Zealand

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For other uses, see Zealand (disambiguation).
Zealand
Native name: Sjælland
Stevns Klint.jpg
Denmark location sjalland.svg
Geography
Location Baltic Sea
Coordinates 55°30′N 11°45′E / 55.500°N 11.750°E / 55.500; 11.750Coordinates: 55°30′N 11°45′E / 55.500°N 11.750°E / 55.500; 11.750
Area 7,031 km2 (2,715 sq mi)
Country
Region Capital Region of Denmark, Region Zealand
Largest city Copenhagen (pop. 1,181,239)
Demographics
Population 2,491,090
Density 354.3 /km2 (917.6 /sq mi)
Not to be confused with New Zealand, Zeeland, Seeland, or Sealand.

Zealand, also Seeland (Danish: Sjælland; pronounced [ˈɕɛˌlænˀ]), is the largest (7,031 km²) and most populated island in Denmark with a population just under 2.5 million representing about 45% of the country's total population.

It is the 96th-largest island in the world by area and the 35th most populous. It is connected to Funen by the Great Belt Bridge, to Lolland, Falster (and Germany from 2021)[1] by the Storstrøm Bridge and the Farø Bridges, and to Sweden over Amager and the Øresund Bridge.

Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is located partly on the eastern shore of Zealand and partly on Amager. Other cities on the island include Roskilde, Næstved and Elsinore.

The island is not connected historically to the Pacific nation of New Zealand, which is named after the Dutch province of Zeeland.

Mythological origins[edit]

Gefion carving Zealand from Sweden.

In Norse mythology as told in the story of Gylfaginning, the island was created by the goddess Gefjun after she tricked Gylfi, the king of Sweden. She removed a piece of land and transported it to Denmark, and it became Zealand. The vacant area was filled with water and became Mälaren.[2] However, since modern maps show a similarity between Zealand and the Swedish lake Vänern, it is sometimes identified as the hole left by Gefjun.

Geography[edit]

Zealand is the most populous Danish island (pop. 2012 est. 2,491,090).[3] It is joined to Funen by the Great Belt bridge and to Scania in Sweden by the Oresund bridge. It is irregularly shaped, and is north of the islands of Lolland, Falster, and Møn.

On June 5, 2007, the regional subsidiary of national broadcaster DR reported that Kobanke hill in the south east, near the town Rønnede in Faxe municipality, with a height of 122.9 m (403.21 feet), was the highest natural point on Zealand. Gyldenløveshøj, south of the city Roskilde, has a height of 126 m (413.4 feet), but that is due to a man-made hill from the 17th century and its highest natural point is only 121.3 m (397.96 feet).

Cities and towns[edit]

Urban areas with 10,000+ inhabitants:

# Urban area Municipality Population
1 Copenhagen Multiple 1,213,822
2 Greve Greve Municipality 47,980
3 Roskilde Roskilde Municipality 47,828
4 Helsingør Helsingør Municipality 46,368
5 Hørsholm Multiple 45,865
6 Næstved Næstved Municipality 41,857
7 Køge Køge Municipality 35,295
8 Taastrup Høje-Taastrup Municipality 32,719
9 Slagelse Slagelse Municipality 32,133
10 Hillerød Hillerød Municipality 30,570
11 Holbæk Holbæk Municipality 27,195
12 Ringsted Ringsted Municipality 21,412
13 Ølstykke-Stenløse Egedal Municipality 20,984
14 Birkerød Rudersdal Municipality 19,919
15 Måløv-Smørumnedre Multiple 19,143
16 Farum Furesø Municipality 18,422
17 Kalundborg Kalundborg Municipality 16,303
18 Lillerød Allerød Municipality 15,795
19 Frederikssund Frederikssund Municipality 15,602
20 Solrød Strand Solrød Municipality 15,159
21 Korsør Slagelse Municipality 14,538
22 Værløse Furesø Municipality 12,842
23 Frederiksværk Halsnæs Municipality 12,191
24 Dragør Dragør Municipality 11,683
25 Vordingborg Vordingborg Municipality 11,643
26 Hedehusene-Fløng Høje-Taastrup Municipality 11,345
27 Haslev Faxe Municipality 11,201

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Zealand". Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Den Store Danske Encyklopædi, article Gefion
  3. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica. "Zealand". Britannica.com. Retrieved 28 February 2012. 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Zealand at Wikimedia Commons
  • Zealand travel guide from Wikivoyage