Temaopslag in English



Denmark’s total area is only 43,098 km2. The country is thus one of the smallest in Europe. For example, Germany is approximately 8 times larger, and France is approximately 12 times larger than Denmark. Denmark is part of the Nordic region. The five Nordic countries are Denmark (including the autonomous territories of Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Sweden, Norway, Finland (including Åland) and Iceland. The Danish landscape is shaped by the ice age, which in many instances has completely covered the area that is now Denmark. In some areas the ice has been more than 2 km thick. The ice melted about 11,500 years ago.

The highest places in the Danish landscape are approximately 170 m above sea level. Denmark is most covered with fertile, clay and sandy soil, but in some places the landscape is very different. On the eastern side of the island of Møn there is, for example, an almost 130m high cliff, Møns Klint. Also the island of Bornholm and the island of Ertholmene, far out in the Baltic Sea, are different from the rest of the landscape. It is the only place in Denmark where you can see the mountain range. Denmark was previously covered by forest, but today almost 2/3 of the country is cultivated.

Denmark consists of a peninsula (Jutland) and 407 islands. However, only about 80 people live in Denmark – the rest are small and uninhabited. The largest island is Zealand. South of Zealand lies the islands of Lolland and Falster. Due to the many islands, Denmark has a very long coastline, namely 7,300 km. The North Sea is the largest of the seas around Denmark. It is located off the Jutland west coast and is also called the North Sea. North of Zealand and Funen lies the Kattegat waters, which are connected to the Baltic Sea by the three stretches of the Little Belt, the Great Belt and the Sound. It is only in Sønderjylland, the southernmost part of Jutland, that there is a fixed land border to a neighboring country, and it is to Germany.

Denmark is today connected with several bridges. In 1935, the first bridge over Lillebælt between Jutland and Fyn was opened and in 1970 another Lillebæltsbro opened. In 1998, the Great Belt Bridge between Funen and Sealand was initiated. In 2000, the Øresund Bridge created a fixed link over the waters of Øresund between Zealand and neighboring Sweden.

Denmark’s capital and largest city is Copenhagen, located on the eastern part of Zealand. Århus is the largest city in Jutland. It is located on the east coast of Jutland and is Denmark’s second largest city. The largest city in Funen is Odense; It is the third largest city in the country. The name Copenhagen means originally the “Merchant’s Port”. In the 9th century the city was a fishing village called Port. But in 1167, Bishop Absalon built a castle on the spot. Absalon is therefore referred to as Copenhagen’s founder. The city’s good location at the trade routes in and out of the Baltic Sea has been important throughout the history. Today, approximately every four Danes live in the metropolitan area, that is, the Copenhagen and the municipalities that are located around Copenhagen.

Denmark is in rich community with Greenland and the Faroe Islands, which means, among other things, that there is common citizenship. Greenland is the world’s largest island and lies far north-northeast of Canada. Most of Greenland is covered with ice, and the approximately 55,000 inhabitants live along the coast. About 17,000 live in the capital Nuuk (Godthåb), which is Greenland’s largest city. The Faroe Islands are an archipelago of 18 islands located in the Atlantic Ocean between Scotland, Iceland and Norway. The Faroe Islands have almost 50,000 inhabitants. About 20,000 of them live in the capital Tórshavn, the Faroe Islands largest city.

The most important raw materials in Denmark have in recent years been the oil and natural gas that lies in the seabed during the Danish part of the North Sea. Since the late 1990s, Denmark has exported more energy than it has imported. The extraction of oil and natural gas therefore has a major impact on the Danish economy. However, the stocks will not last forever. In 1985, a parliamentary resolution was adopted which instructed the then government to plan future energy supply in Denmark without nuclear power. Denmark, like many other countries, seeks new, renewable energy sources. In recent years, many wind turbines have been built in the country. Denmark is today among the leading countries in the field of wind energy development and has a large export of wind turbines.


There are approximately 5.7 million inhabitants. people in Denmark (Greenland and the Faroe Islands not included). Most Danes live in cities. The population is known back in the mid-18th century, when the first real census was made. At that time there lived about 720,000 people in the country. In the 19th century, Denmark’s population grew rapidly. This was due, among other things, to improved medicine and vaccines, and that the population generally had better living conditions.

Throughout history, war has had a significant impact on how many inhabitants Denmark has had. For example, Denmark lost a large land area during the war against Preussen (Germany) and Austria in 1864. During a referendum in 1920, Sønderjylland became Danish again. It caused Denmark’s population to rise with almost 150,000 inhabitants who had previously lived under German rule. A German minority is still living in approximately 15,000 people in Sønderjylland. South of the Danish-German border there is a Danish minority of approximately 50,000 people. Both Germany and Denmark have supported their national minorities in different ways. For example, in Germany there are Danish-language schools, like Sønderjylland has more schools where students and teachers speak German.

Population figures in Denmark have also changed due to immigration and emigration. In the second half of the 1800s, about 285,000 Danes chose to emigrate. They primarily went to the United States where there was a better opportunity to escape poverty. Throughout history, foreigners have also come to Denmark. About 12 percent of the population today is immigrants or descendants of immigrants and refugees. This corresponds to approximately 700,000 people. 94 per cent of the increase in the population of almost 600,000 from 1980 to 2016 consists of immigrants and descendants.

The decisive factor for the population is also the birth rate. From the mid-1960s, the Danes began to have fewer children. Yet around 1900 every woman had four children on average, but then fell quickly. From 1966 to 1969, fertility suddenly decreased from 2.6 to 2.0, and the decline continued in the 1970s. This is due, inter alia, to better contraception – and 1973 free abortion – but the 15 years from 1965 to 1980 were also the period when almost all married women entered the labor market. In the mid-1980s, fertility reached 1.4 children per year. woman. At the same time, Denmark had the most provoked abortions in Western Europe.

However, the low fertility was also affected by the fact that the women had their children significantly later. In 1966, women were 22.7 years old when they got their first child. Since 2004, the figure has been around 29 years. If you look at how many children each woman gets over the entire course of life, the figure has only fallen from 2.0 for women born in 1950 to about 1.9 for women born in the 1950s, 1960s or 1970s.

Therefore, fertility is now estimated at 1.9 when calculating how the population looks in 20, 30 or 50 years. It is high compared to most other countries in Europe, and it is usually explained that Denmark has daycare for all, good rules for maternity leave, etc. During the 1990s and the 00’s, fertility also increased and reached 1.87 in 2010. But then a fairly sharp drop fell, down to 1.67 in 2013, with a slight increase in 2014-15. Fertility among non-western immigrant women was up to 3.6 children per year. woman in 1992, but then the figure fell quickly. Since 2009, fertility among immigrants, descendants and women with Danish background has been almost the same.

Higher life expectancy also contributes to an increase in the population. In 2013-14 a Danish man could expect to be 78.5 years old while a woman had an expected life expectancy of 82.7 years. Life expectancy in Denmark was lagging behind in the 1980s compared to other Western European countries, but in recent years the difference has become a little smaller, especially for men.


Danish is the official language in Denmark. Almost all residents in Denmark speak Danish. In the Faroe Islands and Greenland, the population speaks Faroese and Greenlandic, but all children are taught in Danish at school. Since Denmark entered 1973 into the EC (later EU), Danish has been one of the official languages ​​of European cooperation. Danish is historically part of a common language that was spoken in the Nordic region from about 200 to about 1200. Then Danish became a real language with its own characteristics. Especially German has influenced the development of the Danish language. But also French and Latin have had one – though somewhat less – meaning.

Because of the common history of the languages, most Danes, Norwegians and Swedes still understand most of each other’s languages. Although there have been many immigrants in the last decade, the Danish language has not changed much. However, as the world becomes more international, more English words will come into the Danish language. This is especially true of IT and trade. The Danish Language Board has followed the development of the language since 1955. The board prepares the Revenue Dictionary, which is the official Danish dictionary and guide to writing correct Danish.


