duty rate (the VAT rate is 25%, this also applies to books and groceries, the top rate of income tax is 59%), the country is considered very flexible and competitive. The standard of living of the Danes is one of the highest in the world, the national debt is comparatively low. In comparison with the EU's GDP expressed in purchasing power standards, Denmark has an index of 125 (EU-28:100) (2014). With budget surpluses of 4.9% and 4.2% of gross domestic product, Denmark was the EU leader in 2005 and 2006. In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Denmark ranks 12th out of 137 countries (as of 2017–2018). The country ranked 18th out of 180 countries in the 2017 Economic Freedom Index .
After years of high economic growth, the Danish economy was also in recession as a result of the global financial and economic crisis . Gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 5.9 percent in 2009 and again by 1.7 percent in 2010. In the period from 2011 to 2014, GDP rose again slightly. In 2015, the Danish economy grew by 1.1 percent.
|rank||region||GDP PPP in million €||GDP/capita, PPS ,
|GDP per capita in €
|1||Region of Hovedstaden||83,775||163||47,100|
|2||South Denmark region||40.122||115||33,200|
|3||Central Jutland region||42,210||114||32,800|
|4||North Jutland region||17,700||105||30,300|
|5||Region of Zealand||20,746||87||25,200|
In the fourth quarter of 2014, the unemployment rate averaged 6.4%. That was a minimal drop of -0.1% compared to the third quarter, but a clear drop of -0.6% compared to the same period last year. Youth unemployment was well above this level at 11.2% in Q4 2014 and 13.3% in the corresponding quarter of 2013. During the financial crisis from 2007 onwards, the number of unemployed had increased. From a European peak of just 3.4% unemployed in 2008, the rate rose to 7.6% in 2011. Since then, the employment situation has continuously improved. By June 2018, it had fallen to 5.0%.
industry and service
Denmark is a highly industrialized country, more than three quarters of its exports are industrial goods or machines. Industry and most service companies are mainly concentrated in the greater Copenhagen area, while Jutland is relatively unindustrialized. The country's industry contributed about 23% of GDP in 2017 and employed about 18.3% of all workers; the service sector contributed about 79% to GDP in 2016 and employed about 76% of workers in 2017.
The most important branches of the manufacturing industry in Denmark in terms of their turnover are the food and metalworking industries, printing and publishing, mechanical engineering and the production of electronic goods and diesel engines (mainly for ships and for locomotives ). Danish furniture has been in demand in many countries since the beginning of the 20th century. Shipyards, brewing, the textile and clothing industry, as well as the production of cement, chemical products, medicines, ceramics/porcelain, stoves, bicycles and paper are also important. Until 1970 brown coal was mined at Søby in the municipality of Herning , in 1961 it was 2.3 million tons.
Agriculture in Denmark is a highly mechanized industry. It contributes about 2.3% of GDP and employs about 3% of all workers.
More than half of the country's area – not including Greenland and the Faroe Islands – is used for agriculture. By nature, the soils are relatively poor in nutrients; this is compensated for by intensive fertilization . The Danish government encourages small farms. The merger of small businesses to form large goods is made more difficult by law. Around 85 percent of Danish farms are family farms of less than 50 hectares.
Cereals are grown on 60 percent of the approximately 2.5 million hectares of cultivated land; the spectrum includes barley , oats , wheat and rye . The remaining area is planted with forage crops, flax , hemp , hops and tobacco . Over 50 percent of the total area is used as farmland. The predominantly export-oriented meat and dairy industry plays an important role. Denmark is one of the largest producers of pork products in the world. Livestock mainly includes pigs , cattle and horses .
A distinctive feature of Danish agriculture is the great influence of agricultural cooperatives. They dominate the production of dairy products and ham. A high percentage of agricultural produce is marketed through the cooperatives. Most cooperatives belong to national associations, which in turn are members of the agricultural committee. This central body of the cooperatives negotiates with the government, industry or foreign trading partners.
