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Denmark

Denmark
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"Denmark" (; , ), officially the "Kingdom of Denmark" (Danish: ; ; ) together with Greenland and the Faroe Islands, is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark borders both the Baltic and the North Sea. The country consists of a large peninsula, Jutland (Jylland) and many islands, most notably Zealand (Sjælland), Funen (Fyn), Vendsyssel-Thy (commonly considered a part of Jutland), Lolland, Falster and Bornholm, as well as hundreds of minor islands often referred to as the Danish Archipelago. Denmark has long controlled the approach to the Baltic Sea; 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 is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. Denmark has a state-level government and local governments in 98 municipalities. Denmark has been a member of the European Union since 1973, although it has not joined the Eurozone. Denmark is a founding member of NATO and the OECD. Denmark is also a member of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Denmark, with a mixed market capitalist economy and a large welfare state,Esping-Andersen, G. (1990). "The three worlds of welfare capitalism". Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ranks as having the world"s highest level of income equality. Denmark has the best business climate in the world, according to the U.S. business magazine Forbes. From 2006 to 2008, surveys ranked Denmark as "the happiest place in the world", based on standards of health, welfare and education. The 2009 Global Peace Index survey ranks Denmark as the second most peaceful country in the world, after New Zealand.. Vision of Humanity. In 2009, Denmark was ranked as one of the least corrupt countries in the world according to the Corruption Perceptions Index, ranking second only to New Zealand. In 2010, Transparency International ranked it as least corrupt country in the world, in a three-way tie with New Zealand and Singapore.

The national language, Danish, is closely related to Swedish and Norwegian, with which it shares strong cultural and historical ties. 82% of the inhabitants of Denmark and 80.9% http://www.km.dk/folkekirken/statistik-og-oekonomi/kirkestatistik.html of the ethnic Danes are members of the Lutheran state church. As of 2010, 548,000 persons (9.9% of the Danish population) were either immigrants or descendants of recent immigrants. Most of these (54%) have their origins in Scandinavia or elsewhere in Europe, while the remainder originate mainly from Middle Eastern and African countries.
History
"Hankehøj", by Johan Lundbye. A Danish down. Note the glacial character of the terrain and the burial mound of an early chief in the centre.
Etymology ===The etymology of the word Denmark, and especially the relationship between Danes and Denmark and the unifying of Denmark as a single kingdom, is a subject which attracts some debate.Kristian Andersen Nyrup, Middelalderstudier "Indvandrerne i Danmarks historie", Bent Østergaard, Syddansk Universitetsforlag 2007, ISBN 978-87-7674-204-1, pp. 19–24 The debate 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 Ed

Most handbooks deriveJ. de Vries, "Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch", 1962, 73; N. Å. Nielsen, "Dansk etymologisk ordbog", 1989, 85–96. 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,Navneforskning, Københavns Universitet . maybe similar to Finnmark,Hedmark, Telemark or Dithmarschen.

In Norse, the land was called "Danmǫrk".

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.

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

The "Chronicon Lethrense" explains that when the Roman Emperor Augustus went against Denmark in the time of David,The "David" referred to here appears to be David, the ancient king of the Israelites: of course this is wildly anachronistic, but it is fairly typical of such sources, which commonly sought to push national or dynastic origins as far back as possible. Denmark consisted of seven territories Jutland, Funen, Zealand, Møn, Falster, Lolland and Skåne which were governed by King Ypper of Uppsala. He had three sons, Nori, Østen and Dan. Dan was sent to govern Zealand, Møn, Falster, and Lolland, which became known jointly as Videslev. When the Jutes were fighting Emperor Augustus they called upon Dan to help them. Upon victory, they made him king of Jutland, Funen, Videslev and Skåne. A council decided to call this new united land "Danmark" (Dania) (English: Denmark) after their new king, Dan. Saxo relates that it is the legendary Danish King Dan, son of Humbli, who gave the name to the Danish people, though he does not expressly state that he is also the origin of the word "Denmark". Rather he tells that England ultimately derives its name from Dan’s brother Angel.

