Education in Denmark

Denmark – education

There are in Denmark in 2012 almost 2300 public schools and other educational institutions for children and young people, of which approximately 1320 primary schools, 540 independent schools and private primary schools, 265 continuing schools and almost 150 general upper secondary schools, which may also have affiliated HF courses. The vocational upper secondary educations hhx and htx are offered together with the vocational educations of approximately 180 training places for vocational education. The education system for adults includes partly qualifying further education and partly continuing education, which can be formally qualifying, but also consist of non-formal education at eg folk high schools and in information associations. Further education takes place predominantly at the country’s 9 business academies, 8 vocational colleges and 8 universities, while general and vocational adult and continuing education (VEU) is offered at 13 VEU centers as basic adult education (GVU), preparatory adult education (FVU), general adult education (AVU) and labor market education (AMU). Other forms of private and continuing education are offered in many places in Denmark.

The highest authority for teaching children and young people as well as VEU educations is the Ministry of Education, while the higher education system falls under the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Higher Education, also called the Ministry of Education. Expenditure on education has grown rapidly since the 1950’s from just over 2% of GDP to 8% in 2010. In 2013, total public expenditure on education was approximately 70 billion DKK, which corresponds to approximately 11% of public expenditure.

Educational abbreviations
AMU Labor market training
AVU General adult education
EGU Vocational basic education
EUD Vocational education
FUU The free youth education
FVU Preparatory education for adults
GVU Basic adult education
hf Higher Preparatory Examination
hhx Handelsgymnasiet
htx Technical High School
SOSU Social and health education
STU Specially organized youth education
stx The general high school
VEU Adult and continuing education

Of a student year (2011), approximately 97% in the education system after completing primary school, of which approximately 65% in upper secondary education and approximately 32% in vocational education. Vocational competence is achieved by just over 84% and study competence by just over 6%, while almost 10% of a year group has no formal competences.

In the 2010’s, education remains a key societal concept that is part of the notion of democracy and is seen as a prerequisite for the individual citizen’s opportunities for development. The education system must thus at the same time enable the individual to function as a citizen, strengthen social equality and function as an individual self-realization project.

  • Find two-letter abbreviation for each independent country and territory, such as DK which stands for Denmark.

Features of the development of the education system

In Denmark, there is compulsory education, not compulsory schooling. It is the result of historical clashes between custody, state power and the church. After the Reformation in 1536, teaching was primarily a church task that had to be solved in connection with the upbringing in the home and congregation. Medieval Catholic monastic schools were replaced by Protestant Latin schools and various forms of urban schools. In the cities, teaching took place in reading and writing schools, in the countryside, with the pastor or clerk listening in on catechism once or twice a week.

For both ideological and utility reasons, the state’s interest in children’s education grew in the 1700’s. The Poverty Act’s requirement for schools in the countryside (1708), the establishment of 240 riding schools on the royal estates in the 1720’s, the introduction of ecclesiastical confirmation in 1736 and legislation on schools in rural parishes for all children from the age of 5-6 (1739) were an expression of a state and ecclesiastical interest in the upbringing of children and servants to pious and reading Christians.

Nevertheless, the birth of the primary school is usually not counted until 1814, when a nationwide teaching obligation was implemented for boys and girls from the age of 6-7 until confirmation. The primary school was paid locally, ie. of all the residents of the parish, however, from 1856 with subsidies from the state, and governed by a school commission in each parish under the direction of the priest. Until 1958, the primary school included both a village-ordered and a market-town-ordered school system. A number of rural municipalities had gradually chosen the market town scheme; at the end of 1957, approximately 75,000 pupils in the countryside in town-arranged schools, while approximately 200,000 went to actual village schools, which had fewer grade levels and fewer weekly hours per day. grade.

In the cities there were from the late 1700’s. private boys ‘and girls’ schools; in town and on land, homeschooling was not uncommon. After the mid-1800’s. there were small private “free schools” around the parishes, set up by parents who wanted to impress their children. The right to self-care for one’s child without first obtaining the approval of the authorities was enshrined in law in 1855 and enshrined in the constitution in 1915 on the basis of the demands for freedom in church and school, which were put forward by NFS Grundtvig and Christen Kold. From 1899, the free schools received state subsidies. Freedom of school was later also used by other school districts: the German minority schools in North Schleswig, primary schools in the 1960’s, Christian independent schools in the 1970’s, Steiner schools, immigrant schools, etc. There are thus schools for all recognized denominations, eg Mosaics, Catholics and Muslims.

With the school reform of 1903, which aimed at a democratization of higher education, a four-year middle school was introduced with continuation in either a one-year real class or a three-year high school. From the 1950’s, the education sector expanded based on societal demands for technological growth. In the following decades, education almost constantly gave rise to debate. Much was built, from central schools to universities. In the political imaginary world of the 1960’s, increased education meant investing in the future, and the debate on educational issues led to reform pedagogically inspired changes in the school’s teaching and working methods, while forms of socializing became more informal both inside and outside school.

The primary school was until 1933 under clerical supervision and until 1975 committed to a Christian understanding of life. Since then, it has been bound solely by demands for versatility and democracy. Little by little, the unitary school has been implemented with the abolition of the middle school in 1958 and the real department in 1975 and in 1980 with the integration of children with special needs for special education. With the 1993 Act, division into basic courses and extended courses in certain subjects was abolished, and limited access to team building was then the only division option.

Increasingly critical comparative OECD reports set in the early 2000’s. questioning the academic quality of the primary school, which increased the growth in the private schools, which in the opinion of many parents represented a stronger professionalism than the primary school.

Principles of teaching

The Danish education system has built up a number of characteristic teaching principles. They appear of the purpose formulations for primary and secondary education, where knowledge acquisition is accompanied by goals such as promoting the individual student’s versatile development and desire to learn more, as well as themes such as student participation and school-home collaboration. The view of values ​​and knowledge has changed over the years: Where in 1814 it was a matter of the pupils being “imparted” the “Knowledge and Skills that are necessary for them to become useful Citizens in the State”, the primary school must since 2006 prepare them “for further education”.

The content of teaching in both primary and lower secondary school must be general and not vocational. General education must benefit the students themselves and the community and, through the choice of material and methods, develop their professional knowledge, understanding of life, insight into society and competence in action; the content of the teaching must therefore express a coherent and holistic understanding of professionalism and learning.

The individual focus of the educations implies that the learner at several educational levels has the right to pedagogical support through teaching differentiation and guidance and to a certain extent also to special education.

Expenditure on special education has grown sharply in recent years. therefore, in 2012, inclusion was introduced in the primary school. The concept of inclusion was introduced with the Salamanca Declaration in 1994 and followed by the 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which legally guarantees the civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights of persons with disabilities. An inclusive teaching plan seeks to achieve that fewer students are separated, and more participate in the school and class community, regardless of individual differences originating in disability, religion, culture or sexuality.

The primary and lower secondary school’s special education, which from 2012 only includes the hitherto far-reaching special education, dates back to 1980, when special care was outsourced from the state to the counties. With the structural reform in 2007, the responsibility for most of the far-reaching special education was transferred to the municipalities.

With the inclusion reform in 2012, the teaching differentiation principle became even more relevant, because greater spread in the student prerequisites within the class framework requires greater variation in the organization and implementation of teaching. The forms of differentiation in primary school differ primarily with regard to the subject of differentiation: For many years, student differentiation was prevalent, as the student group was divided according to especially academic assumptions, but then it was the teaching that had to be adjusted according to differences in student prerequisites., tempo and immersion.

The fact that in Denmark there is a compulsory education and not compulsory schooling means that the pupil’s education does not necessarily have to take place in primary school, but can also take place in a free primary school or as home schooling, as long as the education is commensurate with what is generally required in primary school. The compulsory education was seven years, until in 1972 it became nine years old and expanded with 8th and 9th grade and in 2008 ten years, as the kindergarten class here became compulsory. Compulsory education begins on 1 August in the calendar year in which the child reaches the age of 6, and ends on 31 July at the end of the teaching in the 9th grade, but no later than when the young person has reached the age of 17; The municipal council has the supervisory responsibility for ensuring that all compulsory school children in the municipality fulfill the compulsory education. Since 1953, it has been enshrined in the constitution,

The class teacher is the key person in the school life of primary school students and must create and coordinate the learning opportunities for the individual class and student, both academically and socially. The concept of class teacher, which is often emphasized as specifically Danish, dates back to the 1870’s, but the class teacher’s tasks were not mentioned until 1993 in the Folkeskole Act as a result of the “class hour” from the 1975 Act being converted to the unscheduled “class time” and assigned to the class teacher’s area of ​​responsibility.

School-home co-operation or parental co-operation was formally included in the purpose of the folkeskole with the 1975 Act, according to which the folkeskole must solve its task “in co-operation with the parents” – a position that is preserved in the 1993 and 2006 purpose and which corresponds well the current focus on the individual’s development opportunities. An equal collaboration between school and parents is a basic condition for creating a good learning climate in balance between the teaching’s academic goals and discussion of the individual student’s social relations and general well-being in school.

In the Danish primary and lower secondary school, there is student co-determination, not student self-determination. It can be realized on several levels and levels. At the individual student level, the teacher and student must continuously collaborate on goals, working methods, methods and substance selection. The students thereby have a say in their own learning and everyday school life and can make a number of choices and decisions, eg choice of electives. The formal student influence is embodied in the student council structure, which dates back to 1970, when student representatives were given access to participate in school board meetings, which from 1990 were replaced by school board meetings. In 1974, students were given the right, but not the obligation, to form student councils, and in 1977 they were also given two non-voting representatives in the school commission, until this was abolished by a school board reform in 1989; however, the student representatives were not allowed to participate in the processing of personal cases. In 2000, the student council was given the right to appoint representatives to the committees etc. that the school sets up. The students themselves decide how the student council is to be composed and how it is to be elected.

A central principle is also the issue of freedom of method, ie. freedom for the teacher to choose the methods and methods that work in the given situation. That the freedom of method, which must not be confused with methodlessness, must always be exercised within the applicable framework, appears from the Public Schools Act, section 18, subsection. 4, which also states that “determination of working methods, methods and choice of subject must, as far as possible, take place in collaboration between the teachers and the students.” This wording was inserted in the 1975 Act and authorizes teachers’ freedom of method, because it enables the individual teacher under the school leader’s overall responsibility to choose the pedagogical paths to a given teaching goal and select the teaching material within the centrally and locally determined framework.

Internationalization and goal management

Internationalization has left its mark on many areas of education since the 1990’s, not least due to Denmark’s participation in the EU-led Bologna process, which began in 1999. The Bologna process identified a number of specific development areas in the EU countries based on a principle of comparability in educational structure, with a uniform structure in higher education with a three-year bachelor’s degree followed by a two-year master’s or master’s degree and then possibly a three-year PhD, a common mobility-promoting credit system based on the ECTS scale and comparable diplomas. Danish interaction with international fora also takes place under the auspices of the Nordic Council of Ministers, the Council of Europe and the OECD, which influences Danish educational planning through the PISA surveys in the primary and lower secondary school area.

Internationalization has left its mark on Danish grading, which throughout the education system follows a common grading scale, the 7-point scale, built in accordance with the international ECTS scale. The 7-point scale replaced the 13-point scale in 2006, which in 1963 replaced the Ørsted grade scale, which had been in use since the mid-1800’s. The different grading scales of different times have all had to live up to requirements for quantifiability and information value, as they have both been able to form the basis for calculating averages and be manageable for assessors, readable for buyers and motivating for pupils and students. AAAAAAAAAAAAA about grades.

In all areas of education, goal management has gained ground, for example in primary and lower secondary school in the form of Clear Goals from 2001, Common Goals from 2003 and 2009 and Simplified Common Goalsfrom 2013-15, pedagogical curricula in kindergartens in 2004 and in after-school care schemes in 2008 as well as contract and supervision goals for self-governing institutions. In a Danish context, goal management dates back to the 1980’s, when the central authorities in the period 1980-85 sent out a number of savings circulars to counties, municipalities and institutions on cost reduction and as management tools pointed to decentralization and incipient goal management. In 2000, goal management was strengthened by introducing development contracts in a number of areas and requiring evaluation, cf. the establishment of the Danish Evaluation Institute (EVA) in 1999, which has the task of evaluating all levels in the education system. The EVA replaced the Evaluation Center, established in 1992, which only evaluated higher education.

Goal management got further wind in the sails of the structural reform in 2007, where the number of municipalities was reduced from 271 to 98 and the counties replaced by regions, because ownership of many institutional forms on this occasion was changed to self-ownership with goal management and taximeter-funded state subsidies.

Given the great importance attached to education in Denmark, many efforts in the field of education have focused on supporting both equality and competitiveness. These efforts include implemented in the so-called 95% target, which dates back to 1993, when it was presented in R 3 Education for All. The target set in 2011 was that in 2015, 95% of a youth cohort should complete at least one youth education, and in 2020, 60% of the 2020 youth cohort should complete a higher education, of which 25% a long higher education. By 2011, the target had almost been reached with 92% having completed a youth education, 59% having completed a higher education and 25% having completed a long higher education.

Support schemes

Section 76 of the Constitution stipulates that compulsory schooling is free in primary and lower secondary school, and the free principle is largely maintained in the ordinary education system, while there is a participant payment of varying magnitude in the adult and continuing education system (VEU), including diplomas and master’s programs.

For both upper secondary and higher education, it is possible to obtain scholarships and student loans from the State Educational Support (SU). You are eligible when you turn 18, have Danish citizenship and are active in studies; however, a decision by the European Court of Justice in 2013 has ruled that foreign EU citizens who study in Denmark and at the same time pursue real and actual employment here cannot be denied SU. The scheme was therefore tightened up by reducing SU for students in upper secondary education and for home students in higher education, primarily to prevent an expected boom of foreign SU applicants, but also because the total annual SU expenditure since 2001 had doubled from 8, 4 to 17 billion. Danish students can bring their SU to another EU country if he or she can meet the residency requirement to have lived in Denmark for two years within the last ten years.

For participants in vocational adult and continuing education, there are two different support schemes: VEU allowance, which stands for adult and continuing education allowance, and the state’s adult education allowance (SVU), both with up to 80% of the highest unemployment benefit rate. VEU allowance is given for educations at vocational education level and SVU for education at primary school level, at upper secondary level or at certain higher adult educations, eg Open University.

Structure of the education system

Basic schooling

Basic school education can be obtained in primary school, in free primary schools, in after-school centers and by home tuition. In 2012, there were 561,423 pupils in the primary school, 104,687 pupils in free primary schools and 26,421 pupils in after-school centers, respectively, and only quite a few pupils were taught at home.

The primary school includes a one-year kindergarten class, a nine-year primary school and a one-year 10th grade class. Its purpose, which determines the teaching in the primary school, emphasizes the pupil’s knowledge acquisition, education of democracy and versatile development. Since 2005, there has been free school choice within and across municipal boundaries, so parents are entitled to have their child admitted to a primary school of their choice.

In 1999, it became mandatory for municipalities to offer Danish language instruction to 3-6-year-old bilingual children, and in 2002, the municipalities’ obligation to offer mother tongue instruction was abolished. In 2005, the municipalities were given extended access to refer bilingual pupils to schools other than the district school in order to counteract concentrations of bilingual pupils with weak Danish skills at individual schools.

Since the 1990’s, the professionalism of the folkeskole has been under pressure, as a number of international comparative studies showed that the academic level of the folkeskole was not satisfactory in relation to comparable countries. This led in the 00’s to a number of increased requirements for the academic level of teaching, including the introduction of electronic, adaptive tests in the school year 2006-07 in reading in 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th grade, in mathematics in 3rd and 6th grade. class, in English in 7th grade and in science in 8th grade; However, the tests were not fully realized until the spring of 2010. The criticism of the primary and lower secondary school and the municipal amalgamation of the structural reform, which enabled a significant number of school amalgamations and closures, created increased growth in the private school sector.

An elementary school reform in 2014 is expected to bring changes in both structure and content. Thus, the students’ number of hours is expanded both in the subjects as well as with new topics such as homework help and exercise. The municipalities will have the opportunity to approve new electives themselves, the school librarian function will be opened for non-teacher graduates, rules regarding. the quality report and the joint management of schools are simplified, and pedagogical advice is made voluntary.

The teaching ends with the primary school’s final exams and 10th grade exams, from August 2014 probably called 9th grade exams and 10th grade exams. In 2006, the final exams were made compulsory, and the number of exam subjects grew, so that the previously applied exclusion principle from middle school and high school exams was reintroduced. In the same year, group tests were abolished at all levels of the education system, but reintroduced in 2011 after the change of government.

10th grade

A controversial field since the mid-1990’s is the 10th grade, which with the 1975 Act replaced the 3rd real class. This led in 1999 to a content revision and new 10th grade exams instead of the primary school’s extended final exams, but still on a par with the old high school diploma level. Politically, however, many saw the 10th grade as a delaying part of the education process, and attempts were made on several occasions to change it to a more vocational class for the weakest students. But it went against the wishes of the free school sector, especially the after-school centers, and the 10th grade is still sought after by almost half of a year group (2013: 48%). Most of the country’s municipalities have, for both financial and pedagogical reasons, gathered the pupils in 10th grade at one of the municipality’s schools or at a 10th grade center.

Continuing education

The afterschools, which for many years mainly picked up its pupils from rural areas with few educational opportunities after 7th grade, from 1967 had the opportunity to offer compulsory education and hold primary school final exams, and it also attracted young people from the city who wanted a change of environment. Although the after-schools’ teaching in the traditional school subjects is similar to that of the primary and lower secondary school, it often has a musical-creative or practical starting point, and as the schools have also prioritized the test-oriented part of the teaching, the school form’s success has contributed to maintaining a fairly stable number of graduates in the 10th grade exams.

Free schools

The free schools are financed partly by parental payment and partly by state subsidies – the so-called coupling percentage, which is calculated as part of the average pupil expenditure in primary and lower secondary school, and which in 2010-14 has been reduced from 75% to 71%. The free schools can partly be private schools, many of which are rooted in the high school, which was a child of the Enlightenment, partly free schools and primary schoolsetc., which stems from the free school tradition, which dates back to the mid-1800’s. and is inspired by NFS Grundtvig and C. Kold. Since the late 1990’s, the sector’s growth has triggered stronger political control in parallel with the primary school. Thus, the free schools must meet the current requirements in both the Free Schools Act and the Ministry of Education’s annual supervision plan. In 2005, requirements were introduced for the preparation of final goals, sub-goals and curricula, cf. the Folkeskole’s Common Objectives, as well as for evaluation, and in 2006 the primary and lower secondary school’s final exams became compulsory also in the free schools, which no longer have to apply for the test. Ministry of Education if they do not want to hold the tests. AAAAAAAAAAAAA about primary and lower secondary school.

Youth education

In 2012, 24,257 completed the general upper secondary school (hxx), 6,158 completed the two-year upper secondary school, 7,712 business upper secondary schools (hhx) and 3,695 technical upper secondary schools (htx), while 32,645 completed the main courses, etc. Almost all young people start a youth education, but some drop out along the way, the fewest in the upper secondary educations with approximately 13% and most in the vocational youth educations with approximately 28% on the basic course and 21% on the main course (2011).

High school education

The matriculation examination was introduced at the University of Copenhagen around 1630 and in 1850 transferred to the Latin schools. Subject congestion in 1871 led to a division into a mathematical-scientific line and a linguistic line, which in 1903 was divided into a classical language and a new language line. From 1875, girls were given the opportunity to take the matriculation examination. In 1958, the high school got a new structure with only two lines, respectively. the mathematical and the new language and branch division after 1st grade, and at the same time the middle school, which had been an important part of the high school’s recruitment basis, fell away. After that, the high schools could until 1973 offer a few traces of the real department, but the scheme was gradually phased out and compensated by the introduction of hf in 1967. With the high school reform of 1987, the branch choice was replaced by an optional system within the linguistic and mathematical line.

In 2005, the line and optional structure was replaced by semi-annual basic courses with subsequent specialization in 2-year specialization courses. On the same occasion, the two-year hf was retained, the one-year hhx was abolished, and the VUCs were given the opportunity to offer a two-year student course. Subsequently, a number of content and structural changes have taken place on an ongoing basis, including In 2012, an average pupil ceiling of 28 was introduced in all upper secondary full-time educations. With the increasing proportions of a youth cohort seeking upper secondary education, the choice between elite high school or mass high school has become increasingly intrusive. The upper secondary educations continue to be preparatory, general – educational and in principle give access to the higher educations.

Vocational education

The vocational educations (VET), which include vocational, mercantile and technical vocational educations, have 12 common entrances, where students must choose vocational education from the beginning. Since 2007, vocational education also includes social and health education (SOSU), basic vocational education (EGU) and production schools.

VET, which provides direct vocational competence and to a certain extent also study competence for e.g. business academy educations, are exchange educations with approximately 30-50% school activities and approximately 50-70% internship, either in an internship or in school internship. Not least the lack of internships has given rise to concern, which is why from 2006 the opportunity for master’s training was reintroduced, where practical training in a company in the first part of the training course completely or partially replaces the basic course, so that a vocational education can then be completed either by school access route, internship access route or as a master teacher. However, the vocational educations are still characterized by a large drop-out rate and a shortage of internships, so a reform of the vocational educations is expected to be implemented in 2014.

The production schools offer workshop-oriented teaching to young people under the age of 25 who have not completed a youth education. The school form, like the day colleges for adults over the age of 25, originated from the difficult labor market conditions in the early 1980’s. For the first many years, the two school forms were authorized by the same law, but the production schools were separated into their own law in 1999, and in 2002 the day colleges were placed under the Public Information Act.

The free youth education (FUU), which existed from 1995 to 2002 and was an individually composed two-three-year education, had a drop-out-limiting purpose. In 2007, the related specially designed youth education (STU) was introduced for young people with developmental disabilities and other young people with special needs and little opportunity to complete a traditional youth education; a total of 1300 students have completed an STU since the start of the program, of which 743 in 2011.

With the structural reform in 2007, the content management for all youth educations was brought together in the state, and the forms of institution that did not already have self-ownership were transferred to this and were taximeter-financed. The conversion to self-ownership led to an even greater focus on the finances of the individual institutions, and mergers between general upper secondary schools, commercial upper secondary schools and technical upper secondary schools gained momentum. The institutions’ operating conditions became more heterogeneous, and the upper secondary schools in the so-called Outlying Denmark, eg the southwestern Jutland districts, had to operate with higher class quotas and a more limited range of study options, even though some financial equalization was realized through a support fund established by the upper secondary schools themselves. The dilemma of creating equal access to youth education throughout the country thus continues to exist. See also vocational education.

Higher education

The higher educations are divided into short, medium and long higher educations with a duration of resp. under 3 years, 3-4 years and more than 4 years. They are offered at business academies, vocational colleges, universities and mechanical engineering schools. Number of admissions per On 31 July 2013, a total of 64,746 students were distributed, with 10,829 in the business academy programs, 23,924 in the professional bachelor programs, 29,324 in the bachelor programs and 669 in the maritime programs.

Admission requirements are everywhere a high school diploma and for certain educations a vocational education. All institutions, as the supreme authority, have a board of directors that must look after the institution’s interests, including laying down guidelines for its organization, long-term activities and development.

The short higher educations include the laboratory technician, market economist and computer scientist education.

The medium-term higher education includes journalist, primary school teacher, educator, social worker and nurse. The universities’ bachelor programs also belong to this group of programs.

The long higher educations include master’s educations within e.g. humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, medicine, engineering, theology and business economics. As a superstructure to the master’s program, a three-year research program has been introduced, which from the 1960’s led to a licentiate degree and from 1992 to a PhD degree. The master’s programs are traditional educations with the theological degree (cand.theol.) As the oldest from 1629; then follows the legal (cand.jur.) from 1736 and the medical ( from 1788. Master’s programs were first introduced in Denmark in 1994.

In the 2000’s. The higher education institutions have been characterized by mergers at all levels, and self-ownership has been introduced where it was not already the prevailing form of organization, cf. collection of course departments in 22 Centers for Higher Education (CVUs). In 2004, the unconditional CVUs were given the opportunity to call themselves “University Colleges”, but the CVUs’ lives became short-lived, as already in 2007 they were gathered in vocational colleges.

The vocational colleges started per. 1.1.2008 and came from the beginning to include more than 60,000 students and 6000 teachers. At the same time, it was decided that the business academies could partly offer bachelor superstructures and partly be part of the vocational colleges; but in 2013, they were again given the right to an independent supply of education, which largely leaves the vocational colleges as an education producer solely for public professions.

The universities have also been part of the merger wave, even before it was required by law. Thus, the University of Southern Denmark was formed in 1998 by merging Sydjysk Universitetscenter, Handelshøjskole Syd, Ingeniørhøjskole Syd and Odense Universitet. Development contracts were introduced in the year 2000 with the aim of creating stronger goal management and a more efficient evaluation practice, and with the university reform in 2003, the universities became independent institutions with a taximeter scheme and block grants. See also higher education.

Adult education

The adult education programs form a motley bouquet and were previously characterized by many uncoordinated initiatives. It therefore brought a significant clarification when a coherent adult and continuing education system was established in 2001, divided into three different types of education: general, vocational and higher adult and continuing education (VEU).

General VEU includes preparatory adult education (FVU), general adult education (AVU) as well as the upper secondary individual subjects at hf, hhx, htx and stx.

Vocational VEU relates to labor market educations (AMU) and VET individual subjects, etc.

Higher VEU includes individual subjects in the higher educations, open education, eg the merit teacher education, as well as diploma and master’s educations.

This is an economically heavy sector. Thus, the 2014 Finance Act’s annual net expenditure budget for all three types of VEU amounted to almost DKK 7.4 billion. Since 2010, the activities in general and business-oriented VEU have been gathered in 13 VEU centers to create greater clarity in the public offers for unskilled and skilled people on vocational-oriented adult and continuing education and ensure coordination of company-seeking work, marketing and needs assessment, etc.

To illustrate the scope of the sector, just mention the number of year students (2011) for some of the major VEU programs, namely FVU with 34,091 students, AVU with 123,824, single-subject hf with 104,987, dyslexia teaching with 20,575 and Danish teaching for foreigners with 72,928 students; a total of 1,357,478 course participants annually in all VEU programs. A current problem area is the AMU courses, where the number of students in 2010-12 fell from 1,002,550 to 617,276, ie. a reduction of approximately 40%. The decrease is probably mainly due to the fact that the AMU supply is economically sensitive, as it is the companies’ economic expectations that determine the number of students. In upper secondary VEU, the number of students (2011) in diploma programs was 44,819, in master’s programs 9,449 and in HD/ED programs 18,276. Also see adult education.

Folk high schools and other public information

In Denmark, there is a long-standing tradition of enlightening, non-competence-based teaching disseminated by e.g. folk high schools and information associations.

In 2011, folk high schools that offer general education for adults had a total of 8,281 full-time students at the country’s almost 70 folk high schools. The schools are exam-free and decide on their own ideas and academic content. In line with independent schools and continuation schools, the folk high schools are part of the public information tradition, which dates back to NFS Grundtvig and has influenced Danish cultural and business life both locally and nationally. The first folk high school was established in Rødding in 1844, and the number of folk high schools grew, especially in the 1860’s, with Askov (1865), Testrup (1866) and Vallekilde (1865). The first workers’ college was established in Esbjerg in 1910, the next in Roskilde in 1930. Indre Mission has also established colleges.

While some colleges have chosen to remain general, many have specialized professionally, such as sports colleges, lifestyle colleges or senior colleges. The folk high schools have so far followed the provisions for the independent schools, but a new folk high school law is expected to be passed in 2014. It must, among other things, expand the folk high schools’ opportunities to reach an increased target group, eg the unemployed, to run local information activities and to collaborate with educational institutions with qualifying educations. See also folk high school.

The public education tradition also includes information associations, evening schools, Folkeuniversitetet and other forms of leisure education. The first information association was AOF (Arbejdernes Oplysningsforbund), founded in 1925. Later followed FOF (Folkeligt Oplysningsforbund) and LOF (Liberalt Oplysningsforbund). At Folkeuniversitetet, established in 1898, researchers disseminate scientific work results; The teaching takes place not only in the university towns, but also locally through a network of almost 100 local committees. The legal basis for the activities is contained in the Public Information Act. AAAAAAAAAAAAA about public education.

ETYMOLOGY: The name Denmark is known from the ninth century Old English Denamearc. It is mentioned for the first time in Denmark on the runestone Lille Jellingsten approximately 950 in genitive tanmarkaR, the derivative is the popular name Daner, the derivative field in an older meaning ‘border forest, border area’, either referring to the border with the Saxons in the south most often assumed or to the border to Småland in Sweden in the northeast.


CAPITAL CITY: Copenhagen

POPULATION: 5,748,769 (Source: COUNTRYaah)

AREA: 42,931 km²


RELIGION: Lutherans (members of the People’s Church) 83.1%, Muslims approximately 2.3%, Catholics 0.6%, others approximately 14%

COIN: Danish kroner


ENGLISH NAME: Denmark, Kingdom of Denmark

POPULATION COMPOSITION: Danish citizens 95.2%, other Europeans (incl. Turks) 3.0%, Asians 1.0%, Africans 0.5%, others 0.3%

GDP PER residents: 46,800 euros (2015)

LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 78.6 years, women 82.5 years (2015)



Denmark is a nation and state located between 54 ° and 58 ° north latitude and 8 ° and 15 ° east longitude. In addition to Denmark itself, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, both located in the northern part of the Atlantic Ocean, are part of a commonwealth.

Denmark consists of the peninsula Jutland and 443 named islands, of which the three largest are Zealand (with the capital Copenhagen), the North Jutland Island and Funen.

The North Sea borders Denmark to the west, while the islands with the Belt Sea and the Sound separate the Baltic Sea from the Kattegat. The Danish islands are thus on the sailing route from the Baltic Sea to the world’s oceans and at the same time on the traffic route from the Nordic countries to Central Europe. Throughout the country’s history, this location has shaped the conditions for development in terms of trade as well as political and military strategy. The country is administratively divided into 98 municipalities and five regions; The archipelago Ertholmene northeast of Bornholm with Christiansø as the main island is outside the municipal and regional division and is administered by the Ministry of Defense.

Most recently in the 900’s. Denmark was united into one kingdom. It has been an independent country since then and is thus one of the oldest nation states in Europe.

The form of government is constitutional monarchy with a king or reigning queen as head of state; this appoints and can dismiss the head of government, titled Prime Minister, who is the real political leader of the democratically well-ordered representative people’s government.

The production system is capitalist (economically liberal) with private ownership of companies and production. However, the state and other public authorities play a significant regulatory role and provide a comprehensive service to the citizens.

Denmark is a developed industrial country. On an international scale, the standard of living is high, and the differences between rich and poor are smaller than in many of the countries with which Denmark is traditionally compared.

Denmark is a member of the European Union (EU). Economically and politically, the proximity to Germany has traditionally oriented the country to the south, but a close collaboration with Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland, with which Denmark is in a passport union, also connects Denmark to the Nordic countries.

The country has a total coastline of approximately 7300 km and a border with Germany of 68 km. It is a distinct lowland, the highest point Møllehøj is only 170.86 masl, but the landscape is hilly and varied; only exceptionally one finds untouched nature, everywhere the view is marked by human efforts. Only on Bornholm and Ertholmene are bedrock found, otherwise the country is characterized by fertile clayey and sandy moraine landscapes. Jutland southwest of the main condition line is one large even surface, which slopes approximately 4 o/oo to the west, only broken by hill islands of the former landscape.

Denmark is poor in mineral raw materials. However, lime is significantly mined for cement production, and the extraction of oil and gas in the North Sea is greater than the country’s consumption of these raw materials. In addition, sand and gravel are dug for use in industry and construction.

Most of the country, approximately 66%, are cultivated as agriculture, etc., 16% are covered by forest and dry habitats (eg heath), while wetlands, lakes and streams make up approximately 7%. Buildings and traffic areas, etc. covers the remaining approximately 11%. The climate is temperate and the precipitation is usually sufficient to cover the water demand.

The population is approximately 5.7 million (2016) and the population density approximately 132 pr. km2. approximately 550,000 have immigrated from other countries; in addition, there is a small German minority in Southern Jutland. The language is everywhere Danish, and the vast majority have become members of the Protestant national church at infant baptism. Denmark is therefore nationally and culturally very homogeneous.

85% of the population lives in cities. Copenhagen and Frederiksberg together have 571,000 residents (2016). The second largest city is Aarhus with 330,000 residents. The whole country is covered by a network of medium-sized cities.

Denmark has a well-developed agriculture and produces a significant surplus of processed foods that are exported to other countries. Industrial production is very versatile in relation to the size of the country. Among the products that have made Denmark internationally known, in addition to agricultural products, can be mentioned beer, medicine, furniture, ships and goods from advanced metal industry.

The Danish labor market employed DKK 2.75 million. persons in 2016. Of this, agriculture and fisheries employ only 2.9%, while industry employs 10.5%. approximately 30% are employed in the public sector.

Denmark is well supplied with traffic facilities. The road network is good all over the country, rail and air traffic provide fast transport, and the islands are connected by ferry routes and many bridges. Kastrup near Copenhagen is the country’s large international airport, which is also a hub for air traffic to and from the other Scandinavian countries.

The Danish economy is open, and trade with the outside world is of great importance. Imports and exports of goods and services thus amount to approximately 47% and 53% of the country’s GDP (2016). About 70% of trade takes place with the other EU countries; the rest is distributed among a very large number of trading partners, of which the USA and Norway are the most important.

Latest Prime Ministers of Denmark

See the full overview here

Period Prime minister
2001-2009 Anders Fogh Rasmussen
2009-2011 Lars Løkke Rasmussen
2011-2015 Helle Thorning-Schmidt
2015-2019 Lars Løkke Rasmussen
2019- Mette Frederiksen

Latest rulers in Denmark

See the full overview here

Period Ruler
1906-1912 Frederik 8.
1912-1947 Christian 10.
1947-1972 Frederik 9.
1972- Margrethe 2.

Denmark – the royal house

The royal house means, in a broader sense, the family of the ruling head of state, in a narrower sense the circle of closely related royal persons who are subject to special rules, which are laid down in Article 21 of the Royal Act.

In the case of Denmark, the circle in 2016 includes, in addition to Queen Margrethe, Prince Henrik II; Crown Prince Frederik and his wife, Crown Princess Mary, and their four children, as well as Prince Joachim and his wife, Princess Marie, and their two children (including Joachim’s two sons by 1st marriage). In addition, all the princes and princesses with spouses who are entitled to the throne. These persons may not leave the country or enter into marriage without the permission of the Queen (monarch). Prince Nikolais and Prince Felix’s mother, Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg, resigned from the royal family at her civil wedding in 2007.

From electoral kingdom to hereditary kingdom

The Danish royal house can be traced back to Gorm the Old (buried 958 in Jelling in Jutland) and his son Harald 1. Bluetooth, who moved the royal seat to Zealand. The two are the first kings who can certainly be time and place in connection with a unification of Denmark. The kingdom was an electoral kingdom limited to the royal house, but not to the male line. Thus Svend 2. Estridsen was the nephew of Knud 2. the Great. The royal house reached a peak with the Valdemars, where its influence extended over most of the Baltic Sea area, and again later with Queen Margrethe I, who united the Nordic countries in the Kalmar Union.

After the extinction of the direct lines, in 1448 Count Christian of Oldenburg was elected King of Denmark under the name Christian I and also Duke of Schleswig and Count of Holstein. For six generations, including three women, he descended from the royal family. His direct descendants, the Oldenburg line, led as kings since the election of Frederik I in 1523 alternately the name Christian and Frederik and ruled until Frederik VII died childless in 1863. Until 1660/61 the electoral kingdom existed, but by the Enevoldsarveregeringsakten introduced Frederik 3 Inheritance kingdom for Denmark and Norway. The Royal Act regulated the conditions of the royal house, and these clauses remained in force after the constitutional monarchy was introduced under Frederik VII by the Constitution of June 5, 1849.

The constitutional monarchy

Prince Christian of Glücksborg, who descended from the royal house in a straight line, became heir to the throne by the Inheritance Act 1853, and after Frederik VII’s death in 1863 he took over as Christian IX and thus the Glücksborg line in a difficult period for Denmark.

Christian IX was nicknamed Europe’s father-in-law, as his daughter Alexandra was married to King Edward VII of England, his daughter Dagmar to Emperor Alexander III of Russia and his daughter Thyra to Duke Ernst August of Cumberland. When Christian IX’s son Vilhelm also became Greek king in 1863 under the name George I, a large part of Europe’s royal houses could gather at Christian IX for family gatherings at Fredensborg Castle. In 1905, his grandson Carl became King of Norway under the name Haakon 7.

Frederik VI succeeded his father as king in 1906, but had only a short reign, dying in 1912. His eldest son, Christian VI, ruled until 1947 and made history as the king who rode across the border in 1920. to the reclaimed Southern Jutland, and as the national gathering point during the occupation 1940-45.

His eldest son, Frederik IX, was married in 1935 to Princess Ingrid of Sweden, who was the daughter of King Gustav VI Adolf. He ascended the throne in 1947, and his work as king strengthened the constitutional monarchy, accepting that the king was without political power. As head of state, the regent participates in government formations, formally heads the government and represents Denmark abroad. The Royal House’s understanding of these conditions and the circle’s close contact with the population has meant that its position is strongly grounded.

By the Succession Act of 27 March 1953, the inheritance law of the Glücksborg line was last established, after which the throne is inherited among the descendants of Christian X. By law, sons precede daughters, but if there are no sons, the throne is inherited by the eldest daughter. The heir to the throne, Princess Margrethe, who – despite a later widespread misunderstanding – has never held the title of Crown Princess, could therefore under the name Queen Margrethe II after her father’s death in 1972 take over the throne as the first woman since Margrete I died in 1412.

Queen Margrethe II, who on 10 June 1967 married Henrik, Prince of Denmark, born Count Henri Marie Jean André de Laborde de Monpezat, took over the throne on 14 January 1972. The regent couple have two sons. The eldest son is Crown Prince Frederik, married May 14, 2004 to Mary Elizabeth Donaldson, Crown Princess Mary; The couple has children Prince Christian, Princess Isabella and twins Prince Vincent and Princess Josephine. The youngest son is Prince Joachim, married in 1995 to Alexandra Christina Manley, Princess Alexandra, now Countess of Frederiksborg. The couple divorced in 2005. In the marriage there are two sons, Prince Nikolai and Prince Felix. Prince Joachim married on 24 May 2008 to Marie Agathe Odile Cavallier, Princess Marie; The couple has children Prince Henrik and Princess Athena.

The Queen has two sisters, Princess Benedict, who is married to Richard, Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, and Queen Anne-Marie, married to ex-King Constantine II of Greece.

Denmark – national coat of arms

the national coat of arms is found in two forms, the small national coat of arms, now called the state coat of arms, and the large national coat of arms or royal coat of arms, now called the royal coat of arms. The two weapons are used by royal houses and state institutions as state characteristics and are an expression of supremacy. The coat of arms is in principle the coat of arms known from the time of the Valdemars, three lions surrounded by hearts. The royal coat of arms, which is a composite shield often kept by savages in a coat of arms and surrounded by chains of order, has been altered several times, most recently by royal resolution in 1972.

In 1959, it was decided that the royal coat of arms be used by the monarch, by the royal house and the court, as well as by the bodyguard, while the state authorities otherwise use the state coat of arms. The national coat of arms includes the crown, which was originally open, but from 1624 is reproduced with hangers and a royal apple with a cross. After 1671, Christian V’s crown is the model. The crown symbolizes both royal power and state power. Reproductions of the coat of arms in seals and coins and in connection with the exercise of authority claim throne rights as well as the sovereignty of the king and the state. A chosen prince carried the same weapon as the king; after 1660 all heirs did so. The coat of arms and the crown are legally protected against abuse.

When the supplier name is stated, the name Royal Court Supplier must use the crown; previously, there was also the term Supplier to the Royal Danish Court, which had to use the crown, while Royal Court suppliers could use the royal coat of arms or the crown alone. The National Archives deals with cases concerning the use of the national coat of arms.

Historical development

The content of the king’s arms has varied over time. The shield included coats of arms for areas that the king at times ruled over or claimed. In the Middle Ages, the younger sons of kings carried one or two lions as an expression of vassal status. The two Schleswig lions are known from 1245 and in 1460 became part of the king’s coat of arms just like the Holstein nettle leaf, which was originally the Schauenburger’s family coat of arms.

The Halland counts, one of the illegitimate lines of the royal family, led in the 1200’s. a lion over a number of hearts. Christian I in 1449 added a lion over nine hearts in his coat of arms for the title “the Goths”, probably as part of his efforts to dominate Sweden, where the patriotic myth of the Swedes as descendants of the victorious Goths contributed greatly to national self-understanding. For the title “de Venders” was added in 1440 the dragon-like lindorm, which can symbolize paganism and thus allude to the previously won victory over the pagan vendors. The two Oldenburg beams came with Christian I, and in the king’s coat of arms from the time of Frederik I, Delmenhorst’s cross appears. Stormarn’s swan with a crown around its neck is known from 1476. The Dannebrog cross became a component of the king’s coat of arms fromErik 7. of the time of Pomerania; the same applies to Norway’s ax-bearing lion and Sweden’s coat of arms. The three kroner was actually Sweden’s weapon, but also came to symbolize the Kalmar Union’s three Nordic kingdoms. After the dissolution of the union, Christian III from 1546 carried the three kroner as a weapon of pretension, and Danish-Norwegian kings in this way marked a political will to also dominate Sweden. The use of the three-crown weapon was challenged by the Swedish side, especially in the 1500’s.

Fields for Bavaria and Pomerania appeared under the kings who descended from here. The conquest of the Ditmarsken 1559 was marked by a field with a rider. Iceland was from the 1500’s. represented by a crowned stockfish, but from 1903 by a falcon. The Faroe Islands’ old coat of arms, the ram, was combined from 1668 with the king’s, and the Greenlandic bear is known from 1665. In 1819, a horse’s head was inserted for Lauenburg. Furthermore, the following weapons have been used: Gotland’s Agnus Dei, Øsel’s eagle, the crown of Fehmarn and the dragon of Bornholm. Vesselhorn, sometimes ermine-clad, studded with peacock feathers, was a royal helmet from the late 1200’s. to the 1420’s.

Denmark – crown regalia

The Danish regalia, the monarch’s sign of dignity, count crown, scepter (ruler’s staff), apple (globe), national sword and salve box. The oldest is Christian III’s national sword from 1551; since approximately In 1680, the regalia were stored at Rosenborg Castle.

The regalia were worn at the coronation of the election kings, where clergy and nobility put the crown on the king’s head. After the introduction of autocracy in 1660, the coronation was replaced by the anointing, to which the king met in the church with the crown on his head and was consecrated to his calling with an anointing of oil. For Christian 5.’s anointing in 1671, a new crown and a throne of narwhal stand (unicorn horn) were made. With the Constitution of 1849, the anointings ceased.

The regalia also include the chains and signs of the Order of the Elephant and the Dannebrog, which the monarch wears on special occasions.

Denmark – national anthem

Denmark has two officially recognized national anthems:

King Christian stood by the high mast used to mark the royal house’s anniversaries; the text is by Johannes Ewald (1779), the melody of uncertain origin, adapted by Friedrich Kuhlau (1828).

At national events are usually used There is a lovely country with lyrics by Adam Oehlenschläger (approximately 1819) and melody by Hans Ernst Krøyer (approximately 1835).

Denmark – constitution

The cornerstone of Denmark’s constitution is the Constitution of the Kingdom of Denmark of 5.6.1953; it is the result of a constitutional development that began in 1849 with the introduction of a two-chamber parliament and of constitutional human rights. Today, Denmark has a unicameral system, a parliamentary system of government and a queen that has only formal and ceremonial functions. The Constitution has not been amended since 1953, but legislation and treaties have undergone significant changes in the constitutional structure, not least as a result of Danish membership of the EU.

Ruled until 1849

The Constitution of 5.6.1849 (June Constitution) ended the system of government that had prevailed since the introduction of autocracy in 1660. During the autocracy, the king held an unusually strong position by European standards. He not only headed the government and administration, but also formally presided over the country’s supreme court, the Supreme Court, established in 1661. None of the people who participated in the country’s administration had formal control over the king’s exercise of power.

During the 1700’s. significant changes took place in the state organization. Under the influence of French political philosophy, the independence of the judiciary from the king and the rest of the executive was recognized in practice; the king did not participate in the work of the Supreme Court; specially appointed persons participated in the state administration.

The first steps towards democratic representation were taken in 1835-36, when the Advisory Provincial Estates (the Advisory Estates Assemblies) met for the first time. The debate here served as a preparation for the constitutional system introduced in 1848-49 by the Constituent Assembly. The fact that Denmark received a new constitution on 5 June 1849, which replaced the autocratic system with a constitutional monarchy, was partly due to the simultaneous development in Europe and partly to internal problems in the Danish monarchy.

The Constitution of 1849

The Constitution of 5.6.1849 is based on the principle of distribution of power, that the legislative power belongs to the king and the Riksdag jointly, the executive power belongs to the king as before, and the judiciary is with the independent courts. The Riksdag consisted of two chambers, the Landsting and the Folketing. Every man who has reached the age of 30 had the right to vote in the Folketing; exceptions were servants, recipients of poverty relief, punished and bankrupt. Although the right to vote by this measure was common, only approximately 13-14% of the adult population eligible to vote. Everyone who had the right to vote in the Folketing had the right to vote in the Folketing, but the election of county council members took place by electors., and eligibility was limited to persons who had reached the age of 40 and had some significant tax liability.

The Constitution of 1849 ensured the protection of personal liberty, as any detainee was to be brought before a judge within 24 hours. At the same time, freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion were ensured. The Constitution also guaranteed everyone the right to public support and to free education. The Constitution also ensured the protection of the inviolability of the home and the protection of property rights. The constitution defined the Evangelical Lutheran Church as “the Danish national church”, and it was decided that as such it should be supported by the state.

The king’s powers were significantly limited, but the monarchy retained some positions. Bills were to be passed by the two chambers of the Reichstag, but further required the king’s ratification to be valid. The king himself elected his ministers, and the king represented the state in relation to abroad.

The courts gained independence in their functions, but judges were still employed by the king. The Constitution promised the introduction of juries in major criminal cases and in political criminal cases; however, this promise was not fulfilled until the Administration of Justice Act of 1916.

Amendments to the Constitution 1866-1953

Denmark’s relations with Prussia have played a significant role in the development of constitutional law, especially in connection with the Schleswig-Holstein question, on which special rules were drawn up in 1854-63. In 1866, a new constitution was adopted for the reduced territory of Denmark, which remained after the defeat of the German powers in 1864. The constitution of 1866 limited the scope of ordinary male suffrage by introducing a privileged suffrage to the Landsting.

In 1915, a constitutional reform was adopted. Ordinary suffrage was introduced, so that women and servants were also given the right to vote. While since 1849 there had been majority elections in the individual constituencies, in 1918 an electoral system was introduced that combined proportional representation elections with elections in individual constituencies. Although since the turn of the century there had been calls for the introduction of referendums partly in the Social Democrats and partly in the Radical Left, which had government power during World War I, the Constitution of 1915 contained only provisions on referendums in connection with constitutional amendments.

An amendment to the constitution in 1920 adapted the 1915 constitution to the expansion of Danish territory that followed the return of Southern Jutland to Denmark. At the same time, a provision was inserted according to which the king could not declare war or make peace without the consent of the Riksdag.

In 1939, the Riksdag passed a new constitution, but it was rejected as it did not gain sufficient support in the referendum. The Constitution of 1915/20 was therefore the one in force during World War II. During the German occupation, significant deviations from the constitutional system were necessary; thus, legislative instruments replaced certain laws after the resignation of the government on 29.8.1943. The legislation was issued by the department heads.

The Constitution of 1953

After the end of World War II, work began on a constitutional reform, but it was not until 1953 that a result was achieved that could receive sufficient political support. The Constitution of 5.6.1953 abolished the Landsting and reaffirmed parliamentarism as a principle for the composition of the government. Since 1901, the Danish king had accepted that he could not appoint a government that would be met with distrust by the majority in the Folketing; but it was not until the 1953 constitution that it was explicitly stipulated that the Folketing could express its distrust of a government which, in that case, must either resign or call elections.

The 1953 Constitution maintains and expands the protection of human rights. The protection of personal liberty was extended to automatic judicial control in the case of administrative deprivation of liberty, eg by insane people. And the experiences of the war were the background for an explicit ban on deprivation of liberty due to descent, religion or political opinion.

The Constitution of 1953 also applies to the Faroe Islands and Greenland. On a special legal basis, these two areas have achieved a relatively far-reaching self-government, so-called home rule (Faroe Islands in 1948, Greenland in 1979).

Attached to the Constitution of 1953 is a special law on the succession to the throne, according to which women have also inherited the Danish throne. After King Frederik IX’s death in 1972, his eldest daughter took the throne as Queen Margrethe 2. As head of state, the queen represents Denmark externally and heads the government, but has no political power.

The Folketing and the government

The most important political bodies are the Folketing and the government.

The Folketing consists of 179 members, of which 2 are elected in Greenland and 2 in the Faroe Islands. The other 175 members are elected in Denmark. The nominated candidates are elected on the basis of the proportional representation method, but the candidates are nominated in single constituencies, and the majority of the elected therefore have a local affiliation reminiscent of majority elections in single-member constituencies. The 135 out of 175 members of parliament are elected on the basis of their number of votes in the local constituencies, while the remaining 40 members are elected in order to ensure an overall proportional representation of the parties to which the candidates are affiliated. It is possible to stand outside the political parties.

The voting age does not appear in the Constitution, but is adopted by a special law that must be approved by a referendum. The voting age has been 18 since 1978. Immigrants who do not have Danish citizenship do not have the right to vote in the Folketing, but since 1989 they have had the right to vote and have been eligible for election in municipal elections.

The government is appointed by the Queen and consists of the Prime Minister and the other ministers, each with their own area of ​​responsibility; individual ministers may be without any area of ​​responsibility (ie minister without portfolio). The election of the Prime Minister and other ministers is bound by the party composition of the Folketing. The government that is appointed must not have a majority in the Folketing against it. A newly appointed government takes office without necessarily having obtained prior direct approval.

Legislation. The Folketing and the government are cooperating on legislation. Bills are presented in the Folketing, where they are considered three times. Bills submitted contain not only the proposed legal text, but also the proposer’s motives for the proposal. These motives, together with the minutes of the discussions in the Folketing and its committees, may have significance in a subsequent interpretation of the adopted law.

Once a bill has been passed by the Folketing, it must be ratified by the Queen and the government. The Queen does not take an independent position, but follows the government’s recommendation.

Elections to the Folketing take place at least every four years, but the Prime Minister is empowered to dissolve the Folketing and thus force an election. This power plays a major role, as the Prime Minister and the government over the years have often been in a weak position in relation to the Folketing. Most governments since World War II have been minority governments without permanent cooperation agreements, and the government has therefore had to implement its program through conciliation on a case-by-case basis with parties outside the government. A threat of dissolution of the Folketing has sometimes motivated parties that could predict a poor election result to enter into a settlement with the government.

The government has a number of other powers which are directly enshrined in the Constitution. It is thus the government that conducts the country’s foreign policy, but the Folketing controls the government’s activities. In the case of foreign policy steps of major importance, the government must consult with a special committee in parliament, the Foreign Policy Board. Prior to the conclusion of treaties, consent from the Folketing may be legally necessary.

A special position is occupied by the cooperation that unfolds within the EU. Under constitutional law, accession to the EU (then EC) took place on the basis of Article 20 of the Constitution, which deals with foreign policy co-operation, which involves the transfer of constitutional powers to so-called supranational organizations. After § 20 requires the establishment of this intense form of international cooperation that the parliament has a majority of at least 5/6 members; if this is not the case, a referendum is needed. Such a referendum was held in October 1972, and a significant majority of the population turned out for Denmark to join the EC. A referendum on the Maastricht Treaty (1992) was also subsequently held,The Edinburgh Decision (1993), the Treaty of Amsterdam (1998), the third phase of Economic and Monetary Union (2000), the Single European Patent Court (2014) and the transformation of the legal reservation into an optional system (2015).

Once parliament has passed a bill, a minority of 1/3 of its members request a referendum of the Constitution § 42. A minority in parliament have the opportunity to check if the majority has just passed a bill that also matched by a majority in the population. If the referendum does not prove to be the case, the bill lapses.

The state administration is subject to the individual ministers, who, on the basis of law, issue executive orders that further regulate the individual areas. Part of the state administration is granted a functional independence by the government and the individual minister. This applies especially to boards that have special expertise or have representatives of organizations or political groups as members.

Public administration does not only take place under state auspices. Municipal self-government is enshrined in the Constitution in section 82, and a large part of the administrative powers are delegated to the 98 municipalities and 5 regions into which Denmark is divided.

The constitutional amendment opened in 1953 the introduction of a special control over the administration, the Parliamentary Ombudsman (§ 55), which came into operation in 1954. The ombudsman is elected by the Folketing and deals with complaints or negligence in the public administration on appeal or on his own initiative..


Independent courts belong to the division of power. Litigation is basically heard in the first instance by a district court, and the district court’s judgment can usually be appealed to one of the two district courts. Certain cases may, however, be referred to first instance by one of the two district courts or the Maritime and Commercial Court. The Supreme Court is the Supreme Court, which only hears cases that have previously been heard by one of the two High Courts or the Maritime and Commercial Court. There is no special procedure and court organization for administrative cases in the Danish court system. These are dealt with in the ordinary courts. There is also no constitutional court. Constitutional issues must be decided by the court that hears the case in general, and ultimately the issue is decided by the Supreme Court. Danish courts have been very reluctant to apply the Constitution, and the Supreme Court has only in the Tvind judgment in 1999 found a law unconstitutional.

The judges are appointed by the Queen. The independence of the judges in their work is ensured by section 64 of the Constitution, according to which the judges in their calling have only to comply with the law. Judges, unlike other state staff, are protected from administrative dismissal; they can only be dismissed by judgment.

The courts have a key role to play in protecting constitutional human rights. To a large extent, the central element of protection is access to judicial control. The control may be mandatory as in the case of arrest for more than 24 hours (section 71 (3)), or it may follow an informal request from interested parties as in the case of control of administrative deprivation of liberty according to section 71 (1). 6, which was introduced in 1953. Judicial control may also be prior as in the case of control of searches and interference with the secrecy of communications (§ 72).

Political freedom includes in particular freedom of expression (§ 77), freedom of assembly (§ 79) and freedom of association (§ 78). However, these provisions are not limited to political statements, assemblies and associations, but also concern economic, cultural, religious and other activities.

The courts are administered by the National Board of Justice, which is headed by an independent board. Judicial appointments are dealt with in an independent Judicial Appointments Council with representatives of the courts, lawyers and the public.

Constitutional changes

It is difficult to change the Constitution. The procedure is described in section 88 of the Constitution. An amendment to or an amendment to the Constitution must first be adopted by the Folketing; the decision must also be repeated after a parliamentary election; a further referendum is required on the draft constitution, where a majority of the votes must be in favor of the proposal, and this majority must constitute at least 40% of all those entitled to vote. This is especially the last condition that can be difficult to meet.

Denmark’s membership of the EU has radically changed the conditions for parliamentary control over the production of rules. A significant part of the rules that apply in Denmark have been issued by the EU institutions or have been adopted nationally to implement EU directives. In order to strengthen parliamentary control, a special parliamentary committee has been set up, the European Committee (formerly the Market Committee), elected by and from among the members of the Folketing. The government consults with the committee, which gives the government a mandate to defend its various positions. The European Committee therefore has a basis for quite tight control over the government. However, the overwhelming volume of cases makes it difficult to exercise control effectively, and the preparation in the European Committee does not ensure a public debate on the cases.

It is regularly discussed whether the 1953 Constitution should be revised. Some politicians, for example, want to strengthen the Folketing by limiting the government’s right to dissolve the Folketing and call elections and by creating the opportunity for an independent legal assessment of bills. Other politicians see a great need to strengthen the government, which is often in a weak position, such as a minority government.

European Convention on Human Rights

Prior to the ratification of the European Convention on Human Rights, a few minor changes were made to Danish law, so that Danish law was assumed to be in accordance with the Convention. The provisions of the Convention were not directly applicable in Danish law, because one then had to take as a starting point the dualistic view of the relationship between Danish law and international law as two separate legal spaces. With the expansive interpretation given by the Commission on Human Rights and the Court of Justicepractices, it became a problem that the convention does not form part of Danish law, and a law from 1992 stipulated that the convention must be considered part of Danish law. This also applies to the interpretations used by the Commission on Human Rights and the Court of Justice in their decisions. However, the Convention’s protection of human rights applies only as law and not in line with the protection of human rights contained in the Constitution. Yet the courts have used the Convention to a greater extent than the Constitution as a basis for criticizing legislation.

Denmark – political system

After the adoption of the June Constitution in 1849, loose groupings emerged in the Riksdag; of these, three main groups crystallized: Left, Right and Center. During the 1870’s and 1880’s, mass parties were formed with voter organizations, and shortly after the turn of the century, the classic Danish four-party system was developed: Right (from 1915 the Conservative People’s Party), supported by urban citizens and large-scale agriculture, Left (rooted in the United Left from 1870) with emphasis on agriculture, the Radical Left (grdl. 1905), supported by peasants and the cities’ intellectual opposition groups as well as the Social Democrats(grdl. 1871), Workers’ Party. The four-party system remained largely intact until 1960. Of small parties, the Danish Communist Party (DKP) had some strength in 1945-57, but was kept out of influence. The Georgian party Danmarks Retsforbund asserted itself especially in 1947-60 and was in the government 1957-60.

