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Wednesday 23rd July
Denmark Facts
Denmark is one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden).

Denmark took its name from Danes from Sweden who colonised the country around 500 AD.

Fjords, a feature of the Danish coastline, can be described as valleys shaped by glaciers and partially filled by the sea. The sides are steep and the water is very deep.

Tollund Man, the body of a prehistoric man found in the Tollund peat bog, can be seen in the museum at Silkeborg.

Before conversion to Christianity the Danes worshipped the Norse gods.

Odense, the capital of Fyn and one of the largest cities in Denmark, may derive its name from "Odin's shrine".

Ribe, Denmark's oldest town, was an international trading centre in the eighth century.

The Viking, Rollo, settled in France in the area that became known as Normandy.

Dublin (Ireland) was an important Viking trading centre.

Place names, in the UK, ending in -by (Whitby) and -thorpe (Scunthorpe) were Viking settlements.

Important Vikings were buried in ships together with their horses and other possessions.

Greenland, an island in northern North America, was a Danish colony for over two centuries. Home rule was granted by the Danish parliament in 1979 and in 2008 Greenlanders voted in favour of greater independence.

The Faroes, eighteen islands in the Atlantic, are self-governing but part of the Kingdom of Denmark.

The Estonian capital city of Tallinn was founded by Danish and German crusaders and merchants. In the mid-fourteenth century the Danes sold their possessions in North Estonia to the Livonian Order - a religious fraternity of German crusaders.

The Bering Sea and the Bering Straits are named after Vitus Bering (1681-1741), the Danish explorer.

The Danish West India Company established a colony in the Virgin Islands in the second half of the seventeenth century. By 1733 the company owned St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John. The Danish West Indies were sold to the USA in 1917.

Anne of Denmark married James VI of Scotland and I of England (1589).

Ole Romer (1644-1710), the famous Danish physicist, calculated the speed of light.

Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), the Danish philosopher, is known as the Father of Existentialism.

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875), the famous children's author, was born in Odense.

A statue of Andersen's Little Mermaid, the national symbol of Denmark, can be seen in Copenhagen.

Niels Bohr (1885-1962), the Danish physicist, was one of the founders of modern nuclear physics.

The Danish monarchy has existed for over a thousand years.

Freetown Christiania, founded in 1971, is a partially self-governing community, an enclave in the capital city of Copenhagen.

The Oresund Fixed Link connecting Denmark with Sweden was opened in July 2000. The Link is 15,950 metres - a bridge links up with a 3,510 metre tunnel on the Danish side.

Denmark is one of the Baltic Sea States. Other members of the Council of the Baltic Sea States are Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and the European Commission.

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