In 1805 the government declared all forests (which today make up around 12 percent of Denmark's total area) to be nature reserves. Denmark's large fishing fleet plays an important role in the country's economy. Most of the fish caught are marine fish, with herring, salmon and cod being the commercially most important species. Most of the fishing grounds are in the North Sea. Large export surpluses are achieved for fish.
After the Second World War, Denmark relied heavily on oil as a primary energy supplier . By the early 1970s, it was almost entirely dependent on imported petroleum. As a result of the oil crisis in 1973, which hit Denmark in particular as a largely oil-dependent country, there were considerations of building nuclear power plants in order to diversify the energy supply. After a long political struggle since the early 1970s, the country finally decided against the use of nuclear energy with a parliamentary resolution in 1985 . The country is now an energy exporter. In 2008, a total of 16.7 million m³ of oil and 9.9 million m³ of gas were produced from 18 oil and gas fields, all in the North Sea . The production volume has been declining since 2004. Along with Canada, Russia and Norway, Denmark is also very actively involved in the race for mineral resources in the deep sea under the Arctic, which is highly controversial from the point of view of environmental protection.
- energy transition
Denmark is the pioneer country of the energy transition . With the plan to convert the entire energy supply (electricity, heat and transport) to renewable energies by 2050, it is also the country with the most ambitious goal. This is to be achieved through the strong expansion of wind energy and the electrification of the heating and transport sectors. The main goal since 1972 has been to reduce dependency on oil imports; later other goals were energy self-sufficiency, the phasing out of the use of fossil energy and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions . Through measures such as energy savings , efficiency increases and combined heat and power generation, Denmark managed to keep the primary energy use more or less constant for 40 years (1972 to 2012), although the gross domestic product grew by more than 100% during this period. At the same time, 25% of the primary energy was replaced by renewable energies. At the same time, carbon dioxide emissions from electricity production, which were still over 1000 g/kWh in 1990, fell to 135 g/kWh by 2019, around a seventh of the initial value.
Of particular importance is the use of wind energy, which was systematically promoted in Denmark as one of the first countries in the world back in the 1980s. At the end of 2019, wind turbines with a cumulative nominal output of 6,128 MW were installed in Denmark (2016: 5,228 MW). In 2011, the share of renewable energies was 40.7% of electricity consumption, of which 28.1 percentage points came from wind energy. In 2015 it was 56.0%. In 2015, wind power covered 42.1% of Denmark's electricity needs (2014: 39.1%), the highest value in the world. The then Danish government decided to achieve a 50% share of wind energy in electricity generation by 2020 while reducing carbon emissions by 40%. The Danish parliament approved the plan in March 2012 with a large majority. In 2019, the wind share of electricity generation was 48%. Denmark aims to reduce emissions by 70 percent by 2030.
In 2021, Denmark ranked 6th in the Climate Change Index , an annual analysis of the climate protection efforts of individual countries.
The country has few natural resources. Mineral raw materials are mined to a limited extent, primarily kaolin and granite . All mineral resources are publicly owned. There are deposits of kaolin on Bornholm, but these are of inferior quality and are mainly used for the production of pottery and bricks. The minerals limonite , cryolite , limestone , chalk and marl are also used commercially . Large deposits of salt have been discovered on Jutland. Oil and natural gas have been produced in the North Sea since the 1970s .
Currency and Banking
The country's currency is the Danish Krone to 100 Øre. Denmark is part of the ERM II , an exchange rate agreement that has existed since 1999 between various EU countries as part of the European Monetary System II . The Danish National Bank (founded in 1818) is the country's central bank and financial centre. Their head office is in Copenhagen. Some large commercial banks have branches throughout Denmark. There are also over 90 savings banks. Since the 1970s, the number of banks has declined due to a series of mergers. Several mergers took place, especially in the early 1990s.