The industrialization and expansion of the public sector made the party picture more complex. From the election in 1960, the Socialist People’s Party gathered voters to the left of the Social Democrats, and in the so-called landslide election in 1973, three new parties entered the Folketing: the center parties Christian People’s Party and the Center Democrats and the Progress Party, which was originally a protest party.

In addition to the voters, the interest groups exercise considerable influence. The trade unions and LO have a close organizational connection to the Social Democrats, while the large business organizations to a certain extent work together with the two large bourgeois parties, the Conservative People’s Party and the Liberal Party; powerful agricultural organizations especially with the Liberals. In addition, representatives of trade unions and business organizations are used by governments in connection with boards and committees, commission work and reports.

From approximately In the 1960’s, grassroots movements gathered supporters around individual political goals. For example, the People’s Movement against the EC, the women’s movement, the Danish Society for Nature Conservation, the peace movement and the environmental group NOAH have successfully influenced the policy pursued, and the Organization for Information on Nuclear Power (OOA) in the 1970’s contributed to the construction of nuclear power plants in Denmark.

The Danish governments have most often been minority governments. Danish politics has therefore been characterized by compromises between the parties, and until 1973 the governments traditionally had a fairly secure parliamentary base.

If the Folketing adopts a vote of no confidence against the government, it must resign unless it calls for elections. It may choose to resign and/or call elections if it is in the minority in matters which it considers important. The government can also print elections without resigning or resign without printing elections. According to the Constitution, however, elections must be called at least every 4 years.

If the distribution of seats after an election unequivocally points to a particular government, this is appointed by the regent on the advice of the outgoing Prime Minister. If, on the other hand, there are ambiguities, a queen round is initiated, in complicated cases several; two representatives of each of the elected parties give their advice to the Queen, who, in consequence appoint a royal investigating to lead negotiations between the parties on forming a government. When these are completed, the result is announced in another round of queens, after which the queen appoints the new prime minister. Crucial to any government formation is that a majority against the new government must not be established in advance.

Denmark – legal system

The legal system in Denmark can be traced back to the Middle Ages. Roman law has not been in force in Denmark, but the system has nevertheless been influenced by German, Nordic and most recently European law.

Legal developments

In the Middle Ages, Denmark was divided into three jurisdictions, Jutland, Zealand and Scania. The oldest Danish written sources of law are the so-called landscape laws from the 1200’s, the best known of which is the Jutland Act from 1241. The landscape laws were in force until in 1683 legal unity was achieved in the country by the implementation of Christian 5.s Danish Law, which was one of the first reforms of the autocracy. A number of provisions in the landscape laws were included in Danish law. Only a few of these are valid today, but many basic principles of Danish law can be traced back to the Middle Ages. Characteristic of Danish legal development is that Roman law has not been applicable. However, this does not mean that Danish law has been unaffected by foreign law. Especially in the 1700’s. and 1800-t. the influence of natural law and later not least of German jurisprudence was significant. It is also peculiar to Danish law that, as in France and Germany, for example, there are no civil law books, codifications, but that the rules of private law are found in individual legislation or have been established in practice. Finally, Nordic law co-operation since the end of the last century played an important role in the development of Danish law.


Within Danish jurisprudence, there is an overall division into public law and private law.

The border is blurred and the basis for the division is disputed. Characteristic of public law is that it often concerns the protection of the public interest and that bodies of state other than the courts dominate the application of the rule of law. Public law is divided into constitutional law, which are the rules on the affairs of the supreme state bodies, international law that regulates the relations between states, administrative law, the legal rules that apply to or are used by the municipal and state administration, criminal law, which are the rules on matters subject to punishment, as well as procedural law, the rules of court proceedings.

Private law regulates the relationship between citizens and between natural and legal persons such as companies and institutions. The rules must balance and safeguard the interests of the individual parties. Important areas within private law are claim law (bond law), property law (property law) and personal, family and inheritance law. In contrast to German and French law, commercial law in Danish law is not separated as a special area of ​​law, but trade is regulated by, for example, the Purchase Act and the Consumer Contracts Act, which impose stricter liability and greater vigilance on merchants than private parties, just as they protect consumers.

Sources of law

At the top of the legal sequence is the Constitution of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Constitution, which contains rules on the highest state bodies and on the freedoms (human rights); it can only be changed by a special procedure.

Citizens’ freedom of action can only be interfered with by law or on the basis of law, ie. on the basis of a law. The Constitution lays down the conditions for the laws to be valid. After adoption by the Folketing and confirmation by the Queen, the laws must be promulgated in the Official Gazette. They shall enter into force on the day of the week following the executive order, unless another date is directly stipulated in the law in question. Many laws are given as framework laws that contain general guidelines and leave it to the relevant minister to issue more detailed regulations. The administratively determined provisions, which are issued within the framework of a law and may contain rules that are generally applicable, are called devices, executive orders or in certain areas regulations, statutes. Such rules are often supplemented by circulars, ie. regulations addressed solely to the authorities.

A law is amended or repealed by the enactment of a new law. In step with IT development, legislation has become very common. They consist of updated legal texts composed of the applicable parts of the original law supplemented by legislative amendments.

From ancient times, the applicable law has also been determined by the courts through case law in areas where there is no legislation, and it still happens, for example in tort law. In other legal systems, especially in the common law countries, however, the courts have a far greater law-making function than in Denmark.

Legal practices are also sources of law which arise from the fact that a particular course of action has been followed generally, constantly and for a long time because the persons concerned were convinced that they were legally obliged to do so. Such legal practices are applicable law. They may be overruled by law, or the courts may dismiss them as unreasonable.

Danish law and international law

The legal norms that govern the relationship between states are called international law. In Denmark, the government is given the competence to act on behalf of the kingdom in matters of international law, including concluding agreements under international law by treaty. However, the consent of the Folketing is required for dispositions of greater importance and in certain cases a referendum.

A treaty obligation that entails a requirement to amend Danish legislation is fulfilled through incorporation, whereby the treaty is made part of Danish law. Prior to the incorporation, the provisions of the treaty cannot be applied immediately by the Danish authorities, and there may therefore be a conflict between Denmark’s obligations under international law and the legislation. The courts will then seek to interpret the legislation in accordance with international law. For example, the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Denmark acceded by ratification in 1953, was used by the courts as a contribution to the interpretation of legislation before the treaty was incorporated in 1992.

Danish law and EU law

Through Denmark’s membership of the EU, the rules in the EU have become part of Danish law. The EU acts, which are called regulations, are immediately applicable to Danish citizens once they have been published in Danish in the Official Journal of the European Union. The EU directives, on the other hand, do not oblige Danish citizens until they have been implemented in Denmark, for example by law.

The courts

The ordinary courts, which can handle all kinds of cases, ie. both civil and criminal cases, are divided into a hierarchy. At the bottom are city courts in each of the country’s 24 jurisdictions. Next come the two high courts, the Western High Court and the Eastern High Court, and finally the country’s supreme court, the Supreme Court. In Denmark, special courts with judicial authority may not be established. On the other hand, special courts can be set up to clarify the course of events, so-called commissions of inquiry. In addition to the ordinary courts, there are courts that permanently handle special areas of law, such as the Maritime and Commercial Court. There is no separate constitutional court or separate administrative court in Denmark as in Germany and France, as such cases are heard in the ordinary courts. From ancient times, lay people have participated in Danish justice. In maritime and commercial cases, expert co-judges,

The administration

The tasks of the public administration are diverse, but three dominate. The administration provides services, ie. money and services, available to citizens; it collects taxes and fees, and it participates in the comprehensive and fine-grained regulation in virtually all areas of life that characterize Danish society, especially by monitoring compliance with general rules and by granting specific permits for otherwise prohibited activities. As in other Western European countries, the rules of law are governed by some traditional ideals of legal certainty. The Public Administration Act, for example, ensures citizens access to be heard and in other ways participate in cases that concern them, just as there is often access to appeal a decision to a higher administrative body, sometimes a court-like appeals board. In addition,The Parliamentary Ombudsman has insight into the administration and can point out errors or negligence. The Ombudsman’s statements are not legally binding on the administration, but are generally followed.

Denmark – public administration

The public administration in Denmark includes the state, regional and municipal administration, which prepares political decisions and administers legislation.

The organization of the administration

The core is the central government and local government. The most important parts of the state administration are the central administration and the local state administration. The central administration is divided into a number of ministries delimited by subject area, most of which consist of a department and one or more directorates or agencies. The Minister is the one most responsible both politically and legally. The administrative head of the ministry is the head of department, where each agency/directorate has a director as administrative head. Characteristic of the departments is that they must serve the Minister. The core tasks are therefore tasks that are aimed at the Folketing, eg drafting bills, answering questions from the Folketing, grant applications or issuing rules. In addition to ministries and directorates/ agencies, there are a large number of bodies with several members in the central administration, which allows the involvement of experts and interest representatives.

The tasks of the local state administration were reduced after the Local Government Reform in 1970. Today, the local state administration consists of authorities such as. police, probation and labor supervision as well as institutions such as the National Archives, universities, etc. In addition, the State Administration, which in nine departments spread across the country, handles tasks within family and personal law, free trial, supervision and appeal processing, etc.

Since 1970, the tasks of the local government have become more extensive than those of the central government. The local government’s powers include a very large part of the case areas in which the public administration is involved at all. The local government is locally limited rather than limited by case areas.

With the structural reform in 2007, Denmark was divided into five regions and 98 municipalities. The highest instance in each municipality is a popularly elected board, most often called the city council, and the form of government is arranged so that all political groupings have the opportunity to influence the administration. The government’s distinction between government and opposition is found only in a weakened form in the municipalities.

Apart from the core that constitutes the actual state and municipal administration, there are a large number of diverse institutions and the like that lie on the border with the private sector. It is characteristic that they perform the same or similar functions as the state and local government; these administrations also have a greater influence there than on companies in the private sector. Examples of this can be self-governing institutions in the social and educational sector, private kindergartens and schools, vocational schools, joint municipal incinerators or public limited companies.

The position of the administration in the overall government

The administration is numerically by far the largest part of the Danish government. Its relationship with other government agencies is therefore essential for the understanding of both the administration and the entire government agency.

The administration’s relationship with the Folketing, which is the all-dominating element in the legislature, is clear: According to Article 3 of the Constitution, the administration is “the executive”. The administration must be dependent on and independent in relation to the Folketing. The entire administration, incl. ministers and members of local council, must comply with the rules that the Folketing gives as laws or as authorizations to issue executive orders. And the administration must seek to realize the intentions of the Folketing.

The relationship between the government, whose legitimacy is due to the fact that it has sufficient support in the Folketing, and the rest of the administration is less clear. Historically, the starting point was that each minister within his area could control all administrative bodies. Not so anymore. The Minister can only control the local government, councils and boards as well as institutions, creatures, etc. on the border with the private sector to the extent that there is a special legal basis for it. And even within the state administration, where the minister’s governing power is still the main rule, there is a tendency for at least some administrative bodies to be granted considerable independence within politically set economic frameworks and goals. Similar trends characterize the relationship between the municipal councils and parts of the rest of the municipal administration.

Control of the administration

It is the administration that makes the welfare state’s services available to the citizens, which collects taxes and duties and is responsible for the fine-grained legal regulation that characterizes Danish society. When the ideological starting point is that the administration must be independent and its activities derived from the Folketing, it is a matter of course that the administration is subject to intense control. A significant part of the control is aimed at the legal security of the individual citizen. Citizens have extensive access to complain about one executive agency to another, although access has been restricted in recent years. Quite often, the complaint even goes to a particularly reassuring Board of Appeal. The municipal administration is subject to a special supervision which, after a complaint or on its own, can take action against clear illegalities. And the Parliamentary Ombudsmanmay, on appeal or on its own initiative, investigate whether the administration has violated applicable law or otherwise been guilty of maladministration. Finally, section 63 of the Constitution gives the independent courts access to test whether the administration has respected applicable law.

In addition to this control, which is primarily justified in the interests of the individual citizen, the administration is subject to other equally important controls. The administration’s use of significant financial resources is followed by independent audits. The mass media follow the administration’s activities closely, and the control is supported by the quite extensive access to the administration’s documents provided by the Public Access to Information Act. Finally, the Folketing exercises control over the administration, especially through questions to the ministers and through the standing committees, which has been significantly intensified since the mid-1970’s.

Denmark – defense and military

The Danish defense was reorganized, governed by the agreement reached on 10 June 2004 between the Liberal Party, the Social Democrats, the Danish People’s Party, the Radical Left and the Christian Democrats on the Armed Forces scheme from 2005 to 2009.

The mobilization defense has been closed down, as the conventional military threat to Danish territory has lapsed in the foreseeable future. At the end of the conciliation period, the Armed Forces must be able to contribute task-ready, well-equipped and effective forces to international operations. The contribution must be coordinated with the civilian, humanitarian efforts in areas of action.

The contribution to the UN’s efforts, including in Africa, will be strengthened during the conciliation period. The Danish defense must continue to be able to make credible contributions to NATO, but must at the same time prepare for the situation that may arise in the event of a possible lifting of the Danish defense reservation in the EU. Simultaneously with this focus on international efforts, the Armed Forces must increase preparedness to be able to contribute to the total defense of the Danish population in the event of disasters and terrorist acts. Coordination within the total defense is facilitated by the fact that the state rescue service in 2004 was transferred to the Ministry of Defense.

The top management of the Armed Forces is organized in such a way that the Chief of Defense, under the responsibility of the Minister of Defense, has command of the Army, Navy and Air Force. The Defense Staff assists the Chief of Defense in solving this task, and the Chief of the Defense Staff is the Deputy Chief of Defense. Together, the Chief of Defense and the Defense Staff make up the Defense Command. These overall relationships will continue, but otherwise the management structure will be significantly changed at the end of the period.

New administrative services are being created, which bring together tasks and elements from the Defense Staff, the three Armed Forces and independent authorities. Thus, the management of all Armed Forces personnel, approximately 24,000 permanent employees at the end of 2009, at the Armed Forces Personnel Service. Of the total workforce, approximately 7850 in the joint defense area, the rest in the three defenses.

The new Armed Forces Materiel Service will take over The Armed Forces ‘technical research efforts and the tasks from the Armed Forces’ materiel commands. The management of the infrastructure and the service locations’ support of the units is then carried out by the Armed Forces’ Building and Establishment Service, as the Armed Forces’ Building Service is closed down.

The fact that the mobilization preparedness and the armed forces have been disbanded means that the Armed Forces will then only have to procure equipment for active units and their preparation for deployment. It will be easier in the future to equip the guards with the latest equipment. Not least the Army and Navy in 2009 will on average be much better and more modern equipped than in 2004.

The army

The Army’s main focus shifts from training and managing a large military force to preparing, maintaining and supporting a pool of different types of units in international operations or – when at home – available to the total defense. Under the Army Staff, the Danish Division together with two brigades form the framework for the Army’s units. The reinforced hunting corps is permanently manned. One brigade, like the divisional staff and its support units, consists primarily of permanent personnel. This includes demanding equipment such as tanks. The brigade is kept ready to deploy units for all types of operations. The second brigade primarily has personnel on reaction force contracts and helps maintain the manning of deployed forces. Together, the brigades can flexibly put together and continue relevant types of force contributions. The Army continues to anticipate the recruitment of permanent personnel among conscripts. A four-month military service training prepares for three years of emergency service in a total defense force of 12,000. The Life Guards and Gardehusarregimentets Hesteskadron’s conscripts have longer – 8 and 12 months – service. The army comprises 9150 permanent employees, has 4070 on reaction force contracts and annually trains approximately 6000 conscripts. The Army can constantly maintain a force of a total of 1,500 deployed.

The Navy

The Navy is almost fully staffed with permanent personnel. Under the Marine Staff, the Tactical Staff, the two flexible support ships, the three frigates and the reinforced frogman corps willensure a significantly improved ability to engage in international maritime and joint defense operations around the world. Together with the two large, chartered civilian transport ships, these five large units will also give the Armed Forces the ability to cooperate with the Army’s units and the Air Force’s transport aircraft and several new helicopters in joint international efforts. With its 10 flexible patrol vessels, the Guard retains its capability for coastal combat operations and mining operations. The four inspection vessels, other inspection vessels, the icebreakers and the environmental units ensure the ability to solve the civilian tasks in the North Atlantic and the Danish waters. The Navy’s units are managed operationally and logistically supported by authorities in the naval stations Korsør and Frederikshavn as well as by the joint Arctic Command.. The Navy has 3400 permanent employees and 50 on reaction force contracts as well as conscripts for nine months of service on the Royal Ship. The Armed Forces can – together with the Air Force – maintain a deployed force of a total of 500.

The Air Force

The Air Force is almost fully staffed with permanent personnel. The Air Staff has the Defense Forces’ units at three air stations. The four new C-130J Hercules transport aircraft and three Challenger VIP and inspection aircraft at Ålborg, the 48 operational F-16 fighter aircraft at Skrydstrup and helicopters at Karup, including the 14 new EH-101 transport and rescue helicopters. The new transport aircraft and helicopters have given the Armed Forces a significantly improved ability to support international operations, including the Armed Forces’ own, the Army’s and Navy’s efforts. Flight operations in Danish airspace are led by the stationary air operation capacity in Karup supported by the radars in Skagen, Skrydstrup and on Bornholm as well as at Skalstrup near Roskilde (which in 2010 replaced the radar at Multebjerg in Gribskov). International operations can be supported by a mobile air operations unit with radar, a unit for establishing and securing airfields, as well as a unit for searching and air evacuating the wounded. The Air Force has 3400 permanent employees and 250 on reaction force contracts. The Armed Forces can – together with the Navy – maintain a deployed force of a total of 500.

The Home Guard

The tasks of the Home Guard have changed from having to monitor and cover the territory with light military units to provide general support for total defense efforts where and when necessary. The active structure is now limited to the volunteers who annually live up to the required level of education. The best educated are evenly distributed as task forces in the five regions that are now called total defense regions. The regions include the officers and commanders of the reserve that were previously attached to the Armed Forces’ mobilization units. The training of the volunteers is increasingly directed towards the solution of the non-military total defense tasks. Navy Home Guardvessels are included, when deployed, in the Navy’s operational structure, for maritime surveillance, maritime rescue, support for the Police and other state authorities.

Denmark – ecclesiastical and religious matters

Constitutionally, the ecclesiastical and religious affairs in Denmark governed by the Constitution, and the main principles here consists of the provision that the Evangelical Lutheran Danish Church – as the only religious communities – must be supported by the state (§ 4) as well as the provisions on freedom of religion, expression and association (§§ 67, 68, 70, 77 and 78). The state support is partly of a moral and political nature (holiday legislation and church legislation), partly of an economic and administrative nature (contribution to clergy salaries and clergy pension, collection of church tax, maintenance of the ecclesiastical board with church ministry and diocesan boards, supervision, consultancy etc.).

Among the denominations, the Danish National Church dominates (as of 1.1.2016 76.9% of the population). In addition to the Danish National Church, a number of other Christian churches are represented in Denmark with the status of publicly recognized denominations. It is (mentioned in order by size) of the Roman Catholic Church with approximately 40,400 members (2012), the Danish Baptist Society with 5,500 adult members and the Pentecostal churches with approximately 5,000 members; with 3000 members and below must be mentioned the Seventh-day Adventists, the Apostolic Church, the Reformed congregations in Fredericia and Copenhagen, the Salvation Army, the Methodist Church,the Anglican Church and the Russian Orthodox Church in Copenhagen. In addition, in a more distant relationship with Christianity, Jehovah’s Witnesses with more than 14,500 members and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) with approximately 4500 members. Outside the national church are also nine recognized Lutheran free churches of Grundtvig origin. (The Grundtvig constituencies as well as other constituencies are within the Danish National Church.)

The German national minority in Southern Jutland is ecclesiastically organized partly as ecclesiastical parish congregations with their own priests in the four southern Jutland cities Haderslev, Aabenraa, Sønderborg and Tønder, partly in six Lutheran free congregations outside the national church.

Among the numerically smaller but characteristic Christian denominations, mention should finally be made of the Brethren in Christiansfeld and the Unitarian Church Society in Copenhagen, which in 1907 was condemned by the Danish National Church due to its denial of several central Christian dogmas.

The oldest of the non-Christian organized denominations in Denmark is the Mosaic Faith Society, recognized in 1814, with its 2400 members and with a synagogue in Copenhagen.

After the Danish National Church, Islam is the largest denomination in Denmark; the Muslims are divided into a number of mutually independently organized denominations. There is a total of approximately. 115 local mosques in Denmark. The first to be built as a mosque was the Nusrat Djahan Mosque in Hvidovre, built by the Ahmadiyya movement. In 2014, a Sunni Muslim Grand Mosque was opened in Nørrebro and the following year a Shia Muslim in Copenhagen’s northwest quarter. (see also Islam (Islam in Denmark)).

For church service of foreign Christians in Denmark, a number of congregations have received special state recognition. This applies to the Norwegian, Swedish and German congregations in Copenhagen, all Lutheran, the Anglican congregations in Copenhagen, the German and French Reformed congregations in Copenhagen and Fredericia as well as the Russian Orthodox Church in Copenhagen; Greek Orthodox services are held only occasionally in Denmark. Icelandic and Finnish Lutherans living here are offered church services through the Icelandic congregation in Copenhagen and the Finnish church in Denmark. The Roman Catholic Church in Denmark offers indigenous Roman Catholics from all over the world church services in its churches, which are spread all over the country.

The form of recognition (before 1969) held by the Norwegian, Swedish and English congregations in Copenhagen, the Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox and Danish Reformed denominations, by the Baptist congregations and the Methodist Church, as well as by the Mosaic Faith Society, entails authority to keep legally valid ministerial books and to issue legally valid personal certificates (baptismal or name certificate and marriage certificate). This situation must be seen in the light of the fact that the primary civil registration (notification to civil registration) of all citizens in Denmark is otherwise performed by the Danish National Church’s priests and church offices, just as the public funeral service functions with the Danish National Church’s priests as funeral authority.

With the Marriage Act of 1969, state recognition ceased to have such extensive content. Since 1969, the Danish state has given all the other denominations mentioned, Christians as well as non-Christians, the right for their priests to marry with civil validity, however with a duty to report to the civil authorities and without the right to their own ministerial records. Both forms of state recognition entail tax benefits in the form of the right to receive deductible fixed financial benefits from private individuals, but recognition is only achieved when a number of specified organizational and theological/ideological preconditions are present; for example, the Church of Scientology has sought in vain to obtain this kind of recognition.

In addition, there are a number of very small organized religious communities (eg the Baha’i community and a number of Buddhist centers) which, like the other recognized denominations, have the right to perform marriages with civil validity and to receive tax-favored benefits from private individuals.

In addition to the recognized denominations, the provisions of the Constitution’s religious and freedom of association provisions allow for the establishment of private associations with religious purposes. A number of such associations are often described as “neo-religious groups”, but due to their private nature they evade actual statistical registration and can often be said to represent religious and philosophical tendencies and currents rather than constitute organized, registrable denominations (denominations).. In any case, the boundaries between such groups and actual denominations are fluid, and members of these groups will often refrain from opting out of the national church.

Folkekirkeligt, the Danish kingdom is divided into 11 dioceses, including the Diocese of Greenland (see diocese). In the 10 Danish dioceses, the Danish National Church serves its members with its almost 2,000 priests; the country is (as of 1.1.2016) divided into 2169 parishes, which in turn are a total of 103 provincial paths. The Danish National Church is governed by the Folketing as the legislature and the government (the Minister of Church Affairs) as the top administrative leadership; but otherwise the church church is governed by democratic principles by special church-elected bodies in collaboration with the priests: In the individual parishes there are elected parish councils, in which the priests are born members, but where the members are otherwise elected directly by and among the church members in the parish. (Turnout is extremely low, and in many places there are peace elections or agreement elections with only one list). The parish councils have a decisive influence on the election of the priests in the individual pastorates, and the bishops of the dioceses are elected by the diocesan ward council and pastors jointly. The bishops lead the administration of the dioceses and supervise – assisted by the provosts and the provost committees – the supervision of the performance of the ecclesiastical functions in the individual parishes and pastorates; the ecclesiastical administration is handled in the individual parishes by the parish councils, which under supervision are responsible for building maintenance and finances. Worship services and church activities are handled and led by the parish priests (assisted by other church functionaries, eg organists and church servants), who also – assisted by choir members and church offices – keep church books and act as funeral authority. Normally, the pastors of the Danish National Church are university graduates at the state-run theological faculties in Copenhagen and Aarhus, which otherwise offer scientific theological education to all.

Denmark – international connections

The post-war global economic, political and cultural internationalization, together with especially the economic integration in Europe, has left its mark on Danish foreign policy and participation in international cooperation.

On the one hand, Denmark has been an active advocate of increased European cooperation within the EU since the 1990’s. Denmark has supported the expansion of the EU’s membership; especially the Baltic countries have had Denmark as an advocate. Denmark also supports far-reaching EU powers in the environmental field. On the other hand, a majority of the Danish population in 1992 and in 2000 rejected proposals from the government on resp. The Maastricht Treaty and on Danish participation in the euro. The result is that Denmark has reservations about e.g. participation in the euro and EU defense cooperation. Changing governments have worked to remove the reservations, but are bound by the fact that this can only happen through new referendums.

Denmark’s defense reservations about EU co-operation have strengthened Denmark’s interest in securing NATO’s central position. Denmark has participated with troops in the NATO operation in Kosovo in 1999, sent combat troops to Afghanistan in 2001 in support of the US attack on the Taliban regime and in 2011 participated in combat aircraft in the NATO operation in Libya. The accession of the Baltic countries to NATO has been a key issue for Denmark.

Foreign policy

Denmark’s foreign policy aims to promote Danish security, to provide the greatest possible economic welfare and to promote Danish values ​​regarding. right and wrong. Denmark’s international connections can be understood in three contexts. A global circle marked by cooperation in the UN and relations with the third world, as well as by global economic integration; a European circle determined by developments within the EU and finally a local circle determined by developments around the Baltic Sea and by relations with the Nordic countries.

During the Cold War, an attempt was made to create a balance in Danish foreign policy between relations with the United States through NATO, membership of the EC and active participation in the UN and international aid cooperation. There was talk of the four main cornerstones of Danish foreign policy; NATO, Europe, the UN and the Nordic countries. This balance policy has since been replaced by an EU foundation.

The EU is the most important body in Danish foreign policy. The end of the Cold War and the reunification of Germany have reinforced this trend. At the same time, Germany has become the most important foreign policy partner. The immediate security policy threat to Danish territory has disappeared. Based on the Nordic and European connections, Denmark’s location as a neighbor to the new Baltic states and Poland has given rise to new challenges.

The Nordic region has been and still is an important ideological partner, which has been expressed through the work of the Nordic Council. The extensive cultural community, Nordic passport union and the free mutual labor market have created close connections between Denmark and the rest of the Nordic region. One of the great challenges for Denmark is to connect this community with European politics. With the accession of Sweden and Finland to the EU, Denmark is no longer the only Nordic member state; at the same time, Norway, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands are outside the EU.

NATO has worked for Denmark to maintain as the central security policy institution in Europe, and it has been important for Denmark that the United States continues to participate actively in NATO, while Denmark has been more careful in supporting rapid expansions of NATO to also include the Eastern European countries.

The UN has always had strong Danish support both financially and politically. Denmark participated in the establishment in 1945 and has participated in more than half of all UN peacekeeping operations. Denmark has also been an active advocate for making the UN the central mediator of aid to the third world. The UN’s work for human rights, the environment, social development, common security and democracy has received full support from the Danish side.

The Danish development aid policy

As one of the few countries in the world, Denmark provided 1% of gross national income, GNI, in the second half of the 1990’s for international development work. A large part of the money was used to purchase goods and services in Denmark. Almost half of Danish aid is provided through international organizations. Support for the Baltic countries and other Eastern European countries has also been of great importance in Danish development aid policy. In direct co-operation, Denmark seeks to support the poorest population groups in the 12-20 main co-operation countries that Denmark has in the third world. More than half of the direct aid goes to Africa.

From its accession in 2001, the new VK government under the leadership of Anders Fogh Rasmussen signaled a new line. Aid was cut to raise money for the Danish healthcare system and today accounts for 0.8% of GNI. In 2015, the Liberal Party went to the polls with the promise of lowering aid to 0.7% of GNI in order to raise money again for the growing expenditure on health care. With 0.7% of GNI, the government stays within the UN recommendation.

Since 2002, the government has also reduced and restructured the extensive Danish environmental assistance. The assistance is now fully administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Development aid will only be provided to countries that meet the requirements of democracy, human rights and active participation in the fight against terrorism.

Denmark’s economy

Denmark’s economy is the total amount of economic activities of all kinds that take place in Denmark. Denmark’s economy is characterized by a high material standard of living, which is due to a high level of employment, a well-educated workforce and an expanded capital system (machinery and other material). Most of the employment and production takes place in the service industries. Foreign trade plays a very large role in the Danish economy.

The Danish labor market is characterized by collective agreements, frequent job changes and relatively little government interference. In recent decades, economic policy has focused on improving long-term economic structures. This has remedied the previously dominant balance problems in the Danish economy: Unlike in the past, structural unemployment and inflation (price increases) are low today, savings are high and public finances are robust to the coming demographic changes. The monetary policy carried out by Danmarks Nationalbank is designed to maintain a fixed exchange rate between the krone and the euro, while fiscal policy, carried out by the government, is used to stabilize fluctuations in the economy so that unemployment does not change too much over time.

Business structure and labor market

Compared to other countries, a large proportion of the population is in employment. Just over three-quarters of 15-64-year-olds had a job in 2018, 7 percentage points more than the EU average. This is not least due to the fact that women’s occupational participation is high and that unemployment is relatively low in Denmark. approximately 80 percent of those employed work in the service sector. 10 percent work in industry, 2.5 percent in agriculture, etc., and the rest in construction or in utilities.

The Danish labor market model is characterized by a high degree of organization, and collective agreements play a major role both in wage formation and many other labor market conditions. The Danish pension system is thus largely determined by collective agreements. State legislation therefore also plays a minor role in the labor market. Denmark, for example, unlike the United States and most Western European countries, has no statutory minimum wages. However, tripartite negotiations, in which the government and the social partners make decisions together, occasionally play an important role in socio-economic development.

The Flexicurity principle is characteristic of the Danish labor market. It covers a combination of relatively easy and quick access for the unemployed to unemployment benefits, which for low-wage earners is also relatively high (“security”), and easy access for companies to lay off employees (“flexibility”). Together with an active labor market policy, this contributes to the fact that Danish structural unemployment (unemployment in a cyclically neutral situation) is quite low. In 2018, the gross unemployment rate was 3.8 percent.

Foreign trade, currency and monetary policy

In 2018, Denmark’s exports accounted for 55 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), while imports accounted for 49 per cent. Danish foreign trade is thus a very important component of the overall economy, and its importance has been increasing throughout the post-war period. As a small open economy, Denmark is very dependent on the economic development of our trading partners. Denmark has traditionally led a free trade-oriented line in international co-operation organizations such as the EU, OECD and WTO.

Almost two thirds of both exports and imports consist of goods, while the rest are services. Of goods, Denmark mainly exports machinery, food and chemicals and related products as medicine. Maritime transport, tourism and consultancy services are the main export services.

For almost the entire period since World War II, Denmark has pursued a fixed exchange rate policy. Since 1999, the exchange rate has been defined in relation to the euro as set out in the ERM II exchange rate mechanism. As a result, Danmarks Nationalbank’s monetary policy is concentrated on maintaining the agreed exchange rate. This is done partly by buying and selling foreign currency and partly by adjusting Danmarks Nationalbank’s interest rates in relation to the European Central Bank’s ECB’s interest rate level. In 2020, Denmark will be the only OECD member country with its own currency to pursue a fixed exchange rate policy. As a result of the declining international interest rate level, Danmarks Nationalbank’s lending rate since 2015 has been practically 0, and the bank’s deposit rate has been negative since 2014.

Public finances and economic policy

Both public expenditure and tax revenue are at a relatively high level in Denmark. In 2018, both expenditure and total revenue accounted for just over half of GDP. Since 2017, there has been a surplus on the government balance. In 2019, the surplus was 3.7 percent of GDP, which was the largest in the EU. The public net debt (ie the state and the municipalities’ debt minus their receivables) was replaced in 2018 by a public net worth, which at the end of 2019 amounted to 6.2 per cent. of GDP.

Economic policy is based on maintaining the fixed exchange rate policy, where the role of fiscal policy is to stabilize the economic fluctuations of the economy. At the same time, great attention is paid to ensuring healthy structures with a high proportion of the population in employment, good competitive conditions and healthy long-term public finances. Fiscal policy thus has a much longer-term focus today than it had before 2000.

Economic development since World War II

The first decades after the war

In the first decade after World War II, Denmark’s economy was characterized by Marshall aid and greater integration into the world economy, but also by supply problems and high unemployment. In the late 1950’s, a prolonged boom began with a very sharp rise in prosperity. The 1960’s became the decade of the highest measured economic growth ever. During the decade, inflation also began to rise, and Denmark accumulated foreign debt as a result of a persistent balance of payments deficit from 1963.

Times of crisis in the 1970’s

The good times were replaced in 1973 by an oil crisis, which at the same time led to rising unemployment and inflation (so-called stagflation). For the rest of the decade, changing governments tried to income policy and repeated devaluations of the krone to control the economy, but with limited success. When the second oil crisis occurred around 1980, it triggered a new recession that underlined the Danish economy’s major balance sheet problems: high unemployment, high inflation, current account deficits and a significant public debt.


Poul Schlüter’s government took office in 1982 and reorganized economic policy. It now gained a more long-term perspective. Attempts were made to solve basic structures, and in the next few years structural reforms were implemented in important areas of socio-economic life. A consistent fixed exchange rate policy was introduced, and the automatic adjustment of wages was abolished in line with price increases. Until then, it had been built into most agreements. The new policy was to fight inflation.

The lower wage increases also improved competitiveness and thus exports, which benefited employment and the balance of payments. The result was a new boom in 1983-1986. However, falling unemployment led to overheating in the labor market, with the collective agreements of 1985 leading to very large wage increases. In 1986, Denmark had its largest balance of payments deficit ever. This prompted the government to pursue a tight economic policy with the so-called potato cure. It was the start of a prolonged recession in the years 1987-1993, which has been called “the seven lean years”. Unemployment rose to its highest level after World War II, reaching 12.4 percent in 1993.

From deficit to balance of payments surplus

The current account of the balance of payments is equal to a country’s savings minus its investments. When Denmark had a deficit here in 1963-1989, it was because the investments in the Danish capital apparatus were higher than the Danes’ private and public savings. The seven lean years meant that investments fell sharply, and in 1990 Denmark achieved a balance of payments surplus for the first time in almost 30 years. The price was a longer period of low growth, partly during the recession itself and partly later in the form of a smaller capital apparatus. During the same period, two other events laid the groundwork for a significantly larger private savings in Denmark: In 1987, a tax reform reduced the high Danish interest deduction and thus made it more expensive for private individuals to borrow money. In the next few decades, several later tax reforms have continued in this direction and have thus reducedthe debt subsidy, which is reflected in the interest deduction. And in the early 1990’s, after tripartite negotiations, a significant expansion of the compulsory pension savings in the labor market began. Both changes have permanently increased the Danes’ savings and contributed to Denmark having a surplus on the balance of payments every single year since 1990, apart from 1998. The country has gone from having large foreign debt to in 2019 having a foreign wealth that makes up almost 80 percent of GDP.

1990’s: Kickstart, Pentecost package, active labor market policy and EMU discussion

With the accession of the government Poul Nyrup Rasmussen in 1993, the economic policy changed, as with an expansive fiscal policy, the so-called kickstart, actively stimulated the economy. A fall in interest rates and improved opportunities to mortgage owner-occupied housing also fueled the economic recovery that characterized the mid-1990’s. After some years, fiscal policy was tightened again in 1998 with the so-called Pentecostal package to avoid an overheating of the economy. At the same time, structural reforms were continued. In 1995, the active labor market policy began, which has been continued ever since as a cornerstone of employment policy. A number of changes over the years in the rules for unemployment benefits and cash benefits and activation rules for the unemployed have contributed to reducing structural unemployment to a stable low level.

The 1990’s were also marked by a discussion about whether Denmark should replace the krone with the new European currency, the euro. A large parliamentary majority wanted participation in the European Monetary Union, but in a referendum in 2000, the proposal was rejected by 53 percent of the votes against.

Challenges to the sustainability of fiscal policy

Around the turn of the millennium, the traditional balance problems were largely solved: Inflation had fallen to a stable level of around 2 per cent, rising foreign debt had been replaced by rising savings in foreign assets, unemployment had fallen to just over 5 per cent, and due to of the generally healthier economy, public debt was also declining. At the same time, however, attention was drawn to a new, more long-term problem: the demographic development with increasing life expectancy and thus more older people would put great pressure on public finances in the coming decades. The outlook was reinforced by the fact that the large post-war cohorts would for a period be replaced by small cohorts in the labor market. Fiscal policy was thus, according to calculations, not sustainable in the long term. The question offiscal sustainability thus became one of the most important socio-economic issues of the following decade. From around 2000, regular calculations were made, and the government’s economic policy was in future formulated in the form of medium-term plans such as the 2010 plan, the 2015 plan, etc. There was thus a very long-term focus on the consequences of economic policy. Especially with the adoption of the so-called welfare agreement in 2006, the long-term fiscal prospects gradually improved. The most important element in the welfare agreement was that a principle was introduced that the age limit for the allocation of early retirement pay and national pension in future should increase in line with life expectancy.

The prelude and aftermath of the financial crisis

In 2001-2003, Denmark was hit by an international recession caused by a large fall in the price of the US stock market (the IT bubble). However, it was significantly milder than both the previous and the following economic crisis. Conversely, 2004-2007 was a period of high growth in which economic policy, in hindsight, was too lenient, which in particular led to unsustainable increases in house prices. This contributed to the financial crisis, which started in 2008, hitting Denmark relatively hard. Unemployment rose from less than 3% to 6% in 2010 and again in 2012, when the country was hit by the aftermath of the sovereign debt crisis among EMU countries, which was triggered by mistrust that the Greek state in particular could meet its debt obligations.

The crisis led to the prospect of a general government deficit in 2010 that was in conflict with EU rules. This triggered a recommendation from the European Commission for structural improvement. The so-called recovery package adopted in 2010 entailed, among other things, a decline in government spending and a series of transfer incomes and the postponement of some tax cuts. In 2011, a retirement agreement was adopted that accelerated parts of the welfare agreement’s indexation of the national pension age and reduced the early retirement scheme.. Among other things. These measures meant that Denmark’s fiscal policy from around 2012 is normally assessed to be sustainable also in light of the coming demographic changes. A new budget law was passed in 2013 which stipulated that the general government deficit should never exceed 0.5% of GDP. Since then, modest developments in government spending relative to GDP have led to a further improvement in the long-term outlook for public finances.

New challenges on the agenda

As the need to secure the public finances for the time being seems to be fulfilled, new structural issues have arisen in the economic-political debate in Denmark alongside the ongoing attention to aligning the more short-term political measures with the business cycle. The financial crisis revealed that there was a need for better regulation of the financial sector. This has led to the adoption of a number of requirements, especially for banks’ risk management. It has also attracted increasing attention during the 2010’s that the income distribution has become more unequal both in Denmark and many other western countries. According to Statistics Denmark, the Gini coefficient for disposable income thus increased from 22.1 in 1987 to 29.1 in 2018. However, the income distribution is more equal in Denmark than in most other countries.

A trend towards lower productivity growth in 2012 led to concerns that the future Danish wealth creation was threatened and to the establishment of a productivity commission. Since then, however, statistical revisions have raised the measured productivity growth. At the same time, two factors mean that Denmark’s development of prosperity has been more positive than the development of productivity itself indicates. On the one hand, an increasing share of Danes’ national income comes from the return on foreign wealth, which from being negative in 2009 at the beginning of 2020 had grown to 78 per cent of GDP. On the one hand, Denmark has achieved an improvement in terms of trade, as the prices of the goods we import have grown more slowly than the prices of our export goods. This leads to a higher real income because Denmark is then able to buy more goods for a given export volume.

The economic recovery after the financial crisis and the European sovereign debt crisis was slow. In the period 2017-2020, production and employment have been close to their structural level, so that there has been neither a clear boom nor a recession. In March 2020, however, the situation changed with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, in which a large part of the business community shut down. The expected economic consequences of this are a significant decline in GDP in 2020, rising unemployment and a general government deficit. Whether the pandemic will have a significant impact on the national economy in the long term will depend on how long the shutdown lasts in Denmark and how long it will take for the world economy to recover from the consequences of the pandemic.

Denmark – business development

Denmark’s natural resources are limited. They consist primarily of agricultural land, which for a long time has been greatly improved by human intervention. On the other hand, the amount of minerals that could form the basis of mining and industry is very modest and mainly limited to clay, stone, gravel, lime and chalk, as well as peat and lignite. This lack of a number of important minerals has meant that there have never been natural conditions for heavy industry in Denmark, but modern Danish society has sought to remedy this by developing intensive agriculture and quality-oriented industrial production, partly based on imported raw materials. Denmark therefore has extensive foreign trade in relation to the country’s size.

The agricultural community

The first people immigrated to Denmark after the last ice age and lived by hunting and fishing as well as collecting berries and wild plants. From around 3900 BC. there was a gradual transition to agriculture, which over the following almost 6000 years became the main occupation. Still in the mid-1800’s. more than half of the population was employed in agriculture, and before that the proportion was considerably larger. It had been necessary to produce a sufficient quantity of food; first with reforms in agriculture after the mid-1700’s. a significant surplus production was created, which could partly feed a larger urban population and partly export.

A minority of the population earned their living by other occupations, such as blacksmiths, wheelwrights, weavers or construction craftsmen, and eventually merchants and seafarers joined. With the development of the organization of society, administrative functions also arose, including at the king’s court and in the service of the state, military, and ecclesiastical institutions.

Business Development – The Agricultural Society
The Danish population by occupation (1787); calculated in% Sort
Copenhagen the provincial cities the parishes
Agriculture 52
Crafts and industry 25 30 10
Trade and transport 6 12 3
Public employees 8 8 2
The military 25 10
Servants and day laborers 18 20 26
Other professions 8 8 1
Outside business 10 12 6

Some crafts used the country’s natural resources, such as ant ore, which was used for a long time for iron production, and lime and chalk, where these raw materials were available near the earth’s surface, eg at the chalk cliffs. Other crafts were based on the use of cultivated plants and on the treatment of animal products, but as mentioned, due to a lack of important raw materials, Denmark needed foreign trade early.

At the end of the 1700’s lived approximately one-fifth of the urban population, where handicrafts were the main occupation; but about a quarter of Copenhagen’s approximately 90,000 residents were Army and Navy personnel with families. Most artisan businesses were small, and the shoemakers made up the most numerous group. In Copenhagen and some provincial towns, however, state-subsidized manufactories had been set up, ie. companies with large-scale craftsmanship, especially in the textile industry; they each employed a larger number of workers. Another form of large-scale operation consisted of merchants or shopkeepers supplying people with raw materials in their homes and purchasing the finished goods, the so-called publishing system.


As a result of economic crisis in the years after 1814, state aid fell away and most manufactories were closed down. The other occupations also stagnated for a number of years, and only around the middle of the 1800’s. the urban occupations came to employ a growing part of the population.

With a background in agrarian reforms in the late 1700’s. increased grain production so that it became possible to export surplus production to England at profitable prices, after the former protection of English agriculture had been abolished. Increasingly, Danish agriculture could concentrate on an actual production of food instead of only cultivating for self-sufficiency. A number of goods therefore had to be purchased, which created a larger market for the urban industries’ products, which in turn could form the basis for a broader business development and thus a growth in the urban population. At the same time, the forms of production within the urban industries changed, as actual industrial companies with large-scale operations were established, e.g. based on a number of new foreign inventions, first the steam engineand later other forms of propulsion, but also various forms of machinery. The earliest developed industrial companies in the textile and iron industry.

The transition to a more industrialized and urbanized society did not take place evenly in the years from the mid-1800’s. to the mid-1900’s. Until 1914, it was especially during boom periods that many migrated to the cities and found employment in newly established companies.

An early, rapid development took place in the 1850’s and 1860’s, when not only industrial investment grew, but also the transport industry with the construction of railways and telegraph lines, just as shipping between the regions was improved and the first major commercial banks founded.

Also in the 1870’s, there was a strong growth in the urban industries with the founding of a large number of new industrial enterprises as well as several large banks and steamship companies; a new significant period of progress was the years from 1890 to 1914.

Business Development – Industrialization
The Danish population by occupation 1845-1950; calculated in% Sort
1845 1901 1950
Agriculture 55 40 24
Crafts and industry 25 29 35
Trade and turnover 4 10 13
Administration, liberal professions etc. 6 5 8
Other professions 3 7 9
Outside business 7 9 11

The post-World War I era was marked by crises and uneven development, but in the early 1930’s a comprehensive protection of the urban industries against foreign competition was implemented, and industrial production grew again rapidly and absorbed labor from a crisis-stricken agriculture. The result was that during the 1930’s, handicrafts and industry employed a larger proportion of the population than agriculture, and this development continued until the first years after World War II.

Compared to the rest of the western world, Denmark maintained relatively large employment and production in agriculture until the end of the 1950’s. This was due to the fact that a significant part of agricultural production had long been exported, first in the form of cereal products and later after the agricultural conversion in the second half of the 1800’s, which was due to competition from cheap overseas grain, in the form of meat, butter and eggs and continued with the UK as the main market.

The service community

In the 1960’s, the urban industries experienced a new boom, while the outlets of agriculture abroad were weakened by the increased state support of the EC and other countries for their own farmers. Therefore, during this decade, major structural changes took place, which meant that many rural areas were also industrialized and that industry took over as the most important export industry. In the first half of the decade, industry further increased its share of total employment, while agriculture declined. After the mid-1960’s, there was probably continued growth in industrial production, but it was now achieved through extensive investment in modern machinery, and the growth in the number of employees occurred instead primarily in the service industries; in particular, the public sector grew rapidly in line with the development of education,

After 1973, several industries in the private sector got into difficulties due to structural problems, as the business community had to adapt to higher energy prices. Meanwhile, growth continued in the public sector and in a number of private service industries, such as banks and insurance companies. In Denmark, the business structure in the first decade of the 2000’s is therefore very different from that which existed shortly after the end of World War II, and it is characterized by a transition from industrial society to service society.

Where the built-up production apparatus in the form of commercial buildings, machinery and transport facilities etc. played a relatively small role in past Danish society, the investments of the last century have made the means of production a very important prerequisite for the implementation of a rational and increasingly mechanized production of investment goods and thus to ensure a high standard of living for the country’s residents.

For business development, this is shown by an increased production per. employed, and although the increase in productivity has not been the same in all occupations, the development has also in the 1900-t. with regard to the individual industries’ contribution to the overall Danish production result has been the same, ie. a development from an agricultural society over an industrial society to a service society, as employment shows.

In the early 2000’s, the contribution of agriculture to the national economy has been sharply reduced despite a continued high export quota. Denmark has become a service society, where 80% are employed in the tertiary industries. The tertiary sector can be divided into the public sector (41%) and the private sector (59%), respectively.

Danish agriculture

Danish agriculture produces food for approximately 15 million people. This corresponds to three times the population of Denmark. The role of agriculture in the overall Danish economy has become less and less in line with industrialization and the entire economic development. Nevertheless, it remains a key industry by virtue of net foreign exchange earnings and the employment effect and as a supplier of daily food. Agricultural seize nearly 2/3 of Denmark’s total area. The industry therefore also plays an important role as a manager of both the cultural and natural landscape.

Agricultural area

In 2012, Denmark’s total agricultural area amounted to 2.65 million hectares (62 per cent of the country’s area). Topographically, the area is suitable for cultivation, and plant production is favored by a normally good climate and a good precipitation distribution. The agricultural area peaked in the 1930’s with 3.270 million hectares (76 percent of Denmark’s total area). The area was reduced because agricultural land was given up for urban development and recreational purposes, especially since 1960. At the same time, there have been major changes in the farm structure.

Company structure

In the first half of the 20th century, there were about 200,000 agricultural holdings with an average area of ​​approximately 16 hectares. After 1950, the number began to decline slightly. From 1960, this development increased, and an average of 5,000 farms per year disappeared. years in the 1960’s. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, the decline slowed to 2,600 per year, and in the 1990’s the reduction was 2,300 annually to 52,600 farms in 2000. By 2012, the number of farms had been reduced to 39,930 with an average area of ​​66 hectares. The reduction has been most pronounced among full-time companies, and this development is expected to continue, so that in 2020 there will be approximately 8000 full-time uses with a significant average area.

At the same time, there have been changes in the forms of operation; Farmers are increasingly concentrating their efforts on just one branch of activity, and specialization in animal production has led to fewer but larger herds. The background for the changes in both company structure and mode of operation is the requirements for a constantly improved productivity as a counterweight to declining terms of trade and profitability development.

In Danish agriculture, more than 90 percent of the farms are privately owned. The rest is owned under various company forms or owned by the state, municipalities, foundations, etc. Companies are dominant in horticulture. The leased areas make up 1/3 of the agricultural area, preferably through the lease of land.


In 2012, agriculture and horticulture employed 66,000 people or almost 2.5 percent of the country’s workforce. In several peripheral municipalities, employment in agriculture accounts for more than 10 per cent of all employees. Production in the primary industries is of great importance for employment in the entire food sector, as it is here that the majority of the raw material base is created.

The raw materials from the primary industries are further processed in the food industry – dairies, slaughterhouses, bread and beverage factories, etc. Here there were 53,000 employees (excluding fish processing companies). The primary production together with the processing thus employs a total of just over 4.5 percent of the workforce. In addition, another 56,000 in supply, transport and other service companies. The direct and derived employment effect of the agricultural industries was thus a total of 175,000 people, corresponding to approximately 6.5 percent of all employees.


The annual harvest yield in plant production (2012) amounts to just over 170 million crop units, of which more than half are cereal crops. approximately 80 percent of plant production is used as feed for livestock, primarily pigs and cattle.

Pork production has increased by 25 per cent since 1995 to 1.9 million tonnes in 2012. Milk production has increased slightly (5 billion kg) since the introduction of the milk quota in 1984. However, the stock of dairy cows has halved in the period when the yield per cow was almost has doubled. In 2012, dairy cows yielded an average of 9,019 kg. milk annually.

The gross factor income (BFI) in Danish agriculture amounted to DKK 32.8 billion in 2012. In addition, the gross factor income in the processing companies of approximately DKK 18 billion approximately 2/3 of agricultural production goes to export, which in 2012 earned 86 billion kr. (Excluding fish products). This corresponds to 14 percent of total Danish merchandise exports. Including the export of agro-industrial products (agricultural machinery, enzymes, etc.) as well as the export of bio-based products, the total export amounts to almost DKK 1,300 billion in 2012 or 22 percent of the total exports of goods.

Agricultural policy

Danish agriculture is largely governed by agricultural policy in the EU. Economically, Danish agriculture has benefited greatly from the EU’s agricultural policy.

With the EU reform in 1992, a gradual reorganization of previous support schemes was launched with a view to reducing both agricultural production and support, e.g. through set-aside and area subsidies rather than price support. The reform process continued in the following decade, and from 2005 most of the area subsidies and animal premiums have been made independent of the size of the production of the individual farmer, and the prices are almost the world market. The income support for the individual farmer is then based on a number of payment entitlements, which he was granted in 2005 on the basis of the previous production.

Environment and nature

As agriculture is a primary occupation, production will inevitably affect the surrounding environment. Society’s concerns so far have been directed in particular at the use of pesticides and the loss of nutrients to the surrounding environment. In order to limit the effect of these, the Folketing has in recent decades launched several action plans. Great results have been achieved from the effort.

Since 1990, agricultural production has grown by 18 percent, all the while at the same time there has been a significant reduction in the environmental impact of production. Calculations of developments since 1990 show:

  • that the nitrogen surplus from the field has fallen by 45 per cent
  • that the phosphorus surplus from the field has fallen by 115 percent
  • that ammonia emissionshave dropped by 37 percent
  • that greenhouse gas emissionshave fallen by 23 percent
  • that sales of pesticidesmeasured in active substance have fallen by 25 percent

Despite this decline in the environmental impact of agriculture, the aquatic environment is still under pressure and a number of animal and plant species are in decline. Therefore, the Nature and Agriculture Commission, a commission under the Ministry of Food and the Ministry of the Environment, has presented a report that points out how modern agricultural production is maintained and developed while taking into account the environment, climate, animals and nature.

Denmark – horticulture

Danish commercial horticulture includes fruit and berry growing, vegetable cultivation and nursery operations with a total area of ​​approximately 18,000 ha. The industry employs a total of approximately 12,000 people (production, follow-up industry, sales, etc.) divided into approximately 540 greenhouse horticulture, approximately 840 open-air horticulture and 1100 farms with fruit and vegetables (2014). The number of greenhouse horticulture has been declining in recent years, while the total area has not changed much.

The most important export markets for potted plants are Germany and Sweden. The largest greenhouse crops are cucumbers and tomatoes, the largest outdoor vegetables are carrots, onions, white cabbage and kale. Of fruits and berries are grown especially black currants, apples, cherries and strawberries.

Frilandsgartneri is primarily found on Zealand and in Central Jutland, while over 50% of the greenhouse area is found on Funen. Cultivation of fruit and berries takes place mainly in the regions of Southern Denmark and Zealand.

Danish horticultural production – 2014
Share of total agricultural and horticultural production 6%
Of which constitute
Potted plants 46%
Outdoor vegetables 21%
Greenhouse vegetables 14%
Nursery products 10%
Fruits and berries 8%
Source: Dansk Gartneri

The industry has developed from castle and masters’ horticulture to mixed commercial horticulture with local market to highly specialized mass production to exports from ever fewer but larger companies.

Denmark – forestry

Denmark’s forest area has increased significantly since the beginning of the 1800’s. and was in 2000 according to official statistics 486,000 ha. Recent figures from 2013 indicate the forest area to be 615,000 ha or 14.3% of the country’s area. The political goal is for the share of forest to increase to 20-25% during the 2000’s, primarily due to overproduction in agriculture and the environmental values ​​of forests. The majority of the forest area in Denmark is subject to a peace forest obligation, which entails a very strong protection of the forests. The peace forest obligation means, among other things, that the area must always be kept overgrown with forest, and that the forest must not be felled or used for cattle grazing (see peace forest and the Forest Act).

More than 3/4 of the Danish forest area is privately owned. It’s about. 28,000 forest owners. The largest forest owner is the state, which through Nature Agency manages nearly 1/5 of the forest area and manages the Forestry Act. Most of Denmark’s forest area is managed by forestry-trained staff. The largest forest properties are called forest districts and are usually managed by a forester or a forester. The practical work in the forest is led by forest rangers and carried out by forest workers, forest runners or forest contractors.

The most commonly used tree species for the production of useful wood are beech and oak as well as spruce and sitka spruce. The most important tree species for the production of Christmas trees and ornamental greenery are Norway spruce and nobilis. Deciduous trees are grown mainly in East Jutland and on the Islands, while the forests in West and North Jutland are dominated by conifers. Afforestation depends on the tree species, the natural conditions, the needs of the market and the forestry practices of the place in question (see forestry (afforestation)). The production time usually varies between 40-50 years for fast-growing conifers and 150-200 years for slow-growing deciduous trees. The most common methods of rejuvenation are planting after reindeer husbandry, where all the trees are felled at once, and planting under shade, where a few old trees are left to protect the young. New stands of beech are often established by the natural seed fall, ie. self-seeding.

approximately 3.4 million m 3 of wood in the Danish forests to a value of approximately 1 billion (2013). The domestic production covers about 1/4 of wood consumption in Denmark. The value of wood is increased 5-6 times in the Danish wood industry. Hardwood is mainly used for furniture, veneer, wood floors, tools, paper and fuel. Softwood is mainly used for building timber, chipboard, transport pallets, packaging, paper and fuel. About half of the Danish-produced wood is used for fuel, approximately 500,000 m 3 of private consumers and approximately 530,000 m 3in wood-fired heating plants. In addition, fuel from waste wood from the wood industry in the form of wood pellets and wood chips. The Danish forests produce approximately 10 mio. Christmas trees and 30,000 t of ornamental greenery to a value of approximately 1.5 billion kr. The majority is exported and covers about 1/5 of the European consumption.

The primary forestry employs approximately 4000 people, and forestry forms the basis for a large part of employment for approximately 35,000 people in the wood processing industry. Forestry’s consumption of raw materials and auxiliaries is very small, and the industry is thus not very dependent on imported goods and services.

The societal value of the non-priced goods from the forest such as outdoor life, landscape aesthetics, conservation of cultural monuments, plant and animal life and protection of groundwater is probably even greater than the value of gift trees, Christmas trees and ornamental greenery. For society, it is of particular importance that the material production can take place at the same time as the intangible values ​​of the forests are taken into account. It is called multifaceted forestry and is one of the basic principles for sustainable forestry in Denmark (see forest (Denmark’s forests)).

Since the end of the 20th century, forests and forestry in Denmark have developed according to a political goal of sustainable forestry, which must fulfill economic, ecological and social purposes both for the individual forest owner and for society (see forest (policy and legislation)). The goal of sustainable forestry is thus included in Denmark’s national forest program from 2002 and the Forest Act of 2004. One of the main points is that the stability of forests must be improved, e.g. through increased use of deciduous trees and by creating more varied stands. The poor stability of the forests is mainly due to a high proportion of single-aged coniferous stands, which are occasionally affected by extensive damage to broken and felled trees due to storms or hurricanes, e.g. in 1999 and 2005 (see storms).