The Danish population is relatively homogeneous. That is, most people have the same language, culture and history. Nevertheless, Denmark has throughout the ages experienced that people from other countries have lived permanently in the country. They have, among other things, come as refugees, in connection with work or because they have married a Dane. These are hundreds of years of immigration, which has characterized the Danish population, the Danish language and the Danish culture.

From the 900s up to the 1100s, the Slavic people, the wards, advanced along the southern coast of the Baltic Sea. Some settled down in Denmark and established their own villages, for example, on Lolland. When Christianity was introduced, foreigners joined the Catholic Church to the country. There were other bishops from England and Germany and monks from France in particular. During the Middle Ages it was also normal for craftsmen to travel from country to country and from country to country. They then settled down where there was work to get. Danish craftsmen traveled to other European countries. And craftsmen from countries like England, Germany and Italy worked in Denmark.

In the 16th and 16th centuries, it was first and foremost Dutch people who dominated immigration to Denmark. Because of the lack of labor in Denmark, several of the kings of the country invited craftsmen from the Netherlands to Denmark to work. It did first Christian 2. (1513- 1523) and later Christian 4. (1588 -1648). Some Dutch settled down on Amager. Here they gained special economic benefits and formed their own community. Today you can still find traces of Dutch building styles and crafts at Amager. The Reformation meant that in general, foreigners differed from beliefs other than Lutheran Protestantism. But because of the need for labor and for new ideas and thoughts, Jews, Catholics and French Calvinists (Huguenots) were allowed to settle in Denmark in certain cities. By the end of the 17th century, immigrants from Skåne, Sweden, settled in Denmark, especially. It was after the war against Sweden in 1675 -1679. German mercenaries also characterized immigration to Denmark.

By the late 1600s and 1700s, French Huguenots, Jews and Germans were the largest groups of immigrants in Denmark. The German peasants settled first and foremost in uncultivated areas of Jutland, where they cultivated potatoes. The Huguenots especially settled in Fredericia. The Danish kings wanted to make Fredericia a leading city, and the city had special privileges. Until the end of the 18th century, the Huguenotic community in Denmark spoke French. It was only with the Constitution in 1849 that the special privileges were abolished, and the Huguenots were equated with Danish citizens. Although only rich Jews who could contribute to the country’s economy were welcome in the 1700s Denmark, a large number of poor Jews came to the country in the same period. If the poor Jews were discovered, they were either expelled or fined. The rich Jews, on the other hand, were granted special privileges, and in 1766 they could open their own synagogue in Copenhagen. Already in 1814, all Jews gained access to citizenship and thus full citizenship rights.

Throughout the 19th century, the migration of European craftsmen, which began in the Middle Ages, continued. The traffic ended only around the First World War. In the 19th century, there were especially craftsmen from neighboring countries Germany, Sweden and Norway, settling down in Denmark. By the end of the 19th century, around 2,000 Poles came to Denmark every year. They worked primarily as seasonal workers in agriculture, especially in cultivating sugar beet in Lolland.

In the time around the two world wars (1914-1918 and 1939-1945) there were especially war refugees who came to Denmark. The largest group was the nearly 240,000 war refugees from Germany, who arrived at the end of or after the occupation period (1945). In addition, there were around 23,000 war refugees, especially from the Soviet Union and the Baltic countries. By the end of the 1940s, however, the vast majority of these refugees had returned to their homelands.

In the first decades of the Second World War, it was first and foremost refugees from the Eastern European countries who came to Denmark; Hungarian refugees following the uprising in Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakians fleeing during the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, and Polish Jews who had to leave Poland because of an anti-Semitic wave in the country in 1969. Immigration in 1960 ‘ However, they were especially influenced by guest workers, especially from Turkey, Pakistan and former Yugoslavia. They met a great need for foreign labor in the Danish labor market. A large part permanently settled in Denmark and later got their families to the country. This was still possible despite the stop for immigration that was introduced in 1973.

In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s refugees returned to Denmark. There were in particular refugees from Vietnam, the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Somalia and the Balkans.


The Danish national flag, Dannebrog, is a white cross on a red background. Dannebrog means “the tab of the people” or “red-colored tab”. According to legend, Dannebrog dropped from heaven during a military battle in Estonia in 1219. In fact, the flag is another tab used by the knights who went to the Crusade during the Middle Ages. Since the 1400s, Dannebrog has been used as a tab when Danish kings went to war. Throughout the 1600s and 1700s, only the authorities and fleet used the Danish national flag. But from the mid-1800s it became popular in the population to flake. Today, many Danes are flirting with Dannebrog on festive occasions, such as a private birthday or an official anniversary. The flag is also used at funerals and bishops, where the flag is only raised halfway on the flagpole. Man “flags on half rod”.

On specific dates, all public authorities must flatter. For example, they must be at church times and when the members of the royal family have a birthday. Many companies and individuals also mark these days by hoisting Dannebrog. Historical anniversaries are also marked by flipping with Dannebrog. This applies, for example, to Denmark’s liberation on 5 May and the constitution on 5 June.


The Danish royal house is among the world’s oldest. It is over a thousand years old and can certainly be returned to the kings Gorm den Gamle and Harald Blåtand in the second half of the 900s. From 1448 to 1863 Denmark was ruled by the Old Citizens and then by the Glücksburgers, who have the same ancestors as the old citizens. In 1863 the glücksburger became Christian 9th King at the death of Frederik 7th, the last citizen of the last century. Denmark’s current monarch is Queen Margrethe 2, who is the tipolde child of Christian 9.

Denmark is a constitutional monarchy. This means that the monarchy works within the framework of the constitution and democracy. The monarch (king or queen) is not politically elected. The queen has no political power. She does not interfere in political life and does not express political attitudes. However, a number of the queen’s formal duties are linked to political life. She participates, for example, at the opening of the Folketing on the first Tuesday of October, and when government is to be formed after a parliamentary election. The queen signs the laws passed by the parliament and government together with the politically responsible minister. It takes place at the government council at Christiansborg, where the queen meets with government ministers. The queen has also been when Denmark receives state visits, as she represents the country by state visits abroad. In addition, the Queen carries out a number of other formal and representative tasks in Denmark.

The queen and royal house is a national gathering point. The royal house has a central location in Danish history and is very popular in the population. Many people follow, for example, via television when the Queen New Year’s Eve keeps his traditional speech from the royal family’s home at Amalienborg in Copenhagen or from the residence at Fredensborg Castle. The queen is married to Prince Prince, Prince Henrik. Crown Prince Frederik is the royal couple’s oldest son and takes over the throne one day. Crown Prince Frederik was married to Crown Princess Mary on May 14, 2004. Your son, Prince Christian, who was born in 2005, is the next in succession. He will one day take over the throne after his father and then probably as King Christian 11.

The Danish throne is inherited. Earlier, only male heirs (princes) could become monarchs. It was, however, resumed when the Throne Law was changed at the same time as the 1953 constitution. However, it was a so-called conditional female succession when a male heir always preceded a female. In 2009, there was a straightforward sequence for men and women after a referendum, so the sexes have just been inherited to the throne.


Denmark is in rich community with Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The Constitution applies to all three parts of Denmark’s kingdom, which has the queen as head of state. The Faroe Islands and Greenland elect each and every two members to the parliament. Greenland and the Faroe Islands adopt a number of areas in their own laws and have their own management. In the other areas, the Folketing also adopts laws for Greenland and the Faroe Islands, and the administration lies with the Danish authorities. This applies, inter alia, to foreign and security policy, as well as monetary and monetary policy. In 2005, Greenland and the Faroe Islands were given the opportunity to negotiate and conclude certain international agreements on behalf of the realm.