At the latest when the third stage of European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) began in January 1999, there was a fierce political debate in Denmark as to whether the country should join EMU and adopt the euro as its single currency. In a referendum on September 28, 2000, 53.1 percent of the Danish population voted against the euro - 46.9 percent were in favor of abolishing the Danish krone. With this result, accession to EMU was also rejected. A new referendum on the introduction of the euro was announced in November 2007, but never took place.
The Danish krone has a fixed exchange rate policy to the euro; therefore 100 euros can be exchanged for 746 ± 2.25% crowns. In practice, the Danish National Bank has stabilized the exchange rate at a level very close to the central rate.
Denmark ranked 24th in the world in terms of total national wealth , according to a 2017 study by Bank Credit Suisse . Total property, stock and cash holdings totaled $1,245 billion. The average wealth per adult is $281,542 and the median is $87,231 (in Germany: $203,946 and $47,091 respectively). In terms of average wealth per inhabitant, Denmark is one of the top 10 countries in the world. Overall, 59.3% of Danes' total wealth was financial wealth and 40.7% non-financial wealth. The Gini coefficient for wealth distribution was 80.9 in 2017, indicating relatively high wealth inequality.
In the mid-1960s, the Federal Republic of Germany ousted the United Kingdom as Denmark's most important trading partner. Nevertheless, Great Britain is still one of the largest buyers of Danish products. Sweden , Norway , France and the Netherlands are also important trading partners. Trade with the countries in Eastern Europe has increased greatly in recent years, especially with Poland . Outside Europe, the USA , the People's Republic of China and Japan are the most important trading partners. The trade balance is positive, i. H. exports exceed imports.
Up until the early 1960s, meat and dairy products made up the bulk of exports. Since then, exports of manufactured goods have increased steadily and, since 1961, have accounted for a larger share of total exports than agricultural products. The focus is on chemical and pharmaceutical products as well as vehicles. The most important Danish import goods are machinery, raw metals, metal goods, transport equipment, fuels and lubricants.
Tourism has been booming in Denmark for years: in 2015 more than ten million visitors came, most of them from Scandinavian countries such as Norway and Sweden, as well as Germany. Swedish and Norwegian tourists often visit the capital Copenhagen due to the proximity. In addition to tourists from Scandinavia, Denmark is also very popular with German tourists. Around one million Germans visited the country in 1999. In 2016, income from tourism was 6.9 billion US dollars.
|% change yoy||3.9||0.9||−0.5||−4.9||1.9||1.3||0.2||0.9||1.6||2.3||3.2||2.0||2.4||2.4|
|absolute (in billion euros)||per inhabitant (in thousand euros)|
|GDP in billions of euros||271.8||277.5||289.0||GDP per capita (in € thousand)||47.8||48.4||50.1|
|in billion euros and its change compared to the previous year in percent|
|billion €||% yoy||billion €||% yoy||billion €||% yoy|
|Export (in percent) to||Import (percentage) from|
|United Kingdom||6.5||People's Republic of China||7.3|
|People's Republic of China||4.4||Poland||3.9|
|other countries||41.4||other countries||37.5|
Denmark has attempted to define its cultural heritage in an official Danish Cultural Canon issued by the Ministry of Culture. Another attempt to map the country's cultural heritage came with the website 1001 fortællinger om Danmark (1001 stories about Denmark) , launched in 2010 .
The country's public holidays are New Year 's Day (January 1), Easter (Maundy Thursday to Easter Monday), Store Bededag , Ascension Day , Whit Monday and Christmas (December 25). The Danish Constitution Day on 5 June is not a public holiday, but shops and public buildings are usually closed.
A Danish specialty is the Store Bededag . Instead of commemorating various saints with many holidays in spring, the Danes celebrate Store Bededag on the fourth Friday after Easter, with which they honor all saints and clergy. This holiday was introduced by Count Johann Friedrich von Struensee in the 18th century .