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 was on his port side... And then for two days he had on his (port side) the islands which belong to Denmark".Thorpe, B., "The Life of Alfred The Great Translated From The German of Dr. R. Pauli To Which Is Appended Alfred"s Anglo-Saxon Version of Orosius", Bell, 1900, p. 253.

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, though both use the word "Denmark", in the form of accusative "tanmaurk" () on the large stone, and genitive "tanmarkar" (pronounced ) on the small stone.The dative form "tąnmarku" (pronounced ) is found on the contemporaneous Skivum stone. The inhabitants of Denmark are there called "tani" (), 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 "Holger of Denmark" (Ogier de Denemarche).
Prehistory ===The earliest archaeological findings in Denmark date back to the Eem interglacial period from 130,000-110,000 BC.Michaelsen (2002), p. 19. 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 Char

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,Busck and Poulsen (ed.) (2002), p. 20. 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.

The gilded side of the Trundholm sun chariot

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,Busck and Poulsen (ed.) (2002), p. 19. 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,Michaelsen (2002), pp. 122–23. 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.
Viking Age
The Ladby ship, the largest ship burial found in Denmark
The Danish people were amongst those known as the Vikings during the 8th-11th centuries. Viking explorers first discovered and settled in Iceland in the 9th century, on their way from the Faroe Islands. From there, Greenland and Vinland (probably Newfoundland) were also settled. Utilising their great skills in shipbuilding they raided and conquered parts of France and the British Isles. But they also excelled in trading along the coasts and rivers of Europe, running trade routes from Greenland in the north to Constantinople in the south via Russian rivers. The Danish Vikings were most active in Britain, Ireland and France and they raided, conquered and settled parts of England (their earliest settlements included sites in the Danelaw, Ireland and Normandy).

In the early 9th century, Charlemagne"s Christian empire had expanded to the southern border of the Danes, and Frankish sources (e.g. Notker of St Gall) provide the earliest historical evidence of the Danes. These report a King Gudfred, who appeared in present day Holstein with a navy in 804 where diplomacy took place with the Franks; In 808, King Gudfred attacked the Obotrite and conquered the city of Reric whose population was displaced or abducted to Hedeby. In 809, King Godfred and emissaries of Charlemagne failed to negotiate peace, and the next year King Godfred attacked the Frisians with 200 ships.

The oldest parts of the defensive works of Danevirke near Hedeby at least date from the summer of 755 and were expanded with large works in the 10th century. The size and amount of troops needed to man it indicates a quite powerful ruler in the area, which might be consistent with the kings of the Frankish sources. In 815 AD, Emperor Louis the Pious attacked Jutland apparently in support of a contender to the throne, perhaps Harald Klak, but was turned back by the sons of Godfred, who most likely were the sons of the above mentioned Godfred. At the same time St. Ansgar travelled to Hedeby and started the Catholic Christianisation of Scandinavia.
Map showing Danevirke and Hærvejen

The Danes were united and officially Christianised in 965 AD by Harald Blåtand, the story of which is recorded on the Jelling stones. The extent of Harald"s Danish Kingdom is unknown, although it is reasonable to believe that it stretched from the defensive line of Dannevirke, including the Viking city of Hedeby, across Jutland, the Danish isles and into southern present day Sweden; Scania and perhaps Halland and Blekinge. Furthermore, the Jelling stones attest that Harald had also "won" Norway. In retaliation for the St. Brice"s Day massacre of Danes in England, the son of Harald, Sweyn Forkbeard mounted a series of wars of conquest against England, which was completed by Svend"s son Canute the Great by the middle of the 11th century.Staff. , Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 26 December 2007.