Greenland, the world’s largest island, has been inhabited for millennia. From about 2500 BC. immigrated smaller groups of arctic hunters in several laps from Canada. Both the north, west and east coast of Greenland were populated, and various captive cultures arose. A fund of, among other things, animal nodules shows that the northern cultures have been addicted to musk ox hunting while the southern cultures have been used for sealing and reindeer hunting. Around 1200, the Inuit Thule culture emerged in northwestern Greenland, and the Thule culture later spread to South Greenland. Archaeological findings show that northerners settled in Greenland in the 19th century. In the 16th and 16th centuries, the Danish king sent a number of expeditions, but Greenland was first colonized in the 1700s. It happened when the Danish Norwegian pastor Hans Egede traveled to the island in the 1720s to convert the people of Greenland to Christianity. In 1728 he founded the colony Godthåb, which is today the capital of Greenland (in Greenlandic: Nuuk).

Denmark was occupied by the Germans in 1940 and an agreement with the United States (at that time neutral) was signed in 1941 to protect and provide the inhabitants of Greenland. This agreement allowed Americans to set up military bases in Greenland. After World War II, the United States continued to have military bases in Greenland, in agreement with Denmark. In the early 1950s, the Americans built a base in Thule, North Greenland, thereby moving the settlement for several Greenlandic families to make room for the base. Denmark and Greenland still have cooperation with the United States about the US military base in Thule.

Until 1953, Greenland was a colony under Denmark. By the 1953 constitution amendment, Greenland came under the constitution on an equal footing with Denmark and the Faroe Islands. Greenland and Denmark agreed in 1978 on home rule for Greenland. Following a referendum, Greenland was granted home rule in 1979. In 2009, the home rule regime was replaced by an autonomy scheme that expanded Greenland’s possibilities for self-determination in a number of areas.

The self-government consists of the County Council (a parliamentary and legislative assembly) and a government led by a country governor (ie political leadership). The county council has 31 members elected for four years at a time. The chairman of the country governor (country governor) is elected by the County Council. The county council adopts the laws in all areas that the autonomy has taken over. These include the following areas: social services, education, health services, tax, housing, commercial fishing and hunting, raw materials, municipal conditions, environment, culture and leisure as well as infrastructure. With the 2009 Self-Government Order, Greenland was given the opportunity to become self-governing in a number of key areas, among other things. judiciary.

Greenland receives a financial contribution from the state of over 3 billion. DKK a year, which covers more than half of the expenses of the self-employed. Fishing, especially shrimp, is the most important source of export income for the Greenlandic community. The 2009 Self-Government Order stated that revenues from raw material activities in Greenland are attributable to Greenland’s self-government. At the same time, it was agreed that such revenue would lead to a reduction in state grants to Greenland. Greenland became a member of the Kingdom of Denmark member of the EC (now EU) in 1973, but was announced in 1985 after a referendum in Greenland.

Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands were first populated in the 19th century by Irish monks who settled on the islands. The monks, however, were rapidly displaced by vikings from primarily Norway, which made extensive settlement of the Faroe Islands. Thus, the Faroe Islands became part of the North Atlantic cultural and trade community. The Faroe Islands have heard under the Danish crown since the Middle Ages. In 1816 the Faroe Islands became a Danish county. The Faroe Islands came under the Constitution in 1849. When Denmark was occupied by the Germans in 1940, the Faroe Islands became obsessed with Britain.

After World War II negotiations began on a home rule regime for the Faroe Islands. However, a referendum in the Faroe Islands showed a very small majority for independence from Denmark. Following a new election to the League, the Faroe Islands and Denmark agreed on home rule for the Faroe Islands, which therefore became in rich community with Denmark. The Faroe Islands were issued by law in 1948. The Home Rule Board consists of the Legislative Assembly (a parliamentary and legislative assembly) and a government led by a country governor (ie political leadership). The bill may have up to 33 members elected for four years at a time. The chairman of the country governor (the layman) is elected by the Lagtinget. The act adopts laws in all areas taken over by the Home Rule Government. These include the following areas: social services, education, health services, tax, housing, fisheries, subsoil raw materials, environment, working environment, municipal conditions, culture and leisure, criminal law, wealthy, people’s church and infrastructure. In 2005, the Faroese home rule regime was extended.

Faroe Islands today can take over all areas except the state constitution, citizenship, the Supreme Court, foreign, defense and security policy as well as monetary and monetary policy. The Faroe Islands receive a financial contribution from the state of approx. 640 million. DKK per year. Fishing is the most important source of income for Faroese society. When Greenland and Denmark joined the EC in 1973, the Faroe Islands chose to stand outside.


Iceland is today an independent state and, unlike Greenland and the Faroe Islands, is not part of the Danish empire. From the 1300s until 1944, Iceland belonged to Denmark. In the second half of the 19th century there was a strong autonomy movement in Iceland. After the change of system in 1901 in Denmark, Iceland received home rule and was from 1918 in “personnel union” with Denmark, that is, the Danish king was also king in Iceland.

During the Second World War, the geographical location of Iceland in the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean was of great importance. Flights and ships on the way from the United States to Europe could use the island as a base. Britain occupied Iceland in 1940 to prevent a German invasion, and later in the war, the United States took over the defense of the Icelandic area. In 1944, while Denmark was occupied by Germany, Iceland detached itself. By a referendum, almost an Icelandic people decided to set up the Republic of Iceland. Since then, Iceland has been an independent country and member of the UN and NATO. The Icelandic detachment took place in accordance with the agreements that led to the civil union in 1918.


About 1190 Bishop Absalon bishoped a secretary called Saxo. He was commissioned to write the first overall history of the country. Saxo spoke with people from home and abroad and wrote down their stories. He also read all the old texts in the library at the cathedral in Lund.

Bishop Absalon died before the book was finished. But Saxo continued on his work, Gesta Danorum (Danernes Bedrifter), which he wrote in Latin. The purpose of the book was to show that Denmark’s history went back to the ancient Romans. That way, the Danish kings would appear as important as the French kings and the German emperors. There was thus a clear political purpose with Saxo’s work.

Saxo wrote about Nordic mythology and about how Christianity had come to Denmark. Many people from Denmark’s history are in Saxo’s book – both real and mythological people. One of them is Amled, who according to the legend was Prince of Jutland. The story of Amled inspired the English poet William Shakespeare around the year 1600 to the drama of Prince Hamlet.

In the Middle Ages books were copied with handwritten by monks. Only when people began to print books in the 16th century was Saxo’s book known throughout Europe. Even in the Middle Ages, however, it became an important work in Denmark. Many have since used Gesta Danorum to describe Denmark’s early history. Saxo described the Danes as a special tribe with a long history. This description was among other popular in the 19th century, where nationalism in Denmark was strong. But Saxo sometimes used unsafe sources, and parts of the work are completely fictional.


In the Danish area, the inhabitants of earlier times cultivated a Nordic religion, called asatro. That means faith in the Ashes (gods). The main god of this religion was Odin. He is usually described as an old one-eyed man with two ravens. Among the other gods of Nordic mythology are the fertility god Freja and the thunder and war god Thor who drove over the sky with his wagon. Many god names from Nordic mythology continue in the Danish language, for example during the weekdays. Wednesday comes from Odin and Thursday by Thor. Also many place names have roots in mythology. This applies, for example, to Odense. The name of the Fynian city comes from “Odin’s we”, which means the sanctuary of Odin.

Christianity came to the country during the Viking Age. The German missionary Ansgar built churches in Hedeby and Ribe in the mid-800s, and in 965 Harald Blåtand was baptized. According to the surrender, he baptized as a Christian after a German priest named Poppo had “borne iron burden” for him. To bear iron burden in the Middle Ages was a form of evidence in court proceedings. This meant that a person should carry a piece of glowing iron in his hands. If there was no burn on the skin, the accused had proven to be innocent. Poppo had carried the iron burden to prove the truth of Christianity.