The most well-known Danish contribution to the culinary field is probably the smørrebrød , a cold lunchtime dish made of wholemeal bread with plenty of toppings. Also well known is the hot dog , which is eaten with red sausages ( rød pølser ) – kogt (boiled) or ristet (fried); It is garnished with sweet tartar sauce , roasted onions and sweet and sour cucumber slices. Remoulade is not only eaten with French fries, but also with fish, salami or spring rolls.
The national dish is the classic slow-cooked pork rind with pork rind (flæskesteg) , served with potatoes and brown gravy. Danish Labskaus (Skipperlabskovs) is typically prepared with fresh pork instead of corned beef .
Almond milk rice (Ris à l'amande) is often served as a dessert at Christmas . It consists of cold vanilla rice pudding , whipped cream and chopped almonds, served with cherry sauce. A skinned almond hidden in the dessert bestows a small gift ( almondgave ) on the person in whose portion it is found.
For several years now, there has been a renewal of Danish cuisine. Products from organic farming and locally available ingredients such as wild herbs have now gained particular importance. Restaurants are trying to reinterpret regional traditions and use a greater variety of recipes.
When it comes to alcoholic beverages, beer and schnapps have a long tradition in Denmark. In addition to the well-known beer brands ( Carlsberg, Tuborg , Faxe and Albani ), a number of local microbreweries have recently emerged . A Danish specialty since 1953 is the higher-alcohol Christmas brew (Julebryg) , not to be confused with the Christmas beer ( Juleøl or Nisse øl ), a dark, sweet light beer .
The best-known aquavite and bitters (Aalborg Akvavit, Gammel Dansk) have only been produced in Norway since April 2015. Glögg , the Nordic version of mulled wine , is also part of Christmas . The toast is “Skål”. In contrast to neighboring Scandinavian countries, the sale of alcohol is not subject to a state monopoly, but is free. There are also no night-time selling restrictions, as there are for Norwegian supermarkets. High Danish taxes on alcoholic beverages make them noticeably more expensive compared to Central Europe.
Danish architecture developed in the Middle Ages based on French and German models, as evidenced by the cathedral buildings in Ribe , Viborg , Århus , Ringsted , Roskilde and Kalundborg . Typical Brick Gothic buildings are St. Knud's Church in Odense , built in the 13th or 14th century, St. Peter's Church in Næstved or St. Olai's Church in Helsingør . Among the town churches, the hall church type predominates . Many valuable altars and images came from the Netherlands and Lübeck .
The redistribution of church property after the Reformation resulted in numerous mansions, some of which were fortified (e.g. Hesselagergård near Gudme ). Significant examples of Danish Renaissance architecture were built during the reigns of King Frederick II and King Christian IV : Kronborg Castle in Helsingør , Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød and the Copenhagen Stock Exchange .
Notable Baroque buildings include Amalienborg Palace (residence of the Danish kings since 1794), Charlottenborg Palace and Christiansborg Palace . One of the most important architects of classicism is Christian Frederik Hansen , who built the courthouse and the Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen . Historical buildings are by Theophil Edvard Freiherr von Hansen , Martin Nyrop and Michael Gottlieb Bindesbøll . Hack Kampmann is an important representative of Danish national romanticism . designed the town hall in Copenhagen and the theater in Arhus.
Outstanding representatives of Danish architecture in the 20th century are Arne Jacobsen , who designed the SAS Royal Hotel in addition to several town halls and the National Bank , Peder Vilhelm Jensen Klint , Jørn Utzon , who designed the famous Sydney Opera House , but did not participate in its realization , Erik Møller and Johan Otto von Spreckelsen .