In a broader perspective, the vision for Denmark’s forests and forestry development is that there should be a long-term, voluntary transition to more natural forms of farming, where nature’s own forest ecological processes are utilized in forestry to a greater extent than before. Forestry close to nature means, among other things, that the forest is preferably rejuvenated by the natural seed fall rather than by planting. The form of operation is expected to bring both economic and environmental benefits, e.g. because rejuvenation and care costs are reduced and because a sustainable forest cover has a beneficial effect on the forest environment.

Denmark – fishing

There has been fishing in Denmark since ancient times, and the tools were from the beginning basically the same as we use today: nets, ruses and hooks. For centuries, fishing was seasonal and was run by people who had other occupations such as homesteaders, farm workers, etc. Fishing took place in freshwater or near the coast, but freshwater fishing has never had any particular significance. The first full-time fishermen are known from the 1600’s, from the Limfjord area. Usually the fish were salted or dried; fresh fish was reserved for the coastal population.

With the expansion of the railways in the late 1800-t. and installation of engines in the boats around the year 1900 initiated a violent development of the sea-going fishing. The fresh fish could now be transported over great distances. The boats became more seaworthy, and larger, more efficient gear was used, such as the spinning rod. It was now a real profession, and the number of practitioners was growing rapidly. In 1913 there were approximately 12,000 full-time fishermen, and this number has remained fairly constant over the years, as even in 1982 there were approximately 11,000. From the beginning of the 1980’s, the number decreased in line with the crisis in the fishing industry, so that in 2005 there were only approximately 3500 full-time registered fishermen in Denmark. The crisis arose as a combination of reduced stocks and excessive capacity in the fishing fleet. Reductions in the number of boats were necessary, which was implemented through various support schemes, e.g. scrapping aid.

Around 2000, Denmark had met the EU’s requirements for the maximum size of the fishing fleet. This is measured as a combination of engine power and tonnage; calculated in tonnage, the Danish fishing fleet was reduced by approximately 1/3. Since 1900, there has been a colossal development in ships, gear, engines and electronic equipment; the 12,000 fishermen in 1913 caught approximately 66,000 tonnes, while the 3,500 fishermen in 2004 caught 1.0 million. t. In 2012, the figures were approximately 2000 fishermen with a catch of approximately 0.66 million t.

Sea fishing

Danish deep-sea fishing can be divided into industrial fishing and consumer fishing.

Industrial fishing involves the capture of fish that are only used industrially for the production of fishmeal and fish oil. Industrial fishing began in the North Sea in the late 1940’s with fishing for herring. Later, species such as sandeel, Norway pout and sprat. The species composition changed, and around 1990, sandeel accounted for 70%. Later, there have been further changes in the species composition due to large reductions in the sandeel population. For a number of years, industrial fishing has been by far the most important Danish fishery with a total catch in 2013 of approximately 370,000 t. Sandeel, sprat and sprat are therefore the most common fish species in the Danish fishery. Industrial fishing takes place with float and bottom trawls or nets.

Commercial fishing consists of fishing for direct consumption. The most important species are cod, plaice and herring; also species such as mackerel, sole and turbot. Fishing for Norway lobster and deep-water prawns as well as mussels and oysters is also important. Previously, the eel was alsoimportant, but after major declines in the 1970’s and onwards, it has become less important. Commercial fishing takes place with fixed or scraping gear. The former include down nets as well as bottom nets, ruses and hooks. The scrapers include trawls and spinners. In addition, special scrapers are used for oyster and mussel fishing.

The most important fishing ports (2013) are Skagen, Thyborøn, Hanstholm and Hirtshals. Over 80% of the catches come from the North Sea and Skagerrak. Gross earnings in the fishery in 2013 were DKK 3.0 billion. By far the largest part of the Danish fish catch is exported either fresh or processed. In 2013, the export value was approximately 19 billion DKK, corresponding to approximately 2% of Denmark’s total exports.

Freshwater fishing and farming

The catches in freshwater are very limited, mainly eel, perch, pike and pikeperch. approximately 40,000 tonnes of fish in fish and aquaculture, predominantly rainbow trout, but also eels and various freshwater fish.

Fisheries regulation

Fishing in EU waters is managed from the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP common fisheries policy) which, with an annual Regulation, inter alia, determines the total allowable catches per fish stock (TAC, total allowable catch). Each country is allocated a specific part (quota) of this TAC. The EU and other countries agree on quotas for jointly exploited stocks. The regulation builds on biological advice on fisheries containing forecasts for the development of stocks. The biological advice is administered by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) in Copenhagen in collaboration with the individual countries’ marine research institutes.

A new Common Fisheries Policy was adopted in 2002, which places further demands on reductions in fishing capacity at EU level, while continuing to demand sustainability and the use of the precautionary principle. In addition, more resources are needed to control the many regulations as well as to register and obtain information on catches.

Denmark – manufacturing company

The manufacturing sector in Denmark is differentiated and manufactures a large number of goods, both for export and for domestic consumption. The most important factories in the food and beverage industry include slaughterhouses, dairies, grain mills and breweries. The chemical industry’s sales successes include gasoline, insulin and plastic products. From the iron and metal industry come motors, agricultural machinery, pumps, thermostats, refrigerators, telecommunications equipment and ships. Finally, furniture, clothing, toys and newspapers are among the Danish industrial goods that are sold the most.

1966-93, production in the manufacturing industries increased by approximately 70%, while employment fell by approximately 100,000 people corresponding to 18%. The development covers a very strong increase in labor productivity until 1983, after which there has been stagnation.

Behind the development in the total production and employment within the manufacturing industries is quite extensive structural shifts between the industry’s sub-sectors. The production of iron and metal products, which also includes electronics, accounts for an increasing share of the sector’s production value. The same is true of the chemical industry. The food and beverage industry has had a fairly stable share of the production result since 1966, whereas textile, clothing and leather manufacturing has had a clearly declining production share. The development of the latter is a result of the intensified wage competition from third world countries as well as in recent years the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Structural developments in the manufacturing sector have continued since the mid-1990’s. The number of VAT-registered companies fell by approximately 10% 1995-2002. In the same period, total industrial production grew approximately 20%, while employment was reduced by 15,000 people; the reduction particularly affected the textile and clothing industry. Exports of industrial goods have developed positively. In 2001, when real growth in world trade was close to zero, Danish real growth in exports was 3.5%, mainly due to chemical products, including medical and pharmaceuticals, as well as machinery, e.g. windmills.


The general decline in employment has particularly affected textiles and clothing, which in 1966-93 has been reduced by approximately 55,000 people. During the period, the iron and metal industry has created approximately 3,500 jobs, which, however, due to the decline in total employment has meant a clear increase in the employment rate to approximately 40% in the manufacturing industries. A relatively very strong increase in the employment rate for the chemical industry corresponds to an absolute increase of 14,000 people.

The business sector is characterized by 60% of employment concentrated in two (food, beverage and tobacco industries as well as the iron and metals industry) of the seven main industries. Nevertheless, the manufacturing sector is differentiated in terms of distribution by sub-sectors as well as company sizes. Characteristic, however, is the number of many small and medium-sized enterprises. Thus, only 4% of all jobs in the manufacturing industry had more than 100 employees in 2004, but they accounted for just over half of the employment. Conversely, half of the workplaces had fewer than 5 employees, but covered less than 5% of the total employment. It is within iron and metal works as well as the metal industry that one finds relatively most large companies, but also the chemical industry as well as the food and beverage industry have relatively many large companies. Structural developments in the manufacturing sector have continued since the mid-1990’s. The number of jobs fell 18% 1993-2003. During the same period, employment was reduced by just over 40,000 people – a decrease of almost 10%; the reduction particularly affected the textile and leather industries as well as the food, beverage and tobacco industries.


A very high proportion (45%) of the manufacturing sector’s total production is exported, corresponding to 3/4 of the total product exports.

Exports are largely based on a further processing of imported raw materials and semi-finished products. Due to the deliveries of agriculture and fisheries, the food and beverage industry has a low share of imports, but in general the lack of raw materials results in a relatively large direct import.

The export surplus (exports less imports) for the manufacturing sector as a whole is almost 24% of the production value. Food and beverage industry has a high net export share of almost 40% due to low import content, while the iron and steel industry, accounting for nearly 1/3 of the manufacturing sector’s total exports, has an export surplus of just under 23%.

Denmark – construction company

The activities in the construction sector include new construction, repair and maintenance of residential and commercial buildings as well as the establishment and maintenance of roads, ports and airports, bridges and tunnels and sewerage systems. The construction sector’s share of Denmark’s total production result measured by gross value added in 2005 amounted to approximately 5%, which corresponded to approximately 74 billion The sector’s share of total employment was just over 6%, corresponding to approximately 172,000 people.

The construction sector consists predominantly of small businesses. approximately 28,000 companies are VAT registered, of which 24,000 have fewer than 10 employees (2003).

A sharp decline in housing construction through the 1970’s and 1980’s significantly reduced the sector’s production and employment; in the early 1990’s, 14,000 homes were built per year. In 1994, a recovery began with rising production and employment. In 2005, almost 27,000 new homes were completed, and there was good growth in both commercial construction and construction work.

Denmark – raw material utilization

The most important raw materials extracted in Denmark are oil and gas as well as clay, silt, sand, gravel and stone. In addition, lime and chalk as well as salt and groundwater are among the most important raw materials. A number of other raw materials such as moles, plastic clay, bentonite, peat, granite, gneiss, sandstone, phosphorite, glauconite and heavy minerals are mined on a smaller scale or explored for recovery. In the past, lignite, flint, marl and ant ore have been extracted.

Apart from the extraction of oil and gas, which is dealt with separately in the following section on energy, sand, gravel and stone make up by far the largest part of the quantities of raw materials recovered. The use varies with the activity in the building and construction sector, and after a declining trend from the mid-1980’s, the excavation of raw materials on land was generally increasing from the mid-1990’s to DKK 42 million. m 3 in 2007. Since then, there has been a decrease to approximately 26 mio. m 3 in 2013. Employment is modest in raw material extraction. Exploration, extraction and finishing of production areas are regulated by the Mineral Resources Act, the Water Supply Act and the Subsoil Act.

Sand, gravel and stone are mined both at sea and on land, and the production, which takes place mainly from the ice age deposits, is primarily used for cement and concrete products, road and bridge construction, backfilling work, coastal protection and port construction. Refined special products (glass sand, foundry sand, polishes, etc.) are manufactured of quartz sand from Central Jutland.

Clay is mined especially in Southern Jutland and on Funen for the production of red- and yellow-fired bricks and other brick products. Super light, insulating and absorbent building blocks and granules are made from moles (diatomite) from the Limfjord area. Pressure-resistant, insulating granules and building blocks are made by firing plastic clay (sand-free clay).

Lime and chalk are mined especially in Himmerland, Thy and on Zealand. Lime and chalk are used for cement production (including Aalborg Portland), by commodity companies for agricultural lime and for a number of other purposes, eg as a filler in papermaking. Denmark has an extensive export of both cement and chalk products.

Salt is found as significant deposits in the Danish subsoil. Extraction takes place by rinsing rock salt (halite, NaCl) from the salt horsetail at Hvornum SV for Hobro. In several Jutland salt salts, potassium salt (sylvin, KCl) has been detected, which can be used in fertilizers.

The heavy minerals ilmenite, rutile and zircon have been detected in elevated concentrations in Miocene layers in Jutland and in beach sand off many Danish coasts. These minerals can be used for the production of pigments, strong light metals and advanced technical ceramics. Bentonite (expanding clay), which is used for numerous purposes, including as waterproof membranes, have been detected in significant quantities in Jutland and on Lolland. Glauconitis, which used for ion exchange and water purification, has been proven in high concentrations on Zealand and in Jutland.

Groundwater can be extracted almost anywhere in the country from sand and limestone layers. Groundwater quality is generally higher than in other industrial and agricultural countries; the water can therefore still be used directly after a light treatment (aeration). Leaking pollution and the consequent increased nitrate content as well as the detection of pesticides have led to the closure of many water extraction wells and concentrated water extraction in areas with special drinking water interests.

Denmark – energy supply

Before the first oil crisis in 1973/74, Denmark was almost totally dependent on imported oil, most of which came from the Middle East. Vulnerability to supply failures led to the preparation of energy plans with the aim to spread the energy consumption of several fuels (multiple energy supply system), to plan an increase in collective heating based on cogeneration and the introduction of a natural gas network (heat planning) to intensify exploration and extraction of kulbrinteresurser from North Sea, to increase efforts for energy savings and finally to intensify research into and utilization of renewable energy sources.

With an energy policy according to these guidelines, Denmark’s energy situation has changed decisively 40 years later: Energy consumption per unit of gross domestic product has fallen by 40%, and Denmark today uses a wide range of fuels. In 1997, for the first time in recent times, Denmark became self-sufficient in energy. Increasing production from the oil and gas fields in the North Sea compared with stagnant consumption has for a number of years meant that the degree of self-sufficiency increased to 156% in 2004 against 52% in 1990 and 5% in 1980. Since then, production of both oil and gas has fallen, so the self-sufficiency rate in 2012 was 102%.

Denmark’s energy reserves (2012)
kul [Mtce] oil [Mtoe] natural gas [Mtoe] uranium [kt]
recoverable reserves 0 160 90 60
Denmark’s annual production 2012 0 10.2 5.2 0
Denmark’s annual consumption 2012 3.6 7.7 3.5 0
Mtce : megaton coal equivalents; Mtoe : megaton oil equivalents.

The energy supply system

in Denmark is built with a basic trunk consisting of three types of networks: the electricity network, the district heating networks and the natural gas network.

The electricity grid is nationwide and connected to the electricity grids in our neighboring countries Norway, Sweden and Germany (see electrical energy transmission). About half of the electricity production takes place at central steam power plants, which are fired with coal, natural gas or biofuels; almost all of these plants also produce district heating (cogeneration). The remaining half of electricity production (2012) comes from wind turbines (36%) and from smaller, decentralized combined heat and power plants fired with natural gas, waste or straw (11%).

The district heating networks do not form a coherent system, but are built in and around urban areas. All large and medium-sized cities have the district heating network, as a result of the extensive heat planning carried out in the 1980’s. In 2012, 73% of district heating was supplied from combined heat and power plants. With the introduction of cogeneration, the traditionally produced district heating (usually based on oil) has become less important; however, quite a significant amount of district heating is still produced at waste incineration plants without electricity production.

The construction of the Natural Gas Network was decided by the Folketing in 1979, and the first gas was delivered from Germany in 1982, even before the pipeline from the fields in the North Sea to the west coast of Jutland had been established; the first “Danish” natural gas was delivered in 1984. The natural gas network geographically covers a large part of Denmark: The transmission line runs from the North Sea across the Belts to the Copenhagen area, from where it continues to Sweden, and from North Jutland to the German border, where it is connected to the German gasnet. In North Jutland, the transmission line is connected to a larger natural gas storage facility at Lille Thorup. Also at Stenlille on Zealand, a natural gas storage facility has been established in the subsoil. The natural gas is distributed from the transmission line to the distribution network, where the gas pressure is gradually reduced towards the consumption points.

The use of fuels

In 2012, the collective supply networks for district heating and natural gas covered 77% of the country’s heating needs, of which district heating 62% and natural gas 15%. The remaining part of the heating demand was covered by oil boilers (13%) as well as heat pumps, electric heating and wood burning stoves (10%).

In 2012, the share of oil in Danish gross energy consumption was 37%, the share of coal was 14%, the share of natural gas was 19%, and renewable energy and waste incineration covered 26% (the remaining part was covered by imported electricity).

In 2012, the use of oil was 74% for transport, 15% for industry and 7% for heating (the remaining 4% used for non-energy purposes). The Danish reserves of crude oil in the North Sea are per. at the end of 2011 calculated at DKK 181 million. m 3 (160 Mtoe) corresponding to 14 years of crude oil production at 2011 level. However, assessments of new explorations and improved extraction methods indicate good opportunities for Danish self-sufficiency in oil until after 2025.

Coal is imported from many parts of the world, including Australia, South Africa, Colombia, Canada, USA, Russia and Poland. Despite its small size, Denmark is one of the significant coal importers in the world, and by spreading purchases across many exporting countries, a high degree of security of supply and the opportunity to continuously choose the most economically advantageous suppliers is achieved. Coal is used for the most part in power plants; a smaller part is used in industry.

Since the establishment of the natural gas network in the mid-1980’s, natural gas has replaced both oil and coal for a number of purposes, including electricity, combined heat and power and district heating production, individual residential heating and in industry. Some of the gas from the North Sea is exported to Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands; in 2012, 51% of danish gas production was exported. At the end of 2011, the Danish reserves of natural gas were calculated at DKK 95 billion. Nm 3 (90 Mtoe), corresponding to approximately 15 years of natural gas production with an activity at 2011 level.

The use of renewable energy, including waste incineration, has increased significantly over the past decade. This applies in particular to the utilization of wind power, where both the power plants and private individuals have carried out extensive expansion. In 2012, 30% of Danish electricity consumption was thus produced on wind power, and the wind turbine capacity accounted for 35% of the total electricity capacity. In total, the contribution of renewable energy to the Danish energy supply amounted to 24% in 2012.

The change of fuel from coal to natural gas, increased use of renewable energy and higher efficiency in the energy supply system have resulted in a reduction in the emission of the greenhouse gas CO 2. According to the Kyoto Protocol’s requirement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Denmark must reduce emissions by 21% in the period 2008-12 compared to emissions in 1990. For CO 2, the energy system in 2011 achieved a reduction of 19%.

Denmark – private service

The private service industries include trade, business and household services, private education and health care, hotel and restaurant business as well as entertainment and cultural activities. In addition, the financial sector as well as transport and communication to the service sector are included.

Since 1970, private services as a whole have accounted for a slightly increasing share of the total socio-economic activity, but the development in the individual business main groups has proceeded very differently.


Wholesale and retail trade, which together constitute the largest industry among the private service industries in terms of employment, have both been characterized by changes since the 1970’s. Among other things. the traditional boundaries between the sub-sectors have in a large number of cases been blurred through a merger of the retail, wholesale and in some cases also the producer level (vertical integration). Furthermore, both industries have been characterized by mergers within the industry (horizontal integration).

The wholesale trade accounts for approximately 70% of the trading industry’s total turnover. This share has been increasing for a number of years, which is related to the continued specialization in the manufacturing sector, which leads to greater trade between the companies and thus greater activity in the wholesale trade. The increase in activity has also resulted in a slight increase in employment since the mid-1980’s.

Since the mid-1980’s, the wholesale trade has undergone a major structural change, with a number of store chains, among others. has established its own purchasing organizations or such as Dansk Supermarked (Føtex and Bilka) and the FDB group has participated in international collaborations. At the same time, the large store units are increasingly buying directly from the manufacturers. The turnover in the wholesale trade is totally dominated by the large companies in the industry.

Retail.Despite a sharp increase in turnover, employment in the retail trade fell by approximately 60,000 people 1970-92. This is due to a significant concentration on fewer but larger units. The assortment determination is essentially still with the individual retailer, but with the increased integration with the wholesale trade, the wholesale link has gained greater influence. Assortment changes appear partly through new goods, but also through the fact that stores within an industry take over the assortment of other industries; one speaks here of industry slippage. New types of stores have emerged in the form of supermarkets, discount stores and discount stores, just as the self-service system has become all-dominant. Furthermore, a number of sub-functions have to some extent been taken over by other links in the supply chain or by consumers. As a consequence of,

In addition, a new location pattern: In the older, central districts and in the rural areas, retail stores have largely been closed down, while new stores have been assembled in centers in the urban areas. The development has resulted in a 60% decrease in the number of grocery stores from approximately 1970’s to the early 1990’s.

Since the mid-1990’s, the service industries have had a growth in employment of approximately 20%; especially in the IT industries, growth has been significant. The number of companies is in the early 2000-t. increased to 112,000. The export value of IT products grew in 1996-2001 by 77% against a growth in the import value of 54%.

Transport and communication

The transport industry is one of Denmark’s most important industries. The sector is very differentiated in terms of the size of the individual companies. On the one hand, the sector consists of a few, very large public or private companies in the field of public transport, shipping and aviation. On the other hand, the business consists of a significant number of smaller companies in both freight transport (haulage business) and passenger transport (taxi business).

Production. Activity in the overall transport industry has been increasing since the mid-1990’s. Major investments in infrastructure, not least in the road network and the fixed connections across the Great Belt and the Sound, have led to a change in the structure of the transport sector.

Road transport accounts for almost half of the industry’s total production, while the rest of the production value is distributed among auxiliary companies for the transport sector, maritime transport, rail transport and air transport. For road and air transport, employment has grown by 20% since the 1990’s, while rail transport and maritime transport have declined correspondingly.

Company structure. The transport sector is dominated by a number of large public limited companies such as AP Møller and DSB. The vast majority of the remaining companies are small one-man companies in the field of road transport. In addition, the industry consists of partnerships and company-owned companies, primarily in maritime transport and freight forwarding.

Freight transport. In domestic freight transport, the car is the most widely used means of transport. In Denmark’s international freight transport, ship transport is dominant.

Passenger transport. The total passenger transport work in Denmark has almost fivefold since 1950, when Danes traveled on average approximately 2300 km. A significant part of this increase is due to the fact that the distance between home and place of work or education has increased significantly. In 1993, the average Dane’s mode of transport could be calculated at 6900 km by car as a driver, 2400 as a passenger in a car, 2100 by bus or train and 600 km by bicycle.

Communication. The growth in production value in the postal and telecommunications sector is largely due to the technological development in the field of IT (computer and data transmission) in the 1980’s, which led to a strong development in new telecommunications activities. However, activity growth has taken place without corresponding employment growth.

Denmark – it

Public digitization in Denmark has since the 1990’s aimed at modernizing the welfare of Danes and streamlining the public sector. Today, Denmark is internationally at the forefront of the use of IT and digital solutions, and Danes are well on their way to living and working in a digital Denmark, where the Internet is for the vast majority the primary entrance to the public sector.

Since the turn of the millennium, the public sector has launched a wide range of digital services and self-service solutions. Almost all Danes have a NemKonto, NemID and access to Digital Post. NemKonto means that the authorities know which account a payment is to be deposited in. And with NemID you can probably identify yourself online.

Digital registration makes it easier to buy and sell housing. Joint cross-cutting portals have been established such as, and Virk. And an eIncome register has been set up, so that a citizen in a number of areas no longer has to report and document changes in their income in order to receive the benefit they must have paid out.

Most recently, Digital Post and mandatory digital self-service for citizens and companies have been introduced, so that, for example, reporting of bicycle theft and relocation can be done online. Telemedicine solutions, for citizens with COPD (smoker’s lungs), and digital teaching aids are becoming widespread throughout the country. And a number of basic public data have been made available free of charge to citizens, businesses and authorities.

Since 2001, digitization initiatives have been driven by close and binding cooperation between municipalities, regions and the state. This is especially true in areas where it is necessary and appropriate to create cross-cutting solutions. The work has been rooted in multi-year strategies, with the current one, which is the fifth in a row, coming into force in 2016.

By 2020, the state, regions and municipalities must work to achieve three goals: The digital must be easy, fast and ensure good quality. Public digitization must provide good conditions for growth, and finally there must be a focus on information security, security and trust.

Many of the specific initiatives are anchored in the Danish Digitization Agency, which is an agency under the Ministry of Finance and the Minister of Public Innovation.

Denmark – public services

The public sector has grown strongly, especially after World War II, as it has become both more regulatory and more welfare – oriented through its activities. If the general wage and price development is disregarded, public sector consumption in 1990 was approximately 4.5 times larger than in 1950, which is also reflected in the fact that the number of employees in the public sector grew from approximately 8% of all employees in 1950 to 30% in 1990.

In the period 1950-90, an increasing proportion of the Danes’ total consumption has been covered via the public coffers. The supply of public services (public consumption) was especially in the period 1960-70 characterized by an almost explosive growth corresponding to a doubling of approximately 12 years. The current Danish welfare state was founded during this period: Institutional construction such as schools, social care and nursing functions as well as hospitals gained an unprecedented scope. For example, the number of nurseries, kindergartens and leisure centers tripled in the period 1960-70; similarly, it went with the number of study places at the universities. This is explained by the fact that the large birth cohorts from the mid-1940’s and early 1950’s created a huge need for care and education places in the early 1960’s, and that women entered the labor market on a large scale. Thus, functions that were previously within the framework of the family became partly a public matter.

Government consumption in relation to GDP increased from year to year, but in 1982 the development peaked and was reversed to a decline. Public consumption in relation to GDP thus accounted for a smaller percentage in 1990 than in 1980.

Public spending has not been spent exclusively on public spending. The welfare society has to a large extent been characterized by a very large growth in income transfers, ie. expenses for pensions, education support, subsidies for families with children, unemployment benefits, etc. This item has increased from 5% of GDP in 1950 to approximately 18% in 1990.

The sharp increase in public sector activities has left its mark on the extent of taxation, which has secured the funds to finance public activities. The tax burden has increased almost continuously, from 20% in 1950 to 49% in 1990 with 52% in 1988 as a preliminary culmination. The tax revenue alone has not been able to finance the activities of the public sector. Borrowing has been necessary, and since the 1970’s, interest expenses on the growing debt have helped to displace other public activities.

From an international perspective, the public sector in Denmark has experienced a remarkable development in the period 1950-90. The public sector in Denmark in 1950 was smaller than in the countries we traditionally compare ourselves with. This very modest position was maintained until the early 1960’s. Since the 1970’s, the public sector in Denmark has had a leading position in terms of expenditure together with the corresponding sectors in Sweden and the Netherlands. Sweden and Denmark differ from the Netherlands by largely channeling their expenditure through public consumption, while the Netherlands largely prioritises income transfers.

The value added of the public sector in 1991-2000 was at a high and relatively stable level. The share of public administration and service production experienced a small decline in relation to the overall Danish economy, while there was a somewhat larger divestment of publicly owned companies. The wave of privatization in the 1990’s has left no noticeable mark, and there are many indications that many of the municipal privatization plans in particular have not been implemented. In a number of public institutions and publicly owned companies, however, there has been a structural change; several have been modernized and separated into independent company forms, but still initially under full public control, for example, in 1999 DSB was transformed into an independent public company with the Ministry of Transport as sole owner.

Denmark – labor market and employment

Of the Danish population of 5.4 million, the labor force, ie. employed and unemployed, in 2005 approximately 2.8 million Of the other 2.6 mill. Danes are almost half children and students without employment, and approximately 40 percent are pensioners and early retirement recipients. The last 10 percent includes persons who are temporarily out of the labor force, home-working spouses and recipients of assistance unrelated to the labor market.

From 1940 to 2005, the population in Denmark increased by approximately 1.6 million, while the workforce has grown by approximately 1 mio. The share of the labor force in the population has thus increased in the period from 51 to 53 per cent. This is partly due to a slightly larger proportion of the population of working age (16-66 years), and partly to the fact that more people in this age group are active in the labor market.

From 1994, the population outside the labor force grew by 0.2 million. to 2.6 million, especially due to more pensioners and early retirement recipients as well as more children and young people outside the labor force. The size of the total labor force has remained virtually unchanged since the mid-1980’s, while the share of the unemployed has changed sharply during the period; it was at its highest in 1993 (11 per cent for men and 14 per cent for women) and reached a preliminary low in 2001 (5 per cent for men and 6 per cent for women). After a renewed rise in unemployment, it fell again in 2005 to almost the level of 2001. The improved employment situation and forecasts of declining population for 16-66-year-olds have meant tighter rules for unemployment, activation, labor market leave, early retirement and early retirement. In this way, several attempts are made to involve the workforce, e.g. the long-term unemployed, immigrants and their descendants as well as people with reduced working capacity, just as one seeks to keep longer those who are already in employment. In the opposite direction, however, are agreements on holidays corresponding to a sixth holiday week and new rules on extended maternity leave.

Business frequency

For the working-age population, the labor force is 80 per cent. This employment rate is among the highest in the world, which is due to the very high employment participation among women in Denmark. Women’s occupational participation in this age group is thus 77 per cent (2004), which is only surpassed in Iceland.

The growth in the labor force was distributed in the period 1940-1994 at DKK 0.3 million. men and 0.7 million. women. The growth of the labor force of men concentrated on the period 1940-1960 and had a background in the growing population, while the growth of women only began around 1960 and was mainly derived from changed gender role patterns and forms of cohabitation. In the 1990’s, the trend is that women’s employment rate in all age groups will be a few percent below that of men. A special Danish (and to some extent Nordic) characteristic is that women retain their connection to the labor market in connection with childbirth.

A more recent trend is that occupational participation is declining in the younger age groups, both for men and women. The reason is longer education for a larger part of the cohorts. In the older age groups, there has also been a tendency to decline due to earlier withdrawal from the labor market, e.g. in connection with early retirement and early retirement schemes. From 2002, this trend has reversed in the direction of greater occupational participation in the age groups 56-65 years due to tightening of the early retirement pay rules and lowering the retirement age to 65 years.

Working hours

Although the workforce has grown by nearly 50 percent since 1940, the number of hours worked has not grown correspondingly. The scope of vacation has been extended from three to five weeks per. years, and the weekly working hours have dropped from 48 to 37 hours. Finally, the proportion of part-time employees has increased, although the trend has reversed in recent years. Thus, the total number of working hours in the early 2000’s is only slightly higher than in 1940.

Job position and industry

The educational level of the labor force has been increased from 1940, which is reflected in the fact that the proportion of salaried employees and skilled workers has increased at the expense of e.g. self-employed and unskilled, which is also related to the shift in employment in industries in recent years. Since the early 1970’s, the number of employees has grown by 7 percent, primarily due to increased employment in the public sector. On the other hand, employment in agriculture and manufacturing has fallen. For the remaining industries as a whole, employment has remained unchanged.


While unemployment in the 1960’s and early 1970’s was below 3 percent and thus did not really exist, it has grown significantly higher since 1973; in 1994, it was 11 percent for men and 14 percent for women. Measured as an average number of unemployed, it corresponded to over 350,000. At the same time, it meant that more than 800,000 – or almost one in three in the workforce – were unemployed for a shorter or longer period of time during a year. Although the number of employees has also grown, the increase has not been able to keep up with the growth in the labor force. (On unemployment at regional level, see section on regional distribution of occupations and population after 1945).

Rising unemployment was perceived in the early 1970’s as a transient phenomenon that needed to be addressed by keeping the unemployed financially indemnified until they could return to employment. At the same time, the economy was stimulated through fiscal policy to provide more jobs. As this did not yield the desired results, in the late 1970’s, unemployment began to be reduced by limiting the labor force, with older people being encouraged to leave the labor market through early retirement schemes and early retirement. At the same time, emphasis was also placed on a more active labor market policy (education and job offers), where the qualifications of the unemployed had to be kept up to date or improved. In 1994, these efforts were stepped up through the adoption of a labor market reform,


In contrast to the labor markets in most other European countries, where the basic conditions are regulated by legislation, the conditions in the Danish labor market are mainly based on agreements between employers ‘and employees’ organizations.

Denmark – regional distribution of occupations and population after 1945

The post-war business development has changed the geographical distribution of occupations and the population in Denmark.


In the 1950’s, industry was markedly unevenly distributed in the country. At that time, more than half of its workplaces were in Copenhagen and the rest of North Zealand, in 2005 only a quarter. On the other hand, the industry has grown significantly in Jutland. West Jutland, which until 1965 was the country’s least industrialized area, today has several industrial jobs per. 1000 residents than any other part of the country.

In the 1960’s, the reason for part of the industry’s growth in Jutland was that companies moved there from Copenhagen. But since 1970, the redistribution is mainly due to the fact that far more new companies have been established in Jutland than in the Copenhagen area.

In Jutland, industry grew especially in the small and medium-sized towns in West, Central and Southern Jutland, often characterized by a single significant company; in several of the old industrial towns on the east coast, employment stagnated.

Not all industry has disappeared from the Copenhagen area. The high-tech industry, eg the pharmaceutical industry, which is largely based on research and has a high-paid workforce, has largely remained in NE Zealand. The larger the share of the low-paid and unskilled in an industrial industry, the greater the share of the western parts of the country in employment in the industry.

Since approximately In 1990, the growth of the industry took place mainly in new industries. The industry has therefore grown strongly in cities such as Kalundborg and Hillerød (manufacture of medicinal products) and in the Ringkøbing area (wind turbines).

The service industries

Agriculture and industry have been overtaken by the trade and service industries in terms of employment. By the end of the 1960’s, these accounted for half of the employed, and they accounted for an ever-increasing share of employment.

Employment in the public service doubled from 1970 to 1985, after which growth stagnated. The increase was strongest in many rural and small towns, where the public service until 1970 had been modest in scope. The business-oriented service (banking, insurance, advertising, IT, etc.) also grew in the 1970’s, but here the growth continued throughout the 1980’s. The expansion of the business-oriented service has been extremely strong since 1990 as a result of the development of IT and consulting services. Unlike the public service, these are distinctly metropolitan professions; approximately 1/4of the workplaces are located in the City of Copenhagen and another quarter in the rest of the capital area. Thus, since the 1980’s, these growing industries have provided cities with a subsidy of jobs to replace the industry that has been abandoned.

Since the early 1990’s, employment in the largest cities and their catchments has grown more than in the rest of the country. The smaller towns in the country’s outlying areas have, in turn, lost jobs. The growth of the big cities is probably due to the fact that IT and knowledge have become important production factors in the industries, and that the big cities’ concentration of research and know-how has therefore given them special advantages.


In the 1950’s, unemployment was structurally linked to the rural community and the streamlining of agriculture. The so-called unemployment islands were reduced to a large extent with the boom in the years 1958-73, but the onset of the economic crisis in 1974 caused unemployment to strike again throughout the country. From the late 1990’s, however, unemployment fell again to a lower level.

In general, unemployment is highest on the islands outside the capital area and in north-eastern Jutland. Unemployment in the rest of Jutland and in the metropolitan area is generally around or below the national average.

In the metropolitan area, there are clear local differences in unemployment, as unemployment in the City of Copenhagen is somewhat above the national average, while unemployment in the surrounding municipalities is low.

The highest unemployment is found today in the areas where industrialization took place before World War II, and is due to the transformation of the industrial society. In addition, unemployment is high in some rural areas, especially in the southern islands.

Unemployment is generally higher for women than for men. Especially in the smaller urban communities, women are unemployed in the majority, while unemployment is almost the same for the two sexes in the more diverse Copenhagen labor market.

Only a small proportion of the non-employed population is registered as unemployed. About a quarter of the working-age population live on social benefits. In 2015, the full-year recipients of all income-replacing benefits (especially early retirement, unemployment benefits, early retirement pay and cash benefits) accounted for 30% of the 20-66-year-olds. The proportion is lower in the metropolitan area, lowest in the northern part of Copenhagen, and in a number of East and West Jutland municipalities. The proportion is higher in Vendsyssel, on Funen, in South and West Zealand and highest in Vestlolland, where around 40% of the working-age population live on social benefits.

Geographical division of labor

Since the Second World War, the geographical development of the industries has divided Denmark into three main types of areas:

West, Central and Southern Jutland is characterized by relatively new industry with many unskilled workers. There are more self-employed people in most professions than in the rest of Denmark.

The capital area and the Aarhus area are characterized by the service industries, especially by business-oriented services and by general public institutions. Government employees are concentrated in the metropolitan area, salaried employees are in the majority, and incomes are higher than in the rest of the country, with the City of Copenhagen as the significant exception.

In the rest of the country, ie. North Jutland, parts of East Jutland and the islands outside the capital area, there is older industry than elsewhere in the country. There are relatively many workers, often skilled, and an unemployment rate that is higher than elsewhere in the country.

There is thus a certain division of labor between the different regions of the country. Some areas specialize in agriculture and industry, while others provide financial and overall public and private services.

In general, the service industries, both public and private, are most widespread on the islands, especially in the capital area, and in Aarhus, while the production industries dominate the rest of Jutland, especially Central and Western Jutland.


Until 1970, the population was concentrated in the larger cities. Rural areas in particular lost population. But also many smaller cities experienced stagnant populations in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

The rationalizations in agriculture meant that the number of helpers fell sharply in the 1950’s and that the number of farms began to decline from 1960. Along with the expansion of the industrial and service industries, it caused the geographical distribution of the population to change.

In the 1950’s, cities, especially the larger ones, grew rapidly. On the other hand, the population decreased in many rural parishes, even though the birth rate here was higher than in the cities.

In the 1960’s, part of the emigration from agriculture could be employed locally due to the growth of industry in the small and medium-sized cities. On the other hand, the service industries grew strongly in the largest cities, and their population continued to grow faster than the national average, despite the decline in industrial employment in them.

In the 1970’s, the trend reversed so that the population grew in the small towns. Jutland’s population grew while the metropolitan area fell. Pure rural areas, however, continued to decline in population, but at a slower pace than before.

The changed population development in the 1970’s was due to the expansion of the public sector in the new large municipalities formed by the municipal reform in 1970. In addition, industry grew in the small towns. The housing policy, which favored detached house construction, also created new opportunities for a more dispersed settlement.

In the 1980’s, the population was quite stable, and there were only small shifts in the geographical distribution of the population. The population area’s population decline continued, while the Århus area had a noticeable growth, especially as a result of growth in the public and private service industries.

After 1990, the population has increased the most in the largest urban regions, partly due to the strong growth in employment in the business-oriented service, partly due to net migration from abroad. Changes in tax policy and new housing construction in the central parts of the cities helped to make the cities more attractive as housing, and also the larger provincial towns experienced a new growth in population. Growth has been strongest in areas to which people are moving from Greater Copenhagen and Aarhus, such as in Silkeborg and Skanderborg in Jutland and in many larger and smaller cities in West and South Zealand. High house prices, especially in Greater Copenhagen, contributed in the years after 2000 to increasing migration to the rest of Zealand.

On the other hand, cities and rural areas on Lolland, Falster, Bornholm and the small islands as well as in NW Jutland have had a decline in population. This is due to the continued rationalization of agriculture, fisheries and traditional industry.

Denmark – traffic facilities

Denmark’s infrastructure is well developed. The railway network serves almost all cities with more than 10,000 residents and has a significant unused capacity. The airline network is among the densest in the world, and few countries have more traffic ports in relation to the coastline than Denmark. The road network is densely meshed and generally of a high standard, just as the capacity in most places is large in relation to the traffic load. The vast majority of homes and businesses are located directly next to the paved road network. Even in rural areas, the distance to the nearest asphalt road is usually very modest. The infrastructure thus provides good conditions for the transport sector to efficiently serve companies and private individuals in Denmark.


By the end of the 19th century, the main road network had been expanded and paved. Together with the side roads, this meant that the road density at the turn of the century was quite high compared to the rest of Europe. The road network was later further fortified, drained, paved and supplemented with motorways, new main highways and many new local roads in line with urban development, especially through the 1960’s and 1970’s. The motorway network was greatly expanded and made coherent in the 1990’s and is at 1232 km (2016). With 1.68 km of public road per. km2 (2016), Denmark has a road density that is among the largest in the world and with a generally high capacity. Road construction in Denmark covers almost 1,000 km2. Queues with hour-long waiting times are not known on the Danish road network, but in the daily rush hour, queues are frequent, especially on the approach roads to Copenhagen.

The dense road network and the particularly high road standard, especially in sparsely populated parts of Denmark, are a result of municipalities with many unemployed people being able to reduce their expenses over long periods by initiating road works, of which the state then paid the majority. Until 1995, the total length of the municipality’s roads was included in the basis for calculating the equalization of expenses between municipalities. It particularly favored the sparsely populated and poor municipalities. The expansion of the motorway network on sections with very limited traffic load, eg north of the Limfjord, is similarly mainly a result of local political interests: the state covers all costs, while the construction work adds jobs to the area, and the new facility relieves the local and locally funded road network.


The first railway of the Danish kingdom was opened to traffic in 1844 between Altona and Kiel (in present-day Germany). Three years later, on June 26, 1847, the line between Copenhagen and Roskilde was inaugurated. But it was not until 1864 that railway construction took off, and the most significant lines were built in the years up to 1880. With 92 km of line per. 100,000 residents, Denmark in 1888 in terms of railway density was surpassed only by Sweden and Switzerland. In the railway’s forerunner, England, there was by comparison 78 km per. 100,000 residents The expansion of the network continued until the 1920’s, especially with the construction of catchment areas and often during fierce parliamentary and popular debate about the alignment, etc.

In the period up to the 1940’s, the railway network was connected by the construction of the bridges over the Little Belt (1935) and the Storstrømmen (1937) at the same time as the closure of the least trafficked lines began. Many new line sections thus had a very short service life: the Maribo-Torrig line was built in 1924 and closed again in 1941, Rødekro-Løgumkloster existed in 1927-36, and Hvalsø-Frederikssund 1928-36.

Since then, the track network has been reduced from a total rail length of approximately 5000 km (of which about half were private railways) to approximately 2600 km in 2005 (of which 18% are private railways). Although the current railway network is only about half as large as in the railway’s heyday, Denmark still has a fairly close-knit railway network, the maintenance of which is conditional on significant annual government subsidies. Denmark’s railways occupy a total (2001) approximately 70 km2.

The interconnection of the Danish railway network has been completed with the opening of the fixed link across the Great Belt in 1997. In addition, the Øresund connection between Copenhagen and Malmö (year 2000).

Environmental considerations and capacity problems on the roads in Europe led from the 1990’s to increased interest in rail transport of passengers and goods, also in Denmark. This has resulted in new investments in the expansion of railway facilities and freight terminals with equipment for fast transhipment between rail and road transport, eg in Taulov near Kolding, and the establishment of new line sections, especially for passenger traffic, eg to Copenhagen Airport in Kastrup. Similarly, the rail-borne local traffic has been expanded around Århus and Aalborg and in the Capital Area, where the gradual expansion of the S-train network to Hillerød, Farum, Frederikssund, Høje Taastrup and Køge in 2002-04 was supplemented by a light rail (metro), partly in a tunnel, between Vanløse and Amager.

On the track network, approximately 7% of passenger transport (however, approximately 20% in the Copenhagen area) and approximately 7% of freight transport in Denmark (2016) after a continued decline in the previous 50 years. By far the largest part of freight transport, however, is transit.


Of Denmark’s more than 100 commercial ports, the 90 are traffic ports, many of which are served by the country’s approximately 60 ferry lines. In 2015, the ports handled approximately 85,000 tons of goods. In addition, approximately 10 mio. t domestic goods, in particular coal, between power plant ports. While competition between commercial ports leads to significant overcapacity, there is an unmet need for investments in marinas, which can attract tourists. Denmark’s ports occupy approximately 45 km2 (2016).


Denmark has 11 major, publicly operated airports, of which 6 are part of the national network of domestic flights, all of which are based at Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup (2016). The facility in Kastrup accounts for the vast majority of foreign traffic. Some provincial airports (especially Billund) have established routes abroad, just as some of the state provincial airports have some military traffic. The opening of the fixed link across the Great Belt meant that domestic traffic on the routes from Copenhagen to Aarhus and Billund declined, and the route to Odense was closed. The Danish Transport and Construction Authority also supervises more than 100 airports in Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

Denmark – social security

The citizens of Denmark are to a considerable extent financially secure in the event of, for example, illness, unemployment and old age, to which are added supplementary support schemes. Among other things, housing costs and expenses related to children. In addition, there are a number of greatly expanded services in the form of day care institutions, health services, home help, etc. The principle behind the welfare state, the so-called Scandinavian welfare model, is that access to social benefits is the same for all citizens regardless of their labor market or family situation.

Social policy development

Until the end of the 19th century, social policy measures were largely synonymous with various forms of poverty relief, and poverty relief only took on a relatively organized form with the Poverty Act of 1708; before this time, the aid consisted mainly in the construction of poor houses for the incapacitated as well as in permitting begging in the home area. The Poverty Act of 1708 meant that it was imposed on the individual parishes to provide, among other things. food for the parish’s incapacitated, poor residents. The able-bodied poor were referred to forced labor in, for example, penitentiaries. From 1803, a poverty tax was introduced to cover the parishes’ expenses for poverty relief. Recipients of poverty relief did not have the right to vote after the introduction of the free constitution in 1849, and marriage was forbidden to them. By law, the Fund for the Poor was established in 1856, which relied entirely on private contributions, e.g. from the pews; the purpose of the fund was to provide assistance before the poor had to resort to the general means of poverty and thus lose their civil rights.

In 1891, the Old Age Benefit Act and a revised Poverty Act were introduced; for example, public support was introduced for medical treatment, midwifery assistance and funerals. The introduction of old-age support was epoch-making: Those over 60 were singled out as worthy of needy, ie. that the aid was provided without loss of the right to vote, a breach of the almsgiving character of the previous poor aid. Moreover, now not only the parishes but also the state contributed to the financing.

A Health Insurance Act was passed in 1892 comprising a private, voluntary insurance principle with a contingent payment, but with a state subsidy. The health insurance idea was based on a number of older privately organized health insurance funds, which provided members with various forms of help during illness. In the period up to the adoption of the Health Insurance Act, there were around 1,000 private health insurance funds with a total of over 100,000 members.

A law on accident insurance came into force in 1898. From 1907, the state began to provide subsidies to the unemployment funds without causing any loss of civil rights for the recipient. Similarly, a mandatory disability pension law was introduced in 1921, according to which disabled people received assistance without loss of rights.

The many individual laws, which were passed in the period from about 1890 to 1930, were brought together and simplified through the great social reform of 1933 (Steincke’s social reform). It was now generally stated that financial support for citizens as a result of a social event should not restrict civil rights; however, the restrictions were not totally abolished by the Public Welfare Act in 1961. The Social Acts were merged into four main laws: the National Insurance Act relating to illness, disability and old age, the Unemployment Insurance Act, the Accident Insurance Act and the Public Welfare Act.

After World War II, social legislation reflected a steady expansion of the welfare state; a number of laws were introduced for special cases of need, including for the deaf (1950), the blind (1956) and the so-called mentally retarded (1959). In 1956, a sick pay scheme was established by agreement in the labor market. In 1958, a home help scheme was established, which replaced the previous housewife replacement.

A new law on national and invalidity pensions (1956) introduced the principle that everyone was entitled to a pension regardless of wealth and income and regardless of previous business activity and previous income conditions. Everyone over the age of 69 was thus entitled to a minimum amount in national pension. In 1964, Arbejdsmarkedets Tillægspension was introduced, a compulsory scheme for employees, where the pension depends on the contributions paid.

In 1973, a compulsory health insurance scheme was paid for via general taxes, which replaced the sickness funds, and at the same time a unemployment benefit reform was introduced, which insured everyone against loss of income due to illness.

In 1976, the Development Assistance Act came into force. This introduced a single-stranded structure, which means that regardless of the causes of the social distress, the municipality’s assistance office must take care of the problems. The law introduced a principle of discretion, ie. that support should be provided based on an overall assessment of the client’s situation. A large number of amendments to the Development Assistance Act have since been implemented. Significantly, in 1987, the discretionary principle was changed to a legal principle, which meant fixed tariffs for most services. The Development Assistance Act was replaced in 1998 by the Act on Active Social Policy and the Act on Social Services. The right to receive benefits was now conditional on the obligation to utilize the ability to work, e.g. receive job offers or activation offers.

The early retirement scheme, which was introduced in 1979, made it possible for 60-66-year-old members of an unemployment fund to withdraw from the labor market before the state pension age. Early retirement pay, like the later leave and activation schemes, was largely created with a view to reducing unemployment. In 1999, the scheme was changed so that it became advantageous for the individual to postpone the transition to early retirement pay. With the reduction of the state pension age to 65 years per. 1.7.2004, early retirement pay only covers 60-64-year-olds.

Administration, financing and total expenses

The state has the overall responsibility for social legislation and planning, while the municipalities in almost all areas are responsible for the administration in relation to the citizens; Exceptions to this are the hospital system, which is administered by the counties, the unemployment benefits, which are administered by the unemployment funds, and compensation for work-related injuries, which are handled by insurance companies and by the National Board of Industrial Injuries. The Labor Market Funds Act and the introduction of the labor market contribution in 1994 have increased the employers ‘and employees’ share of financing, but it remains characteristic of Denmark that social benefits are only to a small extent based on employer contributions and direct contribution payments from the insured, and that the right to financial assistance to a limited extent depends on previous business activity. 62 per cent of the total social expenditure in Denmark is financed by the public sector through taxes and duties, compared with only 37 per cent for the EU countries on average (2002), which has meant that Denmark has one of the highest tax and duty pressures among EU countries.. The local government reform per. 1.1.2007 fundamentally changes the division of tasks. The county municipalities are closed down and the five new regions are given responsibility for the health area, however in close collaboration with the 98 new municipalities (before 271). The municipalities are given authority, supply and financing responsibility for virtually all social services and offers. The county municipalities are closed down and the five new regions are given responsibility for the health area, however in close collaboration with the 98 new municipalities (before 271). The municipalities are given authority, supply and financing responsibility for virtually all social services and offers. The county municipalities are closed down and the five new regions are given responsibility for the health area, however in close collaboration with the 98 new municipalities (before 271). The municipalities are given authority, supply and financing responsibility for virtually all social services and offers.

In 2004, social expenditure accounted for 41 per cent of total public expenditure and 30 per cent of GDP. Measured in constant prices, expenditure increased by 12 per cent in the period 1999-2004; an increasing proportion of the benefits are provided as cash benefits. Benefits relating to old age, illness and disability make up over 70 per cent of all social expenditure (2004). In addition to the public schemes, there are hundreds of voluntary church and humanitarian organizations, shelters and visitor schemes.


From 2002, the previous rules on maternity leave and childcare leave were replaced by a new law, the so-called flexible maternity leave. The parents have a total of 52 weeks ‘maternity leave compared to before 32. The mother is entitled to 4 weeks’ leave before the birth and 14 weeks after, the father is entitled to 2 weeks after the birth. After 14 weeks, the parents are entitled to an additional 32 weeks’ leave, which they are free to share and which can be postponed until the child has reached the age of 9. During the leave, unemployment benefits are equivalent to unemployment benefits, but many employees are entitled to full pay through an agreement with the employer.

All families with children under the age of 18 receive, regardless of income, child family benefit as a fixed tax-free amount per. child and with a higher rate for children under seven years; caregivers who are single or retired can also receive child allowance. Child benefits are relatively high in Denmark. Families with children can receive free home help if the person who has to take care of the home and children is unable to cope due to, for example, illness or birth. Families living for rent can, among other things. depending on household income and rent, receive housing insurance (203,000 recipients in 2005).

The publicly supported day care institutions for children include in particular crèches (0-2-year-olds), kindergartens (3-6-year-olds), after-school centers (6-10-year-olds) and after-school care schemes in connection with primary and lower secondary schools. In addition, there is municipal day care, where children are cared for in private homes; the parental payment amounts to a maximum of 33 per cent of the operating costs, from 2006 reduced to 25 per cent for children under 3 years of age, and full or partial free space can be given for economic or social reasons. An ever-increasing proportion of children go to day care, in 2005 95 percent of the 3-5-year-olds. There are introduced free choice of day-care facilities across municipal boundaries and from 01.07.2006 established a childcare for children from 1/2 years of school.

The municipality must, as needed, provide practical, pedagogical and financial advice and support to families with children and young people. If the child cannot be in his or her own home, the municipality may, with or without the parents’ consent, place the child outside the home in, for example, family care or a residential institution; Forced removal can occur when there is an obvious risk that the child’s health or development will otherwise suffer harm. At the end of 2004, 14,000 children had been placed outside their own homes, of which 1,200 had been forcibly removed. In 2001, 15,000 children and young people received preventive help in the form of, for example, relief stays. In addition, 36,000 received help at the family level, eg consulting assistance, or practical support.

Unemployment and social assistance

Employees and the self-employed are entitled to unemployment benefits after at least one year of membership in an unemployment fund and at least 52 weeks of work within the last three years; new graduates are entitled to unemployment benefits (82 percent of the rate) one week after the end of the education; the benefit period is usually a maximum of four years within a period of six years. Unemployment benefits make up a maximum of 90 per cent of previous income, however, with a maximum rate. Uninsured unemployed can, depending on dependents and the family’s total financial ability, receive cash benefitsunder the Act on Active Social Policy. The total number of unemployed converted to full-time was 157,000 in 2005 against 288,000 in 1995. The rehabilitation benefit was introduced in 1990. It corresponds to the unemployment benefit rate and presupposes that the recipient follows a plan for education and vocational training. The scheme covers 26,000 converted to full-time in 2005.

From the beginning of the 1990’s, the social policy strategy has prioritized activating measures for the unemployed and, to a certain extent, the obligation to accept the offers as a condition for continued financial support. After a short time, the unemployed person has the right and duty to receive activation offers, eg job training and education, which were introduced with the labor market reform per. 1/1/1994 The reform included rules on municipal activation, supported employment, educational offers and leave opportunities. The schemes have since been amended and expanded several times; The Act on Active Social Policy (1998) introduced rules on flexible and gentle jobs, and in 2003 a number of activation rules were gathered in the Act on Active Employment Policy. Early retirement payis a retirement for the elderly in the labor market, which also should stimulate employment for the younger ones. Eligible for early retirement are those aged 60-64 who have been members of the unemployment insurance fund and paid early retirement contributions for at least 25 years within the last 30 years, whether they are employed or unemployed. Early retirement pay depends on previous pay and is a maximum of the size of unemployment benefits. The mentioned activation and withdrawal schemes in 2004 included almost 270,000 people converted to full-time employment.


All employed people who suffer a loss of income due to illness or injury are entitled to sickness benefits from the first day of absence; self-employed people, however, only receive sickness benefits for the first three weeks if they have taken out insurance. The duration limit is 12 months within the last 18 months, but the limit can be extended. The agreements in the labor market ensure many employees full pay during illness.

The public health insurance fully covers the costs of general medical care and specialist medical care, partly the costs of dentist and chiropractor, etc. as well as for medicine. The general practitioner provides treatment or refers to a specialist or to a hospital. Hospital treatment is free. After a doctor’s referral, free home nursing care is provided, so you have the opportunity to stay in your own home during illness. The municipal child and adolescent dental care is free to use.

Old age and disability

For civil servants, the highest age limit for retirement is the age of 70. There is no general age limit for private employees, but locally in the companies there are often certain rules regarding. retirement and retirement age. In practice, the retirement pattern is strongly influenced by current legal rules on the possibilities for transition to national pension, early retirement pension or early retirement pay, etc. The average retirement age is generally declining; in 2004, just over 72 per cent of those aged 60-66 received early retirement, early retirement pay or other income-replacing benefits. With effect from 1 July 2004, persons over the age of 65 (previously 67 years) are entitled to a national pension, which is tax-financed and independent of previous income. Denmark is among the countries in the world where the national pension (as well as the early retirement pension and early retirement pension) has the highest coverage ratio (pension in relation to previous income) for low-income families. A total of 746,000 Danes are old-age pensioners (2005). Retired employees also receive ATP (Labor Market Supplementary Pension), a compulsory scheme for 16-66 year old employees where the pension depends on the contributions paid by employers (2/3) and employee (1/3). In addition, there are a number of contractual pension schemes as well as supplementary privately subscribed pensions (capital pension, etc.), which all in all means that many employees have a much higher coverage ratio.

Persons aged 18-64 years (before 1.7.2004 18-66 years) can retire early on application. With the early retirement pension reform on 1 January 2003, only one form of early retirement pension can be granted. The pension is granted only to persons with a permanently reduced ability to work, where the person is not able to take ordinary employment or a flexible job. In 2005, there were a total of 256,000 early retirees.

Depending on the financial situation, both the national pension and the early retirement pension can be supplemented with various supplements, eg personal supplement, heating supplement and subsidy for medicine expenses. After the reform in 2003, new early retirees can not receive these supplements, but can apply under the Social Services Act to cover extraordinary expenses. Depending on income and housing costs, old-age and early retirement pensioners who are tenants, co-operative members or live in owner-occupied housing can receive housing benefit according to rules that are more advantageous than the rules on housing insurance for non-pensioners. Early retirees according to the new rules from 2003 can not receive housing benefit but housing insurance according to favorable rules.

The proportion of older people living in nursing homes has been declining in recent years; traditional nursing homes are largely no longer built, as it has been an elderly policy goal for several years that as many people as possible should remain in their own homes. In step with this development, an increasing number of homes for the elderly have been built with special facilities and varying degrees of associated services, which in some cases are on a par with traditional nursing homes. At the same time, more and more people are receiving home help and elderly services (without user fees), which is due to more elderly people living longer and living in their own homes.

It is also the goal that disabled people should stay in their own homes for as long as possible; regardless of income conditions, necessary aids are provided and assistance is provided for the furnishing of the dwelling and for additional expenses due to the disability; in addition, the municipality must provide rehabilitation, rehabilitation and employment opportunities. For disabled people who cannot live in their own home, there has for a number of years been a transition from large institutions to small housing communities or independent housing with shared facilities and services.

Denmark – family relations

The division of labor in the home has become more equal, especially in families with young children, where the woman is younger, working and has a higher education. But it is still the women who do most of the housework. When both parents are working outside the home, there will be less time for contact between parents and children in families with children and a greater need for childcare. But it is among couple families precisely in families with children, and especially in families with small children, that the adults spend the most time on work and education. In general, despite reduced working hours and higher unemployment, adults had, on average, less free time in 1987 than in the past, due to the sharply increased participation of women in employment.