Christianity did not, however, replace the Nordic religion immediately. At that time, only the elite of society was converted to Christianity. The regular population still cultivated the gods and rituals of the asatropy. The first 100 years after Harald Blue’s baptism, Christianity in Denmark was subject to the Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen. In the 9th century an independent Danish church, consisting of eight founders, was established, ie church areas with a bishop as the chief leader.

The eight founders were Schleswig, Ribe, Aarhus, Viborg, Vendsyssel, Odense, Roskilde and Lund in southern Sweden, which at that time was part of Denmark. In 1103, Lund received his own archbishop with the whole of the Nordic region. The Nordic region became an independent religious area as part of the Catholic Church and directly under the pope of Rome. In connection with the Reformation in 1536, the Danish church was loosening from the pope church. Since then, the Danish People’s Church has been Protestant (Evangelical-Lutheran).


There is freedom of religion in Denmark. It ensures that citizens have the right to unite in religious communities to cultivate their faith in the way they want. Religious freedom was endorsed by the Constitution in 1849 as one of the fundamental freedoms of the new democracy. Formerly faithfulness was finally abolished.

Religious freedom implies that the individual citizen can cultivate the religion he or she wishes. And everyone can freely change religion. You can also choose not to be believers. All citizens of Denmark have the same civic and political rights, whether they have one, the other or no religious beliefs. Denmark’s monarch (queen), as the only person, is not subject to religious freedom. The Constitution states that the monarch belongs to the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church is the Danish People’s Church and is supported by the state. The state grants to the People’s Church, and the state charges the special church tax. Church tax is a kind of membership quota for the people’s church. It is therefore only members of the People’s Church who are to pay church tax. The Danish People’s Church and Christianity have put many traces in Danish society. Churches are everywhere in the country as clear symbols of the long history of Christianity in Denmark. Christianity has helped to influence the development of Danish society. Church holidays and holidays are still marked throughout the year. And the Danish People’s Church carries out a number of tasks on behalf of the state, such as registering births, naming and deaths. It has been the church for hundreds of years.

Folkekirken has close ties with the state and has a special position compared to other religious communities. The Folketing adopts the laws that apply to the people’s church. But the state does not interfere with the inner life of the church.

It is one of the characteristics of the Danish People’s Church that no one can pronounce on behalf of the church. Folkekirken has no official spokesman. Nor does it participate in the political debate as a national church. Most Danes regard religion as a private matter. There is tradition of distinguishing between religion and politics. The Danish National Church is often emphasized as a broad and spacious church. That is, it allows room for significant differences in the perception of Evangelical-Lutheran Christianity.

The majority of the Danish population (about 80%) is a member of the people’s church. Membership is voluntary. A member of the people’s church can thus freely sign up if he so wishes. It is very different how often members come to church for worship services or on other occasions.

The National Church’s organization, like all other public institutions, is democratic and builds on the participation of its members. From ancient times, the word parish is used as the name of the local church and its members. A parish is led by a church council. It consists of members elected democratically by the congregation and the parish priest (s). The chief administrative authority of the people church is the church minister. Long before religious freedom was introduced, the king had given special permission that Jews, as well as Roman Catholic and Reformed Christians, could exercise their faith in Denmark. Since the constitution was introduced, citizens have used religious freedom to form many different congregations or religious communities. Some, like the church of the people, build on the evangelical-Lutheran understanding of Christianity. They simply want to be free and independent in relation to the people’s church. Others are based on some of the many other understandings of Christianity that exist around the world. However, there are also congregations or religious communities in Denmark within most of the other religions that are most prevalent in the world.

A group of citizens can freely form a congregation or community. It must not be registered or approved by any public authority. However, the constitution states that it is a condition that “nothing is learned or done contrary to morality or public order”. This means that religious worship must also respect the other rules that apply in society. Churches or religious communities can freely employ religious publishers, ie priests, imams, rabbis, etc. They can also build or decorate houses to exert their religion – such as churches, temples, synagogues or mosques. You must only have permission from the municipality, like everything else. It must ensure that the construction can take place within the limits laid down in local plans, etc. Congregations or religious communities can also create schools. They may be allowed to make funeral places. And of course, they can use the freedom of speech, for example, to publish religious writings. A religious organization whose main purpose is to cultivate a god may seek to be approved as a congregation or religious community. Such approval gives some special religious rights in society. In the religious field, it is especially the church’s priest (or other religious leader) may be allowed to marry. That is, married a couple of couples with the same legal validity as if they had been married in the church or at the town hall.

There are a total of 160 approved congregations and religious communities in Denmark. In addition to Christians, there are other Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu. Approved congregations or religious communities do not receive direct financial support from the state. However, the tax rules provide different opportunities for indirect support. The second largest faith in Denmark today is Islam, which includes a number of different religious communities. It is only membership of the people’s church that the authorities register. Therefore, there are no official statistics on how many citizens belong to the different other religions, congregations or religious communities.


In Denmark, a number of public holidays, anniversaries and special customs are celebrated during the year. On many of these days, the children are free from school and adults are free from work.

Mardi Gras:

Real name is another word for carnival. It is a spring festival that can be traced back to ancient Rome and Egypt. Real estate in Denmark was originally the entrance to the fasting time within the Christian faith. After old times, the children get dressed and turn to a barrel. In the old days there was a living cat in the barrel, and the one who breaks the barrel is still called the cat of the cat. Today there is candy and fruit in the barrel. The property is 49 days before Easter.


The Christian easter marks that Jesus was crucified, died and arose from the dead. In Denmark, Easter is often used for family reunions. From ancient times there is tradition for giving each other easter eggs. The egg is an old fertility symbol. Today, Easter eggs are often made of chocolate. Easter is in March or April each year.

MAY 1:

The International Movement Day of the Labor Movement is celebrated with marches and events across the country.


With the Christian Pentecost, one celebrates the Holy Spirit to come to earth. The pin was originally the end of the seven week celebration after Easter. In Pentecost some have the tradition to get up early to watch the sun “dancing” as well as holding a pinsefrokost, for example by having a food basket in the woods. The pin is located in May or June each year.


The 5th of June is the constitution day, with meetings and talks celebrating Denmark’s democratic constitution, the Kingdom of Denmark’s Constitution. Denmark received its first constitution in 1849.


On June 23th, the sankthans will be celebrated. The background for celebrating Sankthansaften is a mixture of pagan folk tradition and Christianity. The party marks the middle of the summer, and after the old customs burns fires and dolls that imagine witches. Sankthans is also a mark of John the Baptist’s birthday on June 24th.


For Christmas, the birth of Jesus is celebrated. Christmas Eve is December 24th, where families gather, eat together and give presents. Most dance about Christmas tree and sing Christmas salads. Many also go to church for Christmas service. Christmas was originally a pagan solo festival. On December 25th and 26th, the first and second Christmas days are called. Here many families gather for Christmas lunch.


New Year’s Eve, 31 December, celebrations and fireworks are held throughout the country. New Year’s Day, January 1, most jobs and shops are closed.


The increased cultural exchange in the world has also brought a number of other customs and anniversaries to Denmark. Some of them are due to the fact that there are more Danes with foreign backgrounds. In some schools, for example, the Muslim fast-term Ramadan is marked. Similarly, some American tradition celebrates Halloween in October / November. The children dress like witches, ghosts or the like, and they make lamps of hollowed pumpkins. In several places in the country, carnival is also celebrated after a South American model with outfit, sambus music and march. The largest carnival is held in Copenhagen.


