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Jutland (//; Danish: Jylland [ˈjyl.anˁ]; German: Jütland) is a large peninsula that juts out from Northern Europe toward Scandinavia, forming the mainland portion of Denmark. It is surrounded by the North Sea on the west, the Skagerrak on the north, the Kattegat and Baltic Sea on the east, and Germany on the south. Much of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein is part of the Jutland Peninsula. The Danish parts of Jutland belong to either of the three administrative regions North Jutland, Central Jutland or Northern Schleswig (Slesvig).
Its terrain is relatively flat, with heaths, plains and peat bogs in the west and a more elevated and slightly hilly terrain on the eastern side. The Danish portion has an area of 29,775 km2 (11,496 sq mi) and a population of 2,528,129 (2008). Population density is 84 per km2 (218 per sq.mi.).
The northernmost part of Jutland is separated from the mainland by the Limfjord but is still commonly reckoned as part of the peninsula. It only became an island following a flood in 1825. The area is called the North Jutlandic Island, Vendsyssel-Thy (after its districts) or simply Jutland north of the Limfjord; it is only partly coterminous with the region called North Jutland.
The islands Læsø, Anholt and Samsø in Kattegat and Als at the rim of the Baltic Sea South are administratively and historically tied to Jutland, although the latter two are also regarded as traditional districts of their own. Inhabitants of Als would agree to be South Jutlanders, but not necessarily Jutlanders.
History of Jutland
Jutland has historically been one of the three lands of Denmark, the other two being Scania and Zealand. Before that, according to Ptolemy, Jutland or the Cimbric Chersonese was the home of Teutons, Cimbri and Charudes.
Many Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Frisii migrated from continental Europe to Great Britain starting in c. 450 AD. The Angles themselves gave their name to the new emerging kingdoms called England (Angleland). This is thought by some to be related to the drive of the Huns from Asia across Europe.
The Danes took considerable steps to protect themselves from the depredations of the Christian Frankish emperors, principally with the building of the Danevirke, a wall stretching across South Jutland at the shortest distance from the North Sea to the Baltic Sea.
Charlemagne removed pagan Saxons from the southernmost part of the peninsula at the Baltic Sea— the later Holstein area — and moved Abodrites (or Obotrites), a group of Wendish Slavs who pledged allegiance to Charlemagne and who had for the most part converted to Christianity, into the area instead.
To speed transit between the Baltic and the North Sea, canals have been built across the peninsula, notably the Eiderkanal in the late 18th century and the Kiel Canal, completed in 1895 and still in use.
During World War I, the Battle of Jutland in the North Sea was one of the largest naval battles in history. In this pitched battle, the British Royal Navy engaged the Imperial German Navy leading to heavy casualties and ship losses on both sides. The battle was initially regarded a German victory, based on the total number of capital ships sunk and the number of sailors killed. However, the British fleet remained in control of the North Sea and so in strategic terms most commentators regard Jutland either as a British Pyrrhic victory or as indecisive.
Typical of Jutland are the distinctive Jutish (or Jutlandic) dialects which differ substantially from Standard Danish, especially West Jutlandic and South Jutlandic. Dialect usage, although in decline, is better preserved in Jutland than in eastern Denmark, and the dialect-speaking Jutlander remains a stereotype among many Copenhageners and eastern Danes.
Cities and administrative regions
The largest cities in the Danish section of Jutland are as follows:
Administratively, Danish Jutland comprise three of Denmark five regions namely the Region Nordjylland, Region Midtjylland, and the western half of Region of Southern Denmark which also covers Funen. The five administrative regions came into effect on 1 January 2007, following a structural reform.
The southern third of the Jutland peninsula is made up of the German Bundesland of Schleswig-Holstein. Schleswig-Holstein comprises two parts, the former duchies of Schleswig (Danish fief) and Holstein (German fief), both of which have passed back and forth between Danish and German rulers several times. The last adjustment of the Danish–German border followed the Schleswig Plebiscites in 1920 and resulted in Denmark's regaining Northern Schleswig (Danish: Nordslesvig or more commonly today: Sønderjylland).
The historical southern border of Jutland is the river Eider, which is also the border between the former duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, as well as the historical border between the Danish and German realms from c. 800 to 1864. Although most of Schleswig-Holstein is geographically part of the Jutland peninsula, most German residents there would not identify themselves with Jutland or even as "Jutlanders", but rather with North Germany (German: Norddeutschland) and Schleswig-Holstein and consider themselves Northern Germans (German: Norddeutsche) and Schleswig-Holsteiner.
The medieval Code of Jutland applied for Schleswig until 1900 when it was replaced by the Prussian Civil Code. Some rarely used clauses of the Jutlandic Code still apply north of the Eider, but not south of the Eider.
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