Following the death of Canute the Great, Denmark and England were divided. Sweyn Estridsen"s son, Canute IV, raided England for the last time in 1085. He planned another invasion to take the throne of England from an aging William I. He called up a fleet of 1,000 Danish ships, 60 Norwegian long boats, with plans to meet with another 600 ships under Duke Robert of Flanders in the summer of 1086. Canute, however, was beginning to realise that the imposition of the tithe on Danish peasants and nobles to fund the expansion of monasteries and churches and a new head tax (Danish:nefgjald) had brought his people to the verge of rebellion. Canute took weeks to arrive at Struer where the fleet had assembled, but he found only the Norwegians still there.

Canute thanked the Norwegians for their patience and then went from assembly to assembly (Danish:landsting) outlawing any sailor, captain or soldier who refused to pay a fine which amounted to more than a years harvest for most farmers. Canute and his housecarls fled south with a growing army of rebels on his heels. Canute fled to the royal property outside the town of Odense on Funen with his two brothers. After several attempts to break in and then bloody hand to hand fighting in the church, Benedict was cut down and Canute struck in the head by a large stone and then speared from the front. He died at the base of the main altar 10 July 1086, where he was buried by the Benedictines. When Queen Edele came to take Canute"s body to Flanders, a light allegedly shone around the church and it was taken as a sign that Canute should remain where he was.

The death of St. Canute marks the end of the Viking Age. Never again would massive flotillas of Scandinavians meet each year to ravage the rest of Christian Europe.
Medieval Denmark ===From the Viking age towards the end of the 13th century, the kingdom of Denmark consisted of Jutland, north from the Eider River and the islands of Zealand, Funen, Bornholm, Skåne, Halland and Blekinge. The lands between the Eider and the Kongeåen were separated from the kingdom as two vassal duchies of Schleswig and Holst

Following the end of the 11th century, Denmark underwent a transition from a patchwork of regional chiefs (Danish:jarls) with a weak and semi-elected royal institution, into a realm which more reflected European feudalism, with a powerful king ruling through an influential nobility. The period is marked by internal strife and the generally weak geopolitical position of the realm, which for long stretches fell under German influence. The period also featured the first of large stone buildings (mostly churches), a deep penetration by the Christian religion, the appearance of monastic orders in Denmark and the first written historical works such as the "Gesta Danorum" ("Deeds of the Danes"). German political as well as religious influence firmly ended in the last decades of the 12th century under the rule of King Valdemar the Great and his foster brother Absalon Hvide, Archbishop of Lund; through successful wars against Wend peoples of northeast Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.
The tomb of Margaret I in Roskilde Cathedral

A high point was reached during the reign of Valdemar II, who led the formation of a Danish "Baltic Sea Empire", which by 1221 extended control from Estonia in the east to Norway in the north. In this period several of the "regional" law codes were given; notably the Code of Jutland from 1241, which asserted several modern concepts like right of property; "that the king cannot rule without and beyond the law"; "and that all men are equal to the law". Following the death of Valdemar II in 1241 and to the ascension of Valdemar IV in 1340, the kingdom was in general decline because of internal strife and the rise of the Hanseatic League. The competition between the sons of Valdemar II had the longterm result that the southern parts of Jutland were separated from the kingdom of Denmark and became semi-independent vassal duchies/counties.
Kalmar Union ===During the reign of Valdemar IV and his daughter Margaret I, the realm was re-invigorated; following the Battle of Falköping, Margaret I had her sister"s son, Eric of Pomerania, crowned King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden after the signing of the union charter of Kalmar, Trinity Sunday 1397.Palle Lauring, "A History of the Kingdom of Denmark" (Host & Son Co.: Copenhagen, 1960) p. 108. United under a single crown it was thought that the new kingdom would create a great power in the north.Lauring 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. Denmark and Norway, however, remained in a personal union until the Congress of Vienna in 1
Protestant Reformation

