The Danish Islands
Denmark, while seldom recognized to casual tourists, is an island country with 72 inhabited islands and 371 unoccupied islands. Aside from the well-known blockbuster Bornholm, with its rich history and mysterious round churches, many of the smaller islands are seldom frequented by visitors, despite being some of the country’s most fascinating locations. If you have the time, consider visiting one of the two remote islands in the Kattegat sea – Ls and Anholt, which are jokingly referred to as the “Danish desert belt” because they receive much less rainfall than the rest of the country and have large swaths of sand dunes covering much of the two islands, peculiar architecture, and a laid back vibe. Also worth considering is the Island sea south of Funen, one of the country’s most beautiful areas, which also includes the larger islands of Langeland and r with some impossibly picturesque villages, lush green and hilly farmland, and wild horses, and Sams, geographically in the country’s center, which boasts numerous beautiful villages and a yearly music festival (Sams Festival) in the s. Finally, in South Jutland, the islands of Fan, Mand, and Rom are situated in the Wadden Sea, an intertidal zone that forms a shallow body of water with tidal flats and marshes. It has a high level of ecological variety, including seals and a diverse assortment of birds, but it also has some beautiful beaches and charming towns.
Similar opportunities to appreciate Danish environment may be found in the five newly created national parks.
Much has changed since the Danes wreaked havoc on Europe’s coastlines, but the more tranquil contemporary Danes nevertheless take great pride in their Viking history. The most visible legacy is the burial mounds that dot the landscape across the nation (most of which date from the older Bronze Age era), although there are a few attractions for those who want to visit. The two museums in Roskilde, easily accessible on a day trip from Copenhagen, are the easiest and possibly most interesting – the Viking ship museum, which is remarkable with some beautifully preserved ships, and the Lejre Experimental Centre, a living history museum with a reconstructed Viking town. The ruins of the once-mighty Trelleborg Viking ring fortress and several rebuilt long houses may still be seen on Zealand, but farther west near Slagelse. Another ring castle ruin in Hobro, Fyrkat, and 9 rebuilt farmhouses may be found in Jutland. Jelling, located farther south, is home to a pair of enormous carved runestones from the 10th century, one of which commemorates Denmark’s conversion to Christianity – the end of the Viking era. Still in the south, but on the west coast, Ribe (Denmark’s oldest city) has both a Viking Museum and a Viking experimental center.
The National Museum in Copenhagen contains a significant collection of Viking artifacts as well. From the summer solstice and a few weeks later, the city of Frederikssund hosts an annual outdoor Viking drama.
World Heritage Sites
Mainland Denmark has three world heritage sites: the Jelling rune stones, which date back to the 900s and have been dubbed “Denmark’s Birth Certificate,” testifying to Denmark’s conversion to Christianity around that time. It was erected by Gorm The Old, the first official king of Denmark, whose son is buried in another of the sights, Roskilde Cathedral, the first Gothic church in Northern Europe built of wood. The third, and perhaps most renowned, is Kronborg Fortress in Elsinore, which is not only the home of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, but also a magnificent castle in its own right, protecting the major road to the Baltic Sea.
Danish Design and Architecture
Denmark is well-known for its design history, which has been made famous by well-known designers, architects, and businesses. Its approach is frequently characterized as minimalistic and functionalistic, and its designers include Jrn Utzon, Arne Jakobsen, Hans Wegner, Poul Henningsen, Georg Jensen, Bang&Olufsen, Royal Copenhagen, and many more. Architecture, furniture, and industrial design in general, as well as the individuals who create it, may be viewed and explored at a variety of locations throughout the country. Danish Design Centre, Danish Design Museum, and Danish Architecture Centre, all in Copenhagen, are excellent places to start. Many examples of excellent Nordic architecture may be seen across Copenhagen and its environs. Other places to visit are the Trapholt Museum in Kolding, the Struer Museum (mainly Bagn&Olufsen), the Jrn Utzon devoted museum in Aalborg, and the Aarhus City Hall.