The average household size was 2.2 people in 2006, which was almost unchanged in recent years. Throughout the 1900’s. There was a significant decrease in the size of the household, as in 1901 it was 4.3 persons. This is due to a declining proportion of families with children, especially the families with many children, and an increase in the number of households with only 1 or 2 people. Since the 1960’s, there has been a change in the forms of cohabitation: the marriage rate has fallen sharply, the divorce rate has risen and so has the number of undocumented couples. In addition, marriages are entered into on average later in the life course; the marriage age was thus in 2005 37 years for men and 35 years for women. More than 1/5of all relationships in 2006 were paperless; it is especially a preferred form of cohabitation among younger people without children. However, a large proportion of these relationships are formalized in marriage when the couples have children. Despite the major changes in family and cohabitation patterns lived 3/4 of all children under 18 in 2005 with both their biological parents. However, there is a tendency for the number of children living with single parents to increase. From 1989, two people of the same sex have been able to enter into a registered partnership; in 2006, 3,200 partnerships were registered.

Childcare in day care or day care is continuing to grow; 94% of 3-6 year olds were enrolled in 2004 against 75% in 1990 and 55% 10 years earlier. This must be seen in the context of a sharp growth in the proportion of working mothers of young children. The role of a stay-at-home mom has almost disappeared; among families with young children, in 2004 less than 5% of women worked at home. The division of labor in the home has become more equal, especially in families with young children, where the woman is younger, working and has a higher education. But it is still the women who do most of the housework. When both parents are working outside the home, there will be less time for contact between parents and children in families with children and a greater need for childcare. But it is among couple families precisely in the families with children, and especially in families with small children, that adults spend the most time on work and education. In general, despite reduced working hours and higher unemployment, adults had, on average, less free time than before, which is due to the women’s sharply increased employment participation.

Denmark – personal finance

Private economy is the ratio between household income and expenditure. On the revenue side, the Danish tax system plays a significant role, as we in Denmark have a progressive tax system and a relatively high tax burden. At the same time, we have a relatively low wage spread when we compare with other EU countries.

Despite a progressive tax system, transfer incomes and a low wage spread, living income is still dependent on education level and employment rate. Therefore, there is a skew in the distribution of disposable income. In 1988, the 10% of households with the lowest incomes had a share of 3% of the total income volume, while conversely the 10% of the households with the highest incomes had 21% of the total income volume.

In 2014, there had been no major shifts in the lowest and highest income groups. The 10% of households with the lowest incomes still had 3% of the total income. The 10% of households with the highest incomes had 23% of the total income.

Inequality in income distribution has been stable with a few fluctuations since the early 1990’s. If one compares the income distribution with the wealth distribution, there is a greater spread between the different socio-economic groups. The average wealth per household is 1.7 million. (2014). Of this, real estate and pension savings make up the largest share.

On the expenditure side, there have been significant shifts in the last 20 years. It is especially the media-related consumption items that now take up significantly more space in households’ total consumption. In 1994, a household spent an average of 5.5% of its total consumption on media-related consumption items, whereas in 2014 they spent 11.9%. Another significant change is that media consumption has become mobile, from being landline based.

Denmark – personal security

At the same time as a sharp increase in traffic volume and car density, traffic safety has increased significantly. The number of killed and injured is more than halved in 1970-2000. For the first time in more than 40 years, the number of traffic fatalities reached below 500 in 1997, and in 2000 the number dropped to 431, the lowest in over 50 years. Far more men than women are injured in traffic (in 1993 70% more), and especially the group of 15-19-year-olds has an excess risk.

Theft and vandalism has increased by 24% 1980-2000 corresponding to nine reviews per. 100 residents in 2000.

The number of reported violent crimes was 15,200 in 2000, an increase of 40% compared to 1990. It is less serious violence that has increased, while serious violence such as murder and attempted murder has decreased.

Denmark – health conditions

Denmark – health conditions, state of health

For decades, the Danes have lived with the notion that their state of health was one of the best in the world, as life expectancy around 1960 had only been surpassed by Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands. In 1990, however, Denmark had been overtaken by all the countries in the EU with the exception of Ireland and Portugal, just as, for example, Japan and Cuba had a higher life expectancy. In Denmark, life expectancy increased in the period 1965-2015 from 72 years to 80.6 years (men: 78.6, women: 82.5). Denmark was still surpassed by 26 countries, all Western European countries, Canada and Japan. Worldwide, the average life expectancy was 71.4 in 2015.

The calculation of life expectancy is strongly affected by infant mortality in the first year of life; it has been declining since the beginning of the 1900’s, but the decline has been replaced by a stagnation in relation to the countries with which we most often compare ourselves, with approximately 10 countries have a lower infant mortality rate than Denmark, which is approximately 2.9 pr. 1000 live births (2015).

From around 1995, Denmark has experienced a surprising decrease in mortality, which has led to an increase in life expectancy to 82.5 years for women and 78.6 years for men in 2014-15; this period’s increase in life expectancy has thus been greater than in the previous two decades.

The largest decline in mortality has occurred in the case of heart disease, but there has also been a continued decline in the number of suicides. Mortality from AIDS has also declined since 1995, when effective, life-prolonging, but not curative, treatment with a combination of drugs was introduced. As mortality from AIDS was particularly prevalent among younger men, the decline in their mortality has had some impact on the increasing life expectancy of men.

The declining mortality rate from heart disease is probably due to a combination of several factors. There has been a decrease in the proportion of smoking Danes, and changes in diet and exercise habits have probably also contributed. At the same time, improved and increased treatment options for the treatment of coronary artery disease have helped to reduce cardiac mortality. Prevention of heart disease with increased use of Hjertemagnyl®, cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins) and more intensive treatment of any increase in blood pressure may also have contributed. Mortality from various diseases is not the best measure of a population’s health status, but the development in mortality provides important information. Cardiovascular diseaseshas since 1980 become a rarer cause of death and in 2014 amounted to approximately 25% of all deaths.

The number of cancer deaths continues to rise and amounts to approximately 30%. The increase in the number of lung cancer cases in women is one of the largest in the world, while for men there has been a slow decline. The incidence of breast cancer in women is among the highest in the world.

For several years there has been a downward trend in suicide, but in recent years there has been an increase. The number of deaths due to work and traffic accidents is low and was halved in the period 1990-2006 for traffic accidents. The number of deaths due to home accidents continues to increase, especially due to complications of femoral neck fractures in very old people.

Chronic diseases, the prevalence of which is not reflected in the mortality statistics, are the cause of many ailments and great costs to society and the individual. In addition to mental illness, this also applies to joint and muscle diseases, which can be caused by hard physical work.

The average health condition in Denmark, for example assessed by mortality, covers significant variations, even though these are not as large as many other places in the world. In Copenhagen, life expectancy is a few years lower than the national average. Certain occupational groups, such as seafarers and restaurant staff, have a 100% excess mortality rate.


The tasks of the Danish health service, which are laid down by legislation, are predominantly assigned to regions and municipalities and consist of prevention, detection and treatment of diseases as well as care of the sick. In addition, research and training of health professionals.

The Danish healthcare system employs approximately 155,000 people (2014). The public expenditure for this occupies approximately 155 billion (2015). The population’s own payment for health services amounts to approximately 15.8% and includes predominantly own share of the cost of medicines and dental treatment, but also significant amounts for natural medicine and other alternative treatment. In 2013, total health expenditure was 10.4% of GDP; of this, public health expenditure accounted for 8.8% of GDP, while private health expenditure accounted for 1.6%.

The health service is predominantly administered through the regions. These have an obligation to finance the most important parts of the primary health service (general practitioners, dentists, physiotherapists, etc.) through health insurance and provide subsidies for medicines. They also have a duty to maintain a hospital system (the secondary health service).

The municipalities’ obligations include the organization of services for home nursing, health care and dental care for children and young people. Assistance for the elderly and disabled in their own homes as well as the provision and operation of nursing homes and other homes for the elderly are predominantly municipal services.

In the primary health service, approximately 3500 general practitioners and approximately 900 specialists agreement with the regions. The primary medical service is characterized by approximately 98% of the population chooses to have their own doctor. A Dane has an average of 7.5 contacts a year to his general practitioner, who for approximately 87% of cases can complete the treatment.

The hospital system comprises 53 public hospitals with a total of approximately 16,000 beds (2013) and employs a total of 106,000 people, of which 15,600 doctors and 35,600 nurses (2015). Annually there are 1.3 million. admissions and 7.8 mill. outpatient visits.

There has been a continued decline in the number of hospitals. Part of the decline is due to mergers into larger organizational units. There has also been a decrease in the number of hospital beds, but the number of treated patients has not decreased, which can be considered as an expression of increased efficiency. The number of patients treated on an outpatient basis has also increased.

In the late 1990’s, increased attention was paid to the length of waiting time before examination and treatment in a hospital or by general practitioners, as shown by extended waiting lists. The increase in waiting time is due to a combination of an increasing number of older people in the population with age-related disorders, improved and at the same time resource-intensive treatments combined with the population’s expectation to share these opportunities and difficulties in meeting the requirements for financial and personnel reasons.

Changing governments and the Folketing have taken a number of initiatives to address these issues. Some of these have been to assign those responsible for the hospital system, ie. former counties and Hovedstadens Sygehusfælleskab, today the regions, extra state funds, as happened in 1993 in connection with the Heart Plan. Similarly, special government grants have been provided for cancer treatment (the Cancer Plan) and for the modernization of the psychiatric wards.

In 1993, free choice of hospital was introduced for all non-specialized treatment. In 2002, the extended free choice of hospital was introduced, which gives the right to choose a private hospital or electricity if the stipulated waiting time is exceeded.

From the mid-1990’s, there has been a significant increase in the number of Danes with new forms of private health insurance, just as the number of private hospitals has increased.

Denmark – research

The Danish research system has grown out of public and private initiatives in a more than 500-year development. Three pillars have been supporting: the universities and other higher education institutions, public research institutions in general and the research of private companies.

The total expenditure on research and development in 2010 was over DKK 55 billion. Of this, just over DKK 17 billion comes from from the public sector, while the private sector accounts for 38 billion. Denmark spends just over 3% of its gross domestic product on research efforts and is a relatively research-intensive country.

When the University of Copenhagen was founded in 1479, the aim was not to create a research institution. The university was to provide teaching within the scholastic tradition that characterized medieval universities. Only in the Enlightenment of the 1700’s, but implemented by the university reform in 1788, did free and general research really find an independent place among the university’s obligations. In the 1800’s. was supplemented with other higher education institutions such as the Polytechnic (1829), the Danish School of Pharmacy (1857) and the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences. Veterinary and Agricultural University (1858). In the 1900’s. four universities/university centers were added: Aarhus, Odense (today the University of Southern Denmark), Roskilde and Aalborg.

In 2007, a number of universities and sector research institutions were merged. 25 research institutions were reduced to 11 institutions, the eight named universities and the other three named sector research institutions, which now handle the majority of the research activities. The University of Copenhagen, Aarhus University and the Technical University of Denmark thus became among Europe’s largest. About two-thirds of public research and university education takes place here. The merger also resulted in four medium-sized universities, the University of Southern Denmark and Aalborg University, which merged with sector research institutions, as well as Copenhagen Business School andRoskilde University. The IT University of Copenhagen is Denmark’s smallest university.


Common to the universities is that they receive basic funding for research through the annual finance laws. The use of these funds is based on decisions made by the university management. In addition, there are funds from other sources to finance special research programs, research contracts or participation in research collaborations with Danish or foreign partners.

The universities have the main responsibility for Danish basic research. While a number of other countries have chosen to let academies or similar national research institutes carry out the basic research, the Danish research system rests on the ideals that Wilhelm von Humboldt developed in Prussia in the early 1800’s, and which closely link higher education and free research..

The core of university research is the departments at each individual university, and the university-employed researcher has the freedom to choose his or her research topics.

Other research institutions

Outside the university world, there are research institutions to promote more specific purposes. The emphasis is predominantly on applied research, including advice from public authorities. Also this type of institutions rests on long traditions. It is worth noting that Frederik II massively supported Tycho Brahe when he 1580-97 ran one of Europe’s foremost research institutions via his observatory Uranienborg on Ven. From the end of the 1800’s, but especially in the period after 1945, sector research institutes were established in all the main areas of research, all of which had research as their main task. In 2007, the number of research institutions was reduced by mergers.

In 2013, Denmark has three sector research institutions: the National Research Center for Occupational Health (NFA) under the Ministry of Employment, SFI – The National Research Center for Welfare under the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Statens Serum Institut under the Ministry of Health and Prevention. A sector research institution receives its basic grant from a line ministry, which it serves with advice and research results as a basis for political and administrative decisions. In addition, there are research-oriented archives, libraries and museums. The peculiarity of sector research is that its choice of subject, to a greater extent than that of universities, is governed by the needs formulated by society through the ministries and their advisory bodies.

Finally, part of the picture of publicly funded research is the research carried out in the country’s hospitals. The basic expenses for this are mainly borne by the regions, although Rigshospitalet and a few others receive budget appropriations.

The administration of the public research system is handled by a number of ministries. In 1993, a Ministry of Research was established for the first time, whose task was to coordinate Danish research, while research grants and institutions continued to fall under the traditional line ministries. Since 2014, the ministry has been called the Ministry of Education and Research. The Ministry’s area of ​​responsibility covers higher education, including maritime education, business academies, vocational colleges, several artistic educations and universities. In addition, the SU area as well as the research and innovation area. The Ministry is responsible for the Research Councilthe system, which consists of a number of bodies with different tasks within research policy advice, research support and strengthening, respectively, the interaction between public and private research and the collaboration between research institutions and companies.

Business research

A pioneer in the efforts to use research in the service of industry was Carlsberg Breweries’ founder, JC Jacobsen. From his youth he was preoccupied with science, and in 1875 he created the Carlsberg Laboratory at his own brewery. In 1876 he established the Carlsberg Foundation, who became the owner of Carlsberg and thus a significant financier of Danish research. The Executive Board of the Carlsberg Foundation is appointed by the members of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences. Danish Society of Sciences. It is probably unique in the world that five people, whose most important qualifications are to be researchers, are thus the board of directors of a very large industrial company. Almost as unique is the fact that the Carlsberg Laboratory has been a basic science laboratory since its establishment, whose research results are widely available.

The research-heavy part of Danish industry in the 2010’s is mainly the pharmaceutical industry, and the Danish pharmaceutical companies NOVO Nordisk, Lundbeck and Leo Pharma account for approximately 30 percent of all private research in Denmark. The research departments work closely with Danish and foreign university institutes, and an increasing tendency can be observed for Danish companies such as NOVO Nordisk to establish their own laboratories outside the country’s borders.

Both private and public Danish research is dependent on international cooperation. Of particular importance is Danish participation in the EU framework programs for research and innovation. Denmark’s return of funds from here is stable at around 2.3 per cent. of the entire pool, which corresponds to 601 mill. euro (March 2012).

Key research areas

Danish research is strong in a number of areas. In the humanities, archeology and comparative linguistics are important disciplines rooted in Danish university and museum traditions. Physics is with Niels Bohras the big international name continues to be an area of ​​strength, just as marine biology in this century has built strong research environments. Danish agriculture has managed to build strong research environments in both the university and sector research systems, and health research is strongly placed in international research collaboration. In order to promote Danish research in selected areas, special research programs have been implemented in recent years in areas such as materials technology, biotechnology, food technology and energy and environmental research. The aim of these efforts is to develop new areas where research can both promote the competitiveness of the Danish business community and win positions in the international research world.

Research history

Actual scientific activity arose in the 1100’s. under the influence of the schools in Paris, where the circle around Absalon was educated. Anders Sune’s great didactic poem Hexaëmeron continued an old European tradition, while Saxo’s Gesta Danorum in neatly Latin depicted the history of Denmark until 1185. The mother tongue was used by codifying landscape laws, such as Jyske Lov by Bishop Gunner 1241, as well as a medical herbal dating of Roskildekannikken Henrik Harpestræng(d. 1244). In 1274, systematic astronomical observations were made in Roskilde, and from here also emanated Peder Nattergal (Petrus Philomena), who became European known as a mathematician, as a designer of astronomical calculation instruments and as the author of an extremely widespread calendar for the period 1292-1368. In Paris, Boëthius de Dacia and other Danish philosophers worked. In the late Middle Ages, a large collection of proverbs by Peder Laale appeared, a comprehensive medical-astrological textbook of the Lunde canon Laurentius de Dacia and the first map of the Nordic countries by Claudius Clavus Schwartz (approximately 1425).

In 1479, the University of Copenhagen was established, which after the Reformation essentially became a Lutheran seminary, and only the theologian Niels Hemmingsen played a role in the European context. Outside the university, the court physician Peder Sørensen (or Severinus, approximately 1540-1602) became known for his paracelsic philosophy of nature, Chancellor Arild Huitfeldt wrote the first major history of Denmark in Danish, and in Ribe Anders Sørensen Vedel collected historical source material and published the first collection of folk songs. Of particular importance was the astronomer Tycho Brahe, who founded modern astronomy by observing the sky with unprecedented accuracy at his richly equipped observatory on Ven.

The foundation for the Danish museum system was laid in the 1600’s. with the physician Ole Worm’s natural history and archaeological collection and with the Royal Kunstkammer. From this century onwards, the university gained more prominence with a new observatory on the Round Tower, a new university library and an anatomical theater and museum. Caspar Bartholin became known throughout Europe for his anatomical textbook; his son Thomas Bartholin identified the lymph vessels and published the country’s first scientific journal, Acta Medica (1673-80), and another son, Rasmus Bartholin, gave the first description of the birefringence of light which he had observed in Icelandic calcareous spatter crystals. Of fundamental importance in physics was Ole Rømer’s demonstration in 1676 of the “hesitation” or final speed of light. However, the nepotism of the Bartholin family kept many away from the university. The mathematician Georg Mohr worked abroad just like Niels Stensen, who in addition to making excellent anatomical discoveries is remembered as the founder of historical geology, paleontology and crystallography.

To strengthen the individual subjects, a new university law in 1732 forbade professors to change subjects; thus the polyhistorical period was over. Ten years later, the Royal Danish Society of Sciences was founded with the well-known European historian Hans Gram as the driving force. Much work was put into the study of the country’s nature and culture. Matthias Moth and Frederik Rostgaard compiled large word collections that have been used in all later Danish dictionaries. Important sources for the older story were published in Scriptores Rerum Danicarum, which was started by Jacob Langebekin 1772, while Peter Frederik Suhm wrote his 14-volume Danmarkshistorie, which covered the period until 1400. The country’s topography was described in the Danish Atlas by Erik Pontoppidan, the waters were surveyed under chart director Jens Sørensen, and the large geodetic survey 1760-1820 under Thomas Bugge resulted in the first accurate Denmark maps. Modern, Newtonian physics was neglected at the university, but received an excellent presentation in a large work Lectures on Mechanics (1763) by Sorø professor Jens Kraft. A pioneering treatise on complex figures by surveyor Caspar Wessel, on the other hand, was immediately forgotten and was not rediscovered until 100 years later. Natural history was cultivated by the entomologistJohan Christian Fabricius and the Greenlandic researcher Otto Fabricius, while the zoologist Otto Frederik Müller wrote a large overview work on the entire Nordic wildlife. Distant lands were explored by resp. Frederik Ludvig Norden and Carsten Niebuhr on large expeditions to Egypt 1737-38 and to Arabia, Persia and India 1761-67; Niebuhr brought home exact copies of Persian inscriptions in cuneiform, the interpretation of which was initiated by Friedrich Münter. In Rome, Georg Zoëga worked as an Egyptologist and as one of the founders of modern archeology.

Research at international level

After this, the development took off with the establishment of more and more research areas at a growing number of educational institutions and specialist institutes. Only areas where Danish science has had international significance should be mentioned here. This was the case in philology, where Rasmus Kristian Rask founded comparative linguistics and from a journey in the East 1816-23 brought home large collections of manuscripts. They were exploited by the Iranologist Niels Ludvig Westergaard and also became the basis for a large, as yet unfinished dictionary of the sacred language of Buddhism, pali. Important linguistic historical contributions were also made by Karl Verner, Vilhelm Thomsen and Otto Jespersen. Within classical philology, Johan Nicolai Madvig was a leading figure, while Johan Ludvig Heiberg created the critical editions of Euclid, Archimedes and Ptolemy that are still used worldwide. Also Louis Hjelmslev has distinguished itself as one of the greatest scholars and was on par with the theory glossematikken internationally known.

In archeology and prehistory, the museum man Christian Jürgensen Thomsen (1788-1865) introduced the now commonly used division into Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages. Of great importance to the subject was also the discovery of the kitchen wastes by Japetus Steenstrup and JJA Worsaae. Later, numerous excavations in the Near East have consolidated Danish archeology worldwide, including with the discovery of the ancient Bahrain culture at the PV Glob.

Hans Christian Ørsted discovered electromagnetism in 1820, which brought physics into new orbits, while Ludvig August Colding’s establishment of the energy principle remained unnoticed. Mathematical physics was also ignored until it was introduced by Ludvig Valentin Lorenz and Christian Christiansen (1843-1917). To their school belonged Niels Bohr, who in 1913 became world famous for his application of quantum mechanics to the hydrogen atom and for his explanation of the periodic table of the elements, which in 1922 gave him the Nobel Prize. The University’s Department of Theoretical Physics (1920, now the Niels Bohr Institute) has since been an international research center. Here the element hafnium was discovered in 1923 by Georg de Hevesy, while Christian Møller became known for his work with the theory of relativity. Also a Nobel Prize in nuclear physics in 1975 to Aage Bohr and Ben Mottelson shows the vitality of this school, to which also the versatile theorist Jens Lindhard belongs.

Significant contributions to chemistry were made by the thermochemist Julius Thomsen and later by JA Brønsted regarding the acid-base concept. In astronomy, Heinrich Louis d’Arrest made groundbreaking observations of nebulae, while the overseas Ejnar Hertzsprung became one of the pioneers in astrophysics, to which Bengt Strömgren also made a very decisive contribution.

Marine research has benefited from the great Danish circumnavigations that began with Galathea ‘s expedition 1845-47, which brought home Peter Wilhelm Lund’s large paleontological collections from Brazil; later followed the three Dana expeditions 1920-30 and finally a new circumnavigation with Galathea II in 1950-52, which achieved rich oceanographic and natural history results. Mention must also be made of the ethnographic journeys to the Arctic, especially the exploration of Greenland, in the first half of the 1900’s, led by Kaj Birket-Smith, and to Central Asia, carried out by Henning Haslund-Christensen.

In the biological and medical field, Hans Christian Gram became known for his method of staining bacteria (1884). In 1903, Niels Ryberg Finsen received Denmark’s first Nobel Prize in Medicine for the light treatment of lupus. In 1920, another Nobel Prize followed for August Krogh for his work on the physiology of respiration. A third was given in 1943 to the biochemist Henrik Dam for the discovery of vitamin K. Of crucial importance for posterity were the heredity studies of W. Johannsen, which became the starting point for genetic research, as well as Peter Boysen Jensen’s discovery of the plants’ growth hormones.

In 1997, physician Jens Christian Skou received a shared Nobel Prize in chemistry for his discovery of the sodium-potassium pump, which in the form of the enzyme sodium-potassium ATPase maintains the mineral and fluid balance between tissue fluid and body cells.

Denmark – library service

the Research Libraries serve research, studies and academic activities, while being open to everyone.

The National Library of Denmark is the Royal Library, since 1990 merged with the University Library’s humanities department; the other university subjects are handled by the Danish Library of Natural and Medical Sciences and the Central Botanical Library.

National tasks are also the responsibility of the Royal Library – Aarhus, which also serves Aarhus University. Of other university libraries, it is the most significant in Odense.

The libraries of the large educational institutions are also national libraries for their subjects, eg the Danish Educational Library, the Technical Knowledge Center of Denmark & ​​the Library, the Danish Veterinary and Agricultural Library, the libraries of the business schools and the Academy of Fine Arts.

Public libraries. After 100 years of local initiatives to establish public libraries, the state began to support these in 1882, and with the Library Act of 1920, a network of libraries was created with the entire population in mind. They received statutory subsidies from the state until 1983; since then, the municipalities have been free to dispose of the libraries, as they are obliged by law to maintain a library system.

The central libraries, one in each county, complement the local libraries by virtue of their larger book stock and information opportunities. The public library’s total book stock in 2005 was approximately 28 mio. bd., and 54 mill. lending.

A common body for advising and coordinating all the country’s libraries is the Statens Bibliotekstjeneste, established in 1990 by merging the Library Inspectorate (grdl. 1920) and the National Library Office (grdl. 1943).

In 1998, the inter-ministerial project Danmarks Elektroniske Forskningsbibliotek (DEF; from 2004 DEFF (Danmarks Elektroniske Fag- og Forskningsbibliotek)) was launched, which will create the basis for a network of information services for researchers and students.

As a project under DEFF, has been established, which is the joint service of the Danish research libraries; provides a comprehensive entrance to the network of Danish research libraries and to important information resources found on the Internet.

Denmark – archives

the Central Administration’s archives must be handed in to the National Archives, the local state administration’s archives and, for example, the Danish Church’s church books to the four national archives in resp. Copenhagen, Odense, Viborg and Aabenraa. The municipalities’ archives must be handed in to their own city archives or to the national archives.

Private companies and individuals decide for themselves whether their archives should be handed over. The National Archives, which is the public administration’s consultant in archive matters, must grant permission for disposal; only a small portion of all new records are preserved.

It is the task of the archives in registration and exploration to make their archives accessible and to weigh user requests for fast archive access against the wishes of several handing out institutions for longer periods of unavailability.

The Statens Mediesamling is part of the State Library in Aarhus; the collection consists of audiovisual media. The Danish Data Archive in Odense contains research material which is available on electronic media.

Local history archives, especially since the municipal reform in 1970, have been founded by volunteers in parishes, municipalities and districts; these 450 municipal or self-governing archives hold records of local people and conditions.

Denmark – sports and sports

When sports are now and then referred to as “Denmark’s largest popular movement”, it is primarily due to the number of athletes. More than every other Dane is active in some form of sport, and in terms of membership, the sports organizations are surpassed only by the Danish National Church. But the nickname is also due to the fact that the association has been the dominant framework for sports life in Denmark since 1861, when the formation of the Danish Shooting Associations took place. Shooting, gymnastics and sports associations formed a significant part of the popular movements that helped to build Danish democracy in the years around 1900.

Strongest was the connection between sports and national politics in the liberal peasant movement, where gymnastics was considered a valuable means of liberating the individual, both physically and spiritually. Posture and posture were inextricably linked. An external goal for the movement was achieved in 1920, when Southern Jutland was reunited with Denmark.

The labor movement and the urban bourgeoisie also had an eye for the democratic schooling in the association life and for the social and cultural educational value of sport. The gymnastics of the rural population was at the beginning of the 1900’s the most widespread, while English sports such as football and tennis gained a foothold in the cities and came to dominate the sporting image as the century progressed.

The development of society after the Second World War long supported association sports. The welfare state gave the working population more leisure time, women were given a more independent and outgoing role in society, and there was a need to organize the children’s leisure time as well. Sports participation boomed, sports halls sprang up all over the country, and volunteer, local sports leaders made sure the courts were filled and sports offered in a professionally sound manner.

From the 1980’s onwards, a new trend has broken through as other areas of society have also experienced an increased focus on the individual and a weakening of the traditional communities. Private initiatives – from the commercial fitness centers at one end of the spectrum to the individual jogging trip in the woods at the other – challenge the classic association life with great vigor. The explosive growth in mobile platforms has also created new opportunities to organize and practice its sport in real and virtual communities, such as the Danish-founded Endomondo.

In addition, there is a new trend: Both in Denmark and the rest of the world, politicians are increasingly concerned that economic growth and technological development have led to far more sedentary work with associated health risks. It is of great value to public health and the economy of society that the individual citizen engages in regular physical activity, and health policy considerations now challenge the cultural and social arguments as a justification for providing public support for sport.

Despite the new trends, association life is still strong, both in the Danish population and in the public priorities. Just over eight out of ten children and four out of ten adults over the age of 16 – over 2.5 million Danes – are active in the sports associations. In addition, almost half a million adults have a voluntary, unpaid job in one of Denmark’s approximately 12,000 sports associations.

While the associations are still strong among children and young people, the growth in adult Danes’ sports takes place especially outside the association; outdoors on streets and roads, indoors in gyms and swimming pools. Nature and public areas are the most used ‘facilities’ for adult sports, because here the active people can decide for themselves how often and how much they train and fit it into a busy everyday life. In addition, up to 900,000 Danes are customers in commercial fitness centers with Fitness World as the largest chain. The number of fitness customers and centers has been constantly increasing since commercial fitness and strength training really gained a foothold in the Danish market in the 1980’s.

The list of the most popular sports in Denmark therefore includes a mix of classic club sports such as football, swimming and gymnastics, individual sports such as running, hiking and road cycling, and finally various fitness activities, strength training and yoga, which typically take place in commercial centers.

The break-up of the sports market over the past ten years has caused sports and forms of organization to mix: today, for example, you can play football in commercial centers, work out in associations or go to yoga at evening school. Sports centers and municipalities sometimes also offer sports directly to the citizens, outside the associations.

Via the Public Information Act, association sports are financially supported with grants for, for example, members, special activities and coaches/ management training as well as access to facilities. The municipalities’ support for facilities in particular plays a major role in association sports, and since the first leisure time law in 1968, the total municipal subsidies for sports have grown strongly and in 2015 amounted to around DKK 3.7 billion. kr.

Denmark is among the world’s absolutely leading countries when it comes to the number of sports halls in relation to the population. In 2013, there were 1,494 sports halls, 5,128 football pitches and 2,536 gymnasiums (sports halls, sports halls and gymnasiums up to 799 m2), 442 swimming pools (including water parks and outdoor baths) and 663 private fitness centers.

With the increasing number of providers in the field of sports in Denmark, new offers are currently emerging for organized training and arranged events, some of which are short-lived and others are long-term successful, especially running, crossfit and triathlon.

At the same time, new technology and software have revolutionized the way we create communities, measure our own activities, compare ourselves with others, and gain inspiration for physical activity. The rapid development creates challenges for the associations’ traditional organization and offerings, and the sport of badminton and handball has in recent years experienced challenges on the member side.


The association sports have three national organizations, each with their own purpose and way of working: the Danish Sports Confederation (DIF), the Danish Gymnastics and Sports Associations (DGI) and the Danish Company Sports Confederation (DFIF). The three organizations regularly consult with each other with a view to drawing a common line on overall sports policy issues. The organizations have their main income from a statutory share of the profits on the games on which the state-owned Danske Spil has a monopoly (especially lottery and scratch games). Just under a third of this profit is transferred via the Ministry of Culture to these three sports organizations. In 2015, they received DKK 199, 185 and 27 million, respectively.

Furthermore, the sport benefits from the annual distribution funds (tip funds) to a number of related institutions. Lokale og Anlægsfonden, which was established in 1994 to develop and support construction in the field of culture and leisure, received almost DKK 60 million in 2015 from the distribution funds. In its first 20 years, the foundation has distributed more than DKK 1.7 billion to facilities for sports, youth purposes and cultural and outdoor life. In addition, the elite sports institution Team Denmark received DKK 64 million, Sport Event Denmark DKK 24 million, Anti Doping Denmark 17 and the Sports Analysis Institute DKK 10 million in 2015.

Denmark has a unique structure in that the sports associations have two large nationwide organizations with a partial overlap of the membership. At regular intervals, proposals emerge to merge DIF and DGI, and the most convincing attempt to implement a merger so far failed in 2008. The two organizations are now approaching each other through a joint commitment in a so-called 25-50-75 vision, which was conceived in connection with a revision of the Distribution Act in 2014. According to the plan, DIF and DGI must by 2025 ensure that 75 percent of the population is active in sports and 50 percent a member of a sports association.

There is a tradition for public authorities to respect the independence and freedom of association of sport, both locally and nationally. However, the Ministry of Culture exerts some influence on the major organizations and institutions in the field of sports through framework agreements.

Elite sports

While gymnastics and fitness activities in various guises account for the largest number of participants inside and outside the associations, football is the national sport of spectators. The national football team regularly gathers a few million Danes in front of the TV screen; a highlight of the national euphoria was the gold medal at the 1992 European Championships in Sweden. At the World Cup in football, Denmark’s best result is a memorable quarterfinal against Brazil in 1998.

Since the team’s European Championship qualification in 1984, Denmark has participated in the European Championships in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2012 as well as in the World Cup in 1986, 1998, 2002 and 2010. A consistent leader in these tournaments was Morten Olsen, first as a player and captain (a total of 102 national matches 1970-1989) and since as the longest reigning national coach (2000-2015).

The Danish nature offers good opportunities for sailing, swimming, canoeing and kayaking, rowing, orienteering and cycling, and also within these sports, Denmark is making a name for itself in an international context. Sailor Paul Elvstrøm, who in 1996 was named the best Danish athlete of the 20th century, won a gold medal at four Olympic Games in a row (1948-60). He also won 13 world championships and participated at the age of 60 in his ninth and final Olympics in 1988.

The cyclist Bjarne Riis’ victory in the Tour de France in 1996 is no longer untouched as one of the greatest Danish triumphs in an individual sport. Bjarne Riis acknowledged with many years of delay his personal share of cycling’s massive doping consumption, but there are still doubts about his management of the anti-doping rules in his later career as team owner and sports director.

The Kenyan-born 800m runner Wilson Kipketer set Denmark a world record in 1997 and long-missed medals in athletics (World Cup gold in 1999, European Championship gold in 2002, Olympic silver in 2000 and bronze in 2004). After Kipketer stopped his career, shot putter Joachim B. Olsen was the most stable medal hope in athletics with, among other things, a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics and gold at the 2005 European Indoor Championships on the record list. Joachim B. Olsen stopped his career in 2009.

On the women’s side, swimmer Mette Jacobsen achieved the unique thing of staying in the world elite from 1988 and almost twenty years onwards. Since then, names such as Lotte Friis, Rikke Møller Petersen (b. 9.01.1989), Jeanette Ottesen and Mie Ø. Nielsen (b. 25.9.1996) have secured the succession. Danish swimming is today among the regular medalists at international championships for women.

The handball game, which – at least in Denmark – is considered to be a Danish invention, has the nation’s special attention. The women’s national team was close to being disbanded in the late 1980’s, but has since taken convincing revenge. With Olympic gold at three Olympics in a row (1996, 2000 and 2004), World Cup gold in 1997 and European Championship gold in 1994, 1996 and 2002, the women’s national team not only established itself at the top of the world elite, but also won a popular favorite for women’s sports.

For a period around and after the turn of the millennium, the domestic Danish women’s handball league was considered one of the best in the world, but both at club and national team level, the success has faded. The latest medal was picked up at the 2013 World Cup, where it turned into bronze.

The handball men won bronze medals at three European Championships in a row – 2002, 2004 and 2006. And with gold medals at the European Championships 2008 and 2012, silver medals at the World Cup 2011 and 2013 and the European Championships 2014, the men’s team grew completely out of the shadow of the women’s national team. Many Danish men’s players have played in the best German and Spanish clubs, and also on the youth side, the Danes have delivered great results.

In badminton, Danish players have always influenced the world elite, and in recent times, speedway, sports dance, bowling, shooting and wrestling have offered Danish top results. The Danish tennis player, Caroline Wozniacki, has also helped to lift Danish tennis, as she topped the world rankings for a long period in 2010-11

In golf, Thomas Bjørn has for a number of years been the dominant Danish name with victories in, among others, the Dubai Desert Classic in 2001 and the Irish Open in 2006. Today, a number of both female and male players have managed to achieve good results, both in Europe. the tour as at Masters tournaments.

Apart from the Olympics in 1904, Denmark has participated in all the Olympic Games since 1896 and has each time won medals. In recent years, Danish athletes have reached a historically high level with several good results in sports such as sailing, swimming, handball, rowing, badminton, cycling and canoeing/ kayaking. The 2012 Olympics in London were with 9 medals – 2 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze medals – the best Danish Olympics since 1948.

The growing importance of the sport as an entertainment industry has also in Denmark meant that large sums are at stake for both the athlete, the coach, the sponsors, the mass media and the entire organizational apparatus. In order to raise the level of Danish elite sports and to ensure the elite athletes socially, the Folketing decided in 1984 to establish the Institution for the promotion of Danish elite sports, in everyday speech Team Denmark.

Team Denmark supports selected athletes and special federations by covering a number of the expenses associated with, among other things. training and competition participation. The institution guides practitioners in the use of sports medicine, biomechanics, technology, psychology and long-term planning of their work and educational careers. The tasks are solved in collaboration with the Danish Sports Confederation and the individual special federations.

Handicap sports

Denmark is one of the few countries in the world with a single sports federation to embrace various forms of disability. Deaf sports have their own association. Since 1971, the Danish Handicap Sports Association (DHIF) has worked to promote training and competitive sports among people with physical or mental disabilities.

Although DHIF’s 12,000 members (2016) make up only a small part of the total number of disabled people, this is a high degree of organization from an international perspective. At the elite level, Denmark is one of the leading countries, especially in swimming, horse riding, athletics, table tennis and shooting.

In recent years, the main task has changed from adapting normal sports to different types of disabilities, towards developing new activities where the disabled can have great sports experiences on their own terms.

International challenges

Almost twenty years ago, international sport experienced what was called “annus horribilis”, a year of horror. In 1998, every few months, there was an international uproar over the revelation of the systematic use of doping in the Tour de France and the corruption scandals of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The scandals led to a groundbreaking collaboration between sport and the governments that led to the formation of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The following year, the Danish government and DIF similarly agreed to establish Anti-Doping Denmark on a trial basis to strengthen the fight against doping. Anti Doping Denmark was given statutory status in 2005 and is today a common concern for sports organizations and the state, with the aim of “strengthening the fundamental values ​​in both elite sports and the broad, popular sports” through doping control, research, education and information work.

But doping no longer has the status of the biggest threat to the sport. In the last ten years, there has been a growing awareness of agreed-upon betting – match-fixing – which often happens in connection with betting on match results. There is a crucial difference between doping and match-fixing: Even the doped athlete must do his best to win, while the athlete who has agreed to lose is on a somewhat easier task. In addition, doping weakens the unpredictability of the sport, while match-fixing eliminates it.

It is the advent of the internet that has opened up new markets and new forms of gaming across national borders, just as the internet has made it easier to organize agreed games in criminal networks. In particular, the gigantic, unregulated gambling market in Asia is home to strong syndicates of illegal gamblers, who can operate almost risk-free anywhere in the world by tempting full- and semi-professional athletes to fix their own matches.

Sports organizations cannot fight organized crime on their own, but must have the support of the police and other public authorities. So far, an international convention adopted by the 48 member states of the Council of Europe – but far from being signed by all of them – is the most important political tool in the fight against match-fixing.

The fight against corruption on the field has sharpened the awareness of the corruption that takes place in the sport’s own scenes. Although the IOC, following the 1998 crisis, introduced reforms to curb corruption among the 115 individual members, the horrors of the sport seem to have only increased.

A number of international federations – football, athletics, tennis, volleyball, handball and weightlifting – have been in the spotlight for various forms of corruption and mismanagement. In 2015, public distrust reached new heights after first the FBI and Swiss police carried out a large-scale operation under the International Football Association FIFA and raised charges against about 40 top executives (number as of April 2016).

At the same time, a German television and an investigative committee under WADA revealed systematic doping in Russian athletics and associated corruption from the very highest place in the International Athletics Federation (IAAF). Research conducted under the auspices of Play the Game, a Danish initiative to promote democracy, openness and freedom of expression in sport, documents that the international federations are very vulnerable to abuse and corruption due to poor structures and procedures. For example, only every third union publishes its annual accounts.

The Danish Sports Confederation, which since 1992 has also been the Danish Olympic Committee, has responded by stepping up its efforts to elect Danish leaders into the governing bodies of the international federations, and DIF is now more purposefully trying to advocate openness in the so-called Olympic family.

DGI has also increased its international, cultural policy efforts, e.g. as the prime mover of the International Sport and Culture Association, founded in Copenhagen in 1995. ISCA’s goal is to promote understanding between people across borders through sporting and cultural activities, primarily at the grassroots level.

In 2004, a united Danish sport founded the institution Play the Game to strengthen the ethical values ​​of sport and promote democracy, openness and freedom of expression in world sport. Through its conferences, research projects and information activities, Play the Game has left its mark on the international debate on doping, corruption, match-fixing and other difficult challenges for Danish international sports.

Play the Game has since 2011 been part of the Sports Analysis Institute, which was founded by the state in 2004 to create an overview of current, community-oriented research in the field of sports. In addition, the institute must analyze sports policy initiatives and stimulate public debate on key sports policy issues.

Denmark – kitchen

The Danish kitchen still contains elements from the pre-industrial period, ie. the time before approximately 1860, which was the time of the warehouse households with a kitchen based on beer and rye bread, salted and smoked pork. Among the dishes from the time that are still eaten today are beer bread, water porridge, yellow peas, bacon, clipfish, blood sausage, finches and kale.

In the second half of the 1800’s, when agriculture was reorganized, milk and potatoes became prominent, and the stove, the meat mincer and the expansion of the retail trade provided new options with dishes such as pork roast with brown sauce, boiled cod with mustard sauce, clear soup with meat, bread and flour buns, meatballs, ground beef and other father’s dishes. During the same period, many fruit dishes (red porridge, sweet soup, compotes) emerged, and the vegetable dishes were expanded with stewed cabbage, red cabbage, pickled beets and cucumber salad, as well as stewed peas and carrots.

Major changes and increased choices occurred in Danish cuisine from the 1960’s, caused by the rising prosperity, internationalization, the change of the retail trade to self-service, the introduction of electric kitchens, refrigerators and freezers and women’s outdoor work. The influence from the USA is clear, with salad tables, pasta, baked potatoes, barbecue, turkey and ready meals with chicken. Italian cuisine has also gained ground with, for example, pizza and a widespread use of tomatoes. Meat consumption has risen sharply, still with pork as the most widely used. The trend is cuts for pan frying and farce. The sauce and potato dishes still stand, so medister sausage and meatballs are the dishes that are most often on Danish dinner tables.

Globalization broke through in Danish cuisine in the 1990’s, when kitchens from all over the world were tested and mixed in the so-called fusion cuisine. The Asian influences had the greatest impact, e.g. lightning drawing in wok. This is in line with another of the trends of the time, the low-fat kitchen, driven by fear of obesity and disease. Also BSE and Salmonella, Campylobacter and other pathogenic phenomena influenced the cooking in the form of growing demand for organic products and foods with transparency and identity, eg information on the origin.

Raw material supply

Denmark. The kitchen at Lindenborg Estate in 1925. Lindenborg is North Jutland’s largest estate, and like other manors at the time, it had many people in its bread. In the kitchen there was a large wood stove with eight hobs, a couple of ovens and a hot water tank. In addition to the food for the lordship table, food was prepared for the people, who always got two dishes for dinner. In addition, all cold cuts and pastries, bread as cakes, were homemade.

Raw materials and dishes that were previously reserved for an upper class have become everyday goods through industrialized manufacturing. This applies, for example, to mushrooms, chickens, caviar (smoked roe), smoked salmon and ducks as well as mayonnaise and other cold sauces. Imports and new technology have blurred the seasonal differences, so that most raw materials are largely offered all year round. At the same time, a number of exotic products such as eggplant, avocado, fresh pineapple, baby corn, Berber breast, courgette, Chinese prawns, kiwi fruit and peppers have become part of the Danes’ everyday life. In the 1980’s, however, a reaction came against industrialization, seasonal leveling and the foreign “fast food” influence: Chefs like Erwin Lauterbach and Jan Hurtigkarlhas created an original Danish cuisine based on the vegetables and fish that are best under our skies. Rene Redzepi at Restaurant Noma has helped to focus on Nordic food.

Eating pattern

The meal pattern has changed from the five meals a day of pre-industrial society to the three of today. The vast majority eat the meal in the middle of the day outside the home in the form of a packed lunch or a meal in the canteen. The hot food is eaten in the evening, usually only one dish for everyday life. Starters like gruel or porridge are now only eaten by older people. Individualisation of meals, as it is known from the USA, has in Denmark only had an impact on breakfast; at the dinner table, the families strive to carry out a common meal of their own preparation. Ready meals are used predominantly in households with only one member.

Danish specialties

Sandwiches are known from ancient times, while the decorated party sandwiches only appeared at the turn of the century. Particularly well known are open sandwiches with fjord trout, freshly smoked salmon, marinated herring, smoked herring with egg yolk, radishes and chives, smoked eel with scrambled eggs, roast pork with red cabbage, apples and prunes and liver pate with pickled asia or cucumber. Otherwise, original Danish contributions to gastronomy are quite few. These include pastry and wreath cake, baked apple cake with butter-fried rasp and jam as well as hot dishes such as boiled cod with mustard sauce, butter sauce, chopped eggs, horseradish and boiled potatoes and fried duck, goose or pork roast with apples, prunes, browned potatoes and red, red.

Drinking habits

Drinks were in the pre-industrial period, ie. until the 1860’s, home-brewed beer or white beer from one of the numerous small breweries scattered across the country. Brandy was also a daily drink for most men; only a few upper class drank imported beer and wine. Tea, chocolate and coffee came in the 1700’s. in fashion in the upper class. Only coffee became common in broad circles, which happened during the 1800’s, when the coffee table took the place of treats with beer and schnapps. Milk was until the late 1800-t. a scarce resource that was processed into butter and cheese. Only with the conversion of agriculture from the 1880’s and the development of the milk trade and supply to the cities did milk become a beverage. Water first became an everyday drink when the water supply was expanded during the 1900’s.

Consumption of white beer declined during the 1900’s, and home brewing gradually ceased. Beer of the Bavarian type, ie. the bottom yeast, was produced by fewer and larger breweries, while the production of spirits was monopolized in 1881. Taxation of schnapps led to a sharp decline in consumption. When the increase in prosperity began from the end of the 1950’s, the consumption of beer and alcoholic beverages increased, and from the 1960’s there was an increase in wine consumption. Wine that was previously drunk only on festive occasions has now become part of everyday life. In 1955-90, the annual consumption of lagers and strong beer increased from 51 to 120 liters per. per capita, while in the year 2004 it had dropped to 88 liters. Wine consumption increased from 1955 to 2013 from 2.7 to 38 liters per. resident. Interest in wine has grown enormously, and the market for wine in Denmark today is both large and rich. At the same time, there is a growing interest in quality beer, both from abroad and from the many new Danish microbreweries. Also seebeer (history (beer brewing in Denmark)).

Soft drinks were in the first half of the 1900’s. predominantly juices, but was in the second half of the century displaced by industrially produced soft drinks, Coca-Cola, which came on the Danish market in 1959.

Denmark – museums

In Denmark there are several hundred larger and especially smaller museums, state-owned, municipal and private. Key concepts in their object-based business are collection, registration, conservation, research and dissemination.

Cultural history museums

All the major state museums in Copenhagen can be traced back to the collections of the Royal Chamber of Art or to private collections in the 17th century, eg Museum Wormianum (Ole Worms Museum); this applies to the collections that are today part of the National Museum, as well as to the Tøjhus Museum, the Rosenborg Collection and the Statens Museum for Kunst.

The history of the Naval Museum dates back to 1670, when the collection of the navy’s ship models was established on Holmen in Copenhagen. After approximately In 1850, the first museums in the province emerged, but the vast majority of the country’s museums were established after the year 1900.

The National History Museum at Frederiksborg Castle, which brewery JC Jacobsen established in 1878, occupies a special position.

The new form of society, which in 1849 replaced autocracy, gave impetus to enterprising citizens seeking to break the capital’s monopoly of formation. In the country’s larger cities (Ribe, Odense, Viborg, Aarhus, Aalborg etc.) museums were established, which in the service of upbringing should as far as possible contain the same elements as the Copenhagen main collections: antiquity, history, coins/medals, ethnography, natural history and art.

In addition to archeology, the cultural history museums until the end of the 19th century dealt mainly with the history of the bourgeoisie. Thanks to the Grundtvig movement and the folk high schools, interest was extended to peasant culture, which in this ideology was perceived as the country’s actual national cultural carrier.

Several museums with a rural starting point were established: the Danish Folk Museum (1885), which, however, soon also collected bourgeois objects from more recent times, followed by the innovation Frilandsmuseet (1897) and later Hjerl Hedes Frilandsmuseum (1928) and Den Fynske Landsby (1946); this museum form showed entire courtyards and interiors. Peasant culture became the “living room”, and also the old museums now collected rural objects.

This last type of museum was an expression of a desire to save the material pieces of a culture and a way of life in dissolution; The Danish Folk Museum was thus established when the old peasant culture was undergoing rapid change due to the agricultural reorganization of agriculture and increased industrialization; likewise, the Danish Museum of Art and Design was founded (in 1890), when the old crafts were threatened by industry’s mass production, and in 1914 the Old Town, Denmark’s Købstadmuseum, in Aarhus, when industrialization had changed both craftsmanship and market town culture. As the most recent museums in this category, you can see the Workers’ Museum in Copenhagen (1983) and the Danish Graphic Museum in Odense (1983).

In the 20th century, a number of specialized museums such as commercial and government museums were established (eg several agricultural museums, the Trade and Maritime Museum at Kronborg and the Railway Museum in Odense) as well as numerous local history museums. For many people, the municipal mergers in 1970 provoked an increased local awareness, which led to the creation of new small local museums.

The museums that are not state museums have relatively recently hired museum inspectors, ie. university-educated archaeologists, historians and ethnologists; first the museum laws of 1958 and 1976 created economic and legal frameworks for hiring professionally trained, academic staff. Today, Denmark has an unusually fine-meshed network of professionally staffed local museums. It is a Danish feature that the archaeological monitoring of the country is in their hands.

In connection with the museum law revision in 2001, the cultural history museum system underwent extensive administrative changes. With the establishment of the Danish Cultural Heritage Agency in 2002, areas of responsibility were gathered, which were previously handled by e.g. Statens Museumsnævn, Rigsantikvarens Arkæologiske Sekretariat, Det Kulturhistoriske Centralregister og Skov- og Naturstyrelsen. In 2012-15, the museum area was handled by the Danish Agency for Culture.

Denmark – art museums

About 40 museums in Denmark have as their main task to collect, preserve and disseminate the visual arts. It is special for the country that the art museums are located 30-50 km away. Each art museum has its own special area, and together the art museums form a network that constitutes a large, decentralized representation of Danish art.

The first Danish art museum was Thorvaldsens Museum, which opened in 1848 with the sculptor’s works and his art collections. In 1896, the country’s largest art museum, the Statens Museum for Kunst, was opened, based on a royal art collection.

The first art museum in the province, Aarhus Art Museum, opened in 1859, and later a number of provincial museums were established, where art collections were part of a cultural-historical whole.

Gradually, these collections have gained independent art museum status, and from 1964, the art museums have been able to receive state support in line with the cultural history museums. After the Reunification in 1920, museums were established with art departments in Tønder, Sønderborg and Åbenrå.

A number of the art museums have been created based on donations from private collectors: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Den Hirschsprungske Samling, Davids Samling, Ordrupgaardsamlingen, Nivaagaards Malerisamling and JF Willumsens Museum. The sculptors Niels Hansen Jacobsen and Rudolph Tegner each had a museum building built for their own works in Vejen and Nordsjælland, respectively.

The painting family Skovgaard has its museum in Viborg, and in Skagen and Fåborg are the museums for the Skagen painters and the people of Fyn, both places created on a local initiative in collaboration with the artists themselves. Silkeborg Art Museum houses many of Asger Jorn’s works and his collection of Danish and foreign art, and in Herning is the museum for Else Alfelt and Carl-Henning Pedersen.

In 1958, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art was opened in Humlebæk, founded on private initiative with a significant collection of Danish and international art from the 1900’s. and an extensive exhibition business. It was decorated in new buildings, built for the purpose, just like the North Jutland Art Museum in Ålborg (1972). At the same time, significant art museums were established in Herning and Holstebro.

Køge Sketch Collection (1977) deals with the artistic work process and has sketches and adaptations as its special field of activity.

In 1996, Arken, Museum of Modern Art in Køge Bay Beach Park at Ishøj SW for Copenhagen opened. A number of art museums were expanded in the 1990’s, such as the Statens Museum for Kunst, which received a major extension in 1998, as well as the art museums on Bornholm, in Silkeborg, Tønder, Faaborg and Kolding. In 2003, Vendsyssel Art Museum moved to Bechs Klædefabrik in the middle of Hjørring.

In 2004, Aarhus Art Museum opened in a large newly built cubic building in the middle of Aarhus, designed by Schmidt, Hammer & Lassen, and the museum changed its name to ARoS Aarhus Art Museum.

The Ordrupgaard collection – now with the shorter name Ordrupgaard – received a significant extension in 2005 by the Iranian-British architect Zaha Hadid, while JF Willumsens Museum in Frederikssund reopened in 2005 with an extension by Theo Bjerg (b. 1936), which almost tripled the museum’s area.

Denmark – museums (science collections)

Denmark – museums (scientific collections), Natural history museums

The three oldest and most important natural history museums are the Zoological, Geological and Botanical Museum under the University of Copenhagen, in 2004 together under the Statens Naturvidenskabelig Museum. They participate in the teaching of students. The first two have a variegated 200-300-year prehistory and have arisen by merging the university’s collections with numerous private individuals. Some objects have survived from the Ole Worms Museum and the Royal Danish Museum. Art chamber from the middle of the 1600’s. By virtue of their age and an extensive expedition effort from the 1760’s to the present, all three museums hold scientific collections worldwide, eg 2.3 million. herbarium units in the Botanical Museum.

Leading outside Copenhagen is the Natural History Museum in Aarhus, which was started in 1921 and housed in the University Park in 1941; it is a self-governing institution under the Ministry of Culture, scientifically with a main emphasis on Danish animals. Other natural history museums are the state The Green Museum in Auning, Djursland, the municipal Zoological Museum in Svendborg (1935) and the geological museums in Gram, on Fur and in Fakse.

Other scientific collections

The Copenhagen Zoo opened in 1859 and has an international reputation due to its breeding results, animal-friendly facilities, children’s zoo, school service and behavioral studies; also the zoos in Odense (1930) and Aalborg (1934) are of a high standard. At Knuthenborg on Lolland and Givskud in Jutland, there are large zoos. The Danish Aquarium (now the Blue Planet on Amager) is the country’s oldest aquarium (1939), followed by the saltwater aquariums in Esbjerg (together with the Fisheries and Maritime Museum) and Hirtshals (together with the North Sea Museum) and most recently the Kattegat Center in Grenaa; AQUA in Silkeborg shows animals associated with fresh water.

The University of Copenhagen’s botanical garden was established in 1600. Other botanical gardens can be found at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University (now the Faculty of Science and Life Sciences – SCIENCE at the University of Copenhagen), in Aarhus (under the university) and in Kolding. The arboretum in Hørsholm contains woody growths.

The University’s Medical-Historical Museum in Copenhagen was established in 1906. The Steno Museum (1994) at Aarhus University includes a collection of medical history and a history of science.

The Ole Rømer Museum at Taastrup houses astronomy and finds from Rømer’s land observatory. The Technical Museum of Denmark includes the Technical Museum in Elsinore, the Traffic Museum (also in Elsinore) and the Communication Museum in Aalborg. The Energy Museum is located at Gudenaacentralen, Denmark’s largest working hydropower plant. Experimentarium at Tuborg in Hellerup is a center for science and technology. Check youremailverifier for Denmark social condition facts.

Denmark – architecture

Danish construction in the early Middle Ages was a building culture in wood, a perishable material that has left only a few testimonies of the period’s construction.

Viking Age

Trelleborg on Zealand, which is the best preserved of the trelleborgs, is located on a headland where Tude Å and Vårby Å run together. Inderborgens approximately 17 m wide and 5 m high ramparts are surrounded by an equally wide and almost as deep moat. On the forecourt (bottom left), which is also surrounded by ramparts and moats, have been 15 longhouses and a square area that has housed the castle’s burial ground.

The Vikings built castles, which are known through excavations of Trelleborg by Slagelse, Aggersborg by the Limfjord and Fyrkat by Hobro from around 980 (see trelleborgs); they were laid out within large circular earthen ramparts. The borgan facilities were laid out with great precision over a cross-shaped and symmetrical street network, the main axes of which intersected and divided the entire facility into smaller units.

The large arched-walled houses, in Aggersborg 32.5 m long, were erected inside in regular squares of four, enclosing an inner square courtyard. Aggersborg, which measured approximately 240 m in inner diameter, comprised 12 squares, a total of 48 houses, while the smaller Trelleborg with a diameter of 136 m accommodated four squares.

Middle Ages

Thus, the art of wooden building was an ingrained tradition in Denmark, when the country around 960 was Christianized, and a new building culture, church building, gained ground. The oldest of the wooden churches that today are only known through excavations is Harald’s Church in Jelling from this very time.

The predominant design of the buildings of the new religion was the simple hall church, which consisted of a rectangular nave and an east-facing choir. The wooden churches were, in comparison with the subsequent stone churches, usually small buildings; Hørning Church from the middle of 1000-t. measured e.g. approximately 9.5 m × 4.5 m.

From Hørning comes one of the very few preserved building fragments from the period, part of a hammer band, whose carved serpentine sling suggests that several churches may have stood with such rich decorative processing. Only after a small century did people really start building churches in stone.

The earliest stone church, which is known through written sources, is Estrids Kirke in Roskilde, built already around 1026 as a replacement for an older one in wood. It was like most of the early stone churches built of the easy-to-process rubble.

Romanesque architecture

The Romanesque period, which the stone churches heralded, housed both the large cathedral and the smaller village church buildings.