The Protestant Reformation came to Scandinavia in the 1520s. On Easter Sunday 1525, Hans Tausen, a monk in the Order of St John"s Hospitalers, proclaimed aloud the need for Martin Luther"s reforms in the Catholic Church. His sermon was the beginning of a ten year struggle which would change Denmark forever. Tausen was hustled off to a monastery in Viborg in northern Jutland where he would be isolated and away from Copenhagen and the court. Tausen simply preached through the window of his locked chamber. At first curious Danes came to hear the strange new ideas that Tausen was preaching. Within weeks Tausen was freed by his loyal followers, and then a Franciscan abbey church was broken open so Viborgers could hear God"s word under a roof. Luther"s ideas were accepted so rapidly that the local bishop and other churchmen in Viborg were unable to cope. In many churches the mass was celebrated alongside Lutheran sermons, and then Tausen"s version of Luther"s teachings began to spread to other parts of Jutland. Within a year Tausen was the personal chaplain of King Frederick I. Frederick tried to balance the old and new ideas insisting that they coexist; it lasted only as long as the king did.

A mob stormed Our Lady Church in Copenhagen in 1531 tearing down statues, destroying side altars, artwork and relics that had accumulated through its long history. Similar events happened through the country, although for the most part the change was peaceful. The majority of common people saw the reduced influence and wealth of the church as a liberating thing, but their new found influence did not last long.

At the death of Frederick I in 1533, two claimants to the throne - one backed by Protestant Lübeck and the other by Catholic nobles - caused a civil war known as the Count"s Feud (Danish: Grevens Fejde) (1534–1536).Lauring, pp. 139–141. The massacre of Skipper Clement"s peasant army at Aalborg in December 1534 brought an end to the war and left the pro-Lutheran party firmly in charge.Lauring, pp. 140–141. Denmark became officially Lutheran in 1536. Denmark"s Catholic bishops were arrested and imprisoned. Abbeys, nunneries, monasteries and other church properties were confiscated by local nobility and the crown. Monks, nuns and clergy lost their livelihood. The bishops who agreed to marry and not stir up trouble were given former church lands as personal estates.Lauring, pp. 142–143.

Catholic influence remained longest in Viborg and the nearby area, where change permeated slowly, although the reformation originally began there.Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913, Wikisource
Modern history ===For most of its history the attention of Denmark had been directed to the south. The Germans in the form of either the Hanseatic League or in the form of the rebellious minority population of the province of Slesvig had been demanding all the attention of the Danish Kingdom for centuries. However, by 1500, the Hanseatic League was in considerable decline.Robert S. Hoyt & Stanley Chodorow, "Europe in the Middle Ages" (Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich, Inc.: New York, 1976) p. 643. The rise of the Dutch nation as a sea power and its unrestricted trade with Scandinavia broke the monopoly of the Hansa.Hoyt By 1614, 60% of all shipping passing through the sound between Denmark and Sweden was Dutch shipping."Thirty Year"s War" edited by Geoffrey Parker (Routledge Pub.: London, 1997) p. 65. The problem of Slesvig was not so much resolved as it was over-shadowed by a larger problem, the rising power of Sweden.Lauring, p.

Indeed, the religious Peace of Augsburg in 1555 served as a watershed in the history of Denmark.Parker, p. 64. Instead of looking south to Germany as a threat, Denmark began to look to the north—toward Sweden as a worse threat. Like Denmark, most of Northern Germany began to be deeply concerned about the military threat posed by a strong Sweden. Thus, the various German states began to worry less about supporting the German minority population in Slesvig and began to concentrate on the Swedish threat. Accordingly, Denmark was free to turn her attentions to Sweden as well.

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.

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.Parker, pp. 69–70. The result was that the Catholic army under Albrecht von Wallenstein was able to invade, occupy and pillage Jutland,Parker, p. 70. 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.

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 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; 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.

