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Sunday, 5 October 2014

Denmark

Denmark was first united in the 10th century, during the Viking period, by the king Harald Bluetooth (c. 985), who first converted the country to Christianity.

In 1397 Denmark, Sweden and Norway became a single country with one queen (called the Kalmar Union). Sweden became a separate country again in 1523. Denmark and Norway (called Denmark-Norway), stayed united, until 1814.

The Danish flag, a white cross on a red background, is the oldest state flag still in use. Versions in use date back to at least 1397.


It is illegal to burn the flag of any country in Denmark, with the exception of the Danish flag itself.

Denmark became a constitutional monarchy on June 5, 1849 when it adopted a constitution which took away powers from the King and gave rights to ordinary Danish people.

June 5 is now a holiday in Denmark, called "Constitution Day".

The National Constitutional Assembly was convened by King Frederick VII in 1848 to adopt the Constitution of Denmark

The first issue of Berlingske, Denmark's oldest continually operating newspaper, was published on January 3, 1749. Berlingske was founded by Denmark's Royal Book Printer Ernst Henrich Berling and originally titled Kjøbenhavnske Danske Post-Tidender, then the Berlingskes Politiske og Avertissements Tidende. Until 1903 it had an official right to publish news about the government. In 1936, the newspaper's title was shortened to Berlingske Tidende.

Front page of Kjøbenhavnske Danske Post-Tidender (today Berlingske Tidende) in 1749

Denmark was defeated in the 1864 Second Schleswig War when the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein was conquered by the Kingdom Prussia (now a part of Germany). The country began a policy of neutrality after the loss.

Denmark was invaded by Hitler's Germany on April 9, 1940, The Nazis stayed in the country throughout World War II.

German Leichter Panzerspähwagen armored car in Jutland. By Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-753-0010-19A / Bieling

During the war, in 1943, the Danes helped over 8,000 Jews to escape from Denmark into Sweden after the Nazis tried to arrest them.

In 1969, Denmark became the first country in the world to legalize pornography.

Every Danish monarch from 1513 to 1972 was named either Frederick or Christian. In fact there was strict alteration between the two names.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark ascended the throne on January 14, 1972. She was the first Queen of Denmark since 1412 and the first Danish monarch not named Frederick or Christian since 1513.

Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. Photo by  Johannes Jansson. Source Nordic Co-operation website (norden.org), 
In the political sense, the Kingdom of Denmark also includes the Faroe Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, and Greenland in North America. All three parts of the country have different languages and culture and their own governments.

Denmark was named the happiest nation in the first ever World Happiness Report commissioned by the United Nations in 2012.

The average age for men to get married in Denmark is 34.8, the highest in the world.

In Denmark, approximately two-thirds of all Danes have a surname ending in –sen.

The Danish for King is Kong. The film King Kong was therefore called ‘Kong King’.

The Danish Language is so difficult to learn, that Danish children take longer to learn to speak than children from other countries.

Danish pastries are called Viennese bread (Wienerbrød) in Denmark.

In Denmark, each citizen eats an average of 18 pounds of candy per year, twice as much as the average European.

There are way more pigs than humans in Denmark – the country’s human population is an estimated 5.4 million, compared to its pig population of around 24 million.

You are never more than 50km (31 miles) from the sea in Denmark

Gedser Odde on the island of Falster is Denmark's southernmost point.

Source Daily Express

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