Georg Arthur Jensen shaped the industrial design of the Scandinavian countries with his silversmith work in a functional style. Kay Bojesen was also a trained silversmith, but he became famous for his wooden toys , cutlery and crockery. Another well-known silversmith was Svend Weihrauch , who was one of the outstanding representatives of functionalism with his clear, ornament-free silversmith work . The lamps by Poul Henningsen and the furniture by Hans Jørgensen Wegner , Poul Kjærholm , Kaare Klint and Arne Jacobsen - his designs Egg , Swan and Series 7 are considered design classics - also received recognition. Jacob Jensen 's work for the Danish consumer electronics group Bang & Olufsen is well known and was honored with a special exhibition in 1978 at the Museum of Modern Art .
The largest television stations belong to the public service broadcasters Danmarks Radio and TV 2 ; the newspapers with the highest circulation include the free newspapers , the Jyllands-Posten , Berlingske and Politiken . Big publishers like Gyldendal and Berlingske Media are based in Copenhagen.
Media freedom has a long tradition in Denmark. Article 77 of the 1849 constitution already guaranteed freedom of the press and freedom of expression and forbade any censorship; Reporters Without Borders ranks Denmark 4th in its 2021 Press Freedom Index. Public authorities are required to provide information to citizens and journalists. In order to ensure media diversity, most daily newspapers and online media are subsidized.
The Ugly Duckling , The Emperor's New Clothes or The Princess and the Pea , all these fairy tales were written by Hans Christian Andersen , who made one of the most significant Danish contributions to world literature. In the port of Copenhagen, a sculpture commemorates the writer, a mermaid, the main character from his fairy tales The Little Mermaid . The theologian, philosopher and writer Søren Kierkegaard , one of the forerunners of existentialism , is also world-famous . Central to his work, which ranges from philosophical novels to theological polemics, are the concepts of existence and fear and the question of how people are able to deal with them. Also known worldwide is the poet Ludvig Holberg (born Norwegian), he wrote mainly comedies and a satirical novel, he also emerged as a historian.
In the 1937 autobiographical novel Out of Africa , the writer Karen Blixen (published in Germany under her pseudonym Tania Blixen) tells of her life as a coffee farmer in Kenya. The novel was adapted into a film in 1985, starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford , and won seven Academy Awards at the 1985 Academy Awards.
Danish Nobel Prize winners for literature are Karl Gjellerup and Henrik Pontoppidan , who shared the prize in 1917, and Johannes Vilhelm Jensen , whose novel Kongens Fald (Eng.: The King's Fall) was voted (Danish) Book of the Century in 1999 by major Danish newspapers. Another important Danish writer is Herman Bang , who is considered the creator of Danish Impressionism .
In his novels , the contemporary author Peter Høeg writes about partially torn existences . His international bestseller Miss Smilla's Sense of Snow was filmed in 1997 by Danish director and Oscar winner Bille August, starring Julia Ormond .
The development of Danish music began under the influence of German, Italian and English music culture during the reign of King Christian IV in the second half of the 16th century and the first half of the 17th century. Foreign composers such as John Dowland , Heinrich Schütz , who was royal music director in Copenhagen for a long time, and Dieterich Buxtehude , who spent several years as an organist in Elsinore, worked at the Danish court and came into contact with Danish composers there.
The first significant contributions to Danish music all came from composers born in Germany: Friedrich Ludwig Æmilius Kunzen with his opera Holger Danske (1787), Christoph Ernst Friedrich Weyse with his opera Ludams Hule (1816) and Friedrich Kuhlau , who contributed to the opera that is still popular today Piece Elverhøy (1828) which wrote the music. Danish representatives of Romanticism are Niels Wilhelm Gade , Johann Peter Emilius Hartmann and Peter Arnold Heise .
In the 20th century, Carl Nielsen , who is regarded as Denmark's most important composer and whose symphonies and operas were also able to establish themselves in the repertoire abroad , followed in the 20th century, followed by Poul Schierbeck , Knudåge Riisager , Jørgen Bentzon , Finn Høffding , Herman David Koppel , Vagn Holmboe and Niels Viggo Bentzon . Other important Danish composers include Louis Glass , Paul von Klenau , Ludolf Nielsen , Hakon Børresen , Rued Langgaard , Poul Ruders and Per Nørgård .