The buildings were laid out over a tighter, more regular floor plan, the heavy wall masses were articulated through rhythmic sequences of e.g. pills and glare, the round arch became the dominant shape, and selected building elements could get a rich sculptural processing.

The ornamental tradition, which Hørningplanken’s worm sling represents, was in a group of churches in Randersegnen transferred to chalk stones as softly curved bow motifs. A prerequisite for such a continuation of a local tradition, however, was that the Danish craftsmen had become familiar with the stonemasonry technique, and this situation probably only occurred after a certain time.

The cathedral construction in Lund, which began shortly after the establishment of the archbishopric in 1103, became the first of the three large Romanesque cathedral buildings, all in the shape of three-aisled basilicas with transept.

The cathedral in Lund, like the heavily restored cathedral in Viborg, seems to be particularly connected to German predecessors, but also Anglo-Norman and Lombard influence is traced.

Ribe, which around the middle of the century followed with its large church building, had close trade and sea routes to the Rhine region, and both materials and models were taken from here; see also Ribe Cathedral.

The village churches as a whole are considered uniform constructions. These were single-aisled churches with choirs, built in the 1100’s and 1200’s, and possibly an apse and in some cases west towers. Regional features could also apply, for example through special defense measures such as the Bornholm round churches, but especially with the building material, where the Jutland churches ‘walls of large, hewn squares face the islands’ churches, built of raw or lightly formed boulders.


In the years around 1160, a new and easier-to-handle building material, the brick, was introduced, probably through northern Italian connections. Thereafter, the use of natural stone gradually ceased. Roskilde Cathedral, begun in the 1170’s, is built almost entirely of brick, just as especially the monastery building made use of brick, such as the Cistercian Sorø Church and the Benedictine Church of St. Benedict in Ringsted.

Roskilde Cathedral also testifies to the earliest influence of the French Gothic, because during the long construction phase, the plans for the church were changed in favor of the new style. Sankt Knuds Kirke in Odense occupies a special position as a building which, despite a very long creation, only completed in the late 1400’s, was completed entirely in the spirit of the High Gothic. Like the many market town churches of the time, Sankt Knud is dominated by the Gothic’s ascending lines, the pointed arch, the striving system, the rib vaults, the greater incidence of light and the spatial linking of nave and chancel.

In detail, the Danish brick Gothic is strongly influenced by the North German. From Germany also came the hall church, which was mainly used by the monastic orders, eg the Bridgettine church in Maribo (now Maribo Cathedral).

In the rural parishes, the Gothic manifested itself primarily in alterations and extensions to the Romanesque churches, which had sacristies, chapels, bell towers, east and west extensions, often associated with the construction of vaults over the rooms and not least larger, pointed arched windows in accordance with the Gothic requirements for light-filled spaces. On the outside, the new building sections were often dominated by the characteristic comb-toothed gable profiles of the time, which were complemented by rich glare patterns.

Under secular auspices, the ordinary construction continued to be built of wood and half-timbering, but also here, in certain cases, stone houses were erected, eg Næstved Town Hall from approximately 1450. The large castles, eg Vordingborg, Kalundborg and Hammershus, were supplemented by late medieval castle buildings, Gjorslev on Stevns and Spøttrup in Salling, both bishop’s castles from the beginning of the 1400’s. While Gjorslev is located as a compact building body that follows a cruciform plan with a centrally located tower, Spøttrup is a three-winged structure, closed by a solid retaining wall with a tower.

The rectangular and defensively well-equipped Glimmingehus, which Jens Holgersen Ulfstand had built in Scania in 1499, was given a simpler form.


Denmark. Jens Bang’s Stone House in Ålborg was built 1623-24 for the large merchant Jens Bang. The rich sandstone ornaments of the Renaissance building spread over a base of red bricks, and in addition to its actual gables, it had three more ornamental gables facing the street, which provided an opportunity to waste the decoration.

During Christian III, work on the fortification of the kingdom was intensified, including Nyborg and Sønderborg. The latter was transformed by builder Hercules von Oberberg into a cohesive but irregular four-winged facility. The defense was now concentrated in powerful, advanced cannon rounds. The manor house construction largely drew the profile of the architecture of the following period.

The manors continued to a certain symbolic extent the defensive structure of the bishop’s castles. Villestrup in Himmerland from 1538-42 and the almost contemporary Rygård on Funen are both closed, four-winged buildings that have retained a certain castle character. The single-family house, the single-winged house that was the most widespread type of manor house through the 1500’s, was less well-fortified. The Funen buildings around the middle of the century, such as Hesselagergård and Nakkebølle, are particularly characterized by storeys and flanking towers. A similar structure has the contemporary Egeskov on Funen, which, however, belongs to the semi-detached house type, where two parallel wings are built together, but each placed under its own independent saddle roof.

While stone construction thus became increasingly widespread, half-timbered farms continued to be built, sometimes in the context of a single stone house. The general population lived as before in half-timbered and bulwark houses.

Within the manor building, the development towards the end of the century went towards ever less fortified castles, and the single-family house lost its defensive towers. In the last part of the century, the multi-winged facilities became more widespread, and they not least came to characterize the royal buildings.

Started in 1574 by builder Hans van Paeschen and completed by Antonius van Opbergen in 1585, Kronborg emerged as a four-winged building complex. The model was the French three-winged castle, the fourth side of which was closed only by a lower terrace wing. But the plans changed along the way, and Kronborg was completed as a regular four-wing facility.

What was not conducted at Kronborg, succeeded in return for Steenwinckel d.æ. in Christian 4.s Frederiksborg Castle (1602-20), which was built as a three-winged structure with a low terrace wing around a cour d’honneur. The construction thus followed the French pattern, but in both Kronborg and Frederiksborg the architectural expression, the decorative elaboration, was kept in the Dutch Renaissance.

Already in Hesselagergård on Funen, the new foreign architectural ideals had come to fruition. The building was adorned with round arched gables, actually a Venetian motif, but probably brought to the country via Germany. Rustic wall surfaces such as at Holckenhavn near Nyborg (approximately 1580) were also popular.

Nevertheless, the domestic and medieval comb-toothed blind gables were persistent, as evidenced by Egeskov, for example. A similar situation prevailed within the churches. After the Reformation in 1536, the church building was marked by a certain stagnation, and as this subsided, the new churches often continued features from the medieval tradition.

From the 1570’s, the new currents from the Dutch Renaissance really took hold in Danish architecture, as can be seen from both Kronborg and Frederiksborg Castle. Red bricks form the background for rich and rich sandstone ornaments that spread around portals and windows as well as especially on the Welsh-curved gables, features that also dominate the royal pleasure castle Rosenborg (1613-34).

The ideals of the royal buildings were, whenever possible, taken up by the citizens and translated into expensive and richly decorated stone buildings, such as Mayor Mathias Hansens Gård from 1616 on Amager Torv in Copenhagen and Jens Bangs Stenhus (1623-24) in Aalborg.

During Christian IV, many different constructions were built, from Børsen (1619-40) over Rundetaarn (1637-42) to the construction of new towns and districts such as Kristianstad in Sweden (1614) as well as Christianshavn (1618) and Nyboder (started 1631) in Copenhagen.

Within the church building, Holmen’s Church followed the new ideals of a centralized floor plan, when the anchor smithy in 1642 was rebuilt into a cruciform church. The Sankt Annae Rotonda, which began in 1640 but was never completed in the district of Ny-København near Nyboder, was planned to have stood as a regular twelve-edged central church.


Denmark. Charlottenborg on Kongens Nytorv in Copenhagen was built 1672-83 as a distinguished baroque palace for the governor of Norway, Ulrik Frederik Gyldenløve, son of Frederik 3.; the builder was probably Ewert Janssen. According to the first project, which seems to have followed at the beginning of the construction phase, the mansion should have carried low domes over side risalits as well as a triangular gable over the entrance, but the plans were changed along the way. Survey drawing from 1929.

Johan Cornelius Krieger. Drawing from 1744 of a house in Østergade, one of the so-called fire houses, which was built in large numbers after the fire in 1728; the drawing can be found in the National Archives. The type of house was traditional, but the uniform character was partly due to Krieger, who in 1729 presented drawings for simple and expedient bourgeois type houses. Every builder was free to make use of this design, and the houses were built in different variations. Many of the fire houses, which is characterized by broad twig sections, still exists.

The almost hectic construction activity that prevailed under Christian IV disappeared with him. The country’s economy had weakened, and for a period there was no opportunity for major construction work. When construction resumed, the ideals of architecture could probably be found in Italy and France, but the firmest grip in the early Danish baroque was the Netherlands.

Regularity became a watchword. The broad lines should prevail in harmony with tight symmetry, clear dimensions and regularity. In addition, the vertical division of the facade was widespread, especially pilasters in large order won favorably. Under royal auspices, an important task lay in Copenhagen Castle, which after the introduction of autocracy in 1660/61 was no longer a contemporary or dignified framework for the autocratic king. General builder Lambert van Haven was entrusted with the task, and he proposed a large four-winged facility. However, the project completely faded in relation to an unrealized proposal from the Swedish architect Nicodemus Tessin dy

Despite this defeat, van Haven was the leading architect of the early days of the Danish Baroque. His main work was The Church of Our Savior in Copenhagen (1682-96). Van Haven, like Ewert Janssen, has been highlighted as a possible author of another of the period’s main works, Charlottenborg on Kongens Nytorv in Copenhagen, begun in 1672. According to the plan, Charlottenborg is French, in the form language Dutch.

Although the construction efforts of the time were mainly concentrated in private construction companies in Copenhagen, eg Niels Juels Palæ by Kongens Nytorv (1696), construction continued in the country. As early as 1673, Jens Lauridsen had the manor Nysø built at Præstø, where the entire facility was subject to strict axiality. In Clausholm (1693-94) near Randers, builder Ernst Brandenburger arranged the building’s plan according to the period’s ideal of a single filade, ie. floating doorways that provide a vue down through all the spaces.

Around the turn of the century, Italian winds blew over Danish architecture. In Staldmestergården (1706) in Copenhagen, Wilhelm Friedrich von Platen and Christof Marselis abandoned the Dutch in favor of the Italian. Frederik IV had also shown great admiration for Italian architecture on his travels abroad, and in the same spirit he had Johan Conrad Ernst in 1708-09 expand Frederiksberg Castle, which thereby gained its current appearance towards the garden.

Fredensborg Castle was another of Frederik IV’s construction projects. The hunting castle was completed in 1722 under the leadership of Johan Cornelius Krieger, who became the central figure in the Danish architecture of the 1720’s and as such was responsible for most of the period’s royal construction work. Krieger also excelled as a garden architect and in the 1720’s, among other things, the castle gardens at Fredensborg and Frederiksborg.

Frederik IV had chosen to have Copenhagen Castle rebuilt by Krieger and Ernst. Christian VI had it demolished and handed over the task of the new residence castle to the German architect Elias David Häusser, who hereby introduced a southern German-Austrian architecture in Denmark.

Of the Christiansborg that rose in the years after 1730, the riding arena facility is still preserved. However, it was to a lesser extent Häusser than the leading architects of the next generation, Lauritz de Thurah and Niels Eigtved, who left their mark on the castle’s interiors.

Throughout his life, Lauritz de Thurah stuck to the more powerful expressions of the late Baroque, for example in the Hermitage Castle in Dyrehaven (1734) and in Ledreborg’s building complex at Lejre, which he managed to assemble into a balanced and cohesive baroque system in the 1740’s. Thurah’s attack in Ledreborg found a completely clarified form in the manor Lerchenborg near Kalundborg, which from 1742 emerged as a clearly disposed facility over a deep main axis that runs through breeding and stable buildings over the main building to the garden. The Church of Our Savior in Copenhagen gave Thurah in 1749-50 its distinctive spiral-twisted tower.

The ordinary buildings still adhered to the half-timbering. However, the foundation-walled construction won out, and after the Copenhagen fire in 1728, attempts were made without success to completely ban trusses in the front houses. The citizens’ houses followed two types in particular, the gable twig house and the front pointed house.


Amalienborg is one of Europe’s finest rococo facilities. The center of Eigtved’s plan for Frederiksstaden is the octagonal castle square, surrounded by Schacks Palace, Moltke’s Palace, Levetzau’s Palace and Brockdorff’s Palace (bottom left clockwise). The longitudinal axis of the district is Amaliegade, which to the north leads up to Kastellet’s ramparts. The cross axis is Frederiksgade with Frederikskirken (Marble Church) in the west and Amaliehaven along Kvæsthusgraven to the east (in the foreground of the picture). In the middle of the castle square at the intersection of the axes stands Saly’s equestrian statue of Frederik V, facing the church. The colonnade, which connects Schack’s Palace and Moltke’s Palace, was built by CF Harsdorff in 1794, when the royal family moved into Amalienborg.

Next to Lauritz de Thurah stood his colleague and rival Niels Eigtved as an advocate for the latest currents from the French Rococo. Inspired by the Parisian hôtel, he built the Prince’s Palace (now the National Museum) in Copenhagen in 1743-44, while the French country house, maison de plaisance, was the more direct model for the design of Frederiksdal by Lake Furesøen (1744-45).

As court builder, Niels Eigtved set his greatest memory for his efforts in the construction of Frederiksstaden in Copenhagen in 1749. The district, which was built around the octagonal square with the four Amalienborg palaces, initially got Eigtved’s governing hand. He laid down rules for the façade design, and for the citizens’ houses he made type drawings in a discreet lisen- and glare architecture with delicate relief effects.

In 1752 he began the construction of Frederiks Hospital (now the Museum of Industrial Art). However, the hospital’s pavilions facing the street are Thurah’s work. Eigtved’s death in 1754 brought Thurah back on the field, and he tried unsuccessfully to take over the task with Frederiksstaden’s main monument, Frederikskirken.


Nicolas-Henri Jardin. The Yellow Palace in Amaliegade in Copenhagen was built 1764-67 for the merchant HF Bargum. With its facade decoration in the form of garland-hung medallions, festoons and vase essays, the building was the first neoclassical civic house in Copenhagen. For a number of years it belonged to the royal house, today it houses the court marshal.

Denmark. Of CF Hansen’s many construction tasks in Copenhagen, the largest was the reconstruction of Christiansborg Castle, which had been burnt down in 1794. He was given the task in 1800, and the building itself was completed in 1822; his drawing of the facade towards Slotspladsen was made in 1804 (Kunstakademiet). The outer walls of the old castle were still standing and should, as far as possible, be included in the new construction. With this bound starting point, Hansen let the castle re-emerge as a new building in his own neoclassical idiom. The castle burned again in 1884, and yet another new castle was erected on the old walls.

Brumleby. Part of the oldest building, built by Gottlieb Bindesbøll, as it appears after the renovation in the 1990’s. The large lawns are common areas for residents and other interested parties. All ground floor apartments also have a private garden, which can be designed according to imagination and needs.

It was the French architect Nicolas-Henri Jardin who, as a representative of the completely new style, neoclassicism, came to continue the work on Frederikskirken. His first project was dominated by an antiquated, almost Piranese architecture, which he reluctantly had to rework into a more traditional expression.

Under Jardin’s leadership, the walls of Frederikskirken only managed to rise nine meters above the ground before the costly marble construction in 1770 was stopped. In addition to landscaping, Jardin also took care of other construction tasks, eg Bernstorff Castle in Gentofte and Marienlyst in Elsinore, both started in 1759.

Among the Copenhagen townhouses, which otherwise followed the lines drawn by Niels Eigtved, the Jardin built the Yellow Palace in Amaliegade (1764). His civic houses had successors, but especially Bernstorff Castle seems in its maison de plaisance form to have set the tone, for example for the Glorup on Funen built by CJ Zuber (approximately 1765).

Among Jardin’s students was the most important CF Harsdorff, who had also visited JF Blondel’s school in Paris. Thus learned in the idiom of neoclassicism, he became the leading architect of his time, both as a court builder and as a professor at the newly established Academy of Arts. In Frederik V’s chapel in Roskilde Cathedral (1774-78), few and scarce forms with a background in classical architecture were joined together in a monumental plan.

1779-80 he built the large civic house next to Charlottenborg, Kongens Nytorv 3-5. With the simple design language, a well-balanced proportioning and a facade scheme with highlighted side sections and highlighted, pilasters-adorned middle section, respectively, he introduced a new norm for the Copenhagen bourgeoisie.

The Harsdorf facade scheme extended to the rest of the new construction, which for Copenhagen gradually consisted mostly of foundation-walled houses. In the market towns they followed, but the half-timbering still survived, not least in the back houses. In the manors, neoclassicism also prevailed, eg Hagenskov (Frederiksgave) by Assens (1774-76) by Jardin’s student GE Rosenberg and the nearby Krengerup (1770’s), where the architect, probably Hans Næss, has combined features from both Jardin and Harsdorff.

Greek ancient architecture was of great interest during this period, and it settled traces in Harsdorff’s colonnade (1794) between two of the Amalienborg palaces. Within the church building, there was one task in particular that came to the fore, namely the completion of Frederikskirken. In Harsdorff they seemed to have the man with the necessary artistic talent to lift the legacy from Eigtved and Jardin, but also this time the work was slowed down by the architect’s death in 1799.

19th century. Of CF Harsdorff’s students, both Peter Meyn and Andreas Kirkerup stood out, but the most important was CF Hansen, who from 1784 contested the position as agricultural master in Holstein. Here he built a number of distinctive villas in Altona.

The ideal was a stricter classical design, where clean, simple shapes and large unbroken surfaces prevailed. The starting point was ancient, and the term monumentalizing. From 1800 he came to be in charge of all major works within the reconstruction of Copenhagen after both the fires in 1794-95 and the bombing in 1807.

Out of the ruin of the burned-down Christiansborg, he built the new one, of which only the Castle Church from 1829 is preserved today. From him also came the new Council and Court House on Nytorv (1805-15) as well as the reconstruction of Our Lady’s Church (1811-29).

Even before CF Hansen’s death in 1845, new currents had supplanted his ideals. For late classicism, antiquity remained a prerequisite, but the Hansen’s weight was replaced by a more flimsy workmanship and decoration. CF Hetsch, together with NS Nebelong and HC Stilling, belonged to the new generation that was in debt to the German architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel.

In the spirit of his work, Hetsch sought in his masterpiece, The Synagogue in Krystalgade in Copenhagen (1831-33), to give the building a character that corresponded to its purpose. In the Catholic St. Ansgar’s Church in Bredgade (1841-42), Hetsch introduced the brick architecture with patterned masonry.

Late classicism’s freer view of the historical styles after antiquity, not least Gothic, was expressed in the manor building in the 1830’s and 1840’s, eg the rebuilding of Basnæs in 1846. The Gothic tendency is also prominent in Peder Malling’s University building (1831-36) at Frue Plads in Copenhagen, where it rises before Our Lady’s Church as an exponent of the new age.

With Gottlieb Bindesbøll, neoclassicism seemed to crumble. The polychrome Thorvaldsens Museum (1839-47) and the Gothic Hobro Church (1850-52) reflect the wide range of his free and personal interpretation of the historical styles.

Following on from this, Christian Hansen built the Municipal Hospital in Copenhagen (1859-63) with a Byzantine touch; he also made a significant construction effort in Athens with his brother, Theophilus Hansen, who later worked in Vienna.

A different objective and utilitarian architectural attitude prevailed in Bindesbøll’s work with the social housing building Lægeforeningens Boliger (Brumleby) in Østerbro, built after the cholera epidemic in Copenhagen in 1853.


The second half of the 19th century was the time of historicism. The historical styles, Romanesque art, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque, etc., were the sources of inspiration that were frequently poured out, often in an eclectic way. Two currents stood out, one nationally and one internationally oriented.

The national line was drawn especially by Johan Daniel Herholdt. In his main work, the University Library in Fiolstræde in Copenhagen (1855-61), he worked with a Danish-Italian architecture. The design language was particularly influenced by northern Italian motifs, which he combined with domestic materials. The brick in the brick wall and its textural qualities were crucial. The masonry, like all materials, was thoroughly machined to a high standard of craftsmanship.

Material authenticity and honesty were significant factors. In Herholdt’s now demolished National Bank (1866-70), inspiration from the Florentine Renaissance palace prevailed, while the wooden chapel at Roskilde New Cemetery (1883-85) was more in tune with the Nordic.

The historicist current also gained ground in villa construction, which gained momentum during this period. Among others, Hans Jørgen Holm joined the Herholdt line with works such as the Mineralogical Museum in Copenhagen (1888-93).

The other current in the architecture of the time had a far more international turn and worked with a wider range of sources of inspiration, mainly Italian and French Renaissance, but also Gothic and Dutch Renaissance could be used.

Adherents of this direction, who have since borne the name “Europeans”, took the lead around 1870 with Ferdinand Meldahl as the leading figure. The façade expression, the choice of style and decoration, was given particular importance, as the main goal of the architecture was to evoke the right mood. The uniqueness of the material was less significant, and the facades appeared in this stucco architecture like plastering. The compulsion in the choice of style is reflected in Meldahl’s rebuilding from 1859-62 of the manor Pederstrup on Lolland in the French Renaissance.

Ferdinand Meldahl’s and probably also the main work of the time was the completion in 1894 of Frederikskirken (now Marmorkirken) in Copenhagen. The storey houses Bredgade 63-65 (1865) and Tordenskjoldsgade 1 (1866), both built by Ferdinand Jensen, are complete exponents of historicism and stucco architecture. Also Vilhelm Dahlerup joined this direction including Tivoli’s Pantomime Theater and The Royal Theater, both from 1874.

National romance, Art Nouveau etc.

Towards the turn of the century, Martin Nyrop took his place as a kind of successor to Herholdt. The high demands on the craftsmanship were still current. Nyrop represented the national romantic current, where the Danish and Nordic took a central place in architecture.

For Copenhagen City Hall, however, he chose inspiration from the city hall in Siena. The town hall, built in 1892-1905, gave it a picturesque expression, and he sprinkled whimsical details over the building with a loose hand.

Eliaskirken on Vesterbro (1905-08) he gave a medieval robustness and twin towers like Tveje Merløse Kirkes.

Influenced by the New European line was, among many others, the city architect Ludvig Fenger, who together with Ludvig Clausen, among others. built Østre Elektricitetsværk in Copenhagen (1901-02) in an Italianizing brick architecture.

With Martin Nyrop, a greater individualism had set in in architecture. Also Hack Kampmann was a personal interpretation of the trends, both in the Provincial Archives in Viborg (1889-91) and the extension to Dahlerups Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (1901-06).

The Art Nouveau style, which became widespread abroad around the turn of the century, was in Denmark only a short intermezzo and did not get many representatives in addition to Anton Rosen.

Rosens Savoy Hotel (1906) and Palace Hotel (1912) as well as Aage Langeland-Mathiesen’s multi-storey building Østbanegade 11 (1904), all in Copenhagen, are some of the very few examples.

As early as 1886, Hermann Baagøe Storck had built the Abel Cathrine Foundation in Copenhagen in a subdued, baroque idiom. In doing so, he anticipated what became especially the clue in Ulrik Plesner’s work, the neo-baroque. The finished building body, the weight, the plastic form treatment and the strong texture were essential factors. Perhaps Plesner gained the most importance through his multi-storey buildings, Åhusene in Copenhagen (1895-98). The neo-baroque also became the basis for Thorvald Jørgensen’s design of the current Christiansborg Castle (1907-28).

With the aim of guiding the population so that good and healthy small houses could be built across the country in accordance with the Danish building tradition, were established in the first decades of the 1900’s. first Tegnehjælpen by Akademisk Arkitektforening in 1907 and then the association Bedre Byggeskik in 1915.

The guidance was to take place through practical instruction, type drawings, courses for country craftsmen, etc. One of the results can be seen in the Finsensvej garden city in Copenhagen, built 1914-19 by Knud Tanggaard Seest and Hans Koch.

The movement spoke to several of the leading architects of the time, including Peder Vilhelm Jensen-Klint, who intensely explored the qualities of Danish medieval brick architecture, an aesthetic that was purely cultivated in Grundtvigskirken (1921-40).


Around 1910, a need arose among the younger generation of architects to tighten the lines. The neo-baroque way in favor of a classicist orientation, which was well helped along the way by brewer Carl Jacobsen’s offer to pay for a baroque spire for CF Hansen’s Church of Our Lady. This opened the eyes to the qualities of Hansen’s neoclassicism.

Carl Petersen took the lead with his Faaborg Museum (1912-13). The ideals now became symmetry, regularity, and rhythmic repetition. Neoclassicism coincided with a revival in Copenhagen’s multi-storey residential buildings, and it was not least here that the new ideals were found.

However, the apartment plans continued to be subordinated to the aesthetic requirements of the facade scheme. Povl Baumann’s block buildings in Struenseegade and Hans Tavsensgade (1919-20) and Kay Fiskers Hornbækhus (1920-22) set the tone. The architects also found a task within the terraced house construction. Bakkehusene (1921-23) by Ivar Bentsen and Thorkild Henningsen was a pioneering work that had several successors.

From this time, the Police Station in Copenhagen (1918-24) stands as a separate monument, strong, simple and introverted in the exterior and monumental in the interior’s recessed courtyard as well as in its simple, powerful detailing.

The building was started by Hack Kampmann and completed under the leadership of first and foremost Aage Rafn. Participated in the work were Holger Jacobsen, who himself was to build a building with a touch of the same manner and dangerous weight, The Royal Theatre’s new stage, Stærekassen (1929-31).


The transition from neoclassicism to functionalism took place in the years around 1930. The Stockholm Exhibition of 1930 is considered the event that gave functionalism a foothold in Denmark. The ideal put forward by the foreign pioneers, first and foremost Walter Gropius with the Bauhaus School in Germany and Le Corbusier in France, was a rational and functional architecture that was utilitarian and had a social aim, not least in the field of housing.

The new materials were concrete, iron and glass, joined together in constructively “honest” building bodies without the decorative tendencies of earlier times. International functionalism broke through on virtually all fronts in construction. Inspired by Le Corbusier, Mogens Lassen built a number of single-family houses in Klampenborg in the 1930’s. Within the multi-storey building, Arne Jacobsen was responsible for the white Bellavista (1934), also in Klampenborg.

Simultaneously with this international orientation, there was also a more traditional direction in Denmark, which was probably influenced by the ideals of the time, but especially used domestic materials and a more traditional design language, as seen in eg Aarhus University by Kay Fisker, CF Møller and Povl Stegmann, started in 1932.

The direction represented a factual and functional conception of architecture. Among the leading architects was Povl Baumann with the residential building Storgården in Copenhagen (1935) and not least Kay Fisker. Fisher’s scarce and austere idioms in neoclassicism were replaced with the same characteristics of functionalism.

Together with CF Møller, he performed in Copenhagen, among other things. the multi-storey buildings Vodroffsvej 2 (1930) and Vestersøhus (1935-39). In the latter, they created the ideal within the balcony-bay window house. The homes were oriented to the sunlight, the apartment plans were unconventional, and the rooms were located where it was most appropriate.

The architecture of the 1940’s was marked by the difficult conditions that World War II brought with it. The lack of building materials quickly took hold and forced construction to traditional construction methods and economically rational solutions.

The hallmarks of the time were the smaller construction projects such as terraced or chain houses, eg Viggo Møller-Jensen’s Atelierhuse by Utterslev (1943) and Søndergårdsparken in Bagsværd (1950) by Povl Ernst Hoff and Bennet Windinge.

After 2 worldwar. At the end of the war, there was great interest in foreign architecture among Danish architects, such as Vilhelm Lauritzen, and the focus was on modernism in the United States, personified by Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright.

The development was reflected not least in the single-family house construction, where the houses were given irregular floor plans, flat roofs, open plans with sliding spaces and large glass facades that lifted the building’s traditional boundaries and created an intimate connection between inside and out.

Such features are found in several of the houses that the architects built for themselves, eg Jørn Utzons in Hellebæk (1952). The same features that were also influenced by Japanese architecture were applied by Jørgen Bo and Vilhelm Wohlert to the Louisiana Museum of Art 1956-58.

From Mies van der Rohe, the cool classical modernism, which was based on the pure proportions, simple tight shapes and the new technological possibilities in steel constructions with curtain wall facades, also gained ground.

This happened first and foremost with Arne Jacobsen, who during the period was the leading modernist of international format with buildings in Copenhagen such as Jespersen & Søns office building in Nyropsgade (1953), Rødovre Town Hall (1955) and SAS Royal Hotel (1960).

In the early 1960’s, there was a significant change in the conditions for Danish construction. Government investment was now being made in the industrialization of construction, and this led housing construction into the large housing complexes. This element and assembly building fell so far in line with the architectural ideals of a clear and rational building design.

The concrete construction really made its entrance in Denmark with High Gladsaxe north of Copenhagen, built 1960-64 by the architects Hoff & Windinge. As early as 1950, high-rise houses had been built on Bellahøj, but the very tall housing developments had both housing and social problems, and the criticism did not wait.

An alternative arose in the Fællestegnestuen’s buildings from 1963-66 in Albertslund South, where low-rise buildings spread out like a cover over the ground, and where they also experimented with separate driving and walking traffic.

In Galgebakken (1973-74), also an element building in Albertslund, the architects Hanne Marcussen, Jens Peter Storgård and Anne and Jørn Ørum-Nielsen strived to create a better framework for the residents’ social life, e.g. by laying the houses around small semi-private alleys.

In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the design studio Friis & Moltke oversaw several constructions where the raw surface of the concrete was exposed. The buildings, such as Scanticon near Aarhus (1969), which has since become known as “casemate architecture”, are to some extent related to the foreign brutalism that never really gained a foothold in Denmark.

In 1973-76, Jørn Utzon built Bagsværd Church near Copenhagen with a modest and rational exterior, while in the undulating ceiling shapes of the church room he continued the organic line in his work.

Postmodernism and other currents

The actual confrontation with modernism took place especially within housing construction, and the decisive break came with the design studio Vandkunstens bebyggelse Tinggården in Herfølge by Køge (1978). Tinggården was not the first critique of modernism, but it was the first realized idea of ​​a new and alternative living environment.

Here, the ideal of small, intimate home pianos was celebrated, preferably in contact with nature. Architecturally, Tinggården was built in varied and informal forms, where the concrete elements are hidden behind unpretentious and well-known domestic materials such as wooden cladding and shell walls.

This dense-low-rise building became the trend for housing construction through the 1970’s and 1980’s, in Fællestegnestuens Solbjerghave in Frederiksberg (1980).

On Danish soil, Tinggården’s idiom preceded postmodernism, which primarily opened up for culturally relevant construction, preferably based on regional features. Architectural historical references and striking contrasts were not foreign to the flow either. Its theoretical proponents have especially been the design studio Nielsen, Nielsen & Nielsen with buildings such as Villa Atzen in Horsens (1986).

In addition to postmodernism, Danish architecture from approximately 1970 has been characterized by several architectural currents that thrived in parallel with each other. Late modernism represents a refinement of the forms of modernism, as seen in a number of Danish architects’ buildings abroad, eg Dissing & Weitling’s art museum in North Rhine-Westphalia (1986), Krohn and Hartvig Rasmussen’s National Museum in Bahrain (1988) and JO von Spreckelsen’s Triumphal Arch in Paris (1989).

Neorationalism, which has its origins in Italy, has also found its way to Danish architects, for the first time in Høje Tåstrup’s city plan and the design of its city center, led since 1978 by Jacob Blegvads Tegnestue and Claus Bonderup.

The classic element appears both in Poul Ingemann, in his housing development in Blangstedgård near Odense (1988), and with Henning Larsen at the Business School in Frederiksberg (1989).

In Denmark, deconstructivism has a few proponents, but only a few buildings, for example the architectural firm Box 25’s elderly homes on Mariendalsvej in Frederiksberg (1992).

Since the 1990’s, Danish architecture has taken part in the neo-modernist current that characterizes the international architectural scene. The stylistic diversity of previous decades has been replaced by greater uniformity, although neo-modernism can have models in both early modernism, eg Tårnby Retsbygning (2000) by Fuglsang & Mandrup-Poulsen, and the late one, eg Det Kongelige Bibliotek Amager (1997) by Dissing + Weitling. The materials are the favorites of modernism, ie. glass, steel and concrete, but brick and wood are also used. In particular, wood-clad facades have been used.

This line also appears in the decade’s two large cultural buildings in Copenhagen, the expansion of the Statens Museum for Kunst (1998) at CF Møllers Tegnestue and the expansion of the Royal Library, Den Sorte Diamant, by Schmidt, Hammer & Lassen (1999).

The same applies to the latter’s culture house in Nuuk, Greenland (1997). In the 1990’s, there was a strong development of Copenhagen’s waterfront, mainly with company domiciles of very different architectural attitudes, the office building Christiansbro by Henning Larsen (2000). See also Copenhagen.

While the Royal Theatre’s new theater on the Kvæsthus Bridge in Copenhagen, designed by Boje Lundgaard and Lene Tranberg, was started in 2004, the theatre’s opera and ballet stage, the Opera, was completed the same year (inaugurated in January 2005), designed by Henning Larsen with the participation of the donor, Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller.

Henning Larsen’s design studio has also been responsible for two distinctive buildings in Ørestad on Amager, the pharmaceutical company Ferring’s 20 floors and 80 m high domicile (2002) and the IT University (2004); in this district, Lundgaard and Tranberg’s round Tietgenkollegiet (2006) and CF Møller’s 115,000 m 2 large shopping center Field’s (2004) must also be highlighted.

In Aarhus, Schmidt, Hammer & Lassen’s monumental neo – modernist building was inaugurated in 2004 at ARoS Aarhus Art Museum; the same design studio has collaborated with 3xNielsen on the shopping and business center Bruun’s Gallery in the middle of Aarhus, opened in 2003.

While Danish architects win many competitions abroad, only a few foreign design studios build in Denmark. Among them are the Iranian-British Zaha Hadid (extension to the art museum Ordrupgaard, 2005), the Polish-American Daniel Libeskind (Danish Jewish Museum, 2004, and master plan for part of Ørestad City, 2006, both in Copenhagen) and the French Jean Nouvel (the concert hall in DR Byen in Ørestad).

DR City’s other buildings are built by Vilhelm Lauritzen’s design studio and Dissing + Weitling (2002 ff.).

Denmark – garden and landscape art

Danish garden and landscape art has largely followed the same development as in the rest of Europe, where the artistic design of gardens has alternated between two principles: a regular, architectural, derived from the house building, and an irregular, landscape with nature as a model.

Before the Reformation in 1536, gardens have been cultivated behind the walls of the monasteries; from here stems the cross-divided garden space, often with a well in the middle. After the Reformation, the monastery gardens accrued to the crown, and we get testimony about some of the first royal renaissance gardens, eg Lundehave near Kronborg. The gardens were still fenced and consisted of separate parts, laid out as a pattern on a surface without axial attachment to the house.

Under Frederik IV, a number of baroque gardens inspired by André Le Nôtre’s great French garden style were laid out in the early 18th century. Architecture and garden art were coordinated into a large landscaped experience space, symmetrical about a central axis. Johan Cornelius Krieger was the masterpiece of this great style with the gardens at Frederiksberg, Fredensborg and Frederiksborg Castle (1720’s) and Ledreborg (1740’s).

Under the influence of a changed view of nature was reorganized at the end of the 18th century a number of the baroque splendor facilities with inspiration from the English landscape garden. With irregular plantings and curved paths, they dissolved into a kind of mood-gardener; the book Theorie der Gartenkunst (1779-85) by the Danish official CCL Hirschfeld spread knowledge of the style.

Liselund from the 1790’s is an expression of the romantic enthusiasm for nature of the time. With industrialism and the technical innovations, new “art horticultural” interpretations of the style took place with landscape gardener Edvard Glæsel as a practitioner. The garden became smaller and was later more architecturally coordinated with the house. A prominent proponent of this was the garden architect Erik Erstad-Jørgensen (1871-1945).

With GN Brandt, the whole garden issue really came up for revision with facilities such as Hellerup Strandpark (1912-18), which, like Mariebjerg Cemetery in Gentofte (1925-36), is an expression of a landmark new thinking and a new aesthetic.

Urban development brought new opportunities for nature policy, and the subject was expanded to include residential square gardens, residential buildings, sports facilities, cemeteries, allotment gardens, green wedges and paths. Today, planning has moved away from the small private villa gardens towards the large public facilities, eg the university parks in Aarhus (1931-47) by C.Th. Sørensen and in Odense (1970-73) by Jørgen Vesterholt, the music house in Aarhus (1979) by Sven Hansen and Byparken in Vejle (1994) by Preben Skaarup.

Motorway systems and bridge constructions have also been subjected to landscape treatment, eg Edith and Ole Nørgaard’s work with the Lyngby motorway (1965-74) and Møller and Grønborg’s planning of e.g. the Jutland motorway (approximately 1970).

In addition, the conservation movement from the first nature conservation law (1917) has developed from a purely conservative nature ideal towards a more care-oriented effort with larger coherent areas as a basis for work.

From the end of the 1990’s, urban renewal of existing open spaces has been initiated, including the so-called neighborhood lifts, eg Bundgårdsparken in Aalborg (1997-) by Torben Schønherr (b. 1943) and Ladegårdsparken in Holbæk (1998) by Stig L. Andersson.

There is a tendency to strengthen growth lushness in the interior of the residential squares, whereas the public square space is often treated on the basis of more sculptural-aesthetic principles with refined coatings and symbol-laden installations such as Sankt Hans Torv in Copenhagen (1993) by Sven-Ingvar Andersson and Herning Torv (1996) by Jeppe Aagaard Andersen.

Denmark – housing construction

Remains of walls and pillars, which draw the shape and floor plan of the dwellings, show that in the Peasant Stone Age from approximately 3900 BC have lived in longhouses with saddle roofs. The roof was supported by one row of posts. Towards the end of the Stone Age, the houses could grow up to 45 m long with a floor area of ​​350 m 2.

From the Early Bronze Age to the Viking Age, approximately 1500 BC-1050 AD, dominated the three-nave longhouse with habitation at the west end and barn at the east end. From the pre-Roman Iron Age, approximately 500 years BC, there are traces of a village, Grøntoft in West Jutland, where the buildings have been 10-15 m long and 5 m wide. They lie a little randomly in a large enclosure, but common to them is that all have the roof ridge located in the northwest-southeast direction with the sunken gable roof facing the prevailing wind. Under one roof carried by poles, humans and cattle have lived together, and a large fireplace has been the center of life both day and night.

In the later part of the Iron Age, from approximately 200 AD, the farms consisted of a large main house with or without a stable, supplemented by smaller buildings within a fence. In the Viking Age (750-1050), the largest farms had a main building with curved long walls, a “Trelleborghus” of the same type as those known from the ring forts.

Only in the Middle Ages did the earthen pillars disappear and the walls were put on a stone sill. The longhouse got a different design on land and in town. In the countryside there are magnificent examples of large farms, for example the farm from Ostenfeld in South Schleswig (1685, now at the Open-Air Museum in Sorgenfri).

In the market towns, the type has been included as the original architectural form, the gable house, which through extensions has changed in accordance with the needs and functions of all time, eg Quedens Gård in Ribe, whose oldest parts are from the 1580’s.

The most characteristic building in the countryside in Denmark is the four-length farm, sometimes developed over generations and over several centuries from originally detached lengths. This mixed residential and commercial building, which is found with different local characteristics, has framed a very appropriate, protected and private courtyard, where the home occupies one of the wings, thus the courtyard from Pebring on Zealand (1600-1800’s, now at Frilandsmuseet).

With the break-up of the villages in connection with the replacement at the end of the 18th century, the farm with housing was often moved from a small world of a village and given an isolated location out in the entire adjoining land.

The urban dwellings, which were originally low single-family houses or apartment buildings, developed as the space shortage became great, with several functions within the same building framework. On the ground floor facing the street, the outward-facing activities, such as shops, were placed, and the first floor of the building became the residence of the business owner’s family; more floors could be added for rental purposes. Larger houses were built with side buildings for the bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and toilet and with rooms for servants on the roof.

After 1850

The development in Danish housing construction since 1850 can, in a shortened perspective, be said to have concentrated in particular on the following.

Roof over your head

The understanding of the importance of healthy housing was manifested exemplary by doctors who, after the cholera epidemic in 1853, built the Danish Medical Association’s Housing at Fælleden in Copenhagen (now Brumleby) with Gottlieb Bindesbøll as architect.

As trade and industry in both Copenhagen and other cities began to flourish in the mid-19th century, more labor was needed, and large-scale relocations took place from country to city. The increase in the number of dwellings was initially created by the wealthy owners’ additions of rental dwellings as side and rear houses behind their own dwelling in the front house facing the street.

The establishment of Østifternes Kreditforening in 1851 provided the basis for building new rental housing. It first happened along the city’s exit roads and consisted mainly of small apartments intended for the wage workers. With a building law for Copenhagen in 1856, standards were set for hygienic, fire and constructive conditions in the new building, including provisions that gave rise to the corridor apartment type with access to unilaterally located apartments from a long corridor throughout the building.

Later significant additions to the law of 1871 and 1875 affected the relationship between built-up and undeveloped area and light distances. The first residential buildings outside the ramparts were built in the street line, where one through the gate gained access to one or more parallel middle and back houses.

Special tax conditions such as the area tax in 1802 favored the construction of small flats under 27 m 2, as they were exempt from tax. It was not uncommon for the largest space of a dwelling in the 1870’s to be less than 10 m 2.

Space, light and air in the building

With the Building Act of 1899, e.g. required street widths of more than 18 m, floor area in living spaces of approximately 6 m 2 and window to the open air. Other legislation in 1889 with a ban on corridor apartments led to the development of the main and kitchen staircase system, which characterized Danish housing construction, until the fireproof staircase and balcony in 1929 were accepted as an alternative.

Housing construction, which stagnated in the 1890’s, resumed around the turn of the century, but was halted by a banking crisis in 1908, and housing shortages arose. Particularly important for the quality of housing around 1900 was the introduction of new installations, such as the water closet.

While in the past it had been common to involve architects in the façade design, from now on they were also involved in the planning of the small dwellings, both in building plans and in the detailed layout of the dwellings.

After 1914, the need for housing grew sharply. Rising construction prices and rent regulation led private builders to hold back. State and municipality had to step in with direct subsidies for housing construction, loans or exemption from property taxes.

In 1922, the subsidy scheme was approved for five years with the Statsboligfonden, which was re-adopted in 1933 for a further three-year period. In this legal and subsidy framework, a total of 35,000 apartments were built. The state 40% subsidies and the municipal guarantees of up to 90% presupposed fulfillment of a number of conditions.

The physical result was the large blocks, peripheral settlements around large park-like courtyards, made possible by the low land prices, which were a prerequisite for the government loan; a good example is Hornbækhus (1920-22) in Copenhagen by the architect Kay Fisker. The dwellings in these squares all had living rooms facing the street and bedrooms and a kitchen facing the courtyard.

Up through the 1920’s, this form was dominant. Later, a partial opening of the squares took place; this was widely used in the 1930’s, at the same time as log buildings with parallel, detached apartment blocks on green lawns began to gain ground, inspired by German housing construction.

The later developed park buildings gave all apartments good orientation towards the sun with east-west-facing facades. Beautiful examples are the buildings Ryparken and Blidah (by the architect Ivar Bentsen and others) near Copenhagen.

The functional housing

The construction of the 1930’s was qualitatively characterized by international functionalism. Although often bricked up by craftsmen, in many cases the building appeared as if it were cast in concrete, with white, smooth, plastered facades.

The introduction of balconies and a special Danish balcony bay tradition gave both an architectural point and great practical advances in multi-storey housing construction. During the war 1940-45, reinforced concrete was also needed for other purposes, and people returned to the traditional Danish materials. Brick and wood left their mark on both 1940’s and 1950’s housing construction.

Of course, villas, single-family houses and other low-rise buildings had been built all along, but now the construction of low-rise buildings was reinforced and more common than multi-storey buildings. Particularly notable examples of low-rise construction, which gave residents access to the benefits that were otherwise reserved for the wealthy: light, air and their own garden, arose through collaboration in large workplaces.

In terms of numbers, their significance was not great, but in the 1930’s support for low-rise construction had been opened, and the traditional terraced house, which had already been “rediscovered” in the 1920’s by the architects Ivar Bentsen and Thorkild Henningsen, became a very widespread form of housing. . With its density and its open spaces, it provided incomparable leisure and upbringing opportunities.

The industrial product

The housing construction of the 1950’s is one of the highest quality in Danish architecture. The explanation is found not least in the home builder education that the architect Kay Fisker created at the Academy of Fine Arts’ School of Architecture in the 1930’s and 1940’s. He advocated the functional tradition as an innovative development corresponding to the needs of all time, but rooted in the tradition of the place and with human and social dimensions.

In the 1950’s, however, the high-rise buildings and industrialized construction also really took off with a number of very large buildings, the disposition of which was characterized more by a desire for monumentality and construction efficiency than by thinking about life between the houses.

An example from the 1960’s of this construction is Høje Gladsaxe near Copenhagen with Hoff & Windinge as architects. The foundation was thus laid for a heated debate for and against the industrialized housing construction and the high-rise building as a form of housing.

At the same time, government loan schemes from 1946 made it available for more people to acquire their own house at a reasonable price, possibly in the form of a type house; in the 1950’s, detached houses accounted for more than 40% of the decade’s total construction of 200,000 homes. Through architectural competitions, new building forms were developed, such as the atrium house in 1955; it was later used in mass construction, for example in Albertslund, which Fællestegnestuen was in charge of in the 1960’s.

A complete liberalization of housing construction took place in the 1950’s, followed by extensive private construction and rent increases in the old housing stock on which homeowners profited. From 20,000 homes per year in 1958, the number grew to 50,000 units per year in 1969.

The non-profit housing associations, which had been responsible for most significant housing developments since the 1920’s, also took part in the organizational tasks associated with the construction and operation of the large assembly buildings of the 1960’s, which were stimulated by special legislation on modular planning (1956)., on assembly construction (1960) and of the Rural Development Act (1960) and the associated layout plans for all Danish cities.

The social dimension

The reaction to these large, monotonous residential and sleeping towns came in the late 1960’s. From several sides, more social and more varied construction was required, characterized by the users’ wishes and co-determination.

Already in the early 1970’s, settlements were realized that met both the residents’ opportunities for development and the desire for co-influence. But the large units had their own built-in, social problems, even though the individual apartments were well-planned, well-equipped, and larger than had previously been experienced.

In 1971, architectural competitions for new forms of housing in multi-storey residential buildings and low-rise buildings were introduced. They resulted in the construction of dense-low-rise buildings, such as Tinggården near Køge with the design studio Vandkunsten as architects, which showed new ways of framing more common life forms.

The dense-low construction dominated for a period completely housing construction. From 1975, when the effects of the first oil crisis hit, construction slowed. Only a certain export business, tax-favored detached house construction with deduction options as well as the incipient urban renewal activity provided employment for the construction industry. However, it was demonstrated that industrialized construction can also be varied in shapes, colors and housing types, and that it can work flexibly and be carried out with user participation in the planning.

Housing communities were arranged or built in several places in the country. Also in larger social or non-profit buildings, emphasis was placed on promoting the community between the residents through conscious work, building planning, paths, etc. and by promoting opportunities for and space for togetherness.

In the 1980’s, housing construction, especially detached house construction, stagnated, and in the early 1990’s it fell to its lowest level since World War II. The construction sector has since been in a serious crisis, although some export activity, especially of architectural and engineering work, is still going on.

Reports, eg the Ølgaard report 1988, have established that enough homes have been built in Denmark. Nevertheless, through competitions in the 1990’s, several new variations of multi-storey dwellings were developed. New ideas about flexibility, about urbanity and about integration, about communities and most recently about ecology have been starting points and inspiration. See also single-family houses.

Housing construction is still characterized by stagnation, and very few public housing units have been built since the mid-1990’s, while a significant part of the approximately 500,000 public housing in Denmark needs to be improved.

In several of the larger cities there is a housing shortage; here, the individual has on average only 40 m 2 available against 50 m 2 in the country as a whole. The good experiences of the 1990’s with introducing mixed ownership in residential areas as well as carrying out urban renewal, neighborhood lifts and block clearings continue to be utilized, just as through e.g. increased logistics management and targeted architectural competitions seek to make Danish construction better and cheaper without compromising quality and utility value.

The Ministry of Urban and Housing, which was behind a large number of development projects, was closed down when the VK government took office in 2001, and most of the ministry’s business areas were transferred to the Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs.

Denmark – visual art

Visual art, understood as depictions and decorations in the broadest sense, dates back to the Mesolithic in Denmark.


The solar car. Cult image of the Sun drawn by a horse. The solar carriage, which dates from the Early Bronze Age, approximately 1350 BC, was found in 1902 while plowing in a bog at Trundholm in Ods Herred. In 1998, some more fragments of the wagon were found in the same place. The National Museum.

The golden horns. The reconstruction here was carried out in 1861 on the basis of drawings from the 1600’s and 1700’s; many details are therefore uncertain, the shape of the horns.

The oldest evidence of visual arts and crafts in Denmark comes from the Mesolithic Maglemose culture (approximately 9300-6800 BC). Characteristic of the Mesolithic are geometric patterns carved into utensils of bone and roof and into amber pendants; occasionally stylized animals and humans are seen.

In the Mesolithic Ertebølle culture (approximately 5400-3900 BC), regional stylistic features meet for the first time, as hourglass-shaped patterns of many closely spaced lines appear as a special East Jutland phenomenon. From larger lumps of amber, animal figures such as birds and wild boars were created; a 6.5 cm long bear found on Fanø Strand is of particularly high quality.

During the early and middle part of the Neolithic, pottery became the most important material for the artistically emphasized forms of expression. approximately 3000 BC reached an artistic climax with a complicated, dense and surface-covering ornamentation, formed by the impression of small bones, mussels, gill lids from fish etc.

The ornamentation appears in tightly composed vertical zones, while especially angular bands form horizontal courses. On some earthenware vessels there are remnants of a lime paste, which shows that the patterns have appeared white in contrast to the dark surface.

Ceramics lost importance as an artistic form of expression in the Senneolithic period and in the Early Bronze Age. At the beginning of the older Bronze Age approximately 1700 BC the bronzes were decorated with a tight angular ornamentation with inspiration in the south-eastern European Bronze Age cultures, but soon a separate style was developed in the Nordic countries, built around the spiral. It can be seen on Solvogen’s solar disk; the horse that draws the sun is elegantly and confidently rendered, molded in cire perdue technique.

By the middle of the Bronze Age (approximately 1000 BC) the spiral ornaments were replaced by star-like patterns. In the Late Bronze Age (approximately 1000-500 BC), the spiral is seen again on the bronzes, this time as part of harmonious compositions of undulating bands. From the Bronze Age, plastic human and animal figures are also known. Some have presumably been placed on small ship models used in cultic rituals. The most important figurative motif of the Bronze Age is the nave, which must have played a significant role as a religious symbol. A large number of ship reproductions are known on certain types of bronze objects and in the art of petroglyphs (see petroglyphs).

In the pre-Roman Iron Age (approximately 500 BC to the birth of Christ) vortex patterns are seen on the end balls of the ball neck rings, which testify to Celtic influence. Towards the end of the period, a particularly fine, thin-walled luxury pottery emerged. In the older Roman Iron Age from approximately 500 BC the pottery reached a peak where local styles can be distinguished. The North Jutland ceramics in particular are famous for their deep-cut angle patterns, which provide a fine relief effect.

Around the birth of Christ, gold became a popular material, and the small pendants, charms, with fine patterns in granulation and filigree testify to a highly developed art of goldsmithing. From the richest tombs from the Late Roman Iron Age originate arm and finger rings with stylized snake heads.

The importance of gold continued in the Germanic Iron Age, where after 400 AD. known excellent works, such as mouthpieces for sword sheaths and bracteate theater with stylized animal figures in a special Nordic style. To this golden period also belongs the weighty golden horns from Gallehus, adorned with multitudes of figures.

In the centuries after 400, the characteristic Nordic animal ornamentation was developed, which is especially found on gold-plated bronze jewelery. The oldest stylized animal figures are fairly anatomically correctly rendered. However, the individual animal forms were soon dissolved, and surface-covering ornaments were created from limbs and bodies.

It is the undulating and interwoven animal figures from the Late Germanic Iron Age that form the background for the various animal styles of the Viking Age (see Viking art). The most recent of these, the Urnes style with curved animal figures in an elegant, thin line, lived on as an ornament of the wooden churches and their interiors in the early Middle Ages.

Denmark – visual art – Romanesque and Gothic art

Denmark – visual art – Romanesque and Gothic art, Romanesque art

As Christian faith and culture became rooted in Denmark, the visual arts also came to reflect the country’s affiliation with Romanesque Europe. Among the few preserved Christian images from the 900’s and 1000’s. are the large Jellingsten carvings (2nd half of the 900’s) and the snake ornamentation on Hørningplanken, a remnant of a stave church from the 1000’s. From approximately 1100 the international character of Danish Romanesque art becomes conspicuous. This applies to frescoes as well as stone and wood sculptures as well as the hat-gilded decorations on the golden altars.

Not least the frescoes testify to lively contacts to southern and western Europe, and even to the Byzantine Empire in the east. 1100-ts painting is richly represented on Zealand. The churches in Måløv, Jørlunde, Slaglille, Sæby and Kirke Hyllinge thus contain frescoes at a high artistic level with clear connections to e.g. Byzantine art. The colors used are for many very expensive and in many cases imported from far away.

The paintings are preferably made as frescoes on wet plaster in clear and manageable geometric compositions. The figures, reproduced in calm and dignified positions, are placed in one or two picture friezes on the church walls. The friezes are separated and framed by richly varied ornamental ribbons, designed as meander borders, plant ornaments, etc. The background color is blue (often ultramarine) or green.

With regard to stone sculptures, which are usually made of granite, the largest and best material is found in Jutland. Hundreds of baptismal fonts, portal ornaments and picture stones in the church walls display numerous motifs, of which lions and other predators are among the most widespread. Often the interpretation of these motifs is associated with great difficulties, as the messages of the images are far from always unambiguous.

In the best cases, the design language is tight and resilient with an exquisite compositional play between the image and its frame. Among the Romanesque stone masters, Horder must be highlighted. The name appears on a stone from Løvenholm (now at the National Museum) and has been interpreted as the master’s signature; he is credited with granite sculptures in several churches in Djursland as well as a large number of baptismal fonts.

One of the Romanesque granite sculpture’s main works is the relief with the crucifixion over the Kathoveddøren at Ribe Cathedral (2nd half of the 12th century), which in a very expressive style utilizes the space in the semi-circular tympanum field to the extreme. It was in the 1st half of 1200-t. supplemented by a triangular relief depicting the Heavenly Jerusalem.

A special group of works within Danish Romanesque art consists of the golden altars, which in Denmark are preserved in greater numbers than in any other country. These are a total of seven altar decorations, two of which can still be seen in the churches in Sahl by Holstebro and Stadil by Ringkøbing Fjord.

The golden altars consist of thin, cap-gilded copper plates on a wooden core. The plates are driven up in relief from the back, patterned with engraving and decorated with rock crystals. The oldest, the Lisbjerg altar, which is found at the National Museum, dates from 1135-50, and the youngest, such as the Stadil altar, are from approximately 1235

Gothic art

Traditionally, in Danish art history, Gothic is allowed to begin around the middle of the 13th century, but the transition is in fact long and smooth. In the work with the frescoes, new artistic challenges arose as more churches (most, however, only in the 1400’s) had the original flat wooden ceilings replaced with masonry vaults. It is a completely different compositional task to decorate a curved, triangular vaulted cloak than a flat wall, which is why the use of templates such as book paintings became somewhat more complicated.

In the Gothic frescoes, the figures no longer appear on a colored background, but are painted directly on the white lime. Throughout the Gothic period, the tendency to fill the white areas between the figures with stars, flowers and other ornamentation increased. From around 1400, the lime painters had a new type of template, namely woodcuts. In this respect, perhaps part of the explanation lies in the fact that in most cases the pictures are more reminiscent of colored drawings than of actual painting.

They tend to have a far more popular and local character than the Romanesque ones, and this tendency is reinforced towards the end of the Middle Ages in the 1500’s. Gothic frescoes are found all over the country, and a large part of the decorations can be grouped in “workshops” such as Elmelundeværkstedet, Isefjordværkstedet and others.

A more internationally oriented form of Danish Gothic is often represented in the wood-carved and painted altarpieces and crucifixes. From around 1400, the altarpieces were designed as sculpturally decorated cabinets with wings to open and close in step with the events of the church year. One of the earliest examples is the high altarpiece in Lund Cathedral from 1398. In many cases, these cabinet altarpieces reach considerable dimensions, such as the Lübeck sculptor Bernt Notke’s high altarpiece in Aarhus Cathedral from 1479, which reaches a height of 9.25 m. Notke’s style characterized by a high degree of realism that endows the characters with a portrait-like, non-idealizing character.

Claus Berg, whose workshop in Odense in the early 1500’s, is one of the most important sculptors in late medieval Denmark. delivered altarpieces, crucifixes, pulpits and other furniture to many Danish churches. Claus Berg came from Lübeck, but the style he conveyed to the country is southern German. It is sometimes described as “baroque gothic”, as composition and details are often characterized by dramatic movement. Claus Berg’s main work is the high altarpiece in Sankt Knud’s Church in Odense from approximately 1515-25. Another of the excellent sculptors of the time is Hans Brüggemann, whose main work is the completely unpainted high altarpiece in Schleswig Cathedral from 1521, originally made for the monastery church in Bordesholm.

For the “great” art, the introduction of the Reformation in 1536 meant an almost total stop. Cutters like Claus Berg had to leave the country if for no other reason then for lack of orders. On the other hand, the fresco continued uninterrupted for some decades with much the same stylistic characteristics as in the last years of Catholicism.

