Zealand (Denmark)

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Zealand (Sjælland)
Waters Baltic Sea
Geographical location 55 ° 30 '  N , 11 ° 49'  E Coordinates: 55 ° 30 '  N , 11 ° 49'  E
Location of Zealand (Sjælland)
length 132 km
width 116 km
surface 7th 031.3  km²
Highest elevation Kobanke
122.9  m
Residents 2,319,705 (January 1, 2020)
330 inhabitants / km²
main place Copenhagen
Climate diagram of Zealand
Climate diagram of Zealand

Map from 1665 with an outline in Harden ( Herrit )
At Roskilde Cathedral, Zealand (Denmark)

Zealand ( Danish Sjælland ) is the largest island in the Baltic Sea and Denmark in the east of the country with an area of ​​7,031.3 km² . With 2,319,705 inhabitants (January 1, 2020) around 40% of Denmark's inhabitants live on it; it is thus by far the most populous island in the country.


The exact origin of the Danish name "Sjælland" is controversial. “Sjæl” means “soul” in today's Danish, but based on older records this interpretation can be ruled out. Even a derivation from "siô / sæ" ("see", meaning "sea"), which corresponds to the German name, is largely rejected today - however, it may be that the German name came about when Danish research on the origin of the word was not yet known had reached today's level; so the Danes themselves assumed that the name means “Zealand”. The prevailing view today is: The old Danish form "Siâland" comes from a combination of the word * selha- with the ending * wundia-. The latter means "has, resembles". The word * selha- can have two different meanings: on the one hand it can mean "seal" (in today's Danish "sæl") and on the other hand it can mean "deep bay, fjord". Since the most important place on Zealand used to be Roskilde , which can only be reached by sea through the narrow and branched Roskilde Fjord , it is usually assumed that the seafarers named the island after this.


In the northeast of Zealand is the Danish capital Copenhagen , which partly extends to the neighboring island of Amager . Together with the surrounding towns, Copenhagen forms the capital region ( Hovedstaden region ), one of Denmark's five administrative regions . It has 1,167,569 inhabitants (January 1, 2009) on an area of ​​2561 km², so it is home to more than 20% of the Danish population on less than 6% of the country's surface. This makes this part of Zealand the largest conurbation in Denmark by far. It also forms the Danish part of the Öresund region .

For western neighbor island Fyn (German: Fyn ), in turn connected by two bridges in the northwest with the Danish land leading Belt Bridge . Zealand is connected to the neighboring island of Falster to the south by the Farøbroerne and Storstrømsbroen bridges and to Møn by the Dronning Alexandrines Bro . Since 2000, Zealand has had a direct connection to the Swedish province of Skåne län (Schonen / Skåne) via the Öresund connection , a bridge and tunnel combination .

Another important city is the former capital Roskilde with its world heritage site , the Roskilde Cathedral .

The highest natural elevation in Zealand is the Kobanke at 122.9 meters. Gyldenløves Høj reaches 121.3 meters, with the dolmen 125.5 meters. In the northern part of the island, the Maglebjerg is the highest point at 91 meters. It is located in Rude Forest ( Rude Skov ) immediately east of Ebberødgård.

Creation legend

The Gylfaginning describes how the Swedish king of legends Gylfi gave a piece of land to the wandering Gefjon, whose sons, two giants from Jötunheim, tore the gift away from the mainland to the west with a plow.

See also


Individual evidence

  1. a b statistics banks -> Befolkning og valg -> BEF4: Folketal pr. January 1st demands på øer (Danish)
  2. Danmarks Statistics : Statistical Yearbook 2009 - Geography and climate, Table 3 Area and population. Regions and inhabited islands (English; PDF; 39 kB)
  3. Contribution by Jan Katlev, co-author of Politikens Etymologisk Ordbog ( Memento of the original from October 27, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / sprogmuseet.dk
  4. www.statistikbanken.dk → Befolkning og valg → Folketal → Table BEF44: Folketal pr. January 1, fordelt på byer (2006–2009) , accessed on October 5, 2009