In the field of popular music in Germany, Gitte Hænning is best known for her hits and the Olsen Brothers, the winners of the Eurovision Song Contest 2000. Also known is the band Aqua , which was based in the Eurodance area and existed from 1989 to 2001. Lars Ulrich , the drummer of the band Metallica , is also from Denmark. Other well-known musicians and bands from Denmark are Aura Dione , Oh Land , Lukas Graham , Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen , Carpark North , Saybia , Kashmir , Nephew , Medina , Outlandish , DAD , Pretty Maids , Thulla , Poul Krebs , Kim Larsen , TV -2 , Sorts Muld , Volbeat , Jakob Sveistrup , Sort Sol , King Diamond , Red Warszawa , Natasha Thomas , Laid Back , Hanne Boel , Anna David , Junior Senior , Under Byen , Raunchy , The Raveonettes and Trentemøller . Well-known Danish record companies are Cope Records and Kick Music .
painting and sculpture
Stimulated by models from neighboring countries and the humanism of the Goethe era , contemplative and self-sufficient Danish painting received new impetus at the beginning of the 19th century, in the so-called “Golden Age” of Classicism and Biedermeier , from artists such as Nicolai Abildgaard , Jens Juel and PC Skovgaard . These painters devoted themselves primarily to landscape painting . Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg , who had studied under Jacques-Louis David in Paris , and many of his pupils, such as Christen Købke , emerged as portrait painters. In addition, genre and history painting lived on in the works of Constantin Hansen , Vilhelm Marstrand , Jørgen Roed and Jørgen Sonne . Wilhelm Bendz combined portraiture with genre and history painting.
Around 1870, plein air painting developed in the artist colony of Skagen . Skagen painters influenced by the Barbizon school included Michael Ancher , Anna Ancher , who albeit preferred interior views, Viggo Johansen , Peder Severin Krøyer , Christian Krohg , Carl Locher , Theodor Philipsen , Frits Thaulow , Wilhelm von Gegerfelt and Holger Drachmann , while the legacy of the Golden Age was cultivated by the realistic-naturalistic genre and history painter Kristian Zahrtmann .
Vilhelm Kyhn 's romantic landscape paintings stand on the threshold of modernity . In addition to the Danish National Gallery , the collection of the tobacco manufacturer Heinrich Hirschsprung , opened in Copenhagen in 1911, offers the best overview of Danish painting from around 1850 to 1910.
The Danish representatives of Symbolism included Vilhelm Hammershøi , who was influenced by Whistler and preferred drab interiors , as well as Jens Ferdinand Villumsen , whose pictures are characterized by strong colourfulness, and LA Ring , who with his factual pictures of farm workers in subtle colors also pioneered the social realism in Denmark.
Around 1910, Bornholm developed into one of the artistic centers of northern Europe. This is where the "Bornholm School" came into being after the First World War, an association of artist friends. These included the Expressionist Oluf Høst , who since 1935 painted his house more than 200 times in different weather conditions and against the background of changing moods, as well as Karl Isakson and the Estonian -born Olaf Rude , who was inspired by Cézanne and classical modernism. Jais Nielsen was also inspired by Cubism and Futurism ; he also designed porcelain sculptures and church windows. The depictions of people by Vilhelm Lundstrøm , an early representative of Danish modernism, are characterized by clear colors and geometric shapes, but attest to great psychological empathy.
After World War II, abstract expressionism also dominated in Denmark , represented by Richard Mortensen , Else Alfelt , Ejler Bille , Asger Jorn , who founded the group CoBrA in 1948, and Per Kirkeby , who also works as a sculptor.
