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An introduction to the geography and culture of denmark

See Article History Alternative Titles: Along with Norway and SwedenDenmark is a part of the northern European region known as Scandinavia.

DenmarkDenmark Boats docked in Copenhagen harbour. In prehistoric times, Danes and other Scandinavians reconfigured European society when the Vikings undertook marauding, trading, and colonizing expeditions. In later centuries, shaped by geographic conditions favouring maritime industries, Denmark established trading alliances throughout northern and western Europe and beyond, particularly with Great Britain and the United States.

Making an important contribution to world cultureDenmark also developed humane governmental institutions and cooperative, nonviolent approaches to problem solving. This article covers principally the land and people of continental Denmark.


Each area is distinctive in history, language, and culture. Home rule was granted to the Faroes in 1948 and to Greenland in 1979, though foreign policy and defense remain under Danish control. Other than this connection, all the frontiers with surrounding countries are maritime, including that with the United Kingdom to the west across the North Sea.

Eastward in the Baltic Sea lies the Danish island of Bornholm. Coast of Bornholm, Den. The basic contours of the Danish landscape were shaped at the end of the Pleistocene Epoch i. This great glacial mass withdrew temporarily during several warmer interstadial periods, but it repeatedly returned to cover the land until it retreated to the Arctic north for the last time about 10,000 years ago.

As a result, the barren layers of chalk and limestone that earlier constituted the land surface acquired a covering of soil that built up as the Weichsel retreated, forming low, hilly, and generally fertile moraines that diversify the otherwise flat landscape.

  1. Higher taxes have providing the government and municipalities with most of the revenue for large projects.
  2. Since the fifteenth century priests have been educated in a university, and ministers in the national church are officials under the Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs.
  3. The Equal Status Council was founded in 1974 and closed in 2000, when a new equal status law was issued. Close to 25 percent of the population is employed in Two-thirds of Denmark's land and nearly 25 percent of its population are devoted to agriculture.
  4. Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Since the sixteenth century, the capital has been Copenhagen, which is also the largest city.

The ice front is clearly marked in the contrast between the flat western Jutland region, composed of sands and gravels strewn by meltwaters that poured west from the shrinking ice sheet, and the fertile loam plains and hills of eastern and northern Denmark, which become markedly sandier toward the prehistoric ice front.

See also Scandinavian Ice Sheet. In northern Jutland, where the long Lim Fjord separates the northern tip Vendsyssel-Thy from the rest of the peninsula, there are numerous flat areas of sand and gravel, some of which became stagnant bogs. Burials and ritual deposits interred in these bogs in antiquity—especially during the Bronze Age and the Iron Age —have been recovered by archaeologists.

In more recent centuries these bogs were a valued source of peat for fuel. In the 20th century they were drained to serve as grazing areas for livestock. In places along the northern and southwestern coasts of Jutland, salt marshes were formed by the evaporation of an inland sea that existed during the late Permian Epoch approximately 260 to 250 million years ago.

Younger limestone of the Danian Age about 65 million years old is quarried in southeastern Zealand. On Bornholm, outcroppings reveal close affinities with geologic formations in southern Sweden.

An Introduction to Danish Culture

On the southern half, sandstone and shales of the Cambrian Period about 540 to 490 million years ago overlie the older granites. Soils In most of Denmark the soil rests on glacially deposited gravel, sand, and clay, under which lie ancient chalk and limestone. The subterranean limestone resulted in a permeation of the soil with calcium, which diminished its value for agriculture when it was first brought under cultivation in the Neolithic Period. Through millennia of cultivation, however, the soil improved greatly, so that more than half of the land surface is excellent for farming.

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