Denmark – visual art – renaissance

After the break with the Catholic Church in 1536, Christian took 3rd place as the unrestricted head of the national church. At the same time, the confiscation of church property came to form a solid economic foundation for the increased growth of the monarchy.

Over the following decades, the king became society’s undisputed greatest consumer of art, and this art was increasingly purposefully exploited for the glorification of the kingdom, the true evangelical faith, and of the monarch’s own person and lineage.

During Christian III, the form language and ideology of the Renaissance really took off. The spread of the new impulses took place primarily through immigrant artists or through print graphics. Jacob Binck from Cologne played a central role as a communicator of current styles from the Netherlands and Germany and left a decisive mark on the development of the secular portrait art with paintings, medals and graphic magazines.

In the years after the Reformation, the layout of the churches was changed in accordance with the Lutheran regulations, although in many cases tolerance was shown towards Catholic furniture and frescoes. New acquisitions were made only to a limited extent; the most important were altarpieces and pulpits.

These show, together with new fresco ornaments and illustrated Bible editions, eg Christian III’s Danish Bible (1550), that pictures continued to be recognized as a pedagogical aid by the first reformers. In keeping with the renaissance’s increased worship of the individual, tomb art during this period received a revival with numerous carved tombstones and painted or carved epitaphs.

Frederik II’s era is characterized by prosperity and growth, which especially prevailed after the end of the Seven Years’ War in 1570. To an even greater extent than his father, Frederik II competed both with the nobility and with other European courts in terms of the use of art as a means to increase prestige and mark status.

The normative artistic impulses were received from the Netherlands, whose leading sculptor, Cornelis Floris in Antwerp, delivered more works here than to any other country, e.g. the magnificent tombstones for Frederik I (1551-55) in Schleswig Cathedral, for Herluf Trolle and Birgitte Gøye (1566-68) in Herlufsholm Church and for Christian III (1569-79) in Roskilde Cathedral.

The all-dominant artistic manifestation was the rebuilding and redesign of Kronborg 1574-86. The construction site attracted a large number of Dutch artists and craftsmen, who often remained in Elsinore, which was called “little Amsterdam”. Their descendants continued to work in Denmark without losing touch with developments in the Netherlands, thus the van Steenwinckel and Isaacsz families.

Until 1576, Gert van Groningen was the leading stonemason, followed by his son Herman Gertsen. The workshop, which was responsible for the main portals at Kronborg, may have included the distinctive sculptor “Copenhagen’s alabaster master”, whose works (the Krognos epitaph in Ringsted Church, 1575, and the altarpiece of Lund Cathedral, 1577) represent the domestic breakthrough of the High Renaissance.

In 1577, the king changed plans for Kronborg’s modernization and placed the management in the hands of the architect Anthonis van Opbergen from Mecheln. The level of ambition increased significantly. Stonemasons such as Gert van Egen from Mecheln, who later commissioned Frederik II’s tombstone (1594-98) in Roskilde Cathedral, now characterized the castle with a more classical, Floris-like style (the castle church’s portal and altarpiece); in the castle courtyard, the bronze fountain of the Nuremberg Georg Labenwolff was set up, while the dance hall had richly carved ceilings, doors and marble fireplaces.

All this burned in 1629, but the table sky of the dance hall and a number of the 40 woven wallpapers with life-size pictures of Danish kings, made in 1581-86 by convened Flemish weavers under the leadership of Hans Knieper from Antwerp, are still preserved. A feasibility study for the woven depiction of Frederik II is at the same time our oldest painted full-length portrait (1581). As a model for Frederik II’s portrait, Knieper has probably relied on the bust that JG van der Schardt performed in 1577-79.

The portrait type was also used by the Flensburg citizen Melchior Lorck, who at this time worked for the Danish king. Simultaneously with the king’s monumental demonstrations of power, the noble builders erected their manors. Only a few remnants of their interior decoration have been preserved, such as the painted ceiling from Næsbyholm (National Museum); but the stonemasons’ festive decorations in portals, fireplaces, etc. show that the nobility gladly borrowed artists and craftsmen from the royal mansion, as is known from the most remarkable manor house of the time, Tycho Brahe’s Uranienborg on Ven. Here seemed Steenwinckel d.æ. in collaboration with Hans Knieper and the portrait painter Tobias Gemperle from Augsburg.

Denmark – visual art – baroque

Christian 4. pursued a conscious and active art policy. Like his predecessors, he convened architects and visual artists from abroad to beautify and glorify the kingdom in general and the court in particular. The financial basis for this artistic activity was partly the funds from the collection of the Øresund customs.

Court life was deliberately staged in order to meet aesthetic and allegorical-political needs. In connection with the great dynastic feast days, coronations, weddings, etc., splendid processions and tournaments were arranged, music and ballets were performed, triumphal arches were built and fireworks were fired. The castles with their magnificent decoration deftly added in as part of this representative backdrop.

The art of painting continued to be influenced by artists from abroad, mainly from the Netherlands. It was often closely linked to the architecture and served as a decoration of the interiors. In addition to the purely aesthetic role in the holistic effect of the spaces, the narrative content of the images had a clearly instructive aim.

Among the most extensive room decorations of the time is the series of large oil paintings for the ceiling in the long hall at Rosenborg Castle, painted after 1615 by Frantz Clein, Reinhold Timm, Pieter Isaacsz and his son Isaac Isaacsz.

An extremely complicated iconographic program is the basis for a total of 24 canvases, of which only 15 have been preserved (at Kronborg). They depict the living conditions of man according to the prevailing philosophical and cosmological systems of the time (the planets, the ages of life, the elements, the temperaments, the free arts, etc.).

At Kronborg, Morten van Steenwinckel painted ceiling paintings in the queen’s chamber, the Planet Gods (1631-32). To the ceiling of the king’s chamber, Utrecht artist Gerrit van Honthorst performed scenes from Heliodor from Emessa’s novel Aithiopika; these can probably be considered an allegory of one of the royal curses. The same model was used by Karel van Mander 3. for a series of ten paintings, whose original place and purpose as decoration is unknown (nine are preserved and are found in the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen in Kassel).

Kronborg was also intended for the large-scale, never-completed project, which today goes by the name The Patriotic Historical Images (started in 1637). The pictures were ordered on the basis of drawn templates, mainly made by Crispin de Pas II and Honthorst. Most were painted by Honthorst, but other Dutch artists also took part in the project. The pictures were taken to Sweden as booty in 1658; 12 are preserved on Skokloster and Drottningholm Castle.

Among the royal portrait painters of European format are Pieter Isaacsz, Jacob van Doordt, Karel van Mander and Abraham Wuchters; the latter two also diligently depicted the men and women of the nobility. Copper engraving served to spread the king’s portraits, and here Albert Haelwegh was the undisputed master.

Adriaen de Vries’ Neptune Fountain at Frederiksborg Castle (1615-22) asserts itself in the sculptural art of the time by its elegant and imaginative mannerism; also this work became the Swedes’ booty in 1659, and the figures came to Drottningholm Castle; the fountain at Frederiksborg was reconstructed in 1888. During Christian IV, numerous of the country’s churches were decorated with furniture in the ornamental style that goes by the name cartilage baroque.

After Christian IV’s death, several of the artists continued their work under their son Frederik III. Among the interesting new painters was Wolfgang Heimbach with portraits and genre pictures, often executed as night pieces in the spirit of Caravaggio, while Jürgen Ovens mainly worked in a more pompous, allegorical idiom. Abel Schrøder’s altarpiece from 1661-62 in Holmen’s Church in Copenhagen stands in unpainted oak and works exclusively with its lively figure scenes, framed in richly carved staffings.

Christian V’s first court painter and general builder was Lambert van Haven, who decorated the beautiful audience hall at Frederiksborg Castle; the hall was decorated in 1683-86 with paintings by the royal house’s portrait painter Jacob d’Agar. Abraham-César Lamoureux ‘s equestrian statue of the king (1685-88) on Kongens Nytorv stands as one of the period’s sculptural main monuments. Remarkable are also Thomas Quellinus’ magnificent tombstones in many Danish churches, dramatically composed, executed in rare, differently colored marble varieties and framed by monumental architectural elements.

With Frederik IV’s court painter Benoît Le Coffre, the portrait style from Louis XIV’s court finally reached Denmark in the early 1700’s. During the construction of Frederiksberg Castle (1699-1709), monumental decorations were again needed. Ceiling paintings were made by Le Coffre, the illusionist A Masquerade (approximately 1704), and by Hendrik Krock, who also participated in the decoration of Fredensborg Castle (built 1719-21).

The most excellent portrait painter of the time, Balthasar Denner, provides an interesting insight into the customs and clothing fashions of the upper classes, as seen, for example, in the Coffee Company of the Reventlow family (approximately 1743-49, Pederstrup).

Johann Salomon Wahl became Christian VI’s court painter, but had already worked for the previous monarch. Wahl’s portraits are close to Andreas Møllers, which are, however, less rigid and more captivating. What Denner had previously been for the nobility and the rich bourgeoisie, now became Johan Hörner, who was also an excellent still life painter.

The Christiansborg Castle, inaugurated in 1740, was decorated exclusively with paintings (a total of 139) by the most famous French artists of the time. The art under Christian VI can be described as the last pompous phase of the late Baroque, which most often merely repeated the adopted rules and norms of the past century.

Wahl’s heir in the field of portrait art was Carl Gustaf Pilo, who heralded the Rococo in Denmark. With his elegant brushstrokes and color scheme as well as his dramatic pictorial compositions, he became in the mid-1700’s. an incomparable interpreter of Frederik V and his court. With Louis Tocqué, who Count AG Moltke briefly imported from France, a less pompous, more natural and modern pictorial style was seen for the first time in Denmark.

Several portrait painters sought to make the Pilo range controversial, first and foremost Vigilius Erichsen and Peder Als. Erichsen’s magnificent full-length portrait of the widowed queen Juliane Marie (1776, Statens Museum for Kunst) became his Danish masterpiece; later he got service in Russia.

Peder Als’ anticipation in his best works of the romantic portrait perception, such as in the portrait of Johannes Wiedewelt (1758, Frederiksborg Museum). The Swedish-born Johan Hörner also made a name for himself as a portrait painter, and in miniature painting, the European-educated Cornelius Høyer was a supreme master.

Denmark – visual art – neoclassicism and the golden age

Denmark – visual art – neoclassicism and golden age, neoclassicism

In 1738, the first Danish art academy was established under Christian VI and had several foreign artists as teachers, including the Swedish portrait painter Carl Gustaf Pilo, the German painter and architect Carl Marcus Tuscher and the French sculptor Louis-Augustin Le Clerc. The Danish architect Niels Eigtved became supervisor of the academy in 1748, and when the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts was founded in 1754, based at Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, Eigtved became its first director.

At the Charlottenborg Academy, the first generation of Danish-born artists were educated: the painters Nicolai Abildgaard, Jens Juel and Erik Pauelsen. Until the 1770’s, the teachers were predominantly foreign, the sculptor Jacques-Francois-Joseph Saly, who was the academy’s director until 1771, and who created the equestrian statue of Frederik V to Amalienborg Castle Square.

Among the Danish professors was the sculptor Johannes Wiedewelt, who received his education in France and Rome. Here he was influenced by the German art theorist Johann Joachim Winckelmann and introduced his neoclassical theories in Denmark, both in his own sculptures, which include the sarcophagi of Christian VI and Frederik V in Roskilde Cathedral, and in the book Thoughts on Taste in the Arts in General from 1762.

The academy students competed for prizes and medals, and with the big gold medal came the possibility of a longer study stay in France and Italy. For Nicolai Abildgaard, the years of study in Rome 1772-76 were of the greatest importance. Here he could move among the works of art of antiquity and the renaissance and get acquainted with contemporary European artists, among others. Johan Tobias Sergel and Johann Heinrich Füssli.

Nicolai Abildgaard’s literary and historical knowledge was greater than any other Danish visual artist. In his painting, the neoclassical pursuit of tranquility and highness is combined with a pre-romantic savagery. His masterpiece, a series of depictions of the history of the Oldenburg kings, burned down at Christiansborg Castle in 1794; but he has left behind a large number of smaller paintings, including with motifs from the works of William Shakespeare, Ludvig Holberg and ancient authors.

Erik Pauelsen was the first to make national landscape painting his specialty and performed dramatic scenes from Norway during a trip there in 1788. Jens Juel was also a pioneer in Danish landscape painting; but his main field was the art of portraiture. Inspired by contemporary English and French art, Juel carried out a more “natural” depiction of his royal, noble and bourgeois commissioners, just as he often included the landscape or landscape garden in the portraits.

Shortly after the year 1800, the next generation of artists trained in Paris, where the leading painters of the Napoleonic era, led by Jacques-Louis David, became their role models. The early deceased painter Christian Gottlieb Kratzenstein Stub represented the Romantics of Danish painting, while Johann Ludwig Lund from Paris went to Rome, where he came under the influence of the German Nazarenes. However, it was Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg who in particular passed on the French lessons to his students at the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, where he became a professor in 1818.

Golden Age

CW Eckersberg. View through three arches in the Colosseum’s third storey, 1815. The picture is classic with its three strict arches parallel to the image plane. Eckersberg has found here a strikingly magnificent motif that none of countless other Roman painters had seen, and the work is one of the absolute highlights of his work.

Bertel Thorvaldsen’s almost 3.5 m high statue above the altar in Our Lady’s Church in Copenhagen (since 1924 Copenhagen Cathedral) depicts the words of Jesus: Come to me, all of you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28), but the wounds on the hands and feet show that Christ must at the same time be perceived as resurrected, as the overlord of death. The statue was modeled in 1821, made of marble 1827-28 and erected in 1839 together with Thorvaldsen’s 12 apostle statues. At the dedication of Our Lady’s Church in 1829, all 13 statues were erected in the form of temporary plaster models. Thorvaldsen’s Christ won in the 1800’s. and well into the 1900’s. widespread in the form of the miniature edition, which The Royal Porcelain factory made of biscuit. The kneeling angel holding the baptismal font modeled Thorvaldsen in 1827-28 and completed it in marble in 1833.

Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg’s work as a teacher had a significant influence on the next painting generation’s study of nature, where landscape painting, based on sketches made on site, was cultivated as a projection of the emotional life. A realism, kept in the ave of a deeper idealism, is characteristic of the period between 1816 and 1848, popularly referred to as the Golden Age. However, there is no simultaneous art theoretical justification for using this term, which is formed in analogy with the literary historical concept.

Eckersberg, like most of his students, worked in almost all genres of painting: history painting, portrait and landscape art in addition to marine painting. The purpose of the academy education was first and foremost to train history painters, but the country’s economic low tide in 1813 did not provide an opportunity to unfold this exalted genre on a larger scale.

Portrait painting was the most reliable source of income, but also some ecclesiastical tasks found their way to Eckersberg and his students. Christian Frederik Hansen’s Christiansborg Castle was given larger painting decorations by Eckersberg and JL Lund and sculptural friezes by Hermann Ernst Freund (Ragnarok frieze, started in 1825) and Herman Vilhelm Bissen.

Nordic myths and legends gained ground in the visual arts in connection with the national revival in the 1770’s, and they were treated by both Abildgaard and Erik Pauelsen. Later, JL Lund, Kratzenstein Stub and Eckersberg made paintings with Nordic subjects for the Academy of Fine Arts, while Constantin Hansen and Lorenz Frølich came to deal intensively with the Nordic myths and Danish history.

The most famous artist of the period, Bertel Thorvaldsen, did not deal with the Nordic subject, but picked up his pictorial material in antiquity. Lived in Rome 1797-1838, Thorvaldsen was the first Danish artist to belong to the history of European art.

His unique reputation seemed like an incentive in his home country, even after his death, through the museum built 1839-48 in Copenhagen for his works and collections.

Thorvaldsen’s breakthrough work, Jason (1802-03), was followed by a large number of other figures from ancient mythology as well as monuments and tombstones such as the equestrian statue of Prince Poniatowski in Warsaw and the tomb of Pope Pius VII in St. Peter’s Church in Rome.

For a large European clientele, he also performed numerous busts and portrait statues; in Denmark, in the years after 1821, he decorated the newly built Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen with depictions of Jesus and the twelve apostles and the angel of baptism.

Around Thorvaldsen gathered young artists from all over Europe, for whom the stay in Rome was the most important element in their artistic education.

The great style of the classical works in Italy set limits to the nascent realism, as seen by the painters Constantin Hansen and Jørgen Roed.

An opposite trend is represented by Wilhelm Marstrand and Martinus Rørbye, who in the 1830’s introduced an anecdotal genre painting. Jørgen Sonne, Christen Dalsgaard and Frederik Vermehren depicted in heroic form the Danish fishing and peasant life, inspired by the art historian Niels Lauritz Høyen, who, like the sculptor HE Freund, had a great influence on the spiritual currents among the younger visual artists.

A gathering point was Freund’s home in Materialgården in Copenhagen, which he had decorated in Pompeian style and equipped with antique-inspired furniture. This interior art was further developed on a monumental scale in University of Copenhagen lobby by Constantin Hansen, Herman Vilhelm Bissen and Georg Hilker.

The best gifted of Eckersberg’s students was Christen Købke, whose short life work forms one of the highlights of Danish art. Købke’s portraits of the close-knit family and close friends are pure everyday depictions, but he also shows compositional and coloristic boldness, especially in the rendering of his fellow artists. He sought his landscape motifs in the immediate vicinity of the city of Copenhagen, and with the pictures of Frederiksborg Castle he created mood depictions of a monument in Danish history.

At the same time, Købke did not occupy a prominent place like the excellent portrait painter Christian Albrecht Jensen, whose career and artistic aspirations were thwarted by NL Høyen.

The decade before the outbreak of war in 1848 is dominated by the national landscape painting, from Zealand by Johan Thomas Lundbye and Peter Christian Skovgaard and from Jutland by Dankvart Dreyer, Christen Dalsgaard and Martinus Rørbye.

In the 1830’s and 1840’s, almost all the significant Danish artists were in Italy. They often paid a visit to the Norwegian painter Johan Christian Dahl in Dresden, whose affiliation with Danish art remained close and inspiring.

Munich was also an art center, where Danish artists settled for a shorter or longer period of time, including Jørgen Sonne and Wilhelm Bendz. In contrast to the international orientation of the 18th century in Abildgaard and Juel, nationalism for the generation after Eckersberg meant a lack of knowledge of the great international currents in France and England. The national mindset preceded the awareness of contemporary European art.

Denmark – visual art – national romanticism, realism and naturalism

Denmark – visual art – national romanticism, realism and naturalism, national romanticism

At the middle of the century, a turning point in Danish art development occurred. The Golden Age was replaced in the 1850’s by a stagnation that was extended into a real recession over the following two decades.

In the art of sculpting, it was first and foremost Herman Vilhelm Bissen who lifted the classical legacy of Bertel Thorvaldsen and added the features of the national romantic tendencies of the time; his well-known war memorial Landsoldaten (1850-58) in Fredericia is the example par excellence of his late merging of these two originally separate main lines in the sculptural art of the Golden Age.

Also Jens Adolf Jerichau had its starting point Thorvaldsen, but classicism idealized form processing veg here somewhat for dramatizing and psychologising expressions contrary to Thorvaldsen principles.

In the field of painting, the Golden Age tradition was maintained in the bourgeois classicism of the Eckersberg School, which mixed the French heritage of Jacques-Louis David with impulses from German Biedermeier and strong elements of domestic national romanticism.

The main representatives of this period are Constantin Hansen, Jørgen Roed, Wilhelm Marstrand, Frederik Vermehren and Julius Exner. In the following decades, the national traditions of landscape painting from the 1840’s were especially taken care of by Peter Christian Skovgaard and Vilhelm Kyhn. Century out, this tradition found a remarkable resilience continuation, especially through Kyhn’s many younger admirers.

The bourgeois-national art tradition was already marked in the 1860’s by a visibly increasing powerlessness: the treatment of form was weakened by an increasingly pertinent breakdown of the holistic effect in infinite details and nuances associated with a corresponding predilection for “sauce” the colors of the image into a brownish holistic tone, gallery tone.

Isolated attempts to break this decadence occurred. Most notable is the so-called “neo-baroque” current that found its most significant performer in Carl Bloch.

In large-scale, dramatic figure compositions, he sought, with assumptions in 17th-century Italian, Spanish and northern European baroque realism, to recreate a monumental and powerful historical painting; a characteristic example is Samson in the Philistines’ treadmill (1863, Statens Museum for Kunst). Other approaches to renewed confrontation with the national school’s conservatism are seen in the present. Otto Bache traveled to Paris as early as the 1860’s to seek new inspiration in contemporary French naturalism.

However, this innovative development only really took off when numerous young Danish painters in the following decade felt the need to free themselves from domestic self-sufficiency and seek new impulses abroad. Laurits Tuxen, Theodor Philipsen, PS Krøyer and many others traveled to Paris in the 1870’s, where they visited the realist Leon Bonnat’s private art school.

In 1878, national conservatism suffered a scorching defeat through the harsh treatment of international newspaper criticism by the Danish visual arts at the World’s Fair in Paris. It really gave the young avant-garde wind in the sails. In opposition to the Academy of Fine Arts, the stronghold of national self-sufficiency, the Artists’ Free Study Schools were formed in the early 1880’s, where Tuxen and Krøyer came to teach on the basis of their contact with contemporary French art.

Realism and naturalism

The 1880’s became the decade of realism and naturalism. The closely related objectives of the two currents were mixed and could not be clearly distinguished from most of the young artists of the period.

This was especially true of the Skagen painters, who combined realistic figure painting and depiction of folk life with naturalistic outdoor study of light, color and atmosphere. In addition to Krøyer, Anna and Michael Ancher and Viggo Johansen formed the Danish core of this Scandinavian artist colony.

Among the other Danish pioneers of the new trends in 1880 art, Hans Smidth and Lauritz Andersen Ring, who both worked in a distinctly social-realistic direction and sought motifs among farmers and farm workers, should be highlighted here. Kristian Zahrtmann took over the teaching at one of the free study schools in 1882, and his powerful, form-conscious colorism became very important for several generations of students, including especially the Funen residents Johannes Larsen, Fritz Syberg and Peter Hansen and Poul S. Christiansen and Niels Larsen Stevns.

A special position in the naturalistic pioneer art of the 1880’s is occupied by the “cattle painter” Theodor Philipsen, who through personal contact with Paul Gauguin developed into the only Danish impressionist of his generation. The picture Autumn in Dyrehaven from 1886 (Statens Museum for Kunst) is an epoch-making work in this context. Among other things, Philipsen got inspiring significance for younger painters such as Albert Gottschalk and several of the people of Funen.

Alongside these trends, history painting flourished again. After Frederiksborg Castle in 1859 was razed by fire and rebuilt in 1860-75, it was arranged to house a national historical picture collection; it gave the story painters new tasks. It was the art-interested brewer Carl Jacobsen who financed the design of this fruitful forum for the portrayers of the history of the fatherland. The art of sculpting did not experience a rapid development like the one that characterized the painting. Only a single artist, August Saabye, emerges as a notable naturalistic innovator in the sculptural unfolding of the period.

In 1891, the Free Exhibition was established as a counterpoint to the conservative annual art show at Charlottenborg. The decade was particularly marked by a new generation’s style and urge for spiritual immersion in response to the sensory-cultivating naturalism of the 1880’s.

The painting’s new main forces in this context were Joakim and Niels Skovgaard, Vilhelm Hammershøi, Johan Rohde, Agnes and Harald Slott-Møller, Jens Ferdinand Willumsen and Ejnar Nielsen.

To the special features of the new style search belonged an often historicizing worship of the monumental decorative painting; The biggest effort of all time was Joakim Skovgaard’s gigantic frescoes in Viborg Cathedral, made in 1901-06 with the assistance of Larsen Stevns, who later solved several decorating tasks himself.

Symbolist forms of expression saw the light of day, and a new stylizing and surface-cultivating form treatment was introduced in pact with the international Art Nouveau style. In the field of sculpture, the brothers Skovgaard and JF Willumsen made significant contributions to a renewal in the same direction, and symbolism also received its most original representative in Niels Hansen Jacobsen.

Denmark – visual art – expressionism, surrealism and abstract art

Another new trend in the interwar period was the expressionist landscape painting, whose main representatives were Jens Søndergaard and Oluf Høst. Alongside these currents, time was marked by a younger generation’s confrontation with the bright, French colors and formalism of modernism. Among other things, from artists such as Niels Lergaard, Lauritz Hartz and Karl Bovin.

The latter two were co-founders of the artist group Corner in 1932. The deep-voiced, earth-colored, often aspired coarse and unpolished painting that characterized the circle from the late 1920’s and earned them the nickname “the dark painters” was replaced during the 1930’s by a lighter tone and a more fluid brush that was characteristic of the time., also for the lyrical nature and everyday painters who gradually came to characterize Grønningen, for example Erik Hoppe and Knud Agger.

Consistent constructivist art did not have a broad impact in Denmark, but had a representative in Franciska Clausen, who spent the interwar period in Germany and France, the latter first as Fernand Léger’s student and close collaborator, then as co-founder of the group Cercle et Carré, which called the international avant-garde of constructivism to rally against the rise of surrealism.

Surrealism was introduced to Denmark in the early 1930’s by Wilhelm Freddie, Vilhelm Bjerke Petersen, Ejler Bille and Richard Mortensen. In 1934, they were the driving forces behind the exhibition and magazine Linien, which stood for a Miró-inspired, abstract surrealism.

In 1935, Bjerke Petersen stood out and together with Freddie formed a figurative, surrealist group with contacts to the international, surrealist movement. Bille, Henry Heerup, Sonja Ferlov Mancoba, Robert Jacobsen and Richard Mortensen have all made sculptures in connection with the ideas and idiom of surrealism, especially smaller figures that unite abstraction with organic forms of being.

In continuation of this, Erik Thommesen’s abstractions of the human figure and Sonja Ferlov Mancoba’s later resilient figures based on the mask shape emerged.

Denmark – visual art – the first decades of the 20th century

Naturalism and Impressionism, especially thanks to the people of Fyn, managed to maintain a prominent position in Danish art well into the 20th century. In the years between 1905 and World War I, however, there were clear signs of upheaval.

At the same time as Aksel Jørgensen and P. Rostrup Bøyesen sought out the shadowy sides and outskirts of the big city, an idealistic opposition to outdoor painting asserted itself among a number of young artists, e.g. Oluf Hartmann and Jens Adolf Jerichau.

Their fabled, dramatic figure images with mythological references drew on the world of ideas of vitalism and symbolism and strong encouragement from the art historian Vilhelm Wanscher, who pleaded for the rediscovery of the “great style” of the Renaissance and Baroque in the art of painting. Related to these painters was the sculptor Kai Nielsen, whose work is imbued with vitalistic ideas and a penchant for the erotic. In particular, he revolved around mythological representations of humanity’s childhood.

A modernist breakthrough over a broad front occurred quite late in Denmark, as it only really broke loose during the First World War. But in the decade leading up to the war, a number of young artists from the same generation began to turn their attention to post-Impressionist French art, first Sigurd Swane, Harald Giersing, Edvard Weie and the Swedish-born Karl Isakson, a little later Olaf Rude and William Scharff.

Initially, it was Paul Cézanne who made the biggest impression, except for Sigurd Swane, whose quivering, light-filled painting represented a union of fauvism and impressionism. Around 1910, Giersing manifested himself as a leading figure in the confrontation with the attachment of naturalism to the visual image, both in his paintings with softly floating dots of neo-impressionist lineage, in cool studio paintings with expressionist ancestry and in his articles arguing for an art that put work on the medium in the first place.

At the same time, the generation of artists found a common place to live and a world of motifs on Christiansø. Karl Isakson and Edvard Weie were main figures in the circle of artists that was later called the Bornholm School. Characteristic of the two was a pure cultivation of color, which took its starting point in the pure spectral colors, a work that Weie, after Isaacson’s death in 1922, saw as his task to carry on in large, romantically emphasized compositions.

In 1915, the new exhibition association Grønningen was formed, which housed a large group of modernists. Together with Jais Nielsen, who worked in a flat, schematic cubism, and Vilhelm Lundstrøm, who in 1917-18 introduced collage, montage and the non-figurative image on Danish soil, Grønningen’s artists participated in the modernist breakthrough, which manifested itself explosively during the First World War, stimulated both by a large number of modernists from the rest of the Nordic countries who stayed in Copenhagen during the war, and by extraordinary economic conditions.

In the post-war period, modernism came into retreat. However, the association De Fire, which consisted of Axel Salto, Karl Larsen, Svend Johansen and Vilhelm Lundstrøm, represented in the 1920’s a continuation of the French connection. A imaginative art based on geometric construction principles was developed at the same time by Georg Jacobsen in Paris in close collaboration with the Mexican painter Diego Rivera.

The sculpture did not play a major role in Danish modernism, but a few helped to draw the movement, Adam Fischer with stereometrically simplified statuettes, Johannes Bjerg and Einar Utzon-Frank with form-conscious, stylized figures. Gerhard Henning worked to give the erotic sculptural form, especially in a number of female figures. However, he was gradually characterized by a new classicism, which also applied to Johannes Bjerg, Adam Fischer, Astrid Noack and Utzon-Frank.

Not least Utzon-Frank’s classicism came to draw the interwar sculpture, partly due to the many major assignments he was given, partly due to his many years of work at the Academy of Fine Arts’ sculptural school, where he became a professor as early as 1918. From the second half of the 1930’s a naturalistic sculpture a new era of greatness with Mogens Bøggild and Knud Nellemose.

Denmark – visual art – after 1945

The isolation of Danish artists during World War II intensified the need to take part in international art life. Immediately after the end of the war, painters Mogens Andersen and Richard Mortensen and sculptor Robert Jacobsen to Paris. While Mogens Andersen drew his influences into the French lyrical-abstract art of the interwar period, Mortensen and Jacobsen became preoccupied with the new concrete-non-figurative art around Galerie Denise René in Paris.

Thus, Mortensen left the expressionism that had previously approached him to surrealism, while Robert Jacobsen, who was still influenced by the fabled painter and sculptor Henry Heerup, cleared his sculpture of any figurative association. Robert Jacobsen’s position as the most significant, internationally known Danish sculptor of the post-war period has perhaps only been challenged by the surreal Jørgen Haugen Sørensen and the very versatile and significantly younger Per Kirkeby.

Encouraged by related French influences, the artist group Linien II was formed in 1947 in Copenhagen with the participation of Richard Mortensen, Robert Jacobsen, Albert Mertz, Ib Geertsen, Søren Georg Jensen, Gunnar Aagaard Andersen, Paul Gadegaard, Preben Hornung and others. new objective art only a collective experience, they each passed through towards a more personal expression. Regardless of all differences, Linien’s artists formed their own line with Cobra painting, which, however, became Denmark’s most significant contribution to post – war European art.

Cobra was founded in 1948 in Paris by a number of spontaneously abstract artists from Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands with the Belgian poet Christian Dotremont and Asger Jorn as anchors. Jorn’s almost all-encompassing creativity and his many contacts guaranteed the group’s international character and outlook. In the three years in which it managed to keep Cobra together as a movement, the effort was carried by tremendous energy with several exhibitions and magazines. But the characteristic Cobra painting only culminated after the international group was formally disbanded in 1951. The most important Danish artists included Egill Jacobsen, Carl-Henning Pedersen and Else Alfelt. Others, such as Ejler Bille andErik Thommesen, stood more distant in relation to Cobra and distanced himself from the movement’s international aspirations. Together with the painter Harald Leth, they joined forces as early as 1951 to form the March Exhibition.

In a discreet protest against the abstraction of Line II and Cobra, a moral-humanist art emerged in the mid-1950’s that put the endangered human being at the center, such as Svend Wiig Hansen and Dan Sterup Hansen, or thematized urban society in the shadow of nuclear war ragnarok as the Renaissance-influenced graphic artist Palle Nielsen.

They were academy students by Aksel Jørgensen, and the exhibitions “Mennesket” in Clausens Kunsthandel, together with a few artists’ associations (such as Corner and Kammeraterne), represented the more traditional, figurative art. During the same period, a number of older painters, including Jens Søndergaard, Erik Hoppe and Niels Lergaard, the expressive possibilities of color in relation to familiar, closely experienced motifs. The 1950’s became a time of upheaval with increasingly sharp fronts between tradition and renewal, as well as national roots and international influences.

Experimental art. Meanwhile, the internationalization of Danish art life intensified: In 1958, the Louisiana Museum of Art opened. At the same time, large international exhibitions made it increasingly easier for Danish artists to follow foreign currents. The uproar that Documenta II in Kassel in 1959 had created in particular, helped to strengthen the influence of e.g. American art in Denmark.

The development in West Germany was also significant enough to challenge the traditionally strong position of French art in Danish art life. A German living here, Arthur Köpcke, opened a gallery in Copenhagen in 1958, which for the next four years became an ideologically important platform for a number of cross-border and experimental happenings and the like in the still somewhat provincial Copenhagen exhibition life.

The traditional concept of art was also challenged from other sides: The first Danish Fluxus Festival was held in Nikolaj Church in 1962, just two years after the movement had begun in Wiesbaden, and the Danish branch of Fluxus included actions and happenings of the composer Henning Christiansen and the visual artist and composer Eric Andersen.

In protest against the exhibitions at Charlottenborg and the Artists’ Autumn Exhibition, the Summer Exhibition was founded in 1961 with the intention of giving young experimenters a place to exhibit: In 1963, the Summer Exhibition was thus the setting for a Fluxus Festival.

The founding in 1961 of the Experimental Art School was particularly far-reaching on the initiative of the artist Paul Gernes and the art historian Troels Andersen. The ex-school, as it was called, was a revolt against the technical and figuratively emphasized teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts’ visual arts schools and at the Graphic Arts School, which was carried out by students by Aksel Jørgensen until the 1980’s.

Without a solid program, the school managed ideas from concept art, process art, and American pop art. In the same breath, it defended the depersonalization of art and its approximation to a socially responsible expression. Common to some of the school’s students, eg Bjørn Nørgaard and Per Kirkeby, is their artistic and technical versatility, but also their critical awareness of the world around them.

Bjørn Nørgaard’s politically colored Horse Sacrifice in a field in 1970 became one of the actions that gave rise to the most debate at all. The popular outrage over art’s rampant development towards new forms and ideas culminated when a modern sculpture by Peter Bonnén from the Summer Exhibition was bought by the Statens Kunstfond in 1965. The sale triggered a widespread protest storm (rindalism) against the Statens Kunstfond established in 1964.

Opposite the Ex-school and its artists’ democratic art ideal stood another international, especially American-inspired faction: In 1974, Mogens Møller, Hein Heinsen and Stig Brøgger established the Department of Scale Art, which experimented with the development of an art whose dimensions and minimalist character left the work appear as striking and logical as possible in public space.

In this ideological heyday, women’s art came to profile itself more and more strongly through larger exhibitions with e.g. Kirsten Justesen, Jytte Rex and Lene Adler Petersen. The study of the interplay between space and art from Line II continued in the group New Abstraction, which was founded in 1976, and whose most influential members were Merete Barker, Torben Ebbesen, Finn Mickelborg, Niels Nedergaard, and also in Atelieret Leifsgade 22. From this workshop collective, where the study of materials in particular has been at the center, sculptural artists such asAnita Jørgensen, Finn Reinbothe, Frans Kannik and Finn Naur Petersen.

Painting and sculpture. The position of painting weakened as a whole through the 1970’s, with exceptions. A strong position has been taken by Arne Haugen Sørensen, who in an overwhelmingly dramatic and virtuosically painted world of images has united features from Cobra and abstract surrealism. A number of expressionist painters gathered for a time around the association Violet Sol. And the now internationally esteemed Per Kirkeby has cultivated the painting alongside expressions and media such as sculpture, graphics, poetry and film. Other painters based on abstract expressionism, who have made a strong mark in the 1980’s, are Jens Birkemose and Peter Brandes.

One of the most spectacular manifestations of the 1980’s, The Knife on the Head at Tranegården 1982, was a student exhibition from Stig Brøgger’s class at the Academy of Fine Arts with the participation of Peter Bonde, Claus Carstensen, Kehnet Nielsen and Nina Sten-Knudsen. While this new wild, impulsive painting was initially interpreted as a rebellion against the conceptual art of the 1970’s and a return to free expressionism, the considerations behind the painting were not unrelated to strategies from the conceptual art.

More daring and rebellious in their use of materials were the artists of the same age who gathered around Værkstedet Værst, such as Erik A. Frandsen, Christian Lemmerz and Lars Nørgaard. All of these artists have evolved individually away from their collective, predominantly German-influenced starting point. Lars Ravn, Inge Ellegaard and Knud Odde Sørensen have worked with related artistic attitudes and expressions within the same period. A more picturesque and figurative attitude has been encountered in the expressive neo-romanticist Lise Malinovsky and the macabre new surrealist Michael Kvium.

The new sculpture, which followed the new wild painting in the mid-1980’s, seems with its variations within the same artist’s work and its combinations of styles and materials more pluralistic in nature than the previous painting. Morten Stræde, Henrik B. Andersen, Øivind Nygaard and Elisabeth Toubro are among the group of young sculptors who stood out most strongly towards the end of the 1980’s.

They process influences from older sculptors such as the significant Willy Ørskov and Hein Heinsen, who have both taught at the Academy of Fine Arts based on a reflective, philosophically-critical view of art. This intellectually based view of art, which has diminished the value of art as provocation and its contagion from a media society of increasing importance, has been questioned by groups such as Baghuset. Most recently, the established concept of art has been further explored and challenged by other experimental groups such as Baghuset, Koncern ° and Max Mundus.

With the exception of the more commercially based gallery art, traditional painting has lost national and international attention since the mid-1990’s. The tendency does not apply, however, to the self-taught painter Thomas Kluge, whose immensely detailed photorealistic portraits, especially of Queen Margrethe, have created widespread popular interest around an ancient genre.

Also the academy graduate Martin Bigum has revitalized the narrative painting based on his own conception of history. The sculptural art has been inherited by an installation art that can simulate environments or an entire universe through the placement of selected objects in an exhibition space such as in Frans Jacobi’s poetic, evocative spaces or Olafur Elíasson’s sensory sculptures to make us aware of the way something can be experienced as art.

In the early 2000-t. however, video art and video installation art stand as the dominant medium in a pluralistic contemporary art with names such as Peter Land, Gitte Villesen, Joachim Koester, Ann Lislegaard and Lisa Strömbeck. The supporting structure has been the narrative content, often with emphasis on the personal story, but also the documentary genre has had its representatives.

Exhibition activities are growing with the creation of new galleries (especially in the metropolitan area), the holding of major art fairs and the expansion of several art museums across the country for changing exhibitions. Attention applies not only to the new forms of expression such as video and video installation, digital and interactive media, but also to the traditional oil and acrylic painting, as in the early 2000’s. has been revitalized by a younger generation of visual artists, including names such as Tal R, John Kørner, Kaspar Bonnén, Kathrine Ærtebjerg and Simone Aaberg Kærn (b. 1969). The imagery is predominantly figurative and ranges from photographic to expressive realism.

Several young Danish artists are looking abroad and finding inspiration in an international work and exhibition climate, which is particularly hot in Berlin these years. Large decoration tasks have been assigned to e.g. Per Arnoldi, Per Kirkeby and Olafur Elíasson, all in the new opera house in Copenhagen (2004), as well as Elisabeth Toubro, who solved a controversial decoration task for Store Torv in Århus with the sculpture Torvenes brøndsløjfe, called Vanddragen (2003).

Ørestad has had monumental works by Per Kirkeby (Brick Sculpture, 2004), Hein Heinsen (the bronze sculpture The Great Exchanger, 2005) and Bjørn Nørgaard (under construction, 2006), all placed in the public space.

Denmark – photography

19 August 1839 is the photography’s official birthday. In September of the same year, the former naval officer Christian Tuxen Falbe was the first Dane to record some daguerreotypes in Paris and sent them to his benefactor in Copenhagen, Prince Christian Frederik (later Christian VIII), who immediately deposited these and a camera with the physicist HC. Ørsted.

Through HC Ørsted’s students and aided by a Danish version of Daguerre’s own guide, the new medium soon won the Danes’ recognition and interest.

In 1842, the daguerreotypist Mads Alstrup (1808-76) opened the first portrait studio in the capital; a decade later, Copenhagen had over 100 studios, and the province quickly followed suit.

The spread was due to the cheap business card photography, which in the 1870’s and 1880’s gave assignments to e.g. Aalborg photographer Heinrich Tønnies.

Particularly known was Peter Elfelt that 1900 was appointed Royal. Court photographer, but used his versatile talent to portray Denmark across the board. Dry plates and other method simplifications also accelerated amateur photography around the turn of the century, where pictorialist landscape and genre photography was cultivated by wholesaler Sigvart Werner, physician Julius Møller (1866-1936) and others.

They gathered in photo clubs, circulated photos via “folder clubs” and debated in magazines such as Amateur Photographer and Camera Art. The association Danske Kamera Piktorialister, which was founded in the 1930’s, led through the chairman, HBJ Cramer, the struggle for acceptance of photography as an artistic form of expression right up to the 1970’s. A counter-movement to pictorialism, the Neue Sachlichkeit of the 1920’s, only became really visible in Denmark when Keld Helmer-Petersen published his abstract color studies in 1948, 122 Color Photographs.

In the 1890’s, press photography was introduced in Danish newspapers, and in 1908 Politiken hired a permanent press photographer, Holger Damgaard. But it was not until the 1950’s that reportage photography became nationwide.

Stimulated by post-war humanism and with the image agency Magnum as a model, Jesper Høm and Gregers Nielsen and others formed the documentary group Delta Photos in 1964, whose dissolution in 1972 led to groups with a clearer social policy aim, eg Ragnarok and 2 May, founded by resp. Morten Bo and Henrik Saxgren.

Photographers such as Viggo Rivad and Krass Clement have chosen the freelancer’s independence. A loner is also Jacob Holdt, who in his American Pictures (1977) revived compatriot Jacob A. Riis ‘ stubborn struggle for social justice in the then United States.

1946-76 the portrait photographer Aage Remfeldt arranged twenty “International exhibitions of photographic art” at Charlottenborg. In the 1970’s, this area of ​​interest was renewed by the interplay between the galleries GCP in Copenhagen, Image in Aarhus and a new generation of photographers who “think” the image before exposure: landscape photographer Kirsten Klein, stage pioneers Nanna Bisp Büchert (b. 1937) and Lis Steincke (b. 1942) and the magical realist Per Bak Jensen.

A number of visual artists have also involved photography in a decisive way, e.g. Richard Winther, Stig Brøgger, Jytte Rex, Peter Brandes and Ane Mette Ruge.

The Academy of Fine Arts’ beginning interest in photography as a form of expression characterizes the image of 1990’s Danish photography with new names, which undoubtedly mixes the classical technique of photography with digitized forms of expression, eg Lisa Rosenmeier (b. 1959).

Since 1902, the Royal Library has compiled the country’s largest photographic image collection (approximately 10 million images). In 1984, the Danish Museum of Photography opened in Herning, in 1987 the Museum of Photographic Art in Odense.

Photographers such as Krass Clement and Viggo Rivad have with the Statens Kunstfonds lifelong benefit, which they were awarded in resp. 1997 and 1999, managed to intensify their production at a mature age.

From the mid-1990’s, a number of unusual talents were recruited from the ranks of photojournalists, eg Tine Harden (b. 1960) and Nicolai Fuglsig won international first prizes, and Joachim Ladefoged was nominated in 2000 as the first Dane to become a member of the photographers’ association Magnum, but was voted out in 2002. He currently works freelance and is a member of the photo collective VII.

Since the 1990’s, the Fatamorgana photography school has developed talents that have distinguished themselves both nationally and internationally, such as Torben Eskerod and Eva Merz, who in their own way have worked with a spiritual reformulation of portrait photography.

Joachim Koester is also one of the visual artists who has decisively defined himself through photography. The Academy of Fine Arts’ interest in the photographic media can be seen in e.g. Mads Gamdrup and Søren Lose (b. 1972), who mix the classic technique of photography with digital aids and forms of expression.

In 1999, the National Photo Museum was inaugurated at the Royal Library.

Denmark – crafts and design

Apart from ancient and medieval jewelery, pottery and cult objects, Danish handicrafts only began to take shape during the Renaissance approximately 1600. The area of ​​art that was only later separated as a craft was until then characterized by anonymous utensils or by imported works of art.

From the end of the 16th century, tapestries were woven for royal houses and nobility, eg Hans Knieper’s Kronborg wallpapers, and distinguished silver work was carried out for the same clientele, e.g. Christian 4.s krone.

An actual Danish furniture art is only known from the 18th century; however, Hans Gudewerth d.æ.s and dy s richly carved coffins testify to a high-level carving. Motifs from the Bible are part of a detailed, three-dimensional decoration with architectural, plant and grotesque ornamentation.

With autocracy and mercantilism, the country’s own production of fine applied art began, which drew inspiration from imported art as well as directly from convened artists. The Nordic region’s first faience factory was founded in 1722 in Store Kongensgade in Copenhagen with the production of blue-painted decorations inspired by export porcelain and Delfter faience.

A few decades later, several earthenware factories were established, producing polychrome floral paintings with inspiration from German and French ceramics, later from English stoneware.

In 1775, Denmark got its first porcelain factory, the Royal Porcelain Factory, and the porcelain gradually outcompeted the faience. Despite the influence from the south, a style of its own developed, especially within the flower-decorated frames, of which Flora Danica became the flagship.

The damask weaving mill in Køng was founded in 1774, and in both the capital and the province, people went from the smooth corpus silver to the straight-broken and then the skewed.

The softer forms of the Rococo went hand in hand with classicism for a long time – a feature that has characterized Danish craftsmanship in general. Where the interior art was predominantly French-influenced due to the many artists who were invited to the construction of Christiansborg Castle and Amalienborg, the furniture of the Baroque and Rococo was more influenced by German style.

When the Academy of Fine Arts was established in 1754, the teachers undertook to give the craftsmen’s apprentices drawing lessons in order to raise the level, but until today, Danish furniture art has been particularly influenced by the design language created by the architects.

In a austere, Doric classicism, CF Harsdorff designed mahogany furniture, whose simple, clear construction and shape contain features that became characteristic of later Danish furniture. English neoclassicism prevailed with flimsy, painted furniture, decorated with classic motifs, by JC Lillie. The influence from this was expressed in the so-called bourgeois empire.

After World War II, international design was dominated by two tendencies: Firstly, functionalism, which, contrary to its original intention, became a style, a manner, and secondly, everyday architecture and interior design, which even after 30 years of functionalism was in many ways non-functional.

Danish design emphasized an organic functionalism, which got rid of the hard geometric shapes of functionalism, but at the same time represented a new and more demanding simplicity and a design concept that was based on a genuine interest in the interaction between the user, the tools and the environment.

Several factors played together in this development: A vibrant craft tradition with a high quality requirement, a frugal time with its need for economy in the constructions and for a long durability, and not least a world that suddenly opened up. The interaction with the user became a key element, attention to detail and respect for the materials in construction and processing became a common feature.

The foundation for the development was laid before the war with works by pioneers such as Poul Henningsen (PH lamp principle, 1926) and Knud V. Engelhardt (public design).

The ideas that Danish designers were relatively alone with are today part of the education of designers all over the world. Danish industrial design (1996) continues to occupy a distinguished international position, which is confirmed by Denmark’s position in the competition for international awards through works by designers and design companies such as Bernadotte & Bjørn, which was Denmark’s first real industrial design company, the designers Henning Moldenhawer, Jacob Jensen and later David Lewis, Jan Trägårdh, Erik Magnussen, Knud Holscher, Dissing + Weitling, Christian Bjørn and Niels Jørgen Haugesen in addition to a new generation of young designers, several of whom have come from abroad.

Danish industrial design spans a much wider product area than before. Today’s design-oriented companies include Bang & Olufsen, the LEGO Group, Kompan, Novo Nordisk, Danfoss, Grundfos, VELUX, Eskofot, Coloplast and others.

The picture also includes so-called corporate identity with modern pioneers such as the graphic artists Niels Hartmann, who launched the first major Danish identity programs for institutions and companies, Jørgen Oksen with his work for the Agricultural Sales Committee and Verner Neertoft, who in the 1960’s and 1970’s had responsible for B & O’s graphic design.

Although many of the ideals on which Danish design was built in the 1940’s and 1950’s are unchanged, the design subject itself has undergone a development from design (first content, then form) to a simultaneity in content and form planning; design has become an integral part of product development.

See also industrial design and industrial graphics.

19th century classicism and historicism

The first half of the 19th century was marked by several forms of classicism that ran in parallel. GF Hetsch’s central position as an academy professor and artistic director of the Royal Porcelain Factory gained significance for both porcelain, silver, bronze and to a lesser extent furniture.

The vast majority of Danish furniture was designed in an English-inspired simple classicism in mahogany with inlays in lemon wood of classic figurative motifs and borders. The lightweight horsehair-covered armchair and bench with slatted back never lost its popularity and re-emerged during 1920’s classicism.

Significant was the group of antique furniture, copied from frescoes, vases and reliefs, in response to the French-inspired empire and autocracy. Nicolai Abildgaard, HE Freund, Gottlieb Bindesbøll and other Golden Age artists, with their Pompeian interiors and furniture, where form and construction were prioritized, created the basis for the works of future generations. The silver of the empire had the same simplicity, often with undecorated surfaces.

Stylistically, historicism became after approximately 1840 more in parentheses; however, the technique was refined during this period of economic prosperity in all areas of the craft. The clientele was not yet large enough for actual industrial production, but in terms of craftsmanship, it was on a par with abroad, and the conditions for international competition were created. It came when a number of visual artists actively took part in the new currents and engaged in the production.

Beautiful work

Silver jug, designed by Henning Koppel and made by Georg Jensen Sølvsmedie 1952; The Museum of Art and Design. In the 1950’s, Danish classical functionalism was contrasted partly with an American-Japanese minimalism and partly with a picturesque-sculptural organic style, represented by Henning Koppel’s silver and porcelain works.

The freely modeled artist ceramics is linked to the pan-European Arts and Crafts trend, but did not remain an isolated phenomenon. As early as 1885, Bing & Grondahl’s Porcelain Factory (grdl. 1853) entered a new line with Pietro Krohn’s Japanese Heron Chest.

As artistic director, Krohn was succeeded in 1897 by JF Willumsen, whose period was marked by a distinguished artistic production, which at the World’s Fair in 1900 really made the factory known.

With Arnold Krog, a new underglaze painting was created from 1885 at the Royal Porcelain Factory. Under Krog’s artistic direction, the inherited mussel pattern was supplemented with a number of new models, which for the next 100 years became an economic basis for the factory. The plant and animal motifs, which especially gained ground under art nouveau, gained their own national character in Denmark.

As early as the 19th century, Nordic flora and fauna had supplanted the Roman. Inspired by Japanese art, motifs were now designed whose national elements are seen in the landscapes that, together with flora and fauna, were painted in blue/gray underglaze.

Related tendencies, but with a different artistic expression, are found in Georg Jensen’s silver works. In 1908, the painter Johan Rohde was associated with the silversmith. His relatively small art-industrial production, which also includes furniture, marks a culmination of the collaboration between artist and craftsman as well as of the stylistic, where simple, national classicism and Japaneseism took on a new expression.

In the same way, national classicism became the starting point for the country’s greatest designer in the modern sense of the word. Thorvald Bindesbøll’s completely personal ornamentation was seriously expressed in ceramics at the encounter with Japanese art, and his nonfigurative ornaments were a precursor to the abstractions of the 20th century. His works in silver, embroidery and book craftsmanship were superb, while his furniture probably rather testifies to a search for new expressions. Skønvirke later became the name of the new Danish art.

The word emphasizes the national and that it is the work of the hand. A number of architects, not least Martin Nyrop and Anton Rosen, revived the national crafts and patterns.

In 1907 the Society was founded for the Promotion of the Hedebo sewing and in 1913 the Danish Handicraft Society’s Weaving Room. Together with a revival of national pictorial weaving and lace art, these initiatives gained far-reaching significance. Today, the freer image weaving is practiced by a large number of female artists, while painters such as Asger Jorn, Ole Schwalbe, Mogens Andersen and Bjørn Nørgaard have performed templates for larger weaves.


An important prerequisite for functionalism was also in Denmark classicism, whose national character once again struck a chord with a number of architects. In 1924, a furniture art school was founded at the Academy of Fine Arts, and in 1927, the Carpenters’ Association began to show Danish architect-designed furniture at annual exhibitions to counteract the import of furniture and factory production.

Kaare Klint’s teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts until 1956 became the norm; proportion studies, tradition in materials and constructions became the starting point for a renewal of Danish furniture design. The reaction against the Bauhaus school and the industry was, among other things, expression in a elaboration of all details. A group of architects led by the creator of the PH lamp, Poul Henningsen, launched a crusade in the late 1920’s against everything that had no utility function.

The furniture company Fritz Hansen made cheap furniture from steel pipes that did not strike, and from beech logs, which became a sales success. In the 1940’s, a series of solid and cheap furniture for FDB was created by Børge Mogensen.

Porcelænsfabrikkerne and Holmegaards Glasværker produced services that lived up to the demands of the time for good shape and quality. Textiles, wallpaper and decorative items gradually softened up on the simple, functionalist style.

Marie Gudme Leth’s cat-printed curtains with flowers in many colors and Gerda Henning’s woven fabrics with figures got their parallel in the flowers of the coffee sets, and the sale of small figures, vases and ornaments in ceramics, glass and various metals increased considerably.

It was not until the 1970’s that sales of porcelain figurines stagnated. Out of the classicism of the 1920’s grew a repertoire of forms, characterized by simplicity and rigor, that left their mark on the art industry.

Notable are Just Andersen’s metalworkers and Jacob Bang’s rich production of utility glass for Holmegaards Glasværker as well as Axel Saltos, Patrick Nordstrøm’s and Nathalie Krebs ‘ stoneware, where the enthusiasm for the Chinese Sungkeramik’s shapes and glazes is noticeable.

Danish Design

The concept of Danish Design was based on the more international taste of the post-war period, where the social and “modern” were probably retained, but where tradition still played a role.

The simple, form-sure and material-conscious handicraft was set against the import of the mass-produced, and with a high morale in terms of craftsmanship, it broke through internationally.

The ceramics entered a strong period with a number of individual workshops focusing on the material, the glazes and a subdued, subordinate decoration on simple utensils, which, however, were not primarily intended for use.

In 1949, Sigvard Bernadotte and Acton Bjørn established the first studio for industrial design; from here Jacob Jensen, whose minimalist design of television and radios for Bang & Olufsen combine Danish and international design language. The art industry’s use of artisans and architects was fruitful and made certain furniture the property of everyone, such as Arne Jacobsen ‘s tubular steel chairs, which have been manufactured since the 1950’s.

At long last, the Bauhaus style, via the USA, broke through in Denmark with Poul Kjærholm’s minimalist furniture. Finn Juhl’s expressive, organic furniture was a reaction to this style and the aesthetics of the Kaare Klint school, while Hans J. Wegner was more free to relate to the concept of style. As a trained carpenter, he worked his way up to solutions that partly sprang from tradition and partly were freely created. The porcelain factories marked themselves in the decades after 1945 with new, simple tableware next to the traditional ones. In an attempt to strengthen the production and marketing of the art industry’s products, the Royal Copenhagen A/S group was formed in 1985 by an association of the largest Danish art industry companies.

As in other parts of the world, the last decade of the 20th century was marked by a growing number of handicraft workshops. The ceramics stood strong with simple forms of use, where decoration and colors are subordinate to the material. The new jewelry workshops, on the other hand, experimented with shapes and materials, while the glass workshops that emerged in the 1970’s were mostly characterized by the safe and salable.

By the end of the millennium, there was a clear division into handicrafts associated with free art, art industry that seemed stagnant, and industrial design that, for better or worse, has gained a foothold in the field of art industry.

In the 1990’s, a large number of new workshops and sales outlets for handicrafts and applied arts emerged, at the same time as there was a stronger focus on the design of industrial design. Also graphic design is the new proliferation of electronic media is growing rapidly.

In terms of style and form in general, it is partly related to the Danish classical modernism, noticeably especially in furniture design, partly there is in both furniture, glass, ceramics, textiles and jewelry a noticeable desire to experiment with new expressions and materials, which is in line with international trends.

It is to a large extent the smaller companies that make their mark on Danish design today, while the large art industrial companies, several of which are now part of consortia, in their range stick to sure sales successes, which are often 50-100 years old.. Especially in ceramics, Denmark has distinguished itself with a high quality; it is still especially traditional forms along with exquisite surface treatment rather than decoration that are worked with. New materials and a wider range of colors characterize newer furniture art, which, like the other areas, caters to a wider and younger audience.

Although the interest in classic Danish craftsmanship and design – with special emphasis on architect-designed furniture and lamps – is still increasing among a able-bodied audience, new designers have also been able to assert themselves, both with retro design, which builds on expressions from the 1950’s and the following decades, and with a more experimental and innovative design language using non-traditional materials.

Digital technology has permeated most design processes and has taken over some of the more artisanal basic processes, a development that is also reflected in the design schools’ new university-like structure. In the art of furniture, the chair is still the most important and spectacular challenge for creativity, as in the case of designers such as Kasper Salto and Louise Campbell; the latter has also managed to break through with a new approach to lamp and other lighting design.

Glass art is a field with great public attention, and in 2006 the Glass Museum in Ebeltoft was able to open a large new extension at the design studio 3xNielsen.