Two well-known sculptors working in Denmark were Bernt Notke , who created the altar in Aarhus Cathedral , and Claus Berg , who created the altar in St. Knud's Church in Odense. One of the most important Danish sculptors was Bertel Thorvaldsen . Along with the Italian Antonio Canova , he is regarded as the most important sculptor of classicism . At the same time Hermann Vilhelm Bissen and Jens Adolf Jerichau were working . Well-known 20th-century sculptors were Robert Jacobsen , Gunnar Westmann and Sonja Ferlov Mancoba , whose sculptures are influenced by African sculpture.
During the silent film era , Denmark was the largest film producer after the USA, Germany and France.
The Danish actress Asta Nielsen made notable contributions to the art of film . At the beginning of the 20th century, under the direction of Urban Gad , she rose to become one of the first silent film stars with films such as Afgrunden (1910). The director Carl Theodor Dreyer also set standards with his aesthetically demanding works such as La passion de Joan of Arc (1928; in English: The Passion of the Maid of Orleans) or Vampyr - Allan Gray's Dream (1932). The comedy duo Pat & Patachon , who made about 50 films together between 1921 and 1940 , were also internationally popular . Before the First World War , the Danish production company Nordisk Film was one of the largest and most productive film studios in the world. Although the country's position on the international film market collapsed with the advent of talkies, ambitious productions attracted worldwide attention.
In the 1990s, Lars von Trier caused international debates with his film-aesthetic program Dogma 95 , which was directed against commercial films , after he had already made a name for himself with ambitious films. It was within the framework of this controversial concept that von Trier's Idioterne (1998) and Thomas Vinterberg 's Festen (1998) and Lone Scherfig 's Italiensk for begyndere (2000) came into being. . Other well-known Danish directors include Erik Balling (The Olsen Gang ), Lasse Spang Olsen ( In China They Eat Dogs ), Anders Thomas Jensen ( Adam's Apples , Danish Delicatessen ) and Susanne Bier ( Brothers , After the Wedding ).
Foreign films are not dubbed in Denmark, only subtitled. The only exception are children's films.
There are five World Heritage Sites in Denmark : Roskilde Cathedral , Kronborg Castle in Elsinore, Jelling rune stones, burial mounds and church , Christiansfeld , a settlement of the Moravian Church , and the North Sealand Par Force hunting landscape .
- Roskilde Cathedral is Scandinavia 's first brick Gothic cathedral and is now the largest church in the north. Roskilde was the royal residence from the 11th to the 15th century and is still the burial place of the monarchs today. The church contains the tombs of 20 Danish kings and 17 queens, including the important Margarethe I and Christian IV. The church has been a World Heritage Site since 1995.
- Kronborg Castle is located in Helsingør by the Øresund . The fortress - like castle in the style of the Dutch Renaissance secured Denmark 's important income from the Sound toll for centuries . William Shakespeare made the place world famous as the setting for his tragedy Hamlet . Kronborg Castle has been a World Heritage Site since 2000.
- The Jelling rune stones are two of the few stones dedicated to Danish kings and their deeds. They emerged in the mid to late 10th century. Together with Jelling Burial Mound and Church, they have been listed by UNESCO as part of the World Heritage Site since 1994.
In Danish history, a distinction has been made between Idræt (=physical exercise of all kinds), gymnastics and sport , depending on tradition . Denmark's largest sports association and umbrella organization of 60 sports associations is now Danmarks Idrætsforbund with 1.7 million members. He is responsible for the regulation of Danish championships and the determination of participation in the Olympic Games. As of September 2016, Denmark has won 195 medals at the Olympic Games, putting it 25th in the all-time medal table . The country won 45 gold, 75 silver and 75 bronze medals. All but one of these medals were won at Summer Olympics . The only medal at the Winter Games was a silver medal in 1998 in Nagano in curling.
