DenmarkCopyright: Christian Mueringer 123rf.com

Denmark

Capital: Copenhagen
Currency: Danish Krone (DKK)
Language: Danish
Listen to the national anthem

A human presence can be traced back to between 130,000 - 110,000 BC but has been inhabited for around 12,500 years. Between 1,800 - 600 BC is a period known as the Nordic Bronze Age and items such as the Trundholm Sun Chariot are found in this period.

Trundholm Sun ChariotCopyright: Malene Thyssen Wikimedia Commons

The Trundholm Sun Chariot (above) was discovered in a peat bog on Trundholm moor in Odsherred in the north-west of Denmark. Today it is displayed in the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen.

Peat bogs area common across northern Europe and were obviously very important places in prehistoric religious rituals. The peat in the bog is very acidic and so helps preserve things similar in the way we pickle food. In Denmark there have been many mummified remains, like for example the now famous Tollund Man. Tollund man was discovered on 6th May 1950 and looked so fresh it was believed to be a recent murder until the body was further studied. Tollund Man is over 2,000 years old and believed to have been a sacrifice. Today only the head is original as the body desiccated and gradually disappeared.

Tollund ManCopyright: Sven Rosborn Wikipedia Commons

If you look closely, the preservation is remarkable as his whiskers are still visible!

The Dark Ages and Middle Ages saw Denmark really make their mark. Britain was a prime target for plunder and was repeatedly attacked, plundering Monasteries, churches and farmsteads along the east coast. In the latter half of the 9th century, Vikings began to settle in the eastern counties of England and created the Danelaw. Danelaw was originally a treaty agreement between Guthrum and Alfred The Great after Guthrum was defeated at the Battle of Edington in 878. From about the 11th century the term Danelaw was used to describe the lands owned by Viking settlers. Viking rule in Britain ended in 954 with the defeat of Eric The Bloodaxe.

Hans Christian Andersen is probably the most famous Danish writer. Born in 1805, Hans Christian's travelogues and children's stories have been translated into 128 languages. The incredible fact is, is that Andersen was dyslexic!

With just over 5.5 million inhabitants, it is said that the Danes are the happiest in the European Union (EU). The World Audit puts Denmark as the least corrupt and the most democratic of all countries.

Did you know that Lego™ is the product of Denmark? In 1932, Ole Kirk Christiansen founded the family business and today Lego™ is the worlds largest toy manufacturer in the world!

Lego BricksCopyright: Kari Haraldsdatter Høglund 123rf.com

Denmark can also boast that it has the longest suspension bridge in Europe, The Great Belt Fixed Link which spans 1.6km (1 mile).

In 2000, the worlds largest offshore wind farm project began, 3.5km (2.2 miles) from Copenhagen. Middelgrunden consists of 20 turbines and has the capacity to produce 400 MW. This project is a one in a kind with 50% being owned by a government run utility company and 50% owned as shares by 10,000 investors.

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