After World War II, the youth got its own culture, which clearly distinguished itself from the world of adults. The youth now emerged as a new phase in life, and the young as a new group in society. The diversity of youth culture’s variety of music and fashion shared the youngsters into different youth groups with different lifestyles. For example, in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s youth groups and youth cultures were called leather jackets, wild angels, flippers and flower children.

The different youth groups had different cultures and goals. Youth culture became an alternative to the existing culture. For many, it was also a counterculture for the adult parents’ lifestyles and attitudes. Often this development is called for the youth revolt.

The youth culture was born in Denmark by the great years that were born during World War II and just after. They grew up in a society that became richer. Several should have an education and therefore had a longer time to enter the adult working life. The images of the Danish youth revolver in the late 1960s and early 1970s were cultural and political trends and movements in, among others, the Netherlands, England and the United States. Also in Denmark there were international conflicts that gave rise to youth revolt. This included the Cuban crisis, the Vietnam War, the fear of an atomic war, and the ideological struggle of the Cold War between communism and capitalism. Universities and gender roles became two of the hottest subjects in the Danish youth revolt. Part of the youth revolt began at the universities. Until then, they had been rather small institutions, where a small elite was educated for researchers and officials. Gradually, wider social groups were looking into universities.

These young people, inspired by student revelations in the US and Paris, wanted to help decide on their studies. They wanted to abolish many of the university’s rigid structures and traditions.

Also the traditional gender roles were challenged. The young looked different in ways of life and the family than their parents. The young people wanted equality between men and women. Some of the attitudes of youth reopening still affect Danes’ relationships to education, work, gender roles and globalization.


Danish folk high schools have played an important role in the development of Danish society. The first folk high school was founded in Rødding in Sønderjylland in 1844 by Christian Flor. He was inspired by the priest and poet NFS Grundtvig, who wanted to educate and educate the youth. Grundtvig’s ideas about popular education and general education became the starting point for the high school movement. Folkehøjskolerne should be different from schools and universities. The students at the colleges should not learn outside and go to the exam. Instead, they should learn to be curious and discuss. The population should “learn for life”. Lectures and common singing were important parts of the university college tank. Since 1894, the High School Songbook has been published in many editions.

Although Grundtvig was a priest, it was not the purpose of high schools to proclaim Christianity. Folkehøjskolerne expressed a whole new mindset. Especially the children of the peasants were sent to high school in the 19th century. Initially, only boys and young men came to college. But from 1885 girls could also attend high school stays. The great success of the share movement in Denmark is partly due to the fact that the rural population was better educated through high school stays. Many colleges also discussed politics, and some Danish politicians from the 20th century had roots in the high school movement. By the end of the 20th century, it was no longer only young people from the country who graduated from college. Instead, it became more common for young people to spend six months at a college of higher education after graduation. Many people used their stay as a personal and general education before starting a higher education.

A college stay does not end with an exam, so it is not an education in itself. In recent times, several colleges have had to close. This was mainly due to the fact that the adolescence has decreased and therefore fewer students.

This means that colleges are competing for fewer students. At the same time, new forms of high schools have emerged, for example, at elite level, priority is given to higher than lectures and community singing. Whether high schools today emphasize sports or more theoretical education, however, it is a requirement that the courses are organized so that everyone can participate.


The history of Danish schools dates back to the Middle Ages. The oldest are the Latin schools that occurred around 1200 in connection with the cathedrals. The term Latin School was preserved until 1903 for many of the schools that prepared the youngsters for the university. After the Reformation in the 16th century children were taught in Martin Luther’s Little Catechism, a handbook of the Christian faith. It was the local priest or dean (priest’s helper) who taught. The children only went to school for one or two days a week. In the 1700s a number of schools were established. From the end of the century, seminars were formed, which were responsible for educating teachers. The Danish primary school was founded in 1814, where the rules for teaching were made the same for the whole country.

There is no compulsory schooling in Denmark, but 10 years of instructional duty. This means that all children must receive education for 10 years. Parents can freely choose between public primary and private schools or even teach their children at home. However, there is a requirement that the student must achieve the same professional level as in primary school if the child is taught at home or at private school. Although there is no compulsory schooling, almost 100% of Danish children attend a school. Folkeskolen includes a 1 year old kindergarten class, a 9-year basic school course and a 1-year, optional 10th grade.

Folkeskolen has, according to the Public Schools Act, the following objectives: 1. The primary school, in collaboration with the parents, will give the students knowledge and skills that: prepare them for further education and make them want to learn more, make them familiar with Danish culture and history, giving them an understanding of Other countries and cultures contribute to their understanding of human interaction with nature and promote the diverse development of each student. 2. The primary school needs to develop working methods and create a framework for experience, immersion and enlightenment, so that students develop recognition and imagination and gain confidence in their own opportunities and background for taking a position and acting. 3. The primary school must prepare students for participation, co-responsibility, rights and duties in a society of freedom and democracy. The work of the school must therefore be characterized by freedom of mind, equality and democracy.

All subjects are common to girls and boys, and students are usually taught classically and collectively throughout the school course. The school cooperates closely with the parents, and the parents can influence their children’s school by joining the school board and by attending parenting meetings at school. Students have the right to form a student council and to choose at least 2 members at the school board where they are in association with parent representatives, representatives of school staff and school management.

It is voluntary whether you want to further education after the 10-year teaching requirement. However, the labor market in the Danish society is increasingly demanding citizens for education and skills, and that is why the few can handle 10 years of schooling. All citizens of Denmark therefore have access to many different programs, and the vast majority of programs are free for the individual citizen. The majority of young people in Denmark continue after primary school with one of the many youth programs. This applies to both sexes. A youth education can be aimed at business or further education. For example, a vocational education can be in trade, office or craft. In the field of social and health care, you can be educated educational assistant or social and healthcare assistant. There are several upper secondary education programs that provide access to higher education, which include, among other things, the general high school (STX), trade gymnasium (hhx), technical high school (htx) and higher preparatory examination (HF).

Higher education varies in length depending on what you are studying. Higher education can be short (2-3 years), medium-term (3-4 years) and long (5-6 years). For example, a short secondary education can be a laboratory technician, computer engineer or building engineer. For medium-term higher education you can, for example, become an educator, journalist, teacher or nurse. A long-cycle education can for example be a university education in science, law, social studies or humanities. You must usually have a secondary education to be admitted to a middle or long higher education.

There are also many educational programs for adult citizens in Denmark, and you often talk about the possibility of lifelong education. You can train if you want a new job that places special demands, or if, for example, new machines have arrived at a workplace that requires special skills. Adults have the opportunity to take a vocational education or courses at vocational schools. Adults can also go to the final exam / exam in some subjects at the elementary school level or HF at one of the many adult education centers (VUC). Furthermore, there is a possibility to take a supplementary education at the university, as well as different education programs for adults with reading or spelling problems.


The family has undergone major changes in Denmark over the last hundred years and especially since the 1960s, where new cultural influences not only influenced politics, art and music, but also the forms of living and the way to live. Where the family – the core family – previously consisted of a man and a married woman and their children, there are many other family types today: unmarried couples with or without children, gay couples who are married or live in registered partnerships , single with children and single without children.

Marriage is still the most common form of living. For example, 75 percent of all cohabiting couples were married in 2015. However, the proportion of people who marry has fallen markedly over the years. For example, 88 percent of all 30-year-old women were married in 1970, whereas in 2006, only 44 percent were. At the same time, both men and women are older than before when they first get married. However, it does not mean that they wait to form pairs. On the contrary, it has become more common, especially among younger people, that couples live together, even if they are not married. However, couples who live together without being married (“paperless marriages”) do not automatically have the same legal and financial obligations to each other as married couples.

In Denmark, it is sought that homosexuals have the same rights and duties as all other citizens. Gay couples have since June 2012 been able to enter into marriage that is legally binding in the same way as marriage between a man and a woman. Earlier, gays could enter into a registered partnership that had almost the same legal effects as a marriage. Today, gay opportunities for ecclesiastical marriage and homosexual couples have the opportunity to adopt.

