The first Danes were hunters and fishermen that came to the country at the end of the last Ice Age––as far back as 10,000 B.C. There were farmers in Denmark by 3000 B.C., and by 200 A.D. the Danish people began using the rune language writing system. The Vikings rose to power in the 9th century, and the Viking Age lasted for about 250 years. The Vikings raided and explored many areas, including Russia, Turkey, Greenland, and North America. Following the baptism of Danish King Harald Bluetooth, Christianity began to spread across Denmark. In 1397, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden were joined into a single monarchy ruled by Queen Margrethe I. This was called the Kalmar Union, which eventually broke up after Sweden left in 1523. Denmark remained neutral in WWI, but during WWII the country was invaded by German troops, and an underground resistance developed to fight German rule.
The flag of Denmark is a white Scandanavian cross against a red background. The flag is officially known as Dannebrog and is the oldest existing flag in the world, dating back to the 13th century AD.
Denmark is the southernmost of the Scandanavian countries. It is south of Norway, southwest of Sweden, and north of Germany. Denmark consists of the peninsula of Jutland, and 1,419 islands. Denmark’s terrain is mostly flat, with some low hills.
World Land Mass Ranking: 133rd
Highest Mountain: No real mountains
Longest River: Gudenå, 175km (109 mi)
Denmark Population: 5.8 million (as of 2020)
Capital City: Copenhagen
Capital City Population: 1 million (as of 2020)
Denmark has a temperate climate, with cold and snowy winters and mild summers. The country faces changeable weather due to winds coming from the surrounding oceans.
Traditional Danish cuisine was what could be found and harvested during the country’s short summers––incuding cabbage, root vegetables, meat, fish, and rye bread. Perhaps the most popular Danish food is called Smørrebrød, which is an open-faced sandwich typically made with rye bread and topped with any combination of meats, cheeses, and garnishes. The national dish of Denmark is known as Stegt flæsk med persillesovs. It is crispy fried pork served with boiled potatoes and parsley sauce.
Danes love to play sports, and people of all ages participate in a variety of activities. Like almost every other European country, football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Denmark. In 1992, Denmark won the UEFA Euro Championship. Handball was invented in Denmark in 1898, and it is a very popular sport throughout the country. Since Denmark is surrounded by water, sailing is also a well-loved Danish sport.
Below is a picture of the Danish Football Team at the 1192 UEFA Euro Championship.
The people of Denmark highly value trust, and people are assumed to be telling the truth unless proved otherwise. Danes have a tax-funded healthcare system that is free for the patient. School systems function the same way. The arts are an important aspect of Danish culture, including painting, architecture, filmmaking, and music. Folklore is a part of Denmark’s cultural history and includes Danish folk tales, legends, and traditions. Holidays, especially Christmas, are joyful times of celebration for the Danish people.
Below is a picture of The Tøjhus Museum.
10 facts about Denmark
1. The life expectancy in Denmark is 81 years.
2. On average, it rains 170 days per year in Denmark.
3. Denmark is currently second in the UN’s Happiness Report.
4. Biking is very popular in Denmark, and 9/10 Danes own a bike.
5. Greenland is an autonomous territory of Denmark.
6. You’ll never be further than 52km from the ocean in Denmark.
7. LEGO was invented by a Dane.
8. 85% of the Danish population is Evangelical Lutheran.
9. Denmark is home to the world’s two oldest amusement parks.
10. Copenhagen’s harbor is so clean that you can swim in it.