Danish constitution), 1860–1864 painting by Constantin Hansen
Denmark tried to regain control of Scania in the Scanian War (1675–79), but it ended in failure. Following the Great Northern War (1700–21), Denmark managed to restore control of the parts of Schleswig and Holstein ruled by the house of Holstein-Gottorp in 1721 and 1773, respectively. Denmark prospered greatly in the last decades of the 18th century because its neutral status allowed it to trade with both sides in the many contemporary wars. In the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark originally tried to pursue a policy of neutrality to continue the lucrative trade with both France and Great Britain 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 and burning large parts of the Danish capital. These events mark the end of the prosperous "Florissant Age" and resulted in the Dano-British Gunboat War. British control over the waterways between Denmark and Norway proved disastrous to the union"s economy; in 1813 Denmark-Norway went bankrupt.

The post-Napoleonic Congress of Vienna demanded the dissolution of the Dano-Norwegian union, and this was confirmed by the Treaty of Kiel in 1814. Denmark-Norway had briefly hoped to restore the Scandinavian union in 1809, but these hopes were dashed when the estates of Sweden rejected a proposal to let Frederick VI of Denmark succeed the deposed Gustav IV Adolf and instead gave the crown to Charles XIII. Norway entered a new union with Sweden which lasted until 1905. Denmark kept the colonies of Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Apart from the Nordic colonies, Denmark ruled over Danish India from 1620 to 1869, the Danish Gold Coast from 1658 to 1850, and the Danish West Indies 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, also keeping Denmark neutral in World War I.
20th and 21st centuries ===Denmark became a founding member of the European Union in 1993 and signed the Lisbon Treaty in 20

Following the defeat of Germany, the Versailles powers offered to return the 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 1920, respectively. On 10 July 1920 after the plebiscite and the king"s signature (6 July) on the reunion document, King Christian X rode across the old border on a white horse, and Northern Schleswig (Sønderjylland) was recovered by Denmark, thereby adding 163,600 inhabitants and 3,984 km². The reunion day (Genforeningsdag) is celebrated every year on Valdemarsdag, 15 June.

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 neutral 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. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former Prime Minister of Denmark, became Secretary General of NATO in 2009.

Despite its modest size, Denmark has been participating in major military and humanitarian operations, most notably the UN and NATO led operations on Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Korea, Egypt, Croatia, Kosovo, Ethiopia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.
Geography

Map of Denmark
Denmark shares a border of 68 kilometres with Germany to the south and is otherwise surrounded by 7,314 kilometres of coastline. It occupies 43,094 square kilometres. Since 2000 Denmark has been connected by the Øresund Bridge to southern Sweden.

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

Denmark consists of the peninsula of Jutland "(Jylland)" and 443 named islands (1,419 islands above 100 m² in total). Of these, 72 are inhabited,Statistikbanken.dk/bef4 with the largest being Zealand "(Sjælland)" and Funen "(Fyn)". The island of Bornholm is located east of the rest of the country, in the Baltic Sea. Many of the larger islands are connected by bridges; the Øresund Bridge connects Zealand with Sweden; the Great Belt Bridge connects Funen with Zealand; and the Little Belt Bridge connects Jutland with Funen. Ferries or small aircraft connect to the smaller islands. Main cities are the capital Copenhagen on Zealand; Århus, Aalborg and Esbjerg in Jutland; and Odense on Funen.

Karlebo, in North Zealand
The country is flat with little elevation; having an average height above sea level of . The highest natural point is Møllehøj, at . Other hills in the same area southwest of Århus are Yding Skovhøj at and Ejer Bavnehøj at . The area of inland water is: (eastern Denmark) ; (western D.) .

A forest burial ground in Yding Skovhøj, one of Denmark"s highest points
Denmark"s coastline is, . No location in Denmark is further from the coast than . The size of the land area of Denmark cannot be stated exactly since the ocean constantly erodes and adds material to the coastline, and because of human land reclamation projects (to counter erosion). On the southwest coast of Jutland, the tide is between , and the tideline moves outward and inward on a stretch.Nationalencyklopedin, (1990)

Phytogeographically, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands) belongs to the Boreal Kingdom and is shared between the Arctic, Atlantic European and Central European provinces of the Circumboreal Region. According to the 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.
Climate ===Denmark seen from s
The climate is in the temperate zone. The winters are not particularly cold, with mean temperatures in January and February of 0.0 °C, and the summers are cool, with a mean temperature in August of 15.7 °C. Figures, labeled in Danish: First plot is the whole country; Nedbør=Precipitation, Nedbørdage=Precipitation days (>1 mm), (Dag/Middel/Nat)temp.=(Daytime/Average/Nighttime) temperature, Solskinstimer=Hours of sunshine. 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.