It has also become more common than before that adults live alone, and the number of single adults over 18 years has risen sharply. More than a third of all adults live as single, that is, they are neither married nor living with a partner. And among the single adults over the age of 18, about 60 percent live alone, while the rest lives with other people – often either their parents or children. The increasing proportion of adults living alone must be seen in connection with the fact that it has become more common to divorce. It also means that there are more and more children living with either their mother or their father.

The Danish society rests on the respect of the individual. This means that men and women have the same rights in political, economic and family life as regards the right to family, divorce, etc. Children also have rights even though they are under the age of authority. The age of government is in Denmark 18 years. For example, children under the age of 13 must not work outside the home. Parents must not beat their children, and children exposed to violence by their parents or otherwise treated poorly may be forced by the authorities and put in the care of another family. When the children reach 18 years old, they can freely choose how they will live their lives and with whom.

A man and a woman who wishes to marry can enter into marriage in Denmark under certain conditions. Among other things, both have legal residence in Denmark and are 18 years old. However, young people under the age of 18 may apply for special permission. Marriages in Denmark can only be made on a voluntary basis, and it is therefore punishable to try to force someone to enter into a marriage they do not want. A spouse, whether it is the woman or the man who does not wish to continue marriage, has the right to separation for six months and then the right to divorce. If the couple agrees to divorce, they may get divorce immediately. If they do not agree, a spouse has a right to divorce immediately when there are special circumstances, such as adultery or violence.

In a marriage, the mother and father have joint custody of their common children. After a divorce, the parents continue to have joint custody of the children. If the parents go apart, they decide how to share responsibility for their common children. If a parent wants parental responsibility alone, it is the court to decide whether the joint custody authority should continue or whether one of the parents should have custody alone. Many children live alternately with both parents and get new parents (“grandparents”) and siblings if the parents marry or move with a new partner.


The oldest literature on Danish soil is written in Old Norse with runes, which is a Nordic lettering. The word “runes” means “secrets”, and the runes were often added to magic power. The runes were originally scratched on loose objects, but later they were cut into stone. The most famous Danish rune inscription is found on Harald Blåtands Jellingsten. The run script became widespread throughout the Nordic region, where it was used in some places long after the Latin letters were introduced.

A large part of the early Danish literature was written in Latin. This applies, for example, to Saxo Denmark’s history Gesta Danorum (about 1200). The first public newspapers were first written down in Danish in the 16th century. Until then, the Danish folk tradition had been kept alive by oral assignment. The folks’ verses were sung to music by a singer while the audience sang the chorus. These long tales were often about knights and others from the nobility community.

After the Middle Ages, from 1500 up to 1800, poems on verses were more considered than the prose. Poems were written in many different styles. A well-known poet from the end of this period is Johannes Ewald (1743-81). Among other things, he wrote the singing game Fiskerne. From here is the Danish king’s song, King Kristian, standing by the tall mast. Another significant work is the king’s daughter Leonora Christinas (1621-98) depiction of his prison in Blåårn, Jammers Minde. The depiction was written down in the years 1673-74, but first published in 1869.

The 17th century most prominent Danish dramatist was Ludvig Holberg (1684-1754). He wrote a lot of comedies, which among other things made fun of the finer citizenship. One of the best known comedies is Jeppe on the mountain, where a farmer is conceived that he is a gentleman for one day. Holberg was born in Bergen, Norway, which belonged to Denmark. As an adult, he lived in Copenhagen, where he was a professor at the university. He wrote textbooks about history and state, and his novel Niels Klim’s underground journey, published in Latin, became a major European success. Holberg was the most important representative in Denmark for the information philosophy that cultivated reason, tolerance and social criticism. It was especially enjoyed in France and England, from where Holberg picked up much inspiration for his great writing.

Danish literature from 1800 to today includes several great writers and narrators. One of the most famous is HC Andersen (1805-1875), born in Odense. He poemed adventures that have now enjoyed both children and adults in Denmark and the rest of the world for two centuries. HC Andersen’s adventure has been translated into more than 125 languages. His stories about The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Elephant and the Grass Tree are among the most read. Although HC Andersen is best known for his adventure, he also wrote novels and poetry. Adam Oehlenschläger (1779-1850) was poet and was called the poet of the Nordic poet. In 1802 he wrote the poem Golden Horns, which is about found of two golden horns from ancient times, which were then stolen and melted. It was also Oehlenschläger, who wrote the poem in 1819. There is a lovely country, which is Denmark’s national anthem.

Steen Steensen Blicher (1782-1848) was one of the first Danish writers who wrote short stories. He is especially known for fragments of a village diary diary from 1824, where the protagonist describes his development and experiences in the form of a diary. Of prominent novels from the last part of the 19th century were mentioned: JP Jacobsen (1847-1885) Ms. Marie Grubbe, Herman Bangs (1857-1912) By the road and Henrik Pontoppidans (1857-1943) Lykke-Per.

In the 20th century Danish literature, Johannes V. Jensen (1873-1950) and Karen Blixen (1885-1962) belong to the most important authors. Johannes V. Jensen wrote poems and novels, the best known of which is the King’s Fall from 1901, a historical novel about Christian 2. in the 16th century Denmark. In 1944, Johannes V. Jensen received the Nobel Prize in Literature. Karen Blixen’s best-known novel is the African Farm from 1937. It is about her experiences in Kenya in the first decades of the 20th century. Karen Blixen also wrote many short stories that have made her known throughout the world.

Among recent writers, Klaus Rifbjerg (1931-2015) can be emphasized. Rifbjerg debuted in 1956 with the poem collection During weather with myself and published in 1958 the novel The Chronic Innocence, one of his most famous works. Also the author and lyricist Inger Christensen (1935-2009) is a prominent figure in the Danish literature of the 20th century. Her production includes, in particular, poems.


The performing arts include a variety of genres: play, ballet, opera and revue. Common to the different species of the performing arts is that they are listed here and now in front of an audience. And as is the case with other art forms, Danish performing arts has also been inspired by abroad. Some of it, for example ballets such as Sylfiden and Etudes have been through internationally. Jeppe on the Mountain was written by Ludvig Holberg in 1722 and recorded the same year. The act is a comedy where a farmer is formed into being a gentleman for one day.

Adam Oehlenschläger was inspired by the Arabic tales in 1001 Night’s Adventures, when he wrote the play Aladdin or the Marvelous Lamp in 1805. The act is about the young Aladdin, who, through a thrill and the marvelous lamp, becomes sultan over Persia. The choreographer August Bournonvilles Sylfiden is one of the most famous Danish ballets, performed for the first time at the Royal Theater in Bournonville’s choreography in 1836. It is still dancing today on both Danish and foreign scenes. The Sylphid is about a young Scottish man, James, who on his wedding day runs away with a ‘sylfide’, that is, a female air spirit.

Henri Nathansen’s play Within the walls is about the young Jewish girl Esther Levin and the young non-Jewish Jørgen Herming who fall in love with each other. Your relationship causes problems because they have different cultural backgrounds. The play was first recorded in 1912, and has been rebuilt ever since at both the Royal Theater and scenes around Denmark. In January 1939, eight months before World War II, Kjeld Abell’s play, Anna Sophie Hedvig, had premiere at The Royal Theater. The act is about the teacher Anna Sophie Hedvig who, during a visit to some relatives in Copenhagen, tells her that she has killed the evil school administrator, Mrs Møller, because the school administrator tyrannized her. Anna Sophie Hedvig is a political act in which Kjeld Abell indirectly criticized Denmark’s passivity towards the growing fascism in Europe.