The most popular sport in Denmark is football , which takes place under the umbrella of Dansk Boldspil-Union . Overall, the Danish national football team has taken part in nine European Football Championships: in 1964 at the second European Football Championship , from 1984 to 2004, where they also celebrated their greatest success, winning the 1992 European Football Championship in Sweden by beating Germany 2-0 , as well as in 2012 at the European Football Championship in Poland and Ukraine and in 2021 at the European Football Championship , where the semi-finals were reached.
The national team was able to qualify five times for a soccer World Cup , namely for the 13th Soccer World Cup in Mexico, for the 16th Soccer World Cup in France, for the 17th Soccer World Cup in South Korea and Japan, for the 19th Soccer World Cup in South Africa and for the 21st Soccer World Cup in Russia. Greatest success here was reaching the quarter-finals of the 1998 World Cup , where they lost 3-2 to Brazil. With the exception of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, they reached the round of 16 in the other World Cups. Another success for the Danes was winning the 1995 Confederations Cup . Four medals have been won at the Olympic Games, three silver medals ( 1908 , 1912 and 1960 ) and one bronze medal ( 1948 ).
The Denmark women's national football team has qualified four times at seven women's football World Cups , with the best result being two quarter-final appearances (1991 and 1995). In nine European Women's Football Championships , you could qualify eight times and twice reached third place.
Another popular sport is handball , organized by the Dansk Håndbold Forbund since 1935 . The Danish women's national handball team is considered one of the strongest women's national teams in handball. They have so far won a world championship (1997), three Olympic gold medals (1996, 2000 and 2004) and three European championships (1994, 1996, 2002). The Danish men's national handball team is also one of the world's best in handball. The Danish men's team achieved two first places (2019, 2021) and three second places at World Championships (1967, 2011, 2013), the Olympic gold medal in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, and a first place at the 2008 European Championships .
- Other sports
In tennis , Denmark has Caroline Wozniacki , the current world number three in the WTA ranking (as of December 17, 2018). She achieved great success for her country at a very young age and is already considered the best and most successful Danish tennis player of all time. On October 11, 2010, she became the first Scandinavian ever - at the age of 20 - to top the world rankings, which she held non-stop (with a one-week break by Kim Clijsters ) for 67 weeks. She also achieved the rarity of finishing two consecutive seasons as the world number one. Even if she has not yet won a Grand Slam tournament, she has already reached the final of the US Open twice (2009; 2014) and is one of the most successful active tennis players in the world with 23 WTA titles and 4 ITF titles. In November 2017 Wozniacki won the final of the WTA World Championships in Singapore and in late January 2018 in Melbourne with the Australian Open her first and only Grand Slam success against Romanian Simona Halep . After the Australian Open 2020, Wozniacki ended her career after suffering from health problems in 2019 due to rheumatoid arthritis in her right wrist, extending up to her shoulder. Wozniacki is married and lives in the United States with her husband, basketball player David Lee.
Danish athletes have also been able to celebrate success in badminton for a long time. One of the country's best-known players is Peter Gade , who topped the world rankings from 1998 to 2001 and won every major international tournament. Other well-known badminton players from Denmark are Jens Eriksen , Morten Frost , Pernille Harder , Poul-Erik Høyer Larsen , Martin Lundgaard Hansen , Camilla Martin and Mette Schjoldager .
The men's team won the gold medal at the 2005 European Table Tennis Championships in their own country .
In motorsport, Jan Magnussen and his son Kevin Magnussen were or are active in Formula 1 , and the touring car and sports car racers Tom Kristensen and Kurt Thiim were also successful for Denmark. In motorcycling, the Danish speedway riders Ole Olsen , Erik Gundersen , Hans Nielsen (track athlete) , Jan O. Pedersen and Nicki Pedersen have so far won 14 gold medals at the individual speedway world championships. Olsen and Gundersen also each won the long track world championships.
Homosexuality is widely accepted legally and socially in Denmark. In 1989, Denmark was the first country in the world to introduce civil partnerships for homosexuals .
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