Welcome to the Denmark Portal!
Velkommen til Danmarksportalen!
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 Schleswig-Holstein, 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.
Nicolas Steno (Danish: Niels Stensen) (10 January 1638 – 25 November 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: Peter Schmeichel – Jacob Riis – N. F. S. Grundtvig
Kongens Nytorv in central Copenhagen. In December an ice-skating arena is erected for public use. To the left the Royal Theatre is visible and in the background the shopping mall Magasin du Nord.
is an 18th-century aesthetically
landscaped park, complete with several exotic buildings and monuments. Located close to Møns Klint
on the north-eastern corner of the Danish
island of Møn
, it is deemed to be one of the finest examples in Scandinavia
of Romantic English gardening
. The park was created in the 1790s by French nobleman Antoine de Bosc de la Calmette for his wife Elisabeth, commonly known as Lisa. Liselund, roughly translated, means Lise's grove.
Antoine de la Calmette was a Hugenot whose family had been forced to leave France for Holland. His father was a diplomat who after terms in Switzerland and Portugal, finally arrived in Denmark where, in 1776, the family was naturalised and recognised as Danish nobility.
In January 1777, he married Catharina Elisabeth Iselin, the daughter of the Swiss baron Reinhard Iselin who had also emigrated to Denmark. In 1783, Antoine was appointed prefect of Møn. The same year, he bought six hectares of land on the eastern coast of the island in the parish of Magleby.
He and his wife, who travelled widely, had become interested in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's philosophy of naturalism in the Age of Enlightenment. As a result, Antoine designed the park in the Romantic spirit of the time as a loving gift for his wife. It was intended as a retreat where the family could spend a few days or weeks at a time, often with invited guests, away from the hardships of their working lives at Marienborg on the other side of the island.
is the largest town on the island of Bornholm
in the Baltic Sea
. It has a population of 13,924 (1 January 2010). Once a municipality in its own right, it is now the administrative centre of the Bornholm municipality.
Owing to its natural harbour and its strategic position in the Baltic Sea, Rønne has an interesting history coming under German and Swedish influence during its development as a herring fishing port. Today, with its quaint cobbled streets, half-timbered houses and interesting museums, it attracts visitors mainly from Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Poland.
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