Kaj Munk’s play ‘The Word’ was first recorded in 1932 and deals with the controversy between two directions in Danish Christianity, Grundvigianism and Inner Mission. This main work has been revived in Carl Th. Dreyer’s filmization (see the Danish Film section below). Also revy is a wide-ranging performing art and can contain both comic, satirical and political messages. You bind us to mouth and hand, written by Poul Henningsen and sung by Liva Weel in 1940, is an example of the political revival. Many revision numbers have a validity that extends far ahead. For example, the Outlandish rap group in 2004 made a new recording of Poul Henningsen’s Man binds us on foot and hand. In Harald Landers classic ballet Etudes, it’s the dance itself, which is at the center and it does not have a real action. The ballet was first recorded at the Royal Theater in 1948 and later in 1952 it was set up at the Paris Opera. Etudes has today become an international ballet classiker who is in St. Petersburg, Tokyo, Sydney, Paris, New York and Beijing. The choreographer Flemming Flindt has also contributed to the Danish ballet reputation abroad with his ballets. For example, Flindt’s ballet Enetimen was created and appeared on Danish television in 1963, performed at Opera Comique in Paris and at the Royal Theater in 1964. Finally, the parson group Black Sol’s concerts in 1987 in the discontinued cinema Carlton and in the Wurst plant in 1988 mentioned as examples of the many different forms of expression and messages that Danish performing arts contain.


Denmark has a long tradition of painting and sculpture art. Of prominent works from the 19th century are the Old Solstice (about 1300 BC) and Saly’s rider statue of Frederik 5. (1771), which today stands at Amalienborg Palace Square. The first half of the 19th century is called the Golden Age, because it was a period when Danish culture flourished. Under strong influence of the romantic wave in Germany, a new way of describing Danish history and national identity appeared in paintings, poetry and music. Many of the 19th century artists were national romantics. They painted or poems about the Danish language, landscape or Denmark history. Italy’s capital, Rome, was the artist’s favorite destination. In addition, they went on educational trips to get inspiration and meet other artists.

Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844) is the best known sculptor of Denmark. In 1797 he traveled to Italy and lived in Rome for several years. Here he created many sculptures, including the tomb of Pope Pius 7. Several of his works were inspired by ancient Greece and Roman Empire. In 1838 Thorvaldsen returned to Denmark. His sculptures got their own museum, Thorvaldsens Museum, located in Copenhagen.

Within the painting art, CW Eckersberg (1783-1853) and Christen Købke (1810-1848) are some of the most important artists of the Golden Age. Eckersberg was, among other things, with Thorvaldsen on studying in Rome in 1813-1816. He painted many motifs from the landscape around Rome and also a portrait of Thorvaldsen. Købke painted many motifs from Copenhagen and lived in Rome for a period of time. In the meantime, art painters such as Vilhelm Hammershøj (1864-1916), LA Ring (1854-1933) and JF Willumsen (1863-1958) featured Danish visual arts. Towards the end of the 19th century, a number of painters settled in Skagen and cultivated an art that managed to capture everyday light and pain, bathing in the light of the two gardens surrounding Denmark’s northernmost town. A prominent representative of Skagen painters is PS Krøyer (1851-1909).

In recent times, Asger Jorn (1914-1973) is one of the prominent Danish art painters. He joined the international artist group Cobra, whose name was from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, which existed from 1948 to 1951. One of his main works is the great painting Stalingrad. Astrid Noack (1888-1954) is one of the 20th century prominent sculptors. In her simple sculptures, inspiration comes from both Greek, Roman and Gothic sculpture art.


During the first part of the Golden Age the music was characterized by immigrated German composers. CEF Weyse (1774- 1842) came as young from Altona and graduated in Copenhagen. He is especially remembered for his music for BS Ingemann’s morning and evening songs. After 1840 the music scene was characterized by Danish-born composers. Among them were Niels W. Gade (1817-1890) most important. After 1900, the harmonics of romantic music met against Carl Nielsen (1865-1931). With his operas, symphonies, chamber music and songs he became the most prominent Danish composer ever.

Today, popular music also plays a major role. Among other things, Savage Rose, Gasolin, CV Jørgensen and TV2 are prominent representatives of Danish popular music. They have all had great influence and have produced songs that today are perceived as classics in popular music. In particular, Savage Rose’s album The Savage Rose (1968), Gasolins Live How (1976), CV Jørgensens Tidens Tern (1980) and TV2’s Closest Happy (1988). Natasja Saad (1974-2007) was a Danish rapper and singer. Her most famous song, ‘In Denmark, I’m Born’, lives on after her early death in a traffic accident.


Danish architecture and design have for centuries been inspired in other countries, as Danish architects and designers have been thrown abroad and have put their mark there. The Danish architect Jørn Utzon’s opera house in Sydney, Australia, is a good example of the fact that Denmark and the outside world have influenced each other and exchanged ideas. The same is Glorup Manor House in Funen, designed by the French-born architect Nicolas Henri Jardin in the 1700s. Both buildings, urban planning and design are physical expressions of how politics, culture, attitudes and lifestyles change throughout history. Some of the major Danish construction works, architects and designers are as follows:

Frederikstad is an urban area in the inner city of Copenhagen, where among other things the royal family’s castle Amalienborg is situated. The city plan for Frederiksstaden was designed by architect Nicolai Eigtved, and the area was started in the middle of the 18th century. Copenhagen Cathedral, Our Lady Church, was designed by architect Christian Frederik Hansen and was built in the years 1811-1829. At that time, architecture and art were dominated by romantic classicism.

Classicalism cultivated antiquity, that is, the Greek and Roman ancient times. Therefore, parts of the cathedral form like a Roman temple, while the entrance is shaped like a Greek temple front. Aarhus University was designed by architects Kay Fisker, CF Møller, Poul Stegmann and C.Th. Sorensen. The construction of the university started in 1931, and the style is functionalism. The idea behind the university was to create an academic village characterized by openness and balance. In the university park are the buildings that house the individual institutes: law, history, music, political science, etc. But the park also houses colleges, a lake and watercourse. One of the most famous buildings, designed by a Danish architect, is built outside Denmark. It is the Sydney Opera House (1957), designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon in a style called Nordic Modernism.

Like architecture, design expresses a particular culture and art perception at different times in history. But design must also be functional: it must be able to be used and it must be able to hold. Design includes everything from knives and forks to road signs, furniture, posters, trains and wind turbines. People are surrounded by so much design in everyday life that you rarely think who really designed the chair you’re sitting on. But some Danish designers work is so special and of such high quality that it is still being produced and sold 50-60 years after it was designed. Some Danish designers’ work has also gained international recognition. Arne Jacobsen (1902-1971) has embraced both architecture and design. Examples of his architecture are Danmarks Nationalbank in Copenhagen and the City Hall in Aarhus. Examples of his designs are the chairs 7 and the Egg.

Knud Valdemar Engelhardt (1882-1931) is one of the Danish designers who has had a great deal of importance in the design of the aftermath. The methods he developed are still being used by industrial designers today. Engelhardt’s work included architecture, book printing, road signs, Copenhagen trams, poster columns, posters, kilometers, cutlery etc.Poul Henningsen (1894-1967), also known as PH, was a versatile talent. He was an architect, reviewer, social reporter and film producer. In addition, he also designed lamps. One of his best-known products is the PH lamp, designed in 1925. The special feature of the PH lamp is that it has three screens. Already in the 1920s, more than 100 different types of PH lamps were produced, and new ones are still evolving.


A number of Danes have become internationally famous as film actors and instructors over the years. Around 1900, the photographer Peter Elfelt began recording films in Denmark. There were reports about society. In 1906, Nordisk Film was founded by the film owner Ole Olsen. After that, the Danish film industry grew rapidly. The beautiful Asta Nielsen (1881-1972) became Denmark’s first film star. She had great success with roles in silent movies and recorded many films in Germany in the first half of the 20th century.