Denmark – literature

The great tales of creation, of gods and men, of ragnarok and the new earth and the new heaven are far before the oldest written testimonies.

Before the scripture

From pictures of metal jewelery, gold bracteate, it is known that Norse mythology has been fully developed and told all the way back to 400 AD. It is a common Nordic substance that was first written down in Iceland shortly after 1200 (in the Edda) and between 1190 and 1210 (often in quite distorted form) at Saxo.

But it is these mythical tales that are the root of Danish/Nordic culture. It is a pictorial world that later literature, from pre-Romanticism onwards, repeatedly returns to, retells and interprets. And in the Grundtvig folk high school culture, the stories of aces and giants have for more than 100 years been part of a broad folk cultural imprint. Although the myths were a religious substance, they must thus also be seen as our oldest narrative circle, a Danish and Nordic identity-forming pictorial world.

The oldest written testimonies

The runic inscriptions are like an open book in the Danish landscape. Several of the large rune stones are still freely accessible, exposed to weather and wind, roughly where they have stood for a thousand years.

They probably do not contain actual literature in the narrower sense, but the runic inscriptions are our oldest written testimonies. Lapidar in form, sometimes with letter rhymes and some rhythm, they are usually only messages about a dead warrior chief and about the rune master, but can also contain spells and magic as well as names of people and gods.

The national treasure is the Jelling stones (900’s), of which the large stone with the Christ figure and pagan ornaments contains Harald Bluetooth’s statement that he conquered all of Denmark and made the Danes Christian.

The finds in 1639 and 1734 of the golden horns gained far-reaching literary significance with their ornamentation and the runic inscription on the great horn (400’s) with Adam Oehlenschläger’s romantic program poem “The Golden Horns”, written after the theft of the golden horns in 1802. The poem was given the status of literary mythology and later general constituent.

The Middle Ages

Anders Sunesen was a trained theologian and wrote a great poem Hexaëmeron in hexameter verse in Latin. The work describes the creation of the world in six days and is a summary of contemporary theological teachings. It is handed down in the so-called Roskilde manuscript, a copy from approximately 1250-1300 on 134 parchment leaves; The Royal Library. Despite his status as one of the few Danish contributions to scholastic theology, Anders Sunesen’s Hexaëmeron was not published in book form until 1892 and was translated into Danish as late as 1985.

The Royal Library.

License: Limited use

Monastery and church. The Latin literature. The Middle Ages were the great time of manuscripts. The Catholic monasteries were bearers of the literary culture, which by virtue of Latin and of the studies of the learned prelates abroad was an international culture.

It was under this auspices that the first major work in Danish literature was written, Saxo’s Danish History, Gesta danorum (The Danes ‘Feats), a depiction of events under the Danes’ kings from the oldest legendary history up to the time of writing (immediately after the year 1200). The work is a literary power achievement at European level, written in a late antique silversmith Latin.

It is the oldest written basis for a Danish identity, which was built here, shaped by an international culture. In the case of the oldest material, the work is a goldmine of legends and myths in free poetic processing. It was published in book form and thus saved for posterity by Chr. Pedersen (Paris, 1514) and first translated into Danish in 1575 by Anders Sørensen Vedel. Saxo is a main source for later poetry, also abroad (thus Amledsagnet).

Next to Saxo’s prose work is another Latin monumental work, Anders Sunesen’s Hexaëmeron (The Six Days), written either around 1200 or perhaps 1223 until Anders Sunesen’s death in 1228. It is also a piece of literature in international class, a scholarly one in hexameters about the creation and a theological-allegorical interpretation of the created.

A subtle and highly learned work and a basic essence of the medieval Catholic view of the world. Anders Sunesen was Absalon’s successor as archbishop of Lund and the one to whom Saxo at the end of his work approximately 1220 dedicated his advocacy. Hexaëmeron was not printed until 1892 and translated into Danish verses in 1985.

The vernacular literature. In addition to this Latin literature, there is also a popular language literature from the Middle Ages. The landscape laws (Jyske Lov (1241), Sjællandske Lov, Skånske Lov), which are also important as cultural-historical sources, must be emphasized as language monuments.

Folk songs (ballads) are the main literary genre in the folk-language medieval literature. From the Middle Ages itself there are only a few and scattered testimonies about the folk songs, but they were already written down in the Renaissance ladies’ manuscripts.

How old the poems are, there have been strongly divergent views of, but presumably most date from around the mid-1300’s. and up through the 1400’s. The fairytale-like magic songs and the short- story- like knight songs that make up the bulk of the folk song tradition often have a significant literary value through their sharp-edged conflicts with real tragedy or uplifting humor and with the evocative choruses.

In the international context, the Danish ballad tradition remarkable because of the genre’s relatively homogeneous character, the very early nedskrifter and finally by virtue of the fact that Denmark is the country with the oldest editions of books of ballads (Anders Sørensen Vedel Hundredvisebog 1591, Mette Gøyes Tragica 1657 and Peder Syvs edition 1695).

The book editions have kept the folk songs alive in an oral, and later literary, tradition until well into the 1800’s. When folk songs were rediscovered by the Romantics, they gained great influence on the lyrical language up through the 1800’s. and inspired a wide range of imitations and retellings. From then on, folk songs became a crucial part of Danish literary identity.

The Renaissance

The manuscript literature (which circulated in transcripts), both Latin and Danish, continued up through the 1500’s, 1600’s. and 1700-t. But the breakthrough period of book literature was the Renaissance (1500-t. With continuation into 1600-t.).

It was the time of the learned works (the historian Anders Sørensen Vedel, the European famous speculative physician Petrus Severinus alias Peder Sørensen, the astronomer and author Tycho Brahe and others). But when the Renaissance and the Lutheran Reformation took place at the same time, it was first and foremost the time of Bible translations and hymns.

The hymns of the new church were given a standard edition in Hans Thomesen’s hymnal in 1569. Here most of the hymns were adaptations and translations from German, but at the end of the century the Reformation got its first Danish poet, Hans Christensen Sthen (A Little Walking Book, approximately 1590, a prayer book). and prayer book with a number of original hymns). Several of Stephen’s hymns with their simple folk tune have stuck to this day. His divine doctrine “Lyulens Hiul” illustrates the basic view that replaced the medieval fixed worldview: the world as an erratic and changeable place from which one must flee to the security of the overlying metaphysical world.

At the crossroads between the Renaissance and the Baroque, Ditlev Ahlefeldt formulated this model of life in a pattern in the preface to his Memoires (approximately 1680). Ahlefeldt was an opponent of the dictatorship. Christian IV’s daughter, Leonora Christina, married to Corfitz Ulfeldt and imprisoned in the Blue Tower for 22 years, came into direct conflict with the new autocratic monarchy. Her Jammers Minde (begun 1673-74, but first published two centuries later) is a great human testimony from the time and teeming with sharply sensed life. Here you will find the fearless realism that the view of life of the time gave way to.


There was growth in the literature in the Baroque (approximately 1650-1720 or later). The new autocracy would regulate society, and in parallel, literati began to provide rules for language and verse art. Up through the 1600’s. a large number of grammars, metrics and a few poetics emerged, the most important of which was Peder Syv’s Some Reflections on the Cimbrian Language (1663).

The Baroque was thus the age in which literature as an institution awoke to an awareness of itself. One would compete with the foreign languages ​​to create a literary language that could do something, such as Anders Arrebo with Hexaëmeron (ed. 1661).

The language and forms of Baroque literature are characterized by great rhetorical ingenuity and power and reveal an appetite for life that is commensurate with its straightforward singing of the vicissitudes of happiness and the certainty of death.

During the period there was both a secular and a religious literature. The printed secular literature included tribute and funeral poems in the great style (like Thomas Kingos), topographical poems, shepherd poems (like Anders Bordings).

Most of the secular poetry of the time remained unprinted and circulated in transcripts. Religious literature culminated in Thomas King’s Spiritual Siunge Choir (1674 and 1681). Simultaneously with Kingo were the great Norwegian hymn poet Dorothe Engelbretsdatter (Siælens Sang-Offer, 1678) and her countryman Petter Dass. Expressive swell high baroque can be found in Elias Naur, author of hymns and of the verse poem Golgotha ​​on Parnasso (1689).

On the transition to the Enlightenment – the human being at the center

During the heyday of the autocracy, secular literature with Ludvig Holberg gained an international profile. With him home from travels in Europe, Holberg brought classicism, which cultivated the simple and pure forms, and the thoughts of the Enlightenment, which put man and human reason at the center. As the author of legal, geographical, historical, and general resonant works, Holberg wanted to “examine assumed opinions” and spread the light of reason.

As the author of comedies for the first “Danish stage”, Lille Grønnegadeteatret, he created the core of the Danish theater tradition in 1722-28. Both his comic heroic epic Peder Paars (1719-20) and the comedies testify that Holberg assessed the reach of reason as significantly more limited than the later actual Enlightenment period did. His basic views were still marked by the turbulent worldview of the Renaissance and Baroque, which makes his comedies lush life images of great realism.

The pietistic hymn poetry of Hans Adolph Brorson also placed man at the center as a counterpoint to the orthodoxy of the last century. Brorson emanated from the Baroque and far shared his views on the turbulent world (as seen in the poem “The Poor Destruction of Lisbon”, 1756).

But in continuation of German pietism, he sought the mystical experience as a counterpoint to the changeability of the world. In the hymnal The Faith’s Rare Treasure (1739), he soon cultivated the simple and heartfelt in style, soon complex, symbolic images of the rebirth of the soul by the wonders of Jesus. Astonishingly elegant rococo sounds characterize the posthumously published Swan Song (1765), religious poetry intended for intimate devotion.

The world as an (unreliable) voyage was also a prominent theme of Ambrosius Stub, out of whose wandering poetic life flowed both Rococo scenery, pietistic hymns and drinking songs.

The information

It was not until around 1750 that enlightenment set in as a broad wave in Danish literature, carried by a new economically well-founded bourgeois self-awareness and by the advance of the new experiential sciences. Two institutions set the framework for the new poetry: Den Danske Skueplads (The Royal Theater), which was founded in 1748 and became the central educational and cultural institution in Denmark until the latter half of the 1800’s, and the Society for the Beautiful and Useful Sciences Promotion (founded 1759).

Within this framework, time developed its fundamentally new ideas about the orderly world, its concepts of morality and mild, humane Christianity and not least its linguistic ideals of formation. Based on the rebuilt Sorø Academy, to which Holberg had bequeathed his fortune, JS Sneedorff became the literary strategist of the Enlightenment, the proponent of the new French-inspired prose style.

The glorious economy of the orderly world was sung by the Norwegian Chr. Br. Tullin, who emerged as the celebrated poet of the twin kingdom in the 1760’s. The time is drawn by the hymn writer Birgitte Boye, by Charlotte Dorothea Biehl, author of plays and a number of Moral Tales, and by the loose humorist Johan Herman Wessel.

In the last decades of the century, enlightenment was diluted with new sensitivity, with poets such as Thomas Thaarup and Knud Lyne Rahbek. The Rahbek home, Bakkehuset, with Kamma Rahbek as the spiritual center, became a meeting place for people and currents on the border between enlightenment, romance and the beginning of the “golden age”.

Around 1800, Enlightenment ideas and enthusiasm for the French Revolution led to the exile of the authors Malthe Conrad Bruun and PA Heiberg.


Many currents met in Johannes Ewald’s writing, but first and foremost he intoned a new poetic self-awareness, where art became the identity-giving, while the poet’s private person perishes as the fuel used to create art, as it actually went with Ewald himself, depicted in his memoirs The Life and Meeninger (approximately 1774 ff.).

As a lyricist, Ewald voiced language to provide the sublime. As an actor, he touched on self-experienced conflicts between emotion and the given order in Adam and Ewa (1769) and in Balder’s Death (1773/75). He won greatest acclaim in time with the national festival The Fishermen (1779), which glorifies the moral power of the people.

Jens Baggesen gave pre-romanticism an international touch. On moods from the hearts and the political revolution, he wrote the brilliant travel book and poet confession The Labyrinth (1792-93). Just over a third of his writing is in German, as is his European success Parthenaïs oder die Alpenreise (1802/03), a hexameter idyll stretched between the German idyllic poet Johann Heinrich Voss and the frenetic enthusiasm of pre-romantic poetry.

Romance and the golden age

The romance broke through in Denmark immediately after 1800 and got its special sound base and design here thanks to the national deroute during the Napoleonic Wars. The ideas of German romance and the subject world were quickly captured by Danish literature. The lyricist Schack von Staffeldt himself drew inspiration from a multi-year stay in Germany in the 1790’s, and the naturalist and philosopher Henrik Steffens came to Copenhagen in 1802 and spread the message in lectures at Elers Kollegium and in conversations with Adam Oehlenschläger. poetic and became the main character in early Danish romance, followed by NFS Grundtvig and Carsten Hauch, while BS Ingemannfollowed its own paths, closer to Staffeldt and the more radical German romanticism. At different paces, they all evolved away from the original visionary romance and towards national, popular, historical and contemporary critical proposals in hymns, short stories, chronicles and novels.

Romanticism had a long-lasting effect in Denmark, as its cultivation of poetry as a life force was mixed with religious/Christian belief in eternity and provided the element for a common poets’ confession for the first half of the 1800’s.

And then it founded a poetic language, influenced by the vernacular, which came to characterize large parts of Danish poetry up to around 1900. But in its true form, romance as such became a short-lived interlude. The bourgeois culture from the late 1700’s. continued unchallenged and shaped the basic conception of life, greatly diluted with an extensive Goethe influence.

Goethehumanism, Christianity, morality, and the diluted Romanticism constitute the principal elements of what, in view of the unique richness of all art forms at this time, is called the “Golden Age.”

While Oehlenschläger was the front figure in the real romance, the playwright and critic Johan Ludvig Heiberg was the leading figure in the romantic deflection towards everyday life and towards the more faceted topics of psychology (“the interesting”).

The circle around the couple Johan Ludvig and Johanne Luise Heiberg became a dominant cultural factor in the 1820’s, 1830’s and 1840’s. To the circle belonged Johan Ludvig Heiberg’s mother, Thomasine Gyllembourg, who with her poetic and moderately religious/moral everyday stories gained great popularity in time and became the epitome of the spirit of the time, which has been called Biedermeier.

A new reality is founded

There was a general upheaval in literature in the 1820’s and especially in the 1830’s under the impression of European currents and encouraged by liberal tendencies in economics and political thinking which the late autocracy failed to suppress. Modernity was intoned in the central lyricism of erotic poets such as Christian Winther and Emil Aarestrup, with the latter also in his political poems.

That time was a time of transition, “the political period”, was already testified by Søren Kierkegaard. Among the main characters were the outsiders of the time, Steen Steensen Blicher, NFS Grundtvig (who, however, from the 1840’s onwards had a broad following), HC Andersen and Søren Kierkegaard. With them, the boundaries of the late autocratic society were transcended, and spellings, issues, and audience perceptions that heralded new were taken up.

Blicher’s realistically toned, illusion-free short stories (sometimes in dialect) from literary otherwise undescribed Jutland became a presentation of recent realism. Grundtvig, with a mixture of Enlightenment zeal, early Christianity and romantic faith in the Spirit and the living (God’s) word, reformed church and congregation through the revival movement he brought about. He left basic traces in Danish self-understanding, school perception and general culture through the high school movement that emanated from him.

Throughout the rest of the century, it became the foundation of the peasants’ identity formation until their political takeover in 1901, and it was further felt in the social democratic culture of the 1900’s. HC Andersen broke in his own life course through the barriers of the rigid, bourgeois late-dictatorship. In the fairy tale, an originally popular genre, which by him turned into a whimsical and contemporary, realistic genre in its very own kind, he expressed the diverse and complex experiences that made him a sharp psychologist and know of the interaction between people, but also to an unorthodox religious spirit in the unfinished quest.

HC Andersen stood in many ways at the limit of his time, enthusiastic about the new technology in the belief in progress and more humane conditions. Kierkegaard did not want to know about this “spectacle of outwardness”, but also stood at the limit of the period, sharpening the demand for truth in the individual’s way of life. With a mixture of Christian idealism and psychological realism, he pointed to reality as the place where the life of the individual is to be measured.

Around and in the years following the abolition of autocracy in 1849, a new society began to leave its mark. Time called for new initiatives, first and foremost the discussion about women’s liberation. With Mathilde Fibiger as the front figure, a number of female writers appeared as debaters on the literary scene. Realists such as MA Goldschmidt and Hans Egede Schack wrote the spiritual identity of the period up to its outer limit.

The modern breakthrough

A new literature and a new ideological front, a cultural radicalism, broke through during the 1870’s and towards 1880 finally appeared fully unfolded. It was a joint Nordic movement whose critical banner bearers were Georg and Edvard Brandes.

The modern breakthrough, as it was christened (1883) by Georg Brandes, was closely linked to industrialization, the new natural sciences, and the political upheavals surrounding the dismantling of the remnants of autocracy. The process escalated into a landowner dictatorship until 1901, the Provisional Period, which became the starting point for Henrik Pontoppidan’s early writing.

As the decades leading up to the turn of the century were a period of liquidation and reorganization, the modern breakthrough in Denmark in particular had to be characterized by a cultural showdown. This came to occupy a larger place in literature than the new developments in society, industry and technology, which the poets consistently closed their eyes to.

It was the time of the decadent novels (JP Jacobsen’s Niels Lyhne, Herman Bang’s Haabløse Slægter and others). The church/Christianity and bourgeois morality, especially sexual morality, stood out, while Darwinism emerged as a time-typical view.

The modern breakthrough took place in an early naturalism, a later realism, towards a new immersion in individual life, partly inspired by the existential radicalist Friedrich Nietzsche, which Georg Brandes introduced in 1888.

Georg Brandes, who with his critique acted on a European stage and not only on a Danish or Nordic, with his translation of Stuart Mills On the Subjection of Women gave a boost to the debate about women’s emancipation, but female writers of the time (Amalie Skram, Erna Juel-Hansen and others) established their own modern breakthrough.

Around the country, the soil was fertilized for the peasants ‘takeover of power in 1901 through the colleges’ post-romantic messages to this social class, which was founding its cultural self-awareness. Here the foundation was laid for the so characteristic and very extensive peasant literature from Denmark from approximately 1900 and up to 1950.

Since the modern breakthrough, radicalism has become a hallmark of Danish cultural and political life to this day. At the same time, the ideological polarization led to the emergence of a picture of several cultures and literatures side by side since the dissolution of the unitary culture of the late autocracy. Also, it is a trait that has been standing up to the present.

Symbolism and fine de siècle literature

Towards the turn of the century, the natural connection in naturalism/ realism developed into a broad front of natural poetry, the largest overall breakthrough for natural poetry in Denmark (Johannes Jørgensen, Viggo Stuckenberg, Sophus Claussen, Ludvig Holstein, Thøger Larsen).

At the same time, it was a period in which the focus on the individual that characterized the crisis literature of naturalism/realism was further deepened into a subjective, mood-bound (often pessimistic) view of the outside world, associated with a religious reorientation (Johannes Jørgensen, Helge Rode).

As editor of the magazine Taarnet (1893-94), Jørgensen introduced the French symbolism, which Sophus Claussen in particular associated himself with in his immersion in the compelling experiences of art.

Towards the turn of the century, the decay novel became desperate doomsday novels (Johannes V. Jensen’s Einar Elkær and The Fall of the King, Ernesto Dalgas ‘ The Way of Suffering, Martin Andersen Nexøs Dryss).

The Art Nouveau style, which characterized the architecture and craftsmanship of the time, was especially evident in the prose of Harald Kiddes and Sophus Michaëlis, here as elsewhere with roots back in JP Jacobsen’s prose.

The popular breakthrough

Simultaneously with the political system change in 1901 came a breakthrough in painting (Fynboerne), music (Carl Nielsen) and literature. The so-called popular breakthrough in literature was, in fact, the breakthrough of a contemporary realism that was heralded in the 1870’s and 1880’s. It ranged widely, socially and ideologically.

Johannes V. Jensen became the period’s great linguistic innovator and initiator of breakthroughs in 1900’s literature at all. Such different authors as Tom Kristensen and Martin A. Hansen as well as Klaus Rifbjerg have declared their debt to him, who formed the ideological front with the popular breakthrough, but went far further in topics and views. Martin Andersen Nexø became the first great working-class author.

Otherwise, the modern breakthrough continued, in parts of the new women’s literature, where Agnes Henningsen was outraged by depicting and living according to the freer norms of a new age. Johannes V. Jensen’s sister Thit Jensen, author of both historical and contemporary novels, became a prominent figure in the women’s and gender debate.

Between the wars

The international isms, some of them with connections to the painting of the time, left their mark on Danish literature from the time during the First World War onwards with expressionism as the first, partly inspired by Johs. V. Jensen, b.a. in poetry and novels by Emil Bønnelycke and Tom Kristensen.

Expressionism was followed by scattered influences of surrealism (with Jens August Schade and Gustaf Munch-Petersen). Although these isms were forerunners of later modernism, they became marginal phenomena in the literature of the time, which were mainly characterized by a multifaceted stream of broadly depicting realism: from the bourgeois-naturalistic Jacob Paludan over the sociological or socially critical literature (collective novels, class struggle novels and broad, socially based life depictions) to the new Freudian-inspired psychological depiction of HC Branner.

The 1930’s in particular were marked by a division between a cultural radical, sometimes socialist line and an otherwise quite inhomogeneous group of writers, who extended themselves to tried and tested forms of expression with a broad (conservative) audience appeal.

On the cultural radical wing, the main character was the architect, lighting designer, revue author and cultural debater Poul Henningsen (PH). On the conservative front, the priest and playwright Kaj Munk in particular caused a stir. Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen) took a special position, whose books from the mid-1930’s began to be published first in the USA and then in Denmark.

A declared aristocratic conservatism was underpinned by a rebellious femininity in Blixen’s narratives and was actually an expression of a Nietzsche – inspired cultural critique, which took place since the 1890’s and expressed itself in the cultivation of the wisdom of the myths.

Heretic periods

As early as the late 1930’s, Paul la Cour took the step towards a revival of symbolism, the manifesto of which was his Fragments of a Diary (1948). A group of authors led by Martin A. Hansen, Ole Wivel and Thorkild Bjørnvig gathered around the magazine Heretica, breaking with naturalism/ realism and its view of man.

Instead, they used religion, ethics, art, form, or universal nature as a basis. Common to many writers and writers in the time during and immediately after World War II was an experience of a profound cultural crisis, which from a samhu with pictorial modernism got a visionary and religiously toned expression in Ole Sarvig’s poetry, with the younger Frank Jæger with a greater light vision.

Post-war modernism and traditionalism

In the vicinity of Heretica, international modernism came to the fore in Denmark: Martin A. Hansen’s experimental short stories, Branner’s intremonological experiments in short stories, drama and novels, Sarvig’s poetry. But it was an ethically “concerned” modernism. In the 1950’s, a modernism broke through, which to a much greater extent took modernity for granted and found adequate forms of expression for it.

Villy Sørensen founded a new imaginative and seemingly “absurd” narrative art. Both his philosophy and his poetry were based on a sharpened language consciousness that could depict the loss of identity through self-deviation and division. For Klaus Rifbjerg, the path went from a naturalistic “angry young man” attitude in an increasingly experimental direction, culminating in the self-willed modernist collection of poems Confrontation and the poem suite Camouflage. From the 1970’s onwards, his extensive writing moved into other, more audience-oriented directions, but in his poetry the border-breaking and the saturated with reality are united with a linguistic energy that has made him an innovator in line with Johannes V. Jensen and Adam Oehlenschläger.

Leif Panduro ‘s most dramatic popular influence was television drama, in which the inner absurdity of the bourgeoisie was exposed. Up through the 1960’s and early 1970’s, a development emerges from the employment of “the absurd” (the young Benny Andersen’s poetry and short stories, Peter Seeberg’s much discussed prose at the time, Ivan Malinowski’s and Jess Ørnsbo’s poetry, etc.). against a constructivist or formalist modernism, written modernism, etc. with Hans-Jørgen Nielsen as spokesman, culminating in Inger Christensen’s linguistic creation Det, Svend Åge Madsen’s novels (i.a.Set the world is for) and Per Højholt’s mischievous textual course. Henrik Nordbrandt occupies a special position with his musical-melancholic poetry.

Simultaneously with modernism, other currents prevail: an existential-historical documentary in Thorkild Hansen; with Tage Skou-Hansen and Erik Aalbæk Jensen a broad critical and existential realism in the tradition from Henrik Pontoppidan; autobiographical and with social, psychological and depicting perspectives on women in Tove Ditlevsen; Anders Bodelsen, Christian Kampmann and Henrik Stangerup’s contemporary realism.

Publicity and privatization

The student uprising in 1968 led to a violent flourishing of the ideological debate and thus a loss of interest in the exclusive literary experiments. Throughout the 1970’s, a new working-class literature emerged and especially a women’s literature with Jette Drewsen, Vita Andersen and Dea Trier Mørch, who gathered a great deal of debate about themselves.

The harsh ideological critique of the function and forms of expression of literature, which thrived in the environment of university criticism, helped to push the authors’ interest in the direction of de-ideologised everyday life, the private, the confessions and the intimate. Knækprosa’s everyday, eloquent poetic texts became a popular and widely read lyrical form, at the same time as the lyrical avant-garde unfolded more quietly in, for example, Klaus Høeck’s computer-oriented texts.

Mythologies, postmodernism and the new fable

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, people had become saturated with confessions about the intimate everyday life and with formless forms. At the same time as student Marxism was running tired during the bourgeois political upswing, literature sought to return to its own roots as literature.

A new generation of modernism with Michael Strunge, Bo Green Jensen, Pia Tafdrup and Søren Ulrik Thomsen was not only inspired by rock music and a modern body consciousness, but has also been able to freely fall back on romantic and symbolist forms. The latter two have formulated the ideas in poetics.

A proven realist like Henrik Stangerup moved through ideological and personal confrontations into the cultural-historical and mythological landscape. Some lyricists, inspired by older modernists such as Ole Sarvig and Jørgen Gustava Brandt, resumed the hymn form, which has been one of the main cornerstones of Danish literature, but has largely been abandoned since Grundtvig. A new religiosity, together with the preoccupation of the universe and nature with the times, formed the background for this interest in the hymn. A critical ecological consciousness was given universal and mythological dimensions in Thorkild Bjørnvig’s and Vagn Lundbye’s nature motifs. Villy Sørensen reinterpreted and narrated the classical and Nordic mythology.

During these decades, a vibrant narrative art emerged. Kirsten Thorup wrote female worlds of experience in prose that balances between socially toned, far-reaching realism and a psychic inner world. The prose writers have to a large extent worked with mixed forms, between novel and memory in, for example, Suzanne Brøgger and between realism and writing consciousness in Peter Seeberg and Jens Smærup Sørensen.

In scary images, Dorrit Willumsen has portrayed modern people as mechanical models and victims of a distorted social order. Life as an anthology of human destinies in common isolation is found in Peer Hultberg’s analytical prose. The also internationally widespread mixed form of realism and fantastic narrative, “magical realism”, has in various ways got its special Danish design, but with broad international appeal with Ib Michael and Peter Høeg.

That Karen Blixen has been one of the most read and discussed authors of the recent past in the period has left its mark. But despite electoral kinships in the fabled, there is a significant leap from the divine staging of the world in the Blixen narrative to the centerless postmodernism and boundary-breaking body consciousness, which with varying intensity has prevailed in Danish literature in the latter half of the 1980’s and into 1990’s.

It is still the case, however, that even these trends, which have caught the most critics’ attention, are by no means exclusive. The diversity thrives side by side as never before with the central lyric and the narrative as the at once contested and undisputed basis in the long Danish tradition.

Diversity in both form of expression, genres and choice of material characterized Danish literature in the late 1900’s. In 1987, a Danish author education, Forfatterskolen, began with the poet and critic Poul Borum as leader, and in 1996 it was approved by the Ministry of Culture as a SU-eligible two-year higher education.

A number of the school’s students pretended to be experimental poets or prose writers. The 1990’s in particular offered a phenomenological, often minimalist prose fiction that broke with a more traditional and social causal explanation, with Solvej Balle as one of the representatives. However, Jens Christian Grøndahl saw new possibilities in the psychological search for the psychological tradition, which described the identity problems of modern man in a number of stylish novels.

Some of the older, established writers wrote their masterpieces in the 1990’s and early 2000’s; this applies to Peer Hultberg, known for his special stream of unconsciousness technique, Vibeke Grønfeldt, who distinguished herself with original civilization-critical novels, and the system poet Klaus Høeck, who in monumental poetry suites placed himself as the master of lyrical great form.

The cultural critic Carsten Jensen gave new life to the essay genre in major travel books. Danish literature has been awarded the Nordic Council Literature Prize six times since 1990 : Peer Hultberg (1993), Dorrit Willumsen (1997), Pia Tafdrup (1999), Henrik Nordbrandt (2000), Naja Marie Aidt (2008) and Kim Leine (2013).

Denmark – children’s literature

The monk Niels Bredal ‘s Børne Speigel from 1568 is considered the first Danish children’s book. The earliest children’s books would teach and – increasingly up through the 1600’s and 1700’s. – while entertaining. However, the number of titles was extremely limited, barely over 200 in the first 250 years.

In the early 1800’s, children’s books appeared, which were more similar to today’s children’s books, and production increased. The explanations are several: All children were now expected under the School Act of 1814 to be able to read; Romanticism saw childhood as having a value in itself, and the dominant bourgeois culture, called Biedermeier, emphasized life within the four walls of the home, not least the secure relationship between mother and child. These new times were especially aware of the publisher Christian Steen (1786-1861), and he began to systematically publish children’s books. 1800-t. the period of short forms with fairy tales, fables, moral tales and poems was written especially for children. Classics are Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales, which in 1835-42 are referred to as “told for children”, BS Ingemann’s Morning Songs for Childrenfrom 1837, written at the request of poor and orphaned children, and Christian Winthers Flugten til Amerika, originally from 1835, but published as a picture book aimed at children in 1900. Later, HV Kaalund’s Fables for Children (1845) followed with J.Th. Lundbye’s famous illustrations and Johan Krohn ‘s Peter’s Christmas (1866). The books were most often illustrated, several of them hand-colored, until in the last half of the century it became possible to print in several colors. Towards the end of the 1800’s. more and more realistic prose stories were published, especially short stories, but eventually also novels.

1900’s became the century of children’s novels and picture books, while the short stories gradually almost completely disappeared. It was a gendered literature. The most famous boys’ books were written by Walter Christmas, especially known for the Peder Most books (first volume 1901), Denmark’s first book series for children, and Torry Gredsted, whose Paw (1918) was widespread reading material all the way up to the 1970’s. Both writers, like Rudolf Bruhn, who wrote the hugely popular The Six (1916), were involved in the Boy Scout movement. Among the authors of young girl books was Bertha Holst, who wrote books based on her own experiences from orphanages and as an adopted child, including Bitten(1910), and Valborg Dahl (1870-1954). Until the end of the 1960’s, the publication of this gender-segregated literature, which was at the same time dominated by exoticism, dominated. Boys’ books in particular often took place in other countries, in the past or at sea. In the middle of the century, the picture book experienced a revival with artists such as Arne Ungermann, Egon Mathiesen and Ib Spang Olsen.

In 1964, a new library law came into being, which gave high priority to children’s literature, which had a colossal significance for the area. Not least, the school libraries were strengthened, which now became completely dominant as purchasers of children’s literature, which is why the pedagogical currents of the time greatly influenced children’s literature. Social realism and problem-debating representations supplanted exoticism. The limit for what you can write about for children was broken down, and books were published about e.g. divorce, substance abuse and other social problems. In the midst of the great amount of society-oriented literature of the time, however, Cecil Bødker was also met with the Silas books (the first in 1967) and Bjarne Reuterwith the Buster books (the first in 1979). During this period, the number of published children’s books increased from approximately 500 in 1970 over approximately 1000 in 1980 to more than 2000 annually in the late 1990’s.

Today, the diversity has increased, and space has increasingly been created for a more aesthetically experimental literature, both in the field of the novel and the picture book, including works by Bent Haller, Louis Jensen, Kim Fupz Aakeson, Jakob Martin Strid and illustrators such as Lilian Brøgger, Mette Kirstine Bak (b. 1968) and Hanne Bartholin (b. 1962). At the same time, there is renewed interest in using the card forms, and an increasing number of fantasy novels are being published, written by e.g. Lene Kaaberbøl.

Denmark – theater

Pre-Christian rituals in Denmark as in the surrounding countries have probably sometimes had the character of a performance, but nothing is known for sure. There are also no written sources for a medieval liturgical drama in the church, although frescoes and preserved props point in the direction of such a drama.

The Nordic region’s biggest saint play about “holy Duke Knud (Lavard)”, Ludus de Sancto Kanuto Duce, has probably been performed in Ringsted with the square as the simultaneous stage. It is known in a form from around 1500, but may be based on older originals.

School drama

Carnival. In the painting The struggle between carnival and Lent by Pieter Bruegel d.æ. (1559) the contrasting relationship between the merry carnival and the ascetic fast is personified by the two fighting in the foreground of the picture; the carnival is expressed by the overweight person, riding on a wine barrel lifts his flesh-filled lance towards Lent, expressed by a skinny old woman sitting on a simple chair. The painting can be found at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

Already in late Catholic times, school drama existed, but it was the Protestant school drama that came to constitute a significant cultural-political movement in the market towns. The kings also liked to be entertained by the school drama with its biblical, moralizing and satirical themes.

The lyrics were often translated from Latin and German, but also an original Danish drama emerged with the Viborg priest Hieronymus Justesen Ranch as the most original gift. Hans Karrig Niding from around 1600 is a regular character comedy with traces of carnival farce.

In the early 1600’s. however, the church’s view of the theater changed in the wake of the orthodoxy that now became dominant. It was claimed that the theater seduced into sinful vices.

Hiking troops

Professional troops who toured in the second half of the 1500’s. in Europe, gradually began to come to Denmark. Thus, in 1586, Frederick II had an English troupe in his service, including the comedian William Kempe, who later played with William Shakespeare.

Since then, the hiking troops visited, who from approximately 1600 became German- and Dutch-speaking, landed with the effective main and state actions. The self-staging of the monarchy, especially during Christian IV, took on increasingly spectacular forms, emphasizing the greatness of the regent.

A giant investment was the heir to the throne’s wedding party in 1634, The Great Annex, a two-week rally of comedy, music, dance and fireworks. Here the court ballet was introduced, a form of allegorical total theater with the noble ones even among the performers.

Theater for court and city

The role models of the dictatorship naturally went in the direction of the French. Christian V had as Crown Prince visited Louis XIV and was inspired both to the pompous royal cult in opera ballets and to follow the classicist French Baroque theater.

During Christian V and Frederik IV, French court troops came and went, who also gave public performances. René Magnon de Montaigu, who was of the Moliere school, came to Denmark in 1686 and in 1700 became leader of the royal troop. From temporary scenes on In 1703, Copenhagen Castle moved the troupe into the newly built opera house in Bredgade, which was intended both for the court and for the city. Within a few years, however, it turned out that the project was not sustainable and the building was transferred to another use; it is today the seat of the Eastern High Court.

Inspired by the Venetian opera stages had Frederik IV arrange a castle theater, which was inaugurated in 1712 with lodges and scenery machinery, as the opera house had also had it. Montaigu presented here a repertoire of allegorical festivals and French drama.

In the renewed entertainment market after the Great Nordic War (1700-21), German-language performances were seen that lavishly mixed drama, acrobatics, mechanics and tableaux. As a new theater and amusement center, a comedy house was opened in 1722 in Lille Grønnegade, now Ny Adelgade. However, the king had dismissed his court troupe, and the idea now arose to open a Danish-language stage under Montaigu’s direction at Lille Grønnegade Theater.

Ludvig Holberg created a satirical contemporary drama here with a bourgeois gallery of figures in accordance with the general efforts of the time to elevate people’s cultural and moral state and make them well-functioning members of society. The satire was also directed at the allegedly backward theatrical form Haupt- und Staatsaktionen and thus at the irrational theatricality of the Baroque.

Several of the actors were students, which immediately created conflict with the university: the old theological aversion to the stage flared up. 23.9.1722 was opened with Molières Gnieren, and 25.9. was the premiere of a professional performance of original Danish drama, Holberg’s Den Politiske Kandstøber.

The main inspiration was Molière, but Holberg also had a lot left for the robust comedy of Italian mask comedy. In the long run, the audience failed the theater, and it had to close in 1727. By the city fire in 1728, theater was completely over: Frederik IV was religiously opposed, and his pietistic son, Christian VI, introduced an actual theater ban, which worked. until his death in 1746.

The Royal Theatre

Theater life flourished again, and in 1748 the Danish comedy was able to move into Niels Eigtved’s elegant theater house on Kongens Nytorv. Formally, the king gave the house its name, but in 1750 he transferred it to the city of Copenhagen along with a significant debt.

The idea of ​​a theater for the court and the city was now realized, from the beginning marked by the Holberg dramaturgy. Gradually, however, the emphasis shifted from the ridicule of the cargo to the glorification of virtue and a new moral sensitivity as in Charlotta Dorothea Biehl’s comedies of the 1760’s and 1770’s.

In 1770, the theater came under actual royal management as “Den Kongelige Danske Skueplads”, and from 1772 it was directly financed by the royal treasury and formally subject to the court marshal. The theater gained a significant place in the incipient public debate. Although the sublime and musical genres were parodied in Johan Herman Wessel ‘s Kierlighet uden Strømper (1773), a growing interest in national and patriotic themes resulted in the latter part of the 1700’s. in several bids for original Danish tragedy and musical drama with motifs from mythology, history and folk life.

National romanticism after the German model reached the theater in the early 1800’s, not least with Adam Oehlenschläger, who debuted as a playwright with Hakon Jarl hin Rige, printed in 1807, performed in 1808. He represented a passionate theatrical form that stood in contrast to the Holberg sobriety, which from the outset marked the domestic repertoire. The Road was paved for Shakespeare, and Hamlet had its Danish premiere in 1813.

Opposite this was Johan Ludvig Heiberg, who as a critic in the 1820’s made strict formal demands and with Parisian inspiration created the vaudeville, amiable satirical-musical depictions of a bourgeois little world. There is a special splendor about the theater during this period. Writing for the stage was associated with prestige, and the Royal Theater took a position as a central cultural institution.

There were several excellent talents in the ensemble, and the poets competed to write to them, first and foremost to Johanne Luise Heiberg, the undisputed prima donna of romance, whose register ranged from the swarming-erotic to the passionate-demonic, though always observing the framework of aesthetics and good taste. After the fall of the autocracy, the Royal Theater in 1849 came under the control of the state and got a bourgeois chief, in the first instance Johan Ludvig Heiberg, whose aesthetic ideals soon came into conflict with the realism that at the turn of the century intruded.

In 1874, the Royal Theatre’s current building was inaugurated in the style of the Paris Opera. It was suitable for opera and ballet, but hardly the ideal setting for the realistic living room drama, which culminated with the world premieres of Henrik Ibsen’s drama (as A Doll’s Home, 1879).

This scenic naturalism was associated with controversial literary and political currents around the Brandes brothers. The requirements for authenticity in environmental depiction and psychology were implemented from the 1880’s by the director William Bloch.

With this, the meticulously working director had finally made his entrance as a central figure in the theatrical performance. Naturalism also came to characterize the student school, which was established in 1886.

Amateur theater

From the last part of the 1700’s. raged a true theatrical craze among the bourgeoisie – a self-organized theater life on a non-professional basis. In the longer term, the foundation here was laid for a strong amateur theater tradition, often in relation to the folk high school movement (and from 1948 organized in Dansk Amatør Teater Samvirke).

At the same time, the dramatic clubs gained importance for the spread of professional theater to the province, as their venues from around 1820 were used by touring theater companies. This also created the precondition for permanent theaters in the larger provincial towns.

New theaters

While the Royal Theater became more and more the place of the educated, the wider audience could go to the “second theaters” that were allowed in connection with the introduction of democracy, with the Casino from 1848 as the first.

Until 1889, however, the national stage held an absolute monopoly on the more serious repertoire. In the province, on the other hand, Holberg, Oehlenschläger, Heiberg and others could be well presented, to a large extent by touring companies.

In the early 1900-t. the theaters in Aarhus and Odense had established themselves with their own permanent ensemble, which played a repertoire that alternated between the national stage and the lighter genres. Aalborg came into being in 1937. After the First World War, the national stage’s monopoly position was further weakened: Dagmarteatret and Betty Nansen Teatret distinguished themselves in the capital as artistic competitors to the Royal Theater.

For and against naturalism

The pioneering form experiments in Europe at the beginning of the century generally had no great impact in Denmark. Gordon Craig’s non-naturalistic staging of Ibsen’s Kongsemnerne at the Royal Theater in 1926 thus became a solid failure.

Experiments were largely referred to non- or semi-professional experimental scenes, or to a small daring scene like the Knights’ Hall, which in 1935 presented Kjeld Abell’s satirical theatrical play The Melody That Gone, which became the greatest success of the interwar period.

The 1930’s were marked by significant playwrights such as Kaj Munk, Carl Erik Soya and Kjeld Abell, who partly appeared in private theaters and partly on the national stage, where Abell in particular helped to create cracks in the incorporated naturalism. During the German occupation, of course, the foreign impulses were drastically reduced, and the theaters had to operate under state censorship, which was now no longer primarily moral, but directly politically motivated.

Absurdism and social realism

After the war, the contemporary international repertoire was opened in a short time, thus from the 1950’s French absurdism and English social realism. Absurdism was especially launched on the Student Stage, which served as an experimental stage for young talents, which later came to characterize the professional theater as directors, actors and playwrights.

The Radio and Television Theater quickly opened up to this repertoire and these people. Since then, the theaters followed. Social realism and Bertolt Brecht really took off in the theater in the 1960’s, first on the provincial stages.

With this, a theme for the next decades was struck: a sociological-political (Brecht-inspired) versus a more imaginative (Artaud- influenced) view of theater. On the intimate scenes that emerged in the 1960’s with the Violin Theater from 1962 as the first, the absurd direction had a certain predominance.

Radio and television theater

From the beginning, theater on the radio was characterized by enlightening cultural dissemination. From 1925, the Danish School Scenes’ classic performances were broadcast, and after a few years, the repertoire consisted of a mixture of adapted theatrical drama and actual radio plays.

Great performing artists like Poul Reumert reached a wide audience here. From the 1950’s, the radio theater was given the technical possibilities to develop its uniqueness. Not least under Jørgen Claudi’s leadership in the 1960’s, a radio play genre was created in which Danish writers could unfold independently of the economic conditions to which the theater scenes were subjected.

From the 1950’s, the TV theater underwent a similar development, from a bondage to the theater and the idea of ​​”the great classics” towards independent artistic expressions. The focus on original Danish TV drama was especially prioritized in Bjørn Lense-Møller’s leadership period 1970-85. The video game gained a unique impact in Leif Panduro’s mournful depictions of the traumas behind the facade of the bourgeoisie.

1960’s and 1970’s

With the establishment of a Ministry of Culture in 1961, the fact that the Royal Theater belonged to the Ministry of Education and other theater operations under the Ministry of Justice ended.

The Theater Act from 1963, among other things, framework for the support for the regional stages in Aarhus, Aalborg and Odense, and through grants, the Theater Council gave a significant influence on the theater life, which was outside the institutions’ fixed framework. All in all, the 1960’s and 1970’s were a period of significant cultural initiatives towards democratization and decentralization, both at the political level and among the many experimental or socially critical theater groups that appealed to an audience other than the established stages, including the younger age groups.

Until now, the children’s audience had mainly been served by the Danish School Stage. With the closure of the School Stage in 1968, the way was paved for a number of outreach theater groups that dealt with the problems of children and young people in their own language. In several ways, Denmark became a pioneer in the field of children and youth theater.

Of great importance, also internationally, for the experimental theater life was Eugenio Barbas Odin Teatret, which settled in Holstebro in 1966. In terms of education, there were also breakthroughs in relation to the classical institutions: In 1968, the Royal Theatre’s student school was closed, and the Statens Teaterskole opened, first with acting education, then also with director, set designer and technician lines.

From 1971, cultural democratization also took hold in the form of a scheme, managed by the audience organization ARTE, which made it possible to subscribe to a number of performances at a reduced price. The model was later enacted at national level and came into force in 1975, with state and county municipal support. It has certainly had a positive impact on ticket sales, but has also been criticized, among other things. to block the agility of theatrical planning.

1980’s and 1990’s

Provisions on local theaters from 1979 brought parts of the group theater under the auspices of county and municipal politics, with the consequent beginning of institutionalization. The socially engaged attitudes were replaced in the 1980’s and 1990’s by an interest in exploring the aesthetic means.

A generation of younger instructors formulated themselves in more divided forms of expression, and a few of them were quickly given assignments on several stages, including the national stage, in an attempt to give the institution a rejuvenation cure, which, however, would only extend over a few seasons.

Otherwise, the picture in the institutional theaters was marked by a return to the more audience-safe repertoire, as the grants became more uncertain. Located outside the institutions, the performance theater in particular became characteristic of the early 1990’s, when Hotel Pro Forma and Cantabile 2 distinguished themselves internationally. They gave performances with roots in avant-garde art and happening, which broke down boundaries between the forms of expression and cultivated the image and sound effect in a consistent down-prioritization of actual dramatic action and recognizability.

A very dynamic and direct tone, which especially appealed to a young audience, broke through when the group Dr. Dante 1992-2001 ran the Aveny Theater in Copenhagen.

At the same time, a new generation of playwrights emerged, often with a mixture of ironic realism and a linguistic surplus that touched on the absurd. The larger institutional theaters maintained, with a few bold exceptions, the more audience-safe repertoire, citing the uncertain economic conditions of theatrical operation.

At the Royal Theater, the discussion about the traditional location of the arts (opera, ballet and acting) under the same roof flared up again in the late 1990’s. This led in 2000 to a donation from the AP Moller and Wife Chastine Mc-Kinney Moller Foundation for the construction of a new opera house on Holmen, the Opera, which was inaugurated in 2005, and in 2001 to a political decision in principle to build a new playhouse for The Royal Theater by the Kvæsthus Bridge by the Port of Copenhagen; see The Royal Theater.

A revision of the Theater Act in 1996 strengthened the local theaters, and alongside the Danish Theater Associations, smaller touring networks have emerged consisting of local theaters and small metropolitan theaters; see also touring theater. Savings on the state cultural budget in 2002 have meant poorer conditions for the experimental part of theater life and for children’s theater.

In 1998, BG Bank established and financed a new Danish theater prize, Reumert, named after Poul Reumert. The prize is awarded annually in a number of categories within Danish theater to e.g. best actor, best set designer, best Danish playwright and best children’s theater. In addition, a number of talent prizes are awarded to young promising names as well as an honorary prize to a performing stage artist who “in a unique way has contributed to the development of theater art in Denmark”.

The jury consists of newspaper reviewers and theater professionals. Among the previous recipients (2006) have been the actors Bodil Udsen, Ghita Nørby and Jørgen Reenberg, the ballet dancer Nikolaj Hübbe and the opera singer Lisbeth Balslev. This year’s Reumert will be awarded at a party performance at the Royal Theatre’s Old Stage in April.

Denmark – revue

New Year’s Eve 1849 Erik Bøgh presented the first Danish revue at the Casino in Copenhagen. It consisted of a series of independent numbers, which were loosely linked by a continuous figure.

This non-committal form of entertainment especially appealed to the middle class. Gradually the frame story disappeared, and what remained were the numbers, which did not have to have anything to do with each other.

In 1873 the summer revues began. The touring theater companies saw the possibilities in the genre, and soon there was a summer revue in every city with respect for itself.

At the same time, the first revue stars appeared; in the 1890’s, for example, Frederik Jensen was the big attraction at Nørrebro’s Theater. The revues became more and more lavish. It culminated with the Scalarevys from 1912-30 under the leadership of Frede Skaarup; here Liva Weel got her big break.

But in the middle of the equipment, the contents drowned. The tendency was for the review texts to uncritically take as a starting point the existing by making fun of what deviated from the norm.

The reaction came in the mid-1920’s with Ludvig Brandstrup’s Co-Optimists, an intimate form of revue that, with a few props, put the word back in the center. The great satirical impact, however, did not get these revues; so did the PH revues, which from 1929 to the end of the 1930’s led by Poul Henningsen used the revue as a weapon in the cultural struggle.

The revue was to be about real people, so not just action but also attitude was reintroduced. However, it was still the broad-minded and politically neutral revues that dominated. Stars like Osvald Helmuth performed the show’s great songs, and many revue songs have become evergreens over the years.

During the occupation, the revue showed its ability to play on the unspoken as a subtle contribution to the resistance struggle. In the 1950’s, Stig Lommer introduced a more crazy style in his ABC revues, led by the comedian couple Kellerdirk, Kjeld Petersen and Dirch Passer. From 1961, the critical-satirical revue flourished, first on the Student Stage with Erik Knudsen and Finn Saverys Frihed – the best gold, then also at Fiolteatret and in Dronningmølle with contributions from Jesper Jensen, Klaus Rifbjerg and Johannes Møllehave.

Radio and television began in the 1960’s to make revue programs, whereby many of the obvious themes were used up before reaching the summer performances. As a consequence, a number of revues took a turn towards greater musicality and a particularly humorous way of looking at life, for example with Jesper Klein and Hans Klyder in the latter half of the 1970’s or as in the Hjørring revues, which since Per Pallesen in 1979 became director is settled with great sense of style at a tremendous pace.

During the 1990’s, the number of revues stabilized around 20 a year with the Circus Revue as the large show flagship, seconded by Leif Maibom’s (b. 1951) Sønderborg revues, Flemming Krøll’s (b. 1954) revues in Nykøbing F. and Rottefælden in Svendborg. At the same time, new revue-like initiatives have emerged, such as the ensembles Sons of the Desert (from 1997), where the men’s horn is aired, and The Brown Dot, which challenged the taboos.

Denmark – ballet

Dance came into vogue at Europe’s princely courts in the 17th century with the French court as the brilliant role model. With a mix of talented amateurs and budding professional artists, the court ballet unfolded with beauty and splendor based on harmony and balance. It reflected the heavenly harmony of the Universe as well as the princes’ perception of how their state behaved or should do so.

Denmark also took cutlery from France. The first Danish court ballet was performed in 1634 at Prince Christian’s wedding to Magdalene Sibylle, and it culminated under Frederik III, whose queen, Sophie Amalie, was a ballet enthusiast and danced at the head of the court as an amazon, peasant girl, Spanish lady or war muse.

In the 18th century, theatrical dance moved more and more away from ballroom dancing, and at Grønnegadeteatret, the first Danish-language theater, dance was an important feature both in Ludvig Holberg’s and Molière’s comedies and as independent entertainments. Among others, the French dancer Jean-Baptiste Landé (d. 1748), who later founded the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg, performed. The connections between the Danish ballet and the major ballet countries were present from the beginning.

With pietism, the dance had poor conditions, but when Den Danske Skueplads opened on Kongens Nytorv in 1748, the dance was included again, even though there were only a few Danish ballet artists. Most, both ballet masters and dancers, were international artists who came from Germany, Italy and France.

Slowly the foundation was laid for a Danish corps de ballet. In 1771 the school was founded at the Royal Theater, which is still the backbone of the Royal Ballet, and in 1775 the Italian Vicenzo Galeotti came to Copenhagen as a ballet master, dancer and choreographer. He became responsible for the ballet’s first major flowering period in Denmark, and he led the Royal Ballet until his death in 1816.

Galeotti introduced le ballet d’action, in which the action was expressed by dance and pantomime. He balletized Voltaire and Shakespeare and created the first Nordic ballet, Lagertha, which in 1801 helped to herald romance in Danish theater. Of his 49 works, only Amor and Balletmesterens Luner from 1786 have survived. It is, in turn, the world’s oldest ballet, danced in unbroken tradition.

The big name of the 19th century in Danish ballet is August Bournonville, who became ballet master at the Royal Theater in 1830, where he with a few interruptions became 1877. From his education in Europe and his travels he knew the requirements and level of the international ballet world, and he lifted the Danish ballet.

He made it at once international in his ability and national in style and repertoire with the distinctiveness that to this day is its distinctive and makes it interesting, seen through the eyes of the world.

Bournonville choreographed approximately 50 ballets, of which almost ten are preserved, which is a larger repertoire from the Romantic period than any other company can muster. Among the preserved major works are Sylfiden (1836), Napoli (1842), Kermessen in Bruges (1851) and Et Folkesagn (1854).

After August Bournonville, the Danish ballet had a quiet year. The successors cared about the tradition, first and foremost Hans Beck, who in the 1890’s collected school levels and variations from the ballets to the so-called Bournonville schools.

The renewal of the Danish ballet came in the 20th century. Guest performances by Mikhail Fokin in 1925 and George Balanchine 1930-31 were inspiring, but it was Harald Lander who got the ballet into a new flourishing, where the lifeblood has been a contrast between a modern repertoire and a fidelity to the Bournonville tradition that Harald Lander used together with Valborg Borchsenius.

Harald Lander, who was ballet master 1932-51, was also a choreographer, and with a repertoire built around the prima ballerina Margot Lander, he made the ballet immensely popular. In a collaboration with the composer Knudåge Riisager and the author Kjeld Abell, he used the ballet as a national collection mark in the occupation years 1940-45, and after World War II he stood with an impressive company.

The highlight of his creative power was Etudes (1948), which later formed the basis of his own international fame. During the Lander period, ballets by Nini Theilade, Niels Bjørn Larsen and Børge Ralov were also important. The latter created together with Kjeld Abell and the composer Bernhard Christensen in 1934 The Widow in the Mirror, which is the first modern ballet in Denmark.

In the 1950’s, the Royal Ballet continued its path towards the international. Summer festivals were held annually, and there were tours to London in 1953, Edinburgh in 1955, and the United States in 1956, which was a breakthrough.

A string of the best choreographers of the time came to Copenhagen to work with the Royal Ballet: George Balanchine, Birgit Cullberg, Roland Petit and Frederick Ashton, who in 1955 created the first western version of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet for the Royal Ballet.

Niels Bjørn Larsen, the 20th century’s greatest Danish mime artist, was a ballet master in the 1950’s and first half of the 1960’s, replaced for a few years (1956-58) by the solo dancer Frank Schaufuss (1921-1997).

In 1966, Flemming Flindt took over the post of ballet master, and a new era began, first and foremost marked by Flindt introducing the new dance (modern dance) into the repertoire. He himself debuted as a choreographer with Enetime (1963), built on a play by Eugène Ionesco, with whom he also collaborated on the period’s greatest success, The Triumph of Death (1971). The Danish dancers danced barefoot in Paul Taylor’s ballet Aureole (1968), and a number of other modern dance choreographers found their way to the repertoire.

In 1978-85, Henning Kronstam was ballet master. The ballet’s international reputation was confirmed through tours and through the Bournonville Festival in 1979. The centenary of August Bournonville’s death became an event that demonstrated that Denmark, by virtue of its heritage from the Romantic period, occupies a special position on the world map.

Frank Andersen, ballet master 1985-94, continued the Bournonville tradition. In 1991, he got Queen Margrethe II to create scenography for Et Folkesagn. Peter Schaufuss, who was ballet master 1994-95, continued the line towards a Danish repertoire.

However, Danish choreographers are in short supply, but Anna Lærkesen has created works that build on the neoclassical style in a personal way. In addition, significant modern works by Tim Rushton, Requiem (2006).

Of international choreographers, John Neumeier and John Cranko in particular redeemed the Danish dancers’ sense of the psychological dramatic in the 1970’s and 1980’s, but otherwise The Royal Ballet now appears as a modern, classical company with a repertoire that goes from Balanchine to the great Russian classics such as the Tchaikovsky ballets Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. Most recently, Alexei Ratmansky has enriched the repertoire with The Nutcracker (2001) and Anna Karenina (2004), both co-created with set designer Mikael Melbye.

The ballet masters changed rapidly in the 1990’s: Johnny Eliasen 1995-97, Maina Gielgud 1997-1999 and Aage Thordal Christensen 1999-2001. It provided a troubled artistic policy, and the company first found its way back to the Bournonville tradition when Frank Andersen returned to the Ballet Master’s Chair in 2002 and completed the successful Third Bournonville Festival in 2005.

The dance life outside the Royal Theater was modest for a long time. Since 1844, Tivoli’s Pantomime Theater has cultivated a pantomime form derived from the Italian commedia dell’arte, mixed with a Danish ballet tradition. For most of the 20th century, the Pantomime Theater also housed the only permanent ballet company outside the Royal Theater. It was abolished in 1991, but since the mid-1970’s, Tivoli has every year invited leading international companies to perform.

Since 2001, Claus Hjort (b. 1960) as artistic director of the Pantomime Theater has seen new eyes on the commedia dell’arte tradition and re-introduced popular ballet performances, including several with scenography by Queen Margrethe and choreography by Dinna Bjørn. Other initiatives such as Elsa Marianne von Rosens and Allan Fridericia’s The Scandinavian Ballet in the 1960’s were significant at the time, but survived only briefly.

The new dance came late to Denmark. Martha Graham visited Copenhagen in 1954, but it was not until the 1960’s that smaller groups began working with dance inspired by newer American personalities such as Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham.

Among the most important was the women’s group Living Movement, grdl. 1971-72, and Eske Holm’s group, grdl. 1975. None of the initiatives from the 1970’s held. On the other hand, Nyt Dansk Danseteater did, which arose from Randi Patterson’s projects approximately 1980. With Randi Patterson herself, Warren Spears and Anette Abildgaard as choreographers, Denmark has finally got a modern company with level, manifested in a number of major performances. Tim Rushton has been the leader of Nyt Dansk Danseteater since 2001, which with the name Dansk Danseteater moved into the Folketeatret in 2005 and is the largest modern company.

