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The Denmark Portal

The flag of Denmark
Location of Denmark in the EU
Denmark seen from space.

Denmark is the smallest and southernmost of the Nordic countries. It is also the oldest. Located north of its only land neighbour, Germany, southwest of Sweden, and south of Norway, it is located in northern Europe. From a cultural point of view, Denmark belongs to the family of Scandinavian countries although not located on the Scandinavian Peninsula. The national capital is Copenhagen.

Denmark borders both the Baltic and the North Sea. The country consists of a large peninsula, Jutland, which borders northern Germany, plus a large number of islands, most notably Zealand, Funen, Vendsyssel-Thy, Lolland, and Bornholm as well as hundreds of minor islands often referred to as the Danish Archipelago. Denmark has historically controlled the approach to the Baltic Sea, and these waters are also known as the Danish straits.

Denmark has been a constitutional monarchy since 1849 and a parliamentary democracy since 1901. Denmark became a member of the European Economic Community (now the European Union) in 1973. The Kingdom of Denmark also encompasses two off-shore territories, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, both of which enjoy wideranging home rule. The Danish monarchy is the oldest existing monarchy in Europe, and the national flag is the oldest state flag in continuous use.

Selected biography

Nicolas Steno.

Nicolas Steno (Danish: Niels Stensen; latinized to Nicolaus Stenonis) (January 10, 1638 - November 25, 1686) was a pioneer both in anatomy and geology.

After having completed his university education in Copenhagen, the city of his birth, he set out travelling in Europe; in fact, he would be on the move for the rest of his life. In the Netherlands, France, and Italy he came into contact with prominent physicians and scientists, and thanks to his eminent power of observation he very soon made important discoveries. At a time when scientific studies consisted in the study of ancient authorities, Steno was bold enough to trust his own eyes, even when his observations differed from traditional doctrines.

Steno first studied anatomy, beginning with a focus on the muscular system and the nature of muscle contraction. He used geometry to show that a contracting muscle changes its shape but not its volume.

However, in October 1666, two fishermen caught a huge shark near the town of Livorno, and Duke Ferdinand ordered its head to be sent to Steno. Steno dissected it and published his findings in 1667. Examination of the teeth of the shark showed a striking resemblance to certain stony objects, called glossopetrae or "tongue stones," that were found in certain rocks. Ancient authorities, such as the Roman author Pliny the Elder, had suggested that these stones fell from the sky or from the moon. Others were of the opinion, also going back to ancient times, that fossils naturally grew in the rocks. Steno's contemporary Athanasius Kircher, for example, attributed fossils to a "lapidifying virtue diffused through the whole body of the geocosm."

Recently selected: Knud Rasmussen - Johan Ludvig Heiberg - Carl Nielsen

Selected article

DSB "MR" type diesel multiple unit train at Frederikshavn station, Denmark
DSB, an abbreviation of Danske Statsbaner (Danish State Railways), is the largest Danish train operating company, and the largest in Scandinavia. While DSB is responsible for passenger train operation on most of the Danish railways, goods transport and railway maintenance are outside its scope. DSB runs a commuter rail system, called S-train, in the area around the Danish capital, Copenhagen, that connects the different areas and suburbs in the greater metropolitan area.

DSB was founded in 1885 when the government-owned companies De jysk-fynske Statsbaner and De sjællandske Statsbaner merged.

On September 1, 1867, the Danish state took over Det danske Jernbane-Driftsselskab (The Danish Railway Operation Company), the major railway company in Jutland and Funen, and consequently, De jysk-fynske Statsbaner (The State Railways of Jutland and Funen) were formed.

The Danish state took over Det sjællandske Jernbaneselskab (The Railway Company of Zealand) on January 1, 1880, forming De sjællandske Statsbaner (The State Railways of Zealand). With the majority of railways on both sides of the Great Belt thus owned by the Danish state, it was not until October 1, 1885 that the companies of Jutland/Funen and Zealand merged into one national railway company, De danske Statsbaner (The Danish State Railways), the merger being finalised on April 1, 1893.

Selected picture

"A company of Danish artists in Rome" by Constantin Hansen, 1837.
Constantin Hansen: "A company of Danish artists in Rome". Lying on the floor is the architect Bindesbøll. From left to right: Constantin Hansen, Rørbye, Marstrand, Küchler, Blunck and Jørgen Sonne.


Web resources

Denmark topics

History Archaeology | Viking Age (Jelling stones, Dannevirke, Ring forts) | Kalmar Union | Denmark–Norway | Colonization of the Americas | Colonial empire (Tranquebar, Danish Gold Coast, Danish West Indies) | Scandinavian Monetary Union | Easter Crisis of 1920 | Denmark during World War II | Rescue of the Danish Jews | Postal history | List of Danish monarchs
Geography Towns | Islands | Danish straits (Øresund, Great Belt, Little Belt, Skagerrak, Kattegat) | Autonomous provinces (Greenland, Faroe Islands) | Trees
Government Constitution | Folketing | Regions | Counties | Municipalities | Foreign relations | Military | Courts
Politics Political parties (Venstre, Social Democrats, Danish People's Party, Conservative People's Party, Danish Social Liberal Party, Socialist People's Party, Red-Green Alliance, New Alliance, Centre Democrats) | Elections | Council of State | List of Prime Ministers | Former cabinets
Monarchy List of Danish monarchs | Family tree | Succession | Order of the Elephant | Order of the Dannebrog
Economy Companies | Communications | Transport | National Bank | Stock Exchange | Mærsk | Lego
Culture Language (Grammar, Æ, Ø, Å, Bornholmsk, South Jutlandic) | Cinema | Drama | TV drama | Cuisine | Education | Literature | Art (church frescos, Danish design) | Architecture | Modern Breakthrough | Music | Public holidays
Other List of Danes | Religion | Islam | Courts | Tourism | Scout Council | Jante Law

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