Carl Th. Dreyer (1889-1968) is one of the most renowned directors of the Danish film history. His film was technical and aesthetic masterpieces. Movies like the Wrath of 1943 and the French Jeanne d’Arc from 1928 have secured Dreyer’s fame. World-famous is also the word from 1955, which is a film of a play by Kaj Munk from 1932. In addition to Astrid and Bjarne Henning-Jensen’s Ditte Human Child, Johan Jacobsen’s Soldier and Jenny (1947) and Henning Carlsen’s Hunger (1966).

From around 1950 to 1975, countless Danish folk comedians were recorded. It was a fun movie with famous actors in the roles of ordinary Danes. Erik Balling (1924-2005) received great success with the film series Olsen band about a fictional Danish crime gang. Between 1968 and 1981, there were a total of 13 films about the Olsen band. Also on television, Erik Balling was a popular instructor. He directed, among other things, the series Matador, which is about Danish society and the Danes in the 1930s and 1940s. The 24-episode of the series was first shown on television in 1978-82, and it is the most watched television series in Denmark ever. The manuscript was written by, among others, the author Lise Nørgaard.

From 1970 to 1990, there are among others Jannik Hastrups and Flemming Quist Møller’s children’s film Benny’s bath (1971) and Nils Malmros’ Knowledge of Woods (1981).

From the 1990s and into the 21st century Danish films received great international attention. One of the reasons was the Dogme 95 manifesto, which Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg wrote in 1995 with two other instructors. It was an invitation to make simple films focusing on the good story rather than technical effects. Dogme 95 became very popular, and several dogma films became big successes among the audience and critics in Denmark and abroad. Thomas Vinterbergs Feast won the jury’s special prize at the Cannes Cannes Film Festival in 1998. Thomas Vinterberg’s important works are also the Hunt (2012) and the Kollektivet (2016).

Also the directors Gabriel Axel, Bille August and Susanne Bier have received international recognition. Gabriel Axel won as the first Danish director an Oscar for the film production of Karen Blixen’s novel Babette’s Guestbook in 1987. Bille August won both an Oscar and The Golden Palmer for the film Pelle Erobreren. It is based on a novel from the early 20th century by the author Martin Andersen Nexø. Susanne Bier has won both an Oscar and a Golden Globe for revenge (2010), English title: In a better World.



Several Danish scientists have contributed to international scientific development over the years. One of the first was Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), a Scottish nobleman, who came to Copenhagen in 1559 to study at the university. He was a mathematical gift and designed astronomical tools to observe the stars. One of Tycho Brahe’s big businesses was to discover a new star in the constellation Cassiopeia. Niels Steensen (1636-86) was another great Danish scientist. Like Tycho Brahe, he did not recognize the traditional explanations, but emphasized his own observations. Niels Steensen was a medical doctor and traveled to the Netherlands, where he made extensive discoveries in the field of anatomy. Among other things, he was the first to show that the heart is a muscle.

Astronomer and physicist Ole Rømer (1644-1710) made a great scientific discovery when, in 1676, he found out that he could measure the speed of light by observing the planets of Jupiter’s moon. Later he described new methods for measuring weight and distance. He also introduced a new calendar in Denmark.

100 years later, Hans Christian Ørsted (1777-1851) began to study physics. In 1820, HC Ørsted discovered that electrical power induces magnetism, the so-called electromagnetism. This discovery made the basis for the technological use of electricity, which later became important. Within the humanities field, Rasmus Christian Rask (1787-1832) received great recognition for his language research. Among other things, he went on a language trip to Iceland and published the first Icelandic grammar. And in 1816 he went on a research trip lasting more than six years, where he traveled to India through Russia to study and compare languages. Rasmus Rask wrote several research works on the 55 languages ​​that he had a good knowledge of. Denmark has also marked itself internationally in philosophy. This is primarily due to philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855). Although Søren Kierkegaard only became 42 years old, he reached a number of significant texts. The work either – or from 1843 is one of his most important. Søren Kierkegaard’s philosophical work was focused on existential questions – that is, questions about being human and the meaning of life.


In the 20th century, the Danish physicist Niels Bohr (1885-1962) achieved international fame. As a young man, he set up a model for nuclear construction. For that he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. However, his most important scientific discovery was within the so-called quantum mechanics, where Niels Bohr worked with leading international researchers. Niels Bohr participated actively in the political debate on nuclear energy and nuclear weapons, which his research had made it possible to develop. In 1997, the Danish physician and scientist Jens Christian Skou (born 1918) received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of the so-called Sodium Potassium Pump. Jens Christian Skou, who for many years was professor at Aarhus University, became an honorary doctorate at the University of Copenhagen in 1986.

In the field of physics, Lene Vestergaard Hau (born 1959) has in recent years marked internationally. Lene Vestergaard Hau was seriously known to the public when she reduced the rate of propagation of light in 1999. In 2001 she managed to brake a light impulse completely. Lene Vestergaard Hau is currently Professor of Harvard University in the United States. Research and innovation is today a major effort to ensure Danish well-being in the future. Danish research is largely conducted by the Danish universities, but there are also research centers such as university hospitals, large museums, libraries and archives. There are also a number of research councils that support the work of the researchers. In addition, much research takes place in the private sector. Denmark is especially known for its research in the field of life sciences. A number of initiatives have been initiated by society to support research collaboration between public research institutions and private companies.


The first modern Danish newspapers were published in the 1700s. Berlingske Tidende, which still exists under the name of Berlingske, was first published in 1749. At the beginning, the newspapers brought most information from the state as well as news and advertisements from the merchants. Until the monarchy was abolished in the mid-1800s, there was a censorship of newspapers in Denmark. This meant that the state decided what the newspapers could write.

Following the constitution in 1849, the free press grew rapidly. Many new papers occurred, and most newspapers began to appear every day instead of once a week. In the second half of the 19th century the newspapers became political. They wrote from each of their political positions. In the early 1900s, the four largest parties were Left, Right (from 1915 Conservative People’s Party), Social Democracy (from 2002 Social Democrats) and the Radical Left. They each had a newspaper in all major Danish cities. It is called the four-blade system.

One of the most important journalists and newspaper editors at that time was Henrik Cavling (1858-1933). From 1886 he was a permanent employee of the Politiken newspaper, where he later became editor-in-chief. In 1944, the Danish Journalist Association established the Caving Prize in memory of Henrik Cavling. In 1925, the state radio symphony was founded. It was the first Danish radio station, which sent programs with classical music, theater and general culture. The state radio was funded through an annual fee, the license. All citizens who owned a radio should pay a license. In 1951, the State Radio Society also began to broadcast television programs. And in 1959, the state radio fiction changed its name to Denmark’s Radio (DR). DR had monopoly, ie exclusive rights to broadcast Danish television. The monopoly was broken in 1986. From then on, it became possible for companies and associations to broadcast local television, for example, to the inhabitants of a particular city. In 1988, the commercial station TV2 began to ship to all of Denmark. DR is a self-governing public institution and is licensed as licensed. TV2 is a public limited company owned by the state and is primarily financed by advertisements. After 1990, the number of radio and television channels in Denmark has grown significantly. Cable and satellite television with many foreign channels has also become more widespread. Since 2000 there has been a new development in the Danish media. Newspapers, which were only published in print, now also broadcast news, etc. via radio, local TV and internet. Today, most media are increasingly using the Internet to communicate directly with the citizens. Additionally, there are also a number of free newspapers that are ad-funded. The overall result is that the media image today is far more diverse and unimaginable than before. It is a continuous trend, also internationally, that paperbacks are decreasing, while more and more Danes get their news needs covered via the Internet, partly through the old media’s online portals, and through social media such as Facebook and Twitter.