Grenen near Skagen, Denmark"s northmost point
Because of Denmark"s northern location, the length of the day with sunlight varies greatly. There are short days during the winter with sunrise coming around 9:00 a.m. and sunset 4:30 p.m., as well as long summer days with sunrise at 4:00 a.m. and sunset at 10 p.m. The shortest and longest days of the year have traditionally been celebrated. The celebration for the shortest day corresponds roughly with Christmas (Danish: "jul"), and modern celebrations concentrate on Christmas Eve, 24 December. The Norse word "jól" is a plural, indicating that pre-Christian society celebrated a season with multiple feasts.Store Danske Encyklopædi (2004), CD-ROM edition, entry "Jul". Christianity introduced the celebration of Christmas, resulting in the use of the Norse name also for the Christian celebration. Efforts by the Catholic Church to replace this name with "kristmesse" were unsuccessful. The celebration for the longest day is Midsummer Day, which is known in Denmark as "sankthansaften" ("St. John"s evening")
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REISEPORTAL
"Denmark" (; , ), officially the "Kingdom of Denmark" (Danish: ; ; ) together with Greenland and the Faroe Islands, is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden
ransport in AalborLimfjordsbroen seen from Aalborg, 2004On the north side of the Limfjord is Nørresundby, which is connected to Aalborg by a road bridge Limfjordsbroen, an iron railway bridge Jernbanebroen over Limfjorden, as well as a motorway
The city of () is the third largest city in Denmark. The name Odense comes from the Norse god Odin.Odense city has a population of 158,678 ()database from Statistics Denmark and is the main city of the island of Funen. It is the seat of Odense
The city of () is the third largest city in Denmark. The name Odense comes from the Norse god Odin.Odense city has a population of 158,678 ()database from Statistics Denmark and is the main city of the island of Funen. It is the seat of Odense
The city of () is the third largest city in Denmark. The name Odense comes from the Norse god Odin.Odense city has a population of 158,678 ()database from Statistics Denmark and is the main city of the island of Funen. It is the seat of Odense
Bornholm and Christiansø (Ertholmene) with 5 former municipalities in green colour"Bornholm" ( or ) (Old Norse: "Burgundaholm", "the island of the Burgundians") is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea located to the east of (most of) the rest of
 
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NACHRICHTEN
Berlin (dpa) - Despite the plague of setbacks and scandals that have forced six delays to the opening of Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), the project‘s chief supervisor has rejected alternative plans in the event the latest deadline of October
London (dpa) - British Prime Minister Theresa May has apparently struck a compromise over legislation fixing the date of Britain‘s departure from the European Union, and avoided an embarrassing second defeat in parliament. Tory rebels already
Ramallah (dpa) - A Palestinian man who lost his legs to an Israeli airstrike nine years ago was buried on Saturday after being shot dead by Israeli security forces during a protest the previous day against the US decision to recognize Jerusalem
Berlin (dpa) - German security authorities have identified several dozen women and under-age youths as potential Islamist threats willing to carry out terrorist attacks in Germany.Among the 720 people in Germany currently listed as Islamist threats,
Nuremburg, Germany (dpa) - After weeks of political uncertainty, Horst Seehofer has been granted another term as chair of Germany‘s Christian Social Union (CSU), receiving 83.7 per cent of the vote during a party congress in Nuremburg."This is
Ramallah (dpa) -  A Palestinian official on Saturday rejected a call by a US official for the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem to remain under Israeli control."The Palestinians will not accept any changes to the 1967 border of East
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