Also important for the dance interest have been the big summer events such as Festival of Fools and Dancin ‘City, which have brought the latest international dance wave to Copenhagen.

The situation at the end of the century is an active dance life with a number of smaller groups such as Corona, Dance Lab, Micado, New Now Dancers, Tanger Tango and Uppercut in Copenhagen and Granhøj Dans and BMT Danseteater in Aarhus. In 1985, the training center Dansens Hus was established; in 1992, Denmark finally received an education for modern dance, and in addition, Copenhagen in 1993 got the dance stage for new dance.

Dance life outside the Royal Theater has flourished with a number of young choreographers, including Kenneth Kreutzmann, Tim Feldmann, Sara Gebran, Palle Granhøj, Thomas Eisenhardt, Anders Christiansen, Kitt Johnson and Mute Comp (Jacob Stage and Kasper Ravnhøj).

With a permanent station in Holstebro since 1997 and great audience success, Peter Schaufuss has created his own company of foreign dancers who dance his choreographies.

In the borderland between dance and theater, Billedstofteatret moved, for the first time in 1977, later with the name Hotel Proforma, where Kirsten Dehlholm creates performances with a bizarre, surreal and strongly vivid visual imagination.

From having only been ballet for centuries, theater dance in Denmark today is a diversity of styles and forms of expression that reach for new and sometimes provocative perceptions of what dance is.

Denmark – social dance

Dance at parties and sociability is mentioned in many stories, but Danish source material with details of certain dance forms is known only from the 18th century, where the main forms of ballroom dancing are the couple dances Polish dance and the menu and English dance, in which several couples dance together.

In Ludvig Holberg’s comedy Mascarade (1724), for example, dance names such as English dance, the menu and cotillon associated with the dance repertoire on contemporary masquerade balls are mentioned, and in the comedy Jeppe paa Bjerget (1722), Polish dance is mentioned, which is associated with simple people.

These dance names are repeated in the preserved handwritten sheet music books from the middle of the 18th century, where the large number of minuet melodies also testifies to the minuet’s popularity.

At the end of the 18th century, dance books with the court’s dance repertoire were published in Copenhagen; the main content is English dances (often with French titles), in which the dancers are lined up in two rows opposite each other.

Dances of this type are handed down in large numbers in the Danish folk dance repertoire, which, however, is almost even more characterized by dances rooted in the 18th century French counter-dance form with the dance couples arranged in a square, a form which apparently approximately 1790 had almost disappeared in Copenhagen.

After 1800, the simpler ecossaiser (English dances in the Scottish style) became popular, and the French contra dance form came approximately 1830 again in a new form as françaiser or quadrilles (counter- dance series), often with music from popular theater melodies.

The great dance fashion of the 19th century was the waltz, which characterized the dance music. Initially covered the concept of roller pairs round dance in both binary and triple time, but gradually became designation reserved waltz in three-piece (especially 3/4) step, and the split roll were named as Scottish waltz, hopsavals or hamburg roll.

In the 1840’s, polka held its entrance, and it was immediately recorded by the leading dance melody composer of the time, HC Lumbye, who also composed waltzes, mazurkas and quadrilles.

From the middle of the century, the cotillon became the pinnacle of the balls, in which cotillon tours (partly party games) broke up the round dance (especially waltz or polka) and gave rise to a change of partner. The still popular quadrille Les lanciers was introduced approximately 1860

National romantic currents and the emergence of American-inspired ballroom dancing were among the driving forces for a growing interest in Danish folk dances, which led to the founding of the Association for the Promotion of Folk Dance in 1901, which in the following years collected folk dances around the country and published them in a number of booklets. melodies and dance descriptions.

This dance repertoire includes a large number of couple dances and tour dances for several couples rooted in both 18th and 19th century dance traditions. Many of the dances are mutual variants. At the same time, collections of singing games were also published, which at this time were primarily the children’s repertoire. The folk dancers organized themselves in associations all over the country, and in 1929 the National Association of Danish Folk Dancers was founded.

The modern party dances (onestep, tango, boston) from approximately 1910 provided new material for the dance teachers and a renewal in the ball repertoire, which resulted in the progress of the dance schools and led to the founding of a number of dance teacher organizations; the first, Danse-Ringen, was founded in 1917.

The dance schools’ repertoire is especially modern ballroom dancing as well as special children’s dances rooted in older dance.

Denmark – music

Denmark – music, The oldest times

The earliest testimonies of musical manifestations in Denmark are the large, twisted bronze horns, which date from the Bronze Age. Shortly after the first specimens (three pairs) were found in a bog by Brudevælte in 1797, they got the name lur attached to them. 61 lures have been found (most recently 1988) in southern Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea region, most in Denmark (38). They are most often found in pairs, but it is unknown what they have been used for. The same goes for the two golden horns that have been interpreted by some as musical instruments.

The sparse information that exists about the music life in Denmark in the period up to and around the introduction of Christianity, comes from the poems, sagas and chronicles that Saxo Grammaticus also used as a basis for Gesta Danorum (approximately 1200).

It tells of the power of music over King Erik Ejegod, of traveling musicians (leikari), who are mentioned with contempt, while singers and poets enjoy a higher reputation.

In the 13th and early 14th centuries, German memorial singers such as Tannhäuser and Frauenlob performed at Danish courts. The only written secular song handed down in Danish from this time is a stanza added in the so-called Codex runicus, which contains Scanian Law. The text, which begins with the words Drømdæ mik æn drøm i nat, is written in runes, while the music is written in an unrhythmic notation on a four-line system.

After the murder of Knud the Holy in 1086, English monks were brought to Denmark by his brother, King Erik Ejegod, to cultivate his memory. The music that was composed to celebrate this first Danish martyr has been lost; in return, the liturgy of Knud Lavard (1170) is handed down.

In 1103, Skt. Laurentius Church in Lund elevated to archbishopric, and the new cathedral was given by Archbishop Eskil Suneson in 1145 the first Nordic crucifixion statutes.

Some sequences written in Lund’s cathedral chapter’s gift book (Liber daticus Lundensis, approximately 1170) suggest connections to France and the new university in Paris, but very little is known about the music in the Danish churches from this time. However, it is known that the larger churches soon got organs, eg Ribe Cathedral approximately 1290 and Lund Cathedral before 1330.

Around 1200, Giraldus Cambrensis described the polyphonic song he had heard in northern England; this way of singing he attributes to the Danish and Norwegian immigrants who had inhabited the area for generations. The earliest polyphonic songs in a Danish source (perhaps apart from a hymn in the Knud Lavard liturgy) are found in a manuscript from approximately 1450.

Denmark – music – 16th and 17th century

Like foreign princes, the Danish kings spent a lot of money to surround themselves with music. The court music had from ancient times been organized in three groups: A permanent trumpet corps was attached to the court at Christian I’s coronation in 1448, while the first list of a choir (cantor) is from 1519, at which time the royal chapel also included an instrumental ensemble.

Although the musical tradition from this period is scattered, it is possible through a number of sources to form a picture of aspects of the music at court. Through two sets of handwritten, incompletely handed down voice books dated 1541 and 1556, we get an impression of how works by the leading foreign masters of the time have found their way to Copenhagen in the middle of the 16th century.

The collections, which have been used by the court chapel under Christian III, contain music by Dutch, Italian, French, German and Danish composers, among the last associate professor of mathematics and music at the University of Copenhagen 1539-45, Mads Hak (d.1555); the local Jørgen Presten is also represented.

A collection of sheet music from Flensburg, which at the end of the 20th century has attracted renewed interest from research, contains sources for the musical life under Frederik II, including the music that was sung at the inauguration of the magnificent Kronborg Fountain in 1583. A preliminary high point was reached. the court music under Christian IV, who to an unprecedented extent spent funds on training local talents and summoning foreign masters.

The most important of the king’s Danish musicians was Mogens Pedersøn (approximately 1583-1623), who in Venice had a collection of madrigals printed and later in Copenhagen published his church musical masterpiece Pratum spirituale.

Among the many foreign musicians to be highlighted are John Dowland from England, known for his melancholic songs for lute accompaniment, and the conductor from Dresden, Heinrich Schütz, who stayed in Denmark for several periods and conducted court music at the great festivities in 1634 at Prince Christian’s wedding.

The current tendencies towards ecclesiastical reforms can be traced to some early attempts to introduce hymns in Danish in 1528. In the same year, the first Danish mass system with Danish text was published, the so-called Malmö Mass, although Lutheranism was not made a state religion in Denmark until 1536.

After scattered influences, theater music really gained a foothold during the reign of Frederik III and Christian V, not least under the impression of the music at the Sun King’s court in Versailles; also at the Danish court, now French-inspired, richly equipped allegorical court ballets were performed.

From here, the step was not far to the actual all-night opera, which was introduced with the performance of Der vereinigte Götterstreit on the king’s birthday in 1689. At the repeat of the performance a few days later for a wider circle of invited bread the theater on fire, and a large number of people perished, which for a time slowed down the desire for opera.

Much of the court music belonged in the church. But also outside the court, of course, there was a need for church music. After the Reformation in 1536, the Lutheran congregational song soon penetrated, and in 1569 the first authorized hymnal in Denmark was published, Hans Thomesen’s hymnal, provided with beautifully printed melodies for the individual hymns. Thomas’ hymnal was the church’s daily hymnal; Jespersøn’s Graduale from 1573 was intended for the clerk and the choir and was especially aimed at the high mass. It was replaced in 1699 by Thomas King’s gradual as an expression of the new church system of the autocracy.

Of course, music has also had its place outside the court and the church. In school and at the university, comedies with music were performed. In the cities, the tower blowers proclaimed the course of the day and marked important events in the daily life of the city, and in the homes, songs were sung.

A particularly variegated repertoire is the so-called folk songs, which were written down in noble circles from the middle of the 16th century, and which became very important for 19th century music and poetry with Werner Abrahamson, Rasmus Nyerup and Knud Lyne Rahbek’s edition of lyrics and melodies in the years 1812-14.

Denmark – music – 18th and 19th century

To replace the burnt down Sophie Amalienborg, Frederik IV opened a new opera house in Copenhagen in 1703, whose first performance was an opera by the Italian Bartolomeo Bernardi.

In 1721-23, Reinhard Keizer visited the city ​​with his opera troupe from Hamburg, and in 1722, two French actors were allowed to set up a theater in Copenhagen. Here, comedies were performed by Molière and Ludvig Holberg, many of them with music.

But it soon got into financial difficulties and after the Copenhagen fire in 1728 had to close completely. Under the Pietist king Christian VI, theater operations were banned. It was not until 1747 that the theater was reopened, and the following year it moved into a new building under the name Den Danske Skueplads. From the beginning, the music was provided by the city musician and his journeymen, but from 1770, the king’s orchestra, the Royal Chapel, was attached to the theater.

Musical gatherings and public concerts took place in Copenhagen from the beginning of the 18th century, in Det Musikalske Societet (grdl. 1744), where JE Iversen, JA Scheibe and Holberg were the driving forces.

It had to close in 1749, defeated by the “enemy”, the Italian opera, but soon new companies and clubs appeared where amateurs could unfold, from time to time assisted by professional musicians, from the Royal Chapel.

When Pietro Mingotti’s Italian Opera Company gave guest performances in 1747 and the following few seasons, the opera really made its entrance in Copenhagen. With him, Mingotti in turn brought the bandmasters Christoph Willibald Gluck, Paolo Scalabrini and Giuseppe Sarti. The last two remained in the service of the court for a number of years, and Sarti provided music for the first singing game with Danish lyrics (1756).

More memorable were Johannes Ewald’s singing games Balder’s Death (1779) and The Fishermen (1780) with national themes and with music by the German – born Johan Peter Emilius Hartmann. JAP Schulz ‘ Høstgildet (1790) and Peters Bryllup (1793) gained Danish singing games widespread popularity.

Some of the songs from here, like his fine, simple Lieder im Volkston, quickly became known to the population. His successor FLÆ. Kunzen followed up the success with a large number of works (including Holger Danske). Schulz and Kunzen also brought Haydn’s and Mozart’s music to the country. Their own music is influenced by the French singing games and by the Viennese classics. Ballet music was composed by Claus Schall.

A Danish uniqueness in music was actually due to composers who had immigrated from Germany. CEF Weyse came to Copenhagen in 1789 at the age of 15 and became a student of Schulz. He remained here until his death in 1842 and became the one who created the Danish romance.

Friedrich Kuhlau, who came to Copenhagen in 1810, never became quite so Danish, but he wrote music for the festival Elverhøi (1828), in which the melody for the Danish national anthem King Christian appears. Both came as pianists and later became famous as theater composers. Weyse also became known as a church musician, while Kuhlau’s name was especially associated with the flute. Some of Weyse’s romances stem from his singing, such as Sovedrikken (1809), Et Eventyr i Rosenborg Have (1827) and Festen paa Kenilworth (1836). Of Kuhlau’s operas, Røverborgen (1814) and Rossini-inspired Lulu (1824) were particularly successful.

Since the end of the 18th century, the Royal Theater has been a meeting place for the educated, the academics and the top of the bourgeoisie. After 1836, one could also gather in the Music Association, which was founded with the aim of publishing Danish music, but developed into a concert institution.

From 1850 it was under the direction of Niels W. Gade, who had become internationally recognized through his concert overture Echoes of Ossian (1840) and his 1st Symphony (1842), the first national romantic works. For some years Gade, together with Felix Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, had been the conductor of the Gewandhaus concerts in Leipzig, but due to the war in 1848 he returned home and he now became a central figure in music life with JPE Hartmann.

They both co-founded the Royal Danish Academy of Music in 1867, and they also worked as organists, Hartmann at Our Lady’s Church, Gade at Holmen’s Church. Hartmann wrote the opera Liden Kirsten (1846) as well as music for a number of ballets and plays with national themes. Gade wrote a total of eight symphonies and choral works such as Elverskud (1854).

The Cæcilia Association, founded in 1851 by Henrik Rung, brought especially the older vocal music to performance.

The romance, the song at the piano, was cultivated in the second half of the 19th century by Peter Heise, who also wrote the opera Drot og Marsk (1877), and by PE Lange-Müller.

Church music. Pietism had come to Denmark through Hans Adolph Brorson’s poetry and left its mark on the church song through Pontoppidan’s Psalm Book (1742), which became the last with sheet music for the hymn melodies.

Organ-accompanied hymn singing then became common, and the choral books testify to a slow and stiff choral singing towards the end of the 18th century.

Grundtvig’s hymn poetry evoked a need for a livelier hymn singing, and the romance gradually penetrated the churches, as can be seen in Andreas Peter Berggreen’s (1853), Henrik Rungs’ (1857) and Christian Barnekow’s (1878) choral books. In the late 1800’s, Thomas Laub reacted against this worldly tendency. His restoration of the old melodies found expression in the choral book Dansk Kirkesang (1918).

Folk song. National currents and political movements, those that led to the Constitution of 1849, and later popular groupings, such as around high schools and in the labor movement, created the basis for community singing, which evoked a large number of melodies and songbooks throughout the 19th century.

This was the background for the reform of folk song in the early 20th century with composers such as Thorvald Aagaard, Carl Nielsen and Oluf Ring.

Denmark – music – 20th century

In the first decades of the 20th century, Danish tonal art was above all characterized by Carl Nielsen’s six symphonies, his operas, chamber music works, songs and piano music. He is considered to be one of the greatest Danish composers ever. He was based on the late romantic tradition, but developed a personal style. Rued Langgaard, on the other hand, stuck to a late romantic-oriented style in his extensive production.

Composers born in the first half of the century grew up with a classical aesthetic as a background, as it was expressed by Carl Nielsen as well as Finn Høffding, Vagn Holmboe and Herman D. Koppel.

Common to them all was a self-understanding, which was created in a Danish and Nordic tone world. Younger composers such as Niels Viggo Bentzon, Per Nørgård, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen and Bent Lorentzen had a greater need to orient themselves towards Central European modernism. These composers reacted critically to the aesthetics of modernism, Per Nørgård in the form of the “universe of the Nordic mind”, which was a declaration of love for a Nordic tone with Vagn Holmboe and Jean Sibelius as guiding stars. But Nørgård’s searching mind soon found this compositional credo too narrow. The breakup meant musical explorations in the Central European new music environment.

Several composers of the same generation, Ib Nørholm, Henning Christiansen, the younger Ole Buck as well as Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, responded to the complexity of modernism by striving for the opposite: they composed extremely simply. They gave name to the “new simplicity” in Danish music, a very special version of the minimalist form of expression. They insisted on many forms of expression, collages, ironic play with quotes and style elements from older music. Since then, these composers have changed direction, each creating their own personal perspective on their own previous works.

The composers who voluntarily allowed themselves to be swallowed up by the expression of modernism found it difficult in a musical environment that was not mature enough to accept the uncompromising attitude to the musical material. This applies, for example, to Gunnar Berg, who was one of the first to adopt the serial technique.

Axel Borup-Jørgensen’s music is also grounded in a modernist aesthetic, but without a dogmatic and consistent attitude to expression and form; Borup-Jørgensen works with lyrical imagery, which are sensitive empaths in the forms of aphorism, with chamber music as the preferred genre.

The starting point for Bent Lorentzen was the serial music, and he oriented himself towards the international avant-garde. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, he was inspired by electronic music, but, like other pioneers of the time, chose to abandon pure electronic music. Mogens Winkel Holm has never belonged to any school or aesthetic direction. He could therefore in his compositions be based on the post-war Central European modernism, without its dogma at any time being an aesthetic guiding star for him.

In the childhood of electronic music, the composers Else Marie Pade and Jørgen Plaetner were the pioneers who showed the way for electroacoustic music.

Among Danish composers born in the 1920’s, we find a number of names who have distinguished themselves with original works characterized by rigor in form and movement and clarity of expression: Tage Nielsen, Poul Rovsing Olsen (1922-82), Leif Thybo and Erik Norby. This also includes an outsider like Bernhard Lewkovitch.

The dogmatic philosophy of innovation of the 1950’s no longer plays a role as a norm-setter, but experience is left with a demand for inner coherence and consistency. That seems to be the key word for a composer like Poul Ruders. In the beginning he wrote works with irony, distance and pastiches, in the same way as other prominent figures of his generation did: Bo Holten, Karl Aage Rasmussen and Hans Abrahamsen. Up through the 1980’s, Poul Ruders, like his colleagues, freed himself from this distancing world of expression.

The last two decades of the 20th century have shown new talents in electroacoustic music and computer music, such as Gunnar Møller Pedersen, Ivar Frounberg and Wayne Siegel. Their peers Bent Sørensen, Erik Højsgaard, Anders Nordentoft, Niels Rosing-Schow, Svend Hvidtfelt Nielsen and Karsten Fundal have marked themselves as influential in their generation.

Among other things. In the wake of the opening of The Second Opera in 1995, around the year 2000 in Denmark there was renewed interest in the opera genre with successful chamber operas such as Lars Klits Anatomical Opera (1998), Eva Noer Kondrup’s Neja (2000) and Poul Ruders’ The Maid’s Tale (1998).

Denmark – music: Institutions and music life

Apart from the Royal Chapel, whose ancestry dates back to 1448, the institutionalized Danish music life arose in the 19th century according to the European model and on private initiative.

Conservatories and orchestras were founded, publishing houses were established, and the practice of music flourished under the auspices of associations. This pattern changed around 1930, when the new media gramophone and radio began to assert themselves at the expense of “live” musical performances.

Since then, it has increasingly been considered a public task to educate musicians and support and develop the music scene at all levels across the country. This trend was documented in 1976 in the Music Act, which in principle has a decentralized support policy. Over the years, the funds for music life have been greatly increased, so that jazz, rock and experimental forms of music are also taken into account.

Danish operas and symphony orchestras
institution year of establishment
The Royal Opera approx. 1750
The Jutland Opera 1947
Symphony Orchestras
The Royal Chapel 1448
Tivoli Symphony Orchestra 1843; from 1965, the orchestra works during the winter season as a regional orchestra under the name Sjællands Symfoniorkester *
The Radio Symphony Orchestra 1925
Aarhus Symphony Orchestra * 1935
The Radio Entertainment Orchestra 1939
Aalborg Symphony Orchestra * 1943
Odense Symphony Orchestra * 1946
Sønderjyllands Symfoniorkester * 1963
Collegium Musicum 1981
* Regional orchestras

Denmark has two operas, seven fully developed symphony orchestras, six conservatories, 7,000 organized professional musicians and composers, over 100 music festivals and a nationwide network of music schools for children and young people (1995).

Within the commercially based music industry, there are a large number of record companies and publishers, several of which significantly passed into foreign hands in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Denmark – jazz

Jazz came to Denmark, first with American records, then with visits by musicians and orchestras. The first Danish jazz orchestra was founded by saxophonist Valdemar Eiberg in 1923, and in the following years pioneers such as saxophonist Kai Ewans, trumpet player Peter Rasmussen and pianist Leo Mathisen, who were all active, also as orchestra leaders, appeared through the 1930’s and 1940’s. erne. The composer Bernhard Christensen was already inspired by jazz in the 1920’s; he wrote several so-called jazz oratorios in the 1930’s, and he used the rhythms and improvisation of jazz in his music pedagogical work.

Musically and professionally, Danish jazz had a golden age during the German occupation, where also younger names such as violinist Svend Asmussen and pianist Kjeld Bonfils were prominent. With the liberation came an abrupt downturn in which almost the entire established generation slipped into the background. From 1950, older and younger styles were introduced, now on an amateur basis, and only from around 1960 did the professional musician become the basis again.

In the years since then, Danish jazz has gained a more secure foothold in Denmark and has gained considerable international reputation, among other things. with the orchestras Radioens Big Band and Pierre Dørges New Jungle Orchestra (Danish state ensemble 1993) and with musicians such as trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg, bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, saxophonist John Tchicai and percussionist Marilyn Mazur.

Two Copenhagen jazz houses, Montmartre (from 1959) and Copenhagen Jazzhouse (grdl. 1991), have had great significance for international and Danish jazz life.

Without it meant any decline in the popularity of the generation of musicians who had given jazz a new golden age in Denmark in the 1960’s, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Alex Riel, Palle Mikkelborg, Jesper Thilo and Thomas Clausen, it became clear from the early 1990’s that younger musicians renounced the be-bop music of the 1940’s as their main inspiration and sucked from rock, funk, folk music, world music and jazz’s own, early styles.

At the same time, the stage was conquered by the first litters of musicians trained at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen (founded 1986). From the mid-1990’s, jazz in Denmark, as in the other European countries, developed in many and wildly growing directions as a result of the open-minded inspiration and the many genre transgressions and mergers.

Around the turn of the millennium, the scene is dominated by saxophonists Fredrik Lundin, Lars Møller (b. 1966) and Thomas Agergaard (b. 1962), trumpeter and composer Jens Winther, pianists Nikolaj Bentzon and Carsten Dahl (b. 1967) and drummer Kresten Osgood (b. 1976).

Denmark – rock music

The post-war Danish youth music in the 1950’s was characterized by the Americanization of the entertainment industry that took place throughout Western Europe. Rock’n’roll culture’s dance, films and records were exported, and in Denmark it was jazz and dance orchestras that initially presented the new style, Ib Glindemann and Peter Plejl’s orchestras and soloists Ib “Rock” Jensen and Otto Brandenburg. In the late 1950’s, bands were formed that, modeled on the English group The Shadows, played barbed wire music.Among the most famous groups were The Cliffters and The Rocking Ghosts. The English rhythm & blues style of the 1960’s inspired The Beefeaters and The Defenders, whereas The Hitmakers and Sir Henry and his Butlers were more influenced by beat music.

In 1967, the group Steppeulvene released the LP Hip, which meant a breakthrough for an actual Danish beat music. The lyrics, written in Danish, were fabulous and personal, and the music was clearly influenced by folk rock (including Bob Dylan) and westcoast rock. The influence from the American music scene also inspired Savage Rose, Alrune Rod and Young Flowers. The music was at all searching and experimenting in the late 1960’s, and many jazz musicians began playing beat music, eg in groups Maxwell, Burnin ‘Red Ivanhoe and Blue Sun. The beat music of the 1960’s was replaced by the 1970’srock music. The lyrics became debating and socially critical, and a political rock scene emerged around e.g. Red Mother and Virgin Ane Band. One of Danish rock music’s biggest audience successes, Gasolin ‘ (1969-78) (with the singer and composer Kim Larsen), created a very special Danish rock music with mouth-watering lyrics and singable melodies. Other well-known names that profiled Danish rock were Shu-bi-dua, CV Jørgensen and the Aarhus groups Gnags and Shit & Chanel, which proved that rock music was not just a Copenhagen phenomenon.

The 1980’s Danish rock scene was characterized by well-sounding and beautifully produced pop and rock music, created by eg Sneakers (with Sanne Salomonsen) as well as the soloists Lis Sørensen, Anne Linnet and Sebastian, but also punk and new wave-inspired groups such as Kliché, Sods/Sort Sol and Miss B. Haven marked the music scene of the period. The group TV-2 was successful with their comments on the lifestyle of the 1980’s.

The professional rock music of the 1990’s is directly inspired by American rock and pop music, and the songs often have English lyrics such as with Thomas Helmig, D: A: D and Michael Learns to Rock. See also rock music.

In 1993, Lars HUG was the first rock musician to receive the Statens Kunstfond’s three-year work grant, and he has since continued his English-language life with the renewal of the evergreen and hit genre. Rap and hip hop really got a Danish expression in the 1990’s with groups such as East Coast Hustlers, The Bumblebee Knights and The Crazy Bag. Clemens (b. 1979), Malk de Koijn and Outlandish further developed the Danish hip hop, which had had its breakthrough in the 1980’s with MC Einar and Rockers by Choice. The Green Wave – the grunge-inspired 1990’s bands Dizzy Mizz Lizzy, Kashmir, Inside the Whale and Psyched Up Janis- underwent around 2000 a generational change with a melodic, English-language guitar rock played by names like Tim Christensen, Jupiter Day and Saybia. Female singer-songwriters such as Marie Frank and Tina Dickow as well as Danish-speaking Karen Busck (b. 1975) are also renewing the rock scene. Among the experimental, Danish-speaking artists are the techno- and ballad-inspired group Sorten Muld and the folk-rock-inspired group Under Byen as well as the subtle Tobias Trier. In the 1990’s, Danish pop had export success with Aqua, Cartoons and Michael Learns to Rock. In 2001, Safri Duo found its way into dance and trance music.

After the turn of the millennium, Danish popular music has unfolded in diverse directions. Danish-language pop music, sometimes with influences from R&B and hip hop, achieved great success. Some of the leading names have been Nik & Jay, Rasmus Seebach, Medina and Burhan G (eg. Burhan Genç Koç, b. 1983). The dancehall genre had a Danish breakthrough with Natasja’s posthumous success from 2007. Many artists sang in English, often with an original approach that has attracted international attention, such as Efterklang, Agnes Obel, Fallulah, Oh Land, Alphabeat, Lukas Graham and MØ.

The rock scene has also received international attention, such as Volbeat, The Raveonettes, Mew and Dúné. In 2014, the psychedelic rock group Spids Nøgenhat attracted a lot of attention with Danish-language rock; the group became banner bearers for an underground rock scene that thrived despite limited media attention.

Danish hip hop was continued into the 2000’s. of LOC, Niarn and Raske Penge (eg. Rasmus Poulsen, b. 1977).

Denmark – folk music

Folk music in Denmark is characterized by the country’s openness to cultural influences from outside and by the contact between city and country.

The vocal folk music consists of a main group of songs (medieval ballads, “reverberation songs” from the 16th and 17th centuries and newer songs), in addition to small genres (rhymes, strips and shouts), singing games and folk hymn singing.

The instrumental folk music is mainly dance music, but it has also been used in connection with ceremonies and work. Of professional musicians, there are three kinds in particular: ” fiddlers ” in the countryside (ball musicians who often have music as a side job), farm singers and pub musicians in the cities.

Medieval ballads have lived in the singing tradition until the 20th century. approximately 600 such shows with more than 2000 melody variants have been handed down. The ballads have been used for chain dancing in the Middle Ages, later they have been sung solo.

The melodies contain some of the oldest and most distinctive folk music in Denmark, formal structures and pentatone features are seen without unambiguous fundamental centering. In the 16th and 17th centuries, new spiritual, secular and historical song types were developed with a clearer modal character with cadences and a firmer metric and architectural structure. In the 18th and 19th centuries, numerous major and minor types of song emerged, where a chordal sense became noticeable in the melodies, and the forms became more symmetrical. approximately In 1800, the major tonality became dominant in both folk singing and folk dance music.

Wandering jokers and doctors have given impetus to folk music in the Middle Ages. In the late Middle Ages, urban and military musicians were recruited from their ranks. During the period, the city musicians had approximately 1650-1800 exclusive right to all paid music practice by citizens and peasants.

They often leased lands away to local fiddlers. Polish dance was very popular with the peasants in the 18th century, and the menu and English dance were incorporated into the folk tradition. In some dance melodies that arose before 1780, one can find irregular phrase structures, modal and minor tonality as well as formulaic imprints.

After 1800, the melodies almost always consist of sections of eight bars, which are repeated. Only in dance melodies from a few localities, Fanø and Læsø, can we today find other tonalities than major. The characteristic new dances in the 19th century were pair dances such as waltz, hopsa, polka, mazurka, gallop and scottish as well as various tour dances. Regional differences still exist in the late 20th century in both repertoire and playing style.

In the period from the Middle Ages to 1800, we have scattered information about the use of instruments such as gig/fedel/fajle, bagpipe, langeleg, lira, hops, chopping board, Jewish harp, drum, scallop and various flutes.

approximately In the 1700’s, drums and “peasant errors” were the most important peasant instruments (in interplay or alone). The bug was replaced in the 18th century by the violin as the dominant instrument for the peasant musicians. Shell/clarinet, flute and string bass have been used around 1800.

Soldiers introduced military instruments such as oboe, bassoon and horn. At least from the beginning of the 19th century, the players’ instruments were professionally produced, possibly. factory made. Outdoor be used in the 1800’s trumpet, grain and trumpet, and these are also discussed in the ball room in the second half of the 1800’s when the ensembles was extended to four-six.

From the 1870’s onwards, the accordion was introduced and quickly became as important an instrument as the violin. The guitar has been a typical farm singer instrument in the cities since the mid-19th century.

In connection with the penetration of new American dance forms after the First World War, piano and drum kits also entered the orchestral orchestras in many places. Homemade instruments include clarinet bowler, city horn (cohorn), city drum (cylinder drum) and rumble pot, as well as various shepherd boy instruments.

The youth uprising in the 1960’s led to an interest in Irish, Scottish and American folk music (folk-revival) and since the 1970’s also to an active occupation with Danish and Nordic folk music. This led to a significant exposure of authentic performers such as violinist Evald Thomsen and singer Ingeborg Munch. A long-term result of this local folk revival is the large, annual music festivals in Tønder and Skagen as well as many smaller musicians’ conventions.

In the 1980’s, artists such as Niels Hausgaard, Povl Dissing and Benny Andersen maintained and expanded their popularity on the song music scene, while Lars Lilholt, Johnny Madsen and Allan Olsen orientated themselves more towards the rock expression. In the 1990’s, new forms of mixing were created between folk music and other music genres, partly among a new generation of musicians with groups such as Serras, Kætterkvartet and Sorten Muld. This tradition continued into the 2000’s. with Valravn.

The establishment of the folk music line at the Funen Music Conservatory in 1998 marked that the new folk music had become an established genre in music life.

Denmark – film

The first film screenings in Denmark took place in June 1896 in the cinema Panorama on Rådhuspladsen in Copenhagen with a repertoire of foreign-produced films.

Silent film

Denmark. Fyrtaarnet og Bivognen (Carl Schenstrøm and Harald Madsen), also known as Fy og Bi, were among Denmark’s most popular movie stars throughout the silent film period, and they also became known beyond the country’s borders. Their characteristic silhouettes are depicted here on the poster for the film comedy Krudt med Knald from 1931.

The earliest Danish filmmaker was the photographer Peter Elfelt, who in 1896-1912 recorded approximately 200 short reportage films about society in Denmark; the first was Driving with Greenlandic Dogs. He also made the first staged film, The Execution (1903).

In 1906, cinema owner Ole Olsen founded Denmark’s first film company, Nordisk Films Kompagni, which was mainly based on the large export market of short films in several genres. It was not until 1909 that other Danish companies were established, and by 1910 the number had risen to ten. From the spring of 1910, Nordisk Film changed policy and focused on contemporary film, e.g. inspired by the Aarhus-based company Fotoramas Den hvide Slavehandel (1910), which was Danish film’s first multi-reel film (over 30 min).

With the longer duration came greater immersion in the scenes and a growing artistic awareness. It is seen in Urban Gads Afgrunden (1910) for the company Kosmorama, which made Asta Nielsen Europe’s first big female movie star. The film was an erotic melodrama, and it became the favorite genre through the next years’ “golden age” for Danish film. Nordisk Film’s first attempt in the genre, August Bloms Ved Fængslets Port (1911), was a breakthrough for Valdemar Psilander, who became the period’s biggest male star.

In 1911, Nordisk Film was the first of the large European companies to focus entirely on feature films that could be sold in several hundred copies abroad. It was especially the technical and photographic quality of the films that impressed internationally. The company’s financial success, which in 1912 gave shareholders 60% in dividends, led to the creation of a number of competing companies.

Most, however, had only a short lifespan. After 1913, Danish film began to lose its leading position. Foreign film companies also made feature films, and competition was fierce. Several Danish companies began to produce ambitious literary films, including Holger-Madsen’s Elskovsleg (1913) and August Bloms Atlantis (1913) based on the novels of Arthur Schnitzler and Gerhart Hauptmann, respectively.

In 1914, the pacifist Ned med Vaabnene was recorded with a script by Carl Th. Dreyer after Bertha von Suttner’s novel. Nordisk Film also broadcast a large number of shorter comedies, most directed by Lau Lauritzen.

The independent Benjamin Christensen had great success with the spy story The Secret X (1914) and the criminal melodrama The Night of Revenge (1916), both of which are masterpieces in Danish film. Christensen later impressed with the large-scale, Swedish-produced Häxan (1922, The Witch).

During World War I, the United States developed into the world’s leading film nation, and Danish film exports declined. After the war, there were only a few companies left, Filmfabrikken Danmark, which exclusively produced reportage films, the new Dansk Film Co., which had specialized in star films with the popular Olaf Fønss, and Nordisk Film, which was increasingly affected by the crisis.

In the post-war years, Dreyer made his directorial debut at Nordisk Film with the melodrama The President (1919), followed by the ambitious Magazine of Satan’s Book (1921), inspired by the American director DW Griffith’s Intolerance (1916) both in terms of technique (fast, dramatic editing) and the theme that deals with the evil of the world through the ages. Thereafter, the company had to curtail and broadcast almost exclusively films by the new artistic director AW Sandberg. His large-scale literary film adaptations, of Charles Dickens ‘ novels, however, did not become the expected successes. In 1929, the company went into liquidation, but was already reconstructed as a sound film company the same year.

In 1920 came the first Danish cartoon, The Three Little Men, created by Robert Storm Petersen, who after a series of small animated films gave up production again.

The greatest successes of the 1920’s in Danish film were due to the company Palladium, founded in 1921 with Lau Lauritzen as artistic director. He created the comedian couple Fyrtaarnet and Bivognen (Fy and Bi), played by Carl Schenstrøm and Harald Madsen. Fy and Bi played the lead roles in many farces, which had great international success. Among the most successful were Vester Vov Vov (1927) and Don Quixote (1925), recorded in Spain, which was an original attempt at renewal. Palladium was also behind Dreyer’s most important Danish silent film, the intimate family drama You Must Honor Your Wife (1925), which provided the director with an offer to make a Jeanne d’Arc film in France.

Denmark – film – sound film

In the late 1920’s, Danish film production stood at a crossroads. Silent films were being replaced by sound films, and the new technology was being experimented with all over the world. Danish technology and film were quickly involved. Two Danish engineers had been working with a sound film system since 1918, and in October 1923 the result of their efforts was shown for the first time under the name Petersen and Poulsen’s sound film system.

In 1929, Nordisk Film was restored as a sound film company on the basis of the new sound system, and already in 1930 the first Scandinavian sound film (though without Danish speech) entitled Eskimo, which was a French, German and Norwegian co-production directed, premiered by George Schneevoigt. It was not a success, but Schneevoigt’s next feature film, the first with a Danish speech, The Priest in Vejlby (1931) after Steen Steensen Blicher’s short story, did. This increased Nordisk Film’s dominance in the Danish market and Schneevoigt’s personal role in it. In 1930-33 he made most of the Danish films, first and foremost several of the 1930’s’ great Danish amusement successes, eg Odds 777 (1932).

The recovery of the 1930’s

The film became the major entertainment phenomenon for the Danes in the 1930’s. It was cheap to go to the cinema and the number of cinemas and tickets sold grew steadily. The most popular and watched films came from the USA, but the Danes also embraced the Danish amusements, from new companies such as ASA (1937), and actors such as Marguerite Viby, Liva Weel, Christian Arhoff, Ib Schønberg and Poul Reichhardtgained great popularity. However, the Danish films were criticized for a poor quality, and in connection with the film laws of 1933 and 1938, it was discussed how the existence and quality of Danish films could be ensured. With the Film Act of 1938, a number of government bodies, the Film Council, the Film Foundation and the Statens Filmcentral, were established to control the development of Danish film.

Danish film in the 1930’s was also characterized by documentary film. Together with Dansk Kulturfilm (established in 1932), the Statens Filmcentral created the framework for a Danish production of informative films, short films and documentaries. One of the most controversial films of the 1930’s was Poul Henningsen’s Denmark (1935), which had modern jazz as background music and an advanced, rhythmic montage style. Dansk Kulturfilm’s production Kongen bød (1938) about the staff band and its abolition became widespread. New production companies emerged, eg Minerva-Film in 1935, where Theodor Christensen and Karl Roos unfolded with documentaries in a new style, eg C – a Corner of Zealand (1938) andIran – the new Persia (1939).

Danish film during the occupation

Germany’s occupation of Denmark in 1940-45 provided particularly good conditions for Danish film, because the Germans quickly banned the import of Allied films. The number of film productions increased sharply, and Danish film gained a special national status. A large number of informative documentaries were made that depicted everyday life and Danish culture from many sides. Going to the cinema for screenings of Danish films became a symbolic expression of the opposition to the occupation.

It was still comedy, comedies and farces that dominated, and the movie stars of the 1930’s who drew the most. But more serious films were also made, such as Svend Methling’s Sommerglæder (1940), based on Herman Bang’s story. Instructors like Bodil Ipsen and Lau Lauritzen jr. during this period established their name with the psychological thrillers Derailed (1942), Melody of Murder (1944) and Occupation (1944), which showed that they mastered a modern cinematic language and at the same time could give a credible Danish picture of reality. Also Johan Jacobsen impressed with the episode film Eight Chords (1944).

The greatest Danish film of the occupation period, however, was Carl Th. Dreyer’s masterpiece The Day of Wrath (1943), a story from the 1600’s. about the oppression of sensuality and love in an anti-life system. The film could seen as an allegorical commentary on the occupation.

The post-war period – the occupation theme, youth films and folk comedies

A number of instructors managed to raise the artistic standard in the first post-war period, thus continuing the trend from the occupation up into the 1950’s. In the years immediately following the liberation, the theme of occupation became central. In 1945, Bodil Ipsen & Lau Lauritzen jr. The Red Meadows and Johan Jacobsen The Invisible Army, two films about the occupation that combined realism and melodramatic pathos. More sober and deep-seated films soon followed, and documentaries were also made, partly Theodor Christensen’s partly illegally recorded It applies to your Freedom (1946), made for the Freedom Council, partly the more official, subdued anniversary version: The Five Years (1955).

The realistic line was followed in a number of films, eg Bjarne Henning-Jensen’s Ditte Menneskebarn (1946) based on Martin Andersen Nexø’s novel, Johan Jacobsen’s Soldaten og Jenny (1947) and Bodil Ipsen & Lau Lauritzen jr.’s depiction of the drinker’s reality in Café Paradis (1950).

Bjarne Henning-Jensen and his wife Astrid gave a description of the backyard children’s environment in De hokkers Unger (1947), which focused on youth issues, which became a theme in the period’s films and in the public debate. The first films about youth’s problems were held in a realistic and pessimistic style and emphasized the dangers and temptations of adolescence such as Dangerous Youth (1953), Glare (1955) and Bundfald (1957). A new style that heralded the new, more dominant role of youth culture in the welfare society of the 1960’s could be seen in the film The Funny Years (1959).

The time from 1945-60 in Danish – film was also marked by a renewal of the usual Danish genres. In 1950, the film company ASA’s first film adaptation of one of Morten Korch’s novels, The Red Horses, became one of Danish film’s biggest financial successes, and until 1976 it was followed by a total of 18 films based on Korch’s original. The films set a new standard for the Danish folk comedy. They took place in a manageable rural environment that seemed safe in the middle of a violent period of upheaval and modernization, and at the same time the films managed to incorporate entertaining elements from the crime genre and the melodrama. Other popular comedy films were, for example, the Father to Four films (1953-61 and 1971), the Poet and Little Mother films(1959-61) and finally the Soldiers Comrades films (1958-62 and 1968). From 1948, Denmark also received its own film prize, as the Film Employees’ Association began to award the so-called Bodil Prize every year.

The new wave and the competition from television

Around 1960, a new wave of French film spread to the films of other European countries. At the same time, television in the period from 1960-95 became an international mass medium with many film offerings, whereby Danish cinemas and films became increasingly crowded. The first comprehensive modern film law of 1964 therefore introduced support schemes. In the previous legislation, films had been perceived as a taxable amusement, and with the help of a cinema licensing system that existed with many adjustments until 1972, the state had to approve the cinema owners’ right to a license. The purpose of this was to prevent concentration and coincidence between the rental, production and cinema stages. At the same time, the grant system sought to pursue cultural policy with requirements for the composition of the film repertoire. The cinemas also paid a number of fees, which could also be used to pursue film-cultural policy. However, the first modern film law of 1964 introduced support schemes, and the law provided support for the film as an art, which, however, still had to be based on revenue from ticket sales.

A new generation of film directors emerged in the period 1960-72 with a new and more modern, realistic film language. Astrid Henning-Jensen continued her already planned course with Utro (1966) and later Vinterbørn (1978), while Bent Christensen with the fine social comedies Harry and the valet (1961) and Naboerne (1966), for which he co-wrote the script with Leif Panduro, created a renewal of the Danish folk comedy.

Nybølgen’s two most important directors were Palle Kjærulff-Schmidt, who worked closely with the author Klaus Rifbjerg, and Henning Carlsen. Kjærulff-Schmidt established his name with the fine psychological environmental depictions Weekend (1962) and There was once a war (1966). Henning Carlsen began with the illegally shot South African film Dilemma (1962) and achieved an international breakthrough with his Knut Hamsun film adaptation Hunger (1966). A unique cinematic masterpiece was created by Sven and Lene Grønlykke with The Ballad of Carl-Henning (1969).

Outside of this relatively narrow stream of quality films in the 1960’s, Danish films generally continued according to the well-known popular formulas. With the release of image pornography in 1969, the softcore porn genre was introduced and it provided increased export opportunities. The Danish farce tradition was continued with the welfare satire We are all crazy (1959) with Dirch Passer and Kjeld Petersen in two of their biggest roles.

In 1954, Erik Balling was given a leading role in Nordisk Film, from which he helped to renew the style of the popular Danish film. His biggest cohesive effort is the series of films about the Olsen gang, 13 films from 1968-81. The films have a very solid structure. They are about a Danish threesome of petty criminals who repeatedly go to war with big business and foreign criminal syndicates. The series became one of Danish film’s greatest successes and is known all over the world.

Danish documentary film also developed in new directions during this period. Henning Carlsen and Tørk Haxthausen (1924-2012) created a modern documentary film style around 1960. The dominant figure in the short and documentary film genre, however, was Jørgen Roos, who with his Greenland films, such as the award-winning Knud (1966) about the polar researcher Knud Rasmussen, continued the Danish documentary film tradition.

Film law, film crisis and artistic renewal

With the Act of 1972, the Danish Film Institute was established, and the film support was based on a grant from the Finance Act. At the same time, the cinema licensing system was abolished, allowing for a free market. From 1972, the vast majority of Danish films were created with state support, and since 1981, very few Danish films have been produced for private funds alone. The Film Act in 1972 created the consultancy scheme, which has since been the main cornerstone of the Danish film support system. In 1989, the 50/50 scheme was introduced to support the interaction between public and private capital. See also movie support.

A new realistic line emerged with Nils Malmros’ social and psychological studies in the lives of children and young people, in Lars Ole, 5c (1973), Boys (1977) and the main work The Tree of Knowledge (1981), which is a low-key realistic and symbolic depiction of a group development from children to adolescents. Malmros has expanded its artistic universe and its design language, in Beauty and the Beast (1983), Aarhus by Night (1989), The Pain of Love (1993) and Knowing the Truth (2002).

In his first films, Bille August made convincing time pictures and youth portraits. Honey Moon (1978) is a depressing image of the emptiness of the welfare state. The youth films Zappa (1983), The World of Busts (1984) and Faith, Hope and Love (1984) go close to the young and the existing family and community structures.

Morten Arnfred started in the new anti-authoritarian youth film with Måske ku ‘vi (1976) and Mig og Charly (1978). His artistic breakthrough came with Johnny Larsen (1979), about a working class boy’s development from the 50’s onwards and There is a Lovely Country (1983), a showdown with the Korch idyllisation of agricultural life. Søren Kragh-Jakobsen also started in the social youth portrayals with Will you see my beautiful navel (1978) and the symbolically expressive Kingfishers (1983). A historical realism is seen in The Shadow of Emma (1988) and the occupation drama The Boys from Saint Petri (1991).

It was the literary film adaptation that first put Denmark on the international film map. Gabriel Axel’s Karen Blixen film adaptation Babette’s guest appearance (1987, Oscar 1988) is a solid historical drama. Bille August’s Pelle The Conqueror (1987, The Golden Palm 1987 and Oscar 1989) is strong in both the historical panoramas and the intense psychological father-son story. The Good Will (1991, Golden Palm), based on Ingmar Bergman’s childhood memories, is an original and strong work of art that achieved both Scandinavian and international success. Other significant literary film adaptations have been made by Anders Refn, including Black Autumn(1993), Astrid Henning-Jensen, Ole Roos and Kaspar Rostrup, if Dansen med Regitze (1989) is one of the most watched films of the period.

Among the popular films of the period were, in addition to the Olsen gang films, eg Gabriel Axel’s series about the Golden Cabbage Family (three films 1975-77). Regner Grasten is the new mainstream producer, for example with Kun en pige (1995) after Lise Nørgaard’s autobiography with Peter Schrøder as director. Family films like The Crumbs (1991), directed by Sven Methling, were very popular. During the 1970’s, a thin Danish crime tradition emerged, for example with Esben Høilund Carlsen’s Nitten red roses (1974), and Anders Refns Strømer (1976).

Erik Clausen is the period’s most important innovator of the popular, critical film. His working-class background often strikes a chord without the films becoming politically dogmatic. Circus Casablanca (1981) contains a social image of Denmark and in De frigjorte (1993) Clausen depicts unemployment and crisis in the working culture. A female innovator is Helle Ryslinge with her gender role-conscious romantic comedies, eg Flamberede hjerter (1986). Quite peculiar was the absurd and poetic comedy style of Michael Wikke and Steen Rasmussen in Russian Pizza Blues (1992).

A significant artistic breakthrough came with Lars von Trier’s film, which from the beginning attracted international attention. The Element of Crime (1985) introduced a whole new avant-garde film tradition and was the first part of a highly experimental and thematically challenging European trilogy, which continued with Epidemic (1987) and Europe (1991). Trier’s seemingly quite unpopular directorial position changed dramatically with the TV series Kingdom (1994) and Kingdom II (1997) – a terrific mix of horror and comedy, which became his major popular breakthrough. A greater orientation towards the classical genres and the large audience is also evident in the erotic melodramaBreaking the Waves (1996). Other avant-garde directors are the feminist, symbolic expressionist Jytte Rex with Isolde (1989) and Jon Bang Carlsen with, for example, the symbolic love drama Ofelia come to town (1985).

The children’s film flourished, for example with Søren Kragh-Jacobsen’s Gummi Tarzan (1981) and Rumle Hammerich’s (b. 1954) Otto is a Rhino (1983), based on Orla Lund Kierkegaard’s popular children’s books. A sharper, more magical and symbolic realism broke through in e.g. Aage Rais-Nordentoft’s Anton (1995), and in the spectacular historical dramas for children such as Åke Sandgren’s Miracle in Valby (1989) and Peter Flinth’s (b. 1964) The Eagle’s Eye (1997).

A number of Danish quality cartoons were created with international success. Jannik Hastrup and Flemming Quist Møller ‘s Benny’s bathtub (1971) is today a classic. Jannik Hastrup became the big name of Danish cartoons with Samson and Sally (1980) and the international successes The Bird War (1990) and The Monkeys and the Secret Weapon (1995). A Disney-inspired cartoon with a special Danish tone and line broke through with Peter Madsen’s Valhalla (1986) and Stefan Fjeldmarks (b. 1964) and Flemming Quist Møller’s The Jungle Animal Hugo (1993).

In documentary film, the period after 1972 is a rich period of development. A central figure is Jørgen Leth, whose most important works are Livet i Danmark (1971), which ironically depicts the common man, the monumental bicycle film Stjernerne og vandbærerne (1973) and the pictorial lyrical portrait I am alive – Søren Ulrik Thomsen, poet (1999). Jon Bang Carlsen’s staged documentary is set out in How to Invent Reality (1996). He portrays Danish fringe environments and social types, eg the farmer’s wife in Jenny (1977) and in his later films he has portrayed foreign environments and characters, eg in It’s now or never (1996).

Other significant films include Christian Braad Thomsen’s poetic hometown film Herfra min verden går (1976) and Morten Korch – sunshine can always be found (1999). Significant female documentary filmmakers are, for example, Jytte Rex, with Den erindrende (1985), Dola Bonfils (b. 1941), b.a. with With Death in Life (1989), Lise Roos (1941-1997) with Frikvarteret (1995) and Anne Wivel with Søren Kierkegaard (1994) and The Heart of Johannes (1998).

Dogme 95 – Danish new wave, realism and documentarism

In 1996, a new law on Danish film came into force, and in 1997 the public Danish film institutions moved together under the name Det Danske Filminstitut. In 1999, the new unit organization received a sharp increase in funding of a total of DKK 450 million. In just a few years, the number of new films doubled (approximately 25) annually. The results have been that Denmark is at the very top with a market share in the Danish market of around 35%. At the same time, the breadth and pluralism of the nature of film is preserved and expanded.

In 1995, Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg launched Dogme 95, arguing for a return to the art of acting and a more authentic cinematic language. In 1998, Vinterberg won the jury’s special award at Cannes for his dogma film The Party, an intense and visually innovative drama of ‘Bergman’ dimensions. Trier’s own dogma film The Idiots (1998) is an anarchist, artistic experiment. Dogme 95 made Danish film an international phenomenon, especially when Søren Kragh-Jacobsen’s dogma film Mifune’s last song (1999) won the Silver Bear in Berlin, and when Lone Scherfig’s Italian for beginners(2000) did the same. The dogma concept spread to other countries and thus became a strong Danish and international brand.

In connection with or outside the dogma concept, a new generation has signed up with realistic films. Susanne Bier is a strong name here; both national and international perspectives are expressed in the love drama and dogma film Love You Forever (2002), and in Brothers (2004) and After the Wedding (2006) she lets the world’s problems be reflected in a Danish family.

The renewal of Danish social realism can be seen in Per Fly’s trilogy about the different classes in Denmark: Bænken (2000), Arven (2003) and Drabet (2005). A strong everyday realism is found in Annette K. Olesen Small Accidents (2002) and Crimes (2004) and in this genre we also find Okay (2002) by Jesper W. Nielsen. A renewal also takes place in Lotte Svendsen’s popular and humorous films Bornholm’s Voice (1999) and Time for Change (2004). Experiments with both style and narrative style we find e.g. at Christoffer Boewith his debut film Reconstruction (2003) an artful, labyrinthine love story. In Allegro (2005) he continues the visually strong and narratively complicated style.

The international Danish feature film

The trend towards dogma films is accompanied by a simultaneous trend towards large, English-language films. Lars von Trier’s original musical Dancer in the Dark (2000), which won the Golden Palm at Cannes, is a highlight. Subsequently, Trier has worked on an American trilogy which started with Dogville (2003) and continued with Manderlay (2005), both with a large international cast and with attempts to create an allegorical-didactic film language.

Ole Bornedal made the magnificent, international melodrama I am Dina (2002), Thomas Vinterberg made the love and future film It’s all about Love (2002). The international wave continued with Lone Scherfig’s Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself (2002, Wilbur commits suicide) and Nicolas Winding Refns Fear X (2003). However, these films have had mixed success internationally and nationally.

In 2011, Susanne Bier’s film Revenge (2010) received both a Golden Globe and an Oscar. Lars von Trier’s Melancholia (2011) was named Europe’s best film at the European Film Awards, where Susanne Bier received the award as Europe’s best director. At the Berlinale and in Cannes, Danish film was strongly represented with five and three films, respectively. At Cannes, Nicolas Winding Refn won the award for Best Director for Drive (2011), and Kirstin Dunst won for Best Actress for her role in Melancholia.

The documentary’s audience breakthrough

In the field of documentaries, a new generation has distinguished itself with often experimental and poetic documentaries. This applies to e.g. Torben Skjødt Jensen’s (b. 1958) two artist portraits Carl Th. Dreyer. Min metièr (1995) and It’s a blue world (1990). Also Tómas Gíslason has grown artist portrait in from the heart to the hand (1994) established a raw portrayal of Jorgen Leth and the collective bike epic Overcoming (2005) on CSC cycling team. But his production also includes deeply personal and political films such as The Patriots (1997) and The Highest Punishment (2000).

Anders Østergaard (b. 1965) has proven that the documentary can draw a large audience with Gasolin ‘ (2006), which has been seen by over 250,000 people. Among the very young, Sami Saif (b. 1972) has made a very strong mark with her award-winning debut film Family.

The little movie

Danish film’s long tradition of children’s and youth films has been further developed after 1997. Jesper W. Nielsen has made the action-packed The Last Viking (1997) and the magically realistic fable Forbidden for Children (1999). It is genre-wise related to Lone Scherfig’s stylistically experimental When Mother Comes Home (1998). Hans Fabian Wullenweber (b. 1967) received several international awards for Klatretøsen (2002). The cartoon also continued its success with Stefan Fjeldmark’s Hjælp, jeg er en fisk (2000) and Terkel i knibe (2004).

Denmark – mass media

Flyers were published in Denmark from 1482, but actual newspapers were not published until 1634.

1634-1848 – The breakthrough of the print media

The first real newspapers were weekly newspapers published with royal privilege, and like the majority of the newspapers in the period up to 1750, they were primarily copies of German newspapers. A notable exception was Anders Bording’s versified monthly magazine Den Danske Mercurius (1666-77), which glorified the politics of autocracy.

With state coercion and censorship, the state inhibited the publication of the print media until 1848, and the public debate in newspapers was similarly limited. Among the newspapers, it was EH Berling’s Copenhagen news newspaper – the later Berlingske Tidende – that from 1749 took the lead in terms of circulation, advertising volume and current news material. A Danish provincial press only began to appear from 1767 with Aalborg Stiftstidende, which was followed by five other diocesan newspapers.

1848-1914 – The four-blade system

After the introduction of freedom of the press with the Constitution of 1849 (more precisely defined in the Press Act of 1851), all kinds of magazines expanded rapidly until 1914. Growth flourished in new printing techniques and cheaper paper as well as in improving the population’s literacy after the introduction of seven years of teaching in 1814. general population growth, increased purchasing power and shorter working hours.

The broad political mobilization and the often sharp political strife after 1848 meant that the press gradually became a party press, ie. that the newspapers became party political bodies. The four political parties had newspapers across the country. Existing newspapers were largely affiliated with the Conservative Party, while the Liberal Party in the period 1865-85 got 50 magazines behind it. From 1872 the Social Democratic newspapers followed: the Copenhagen Social-Democrat (1872-1959, hereafter Aktuelt) and the Aarhus Democrat (1884-1974) with approximately 20 affiliated newspapers in the province (A-pressen). From 1905, the capital’s newspaper Politiken (1884-) was followed by a dozen local newspapers as a mouthpiece for the Radical Left.

During these years, there was little by little coverage of local conditions in the provincial newspapers. The press generally enjoyed a journalistic boom with engaged political and social debate, cultural journalism, and a greatly improved news service by virtue of telegram material; there was progress in both magazine sales and advertising revenue, and an improved and mechanized printing technique as well as much cheaper paper improved the economy of the press.

In addition to the dailies, there were a large number of types of magazines: political weeklies, current magazines, mixed cultural publications and satirical magazines. These groups came to a standstill as their content gained ground in the dailies. On the other hand, there was growth in most other types of Danish trade and weekly magazines. The largest circulation reached a number of illustrated weekly magazines, first Illustreret Tidende (1859-1924), then Carl Allers Familie Journalen (1877-) and Egmont H. Petersens Hjemmet (1904-).

From 1850, district and advertising magazines also appeared in and around Copenhagen, then in the largest cities and in the new station towns. Around 1914 there were approximately 50 of this type of leaf. However, it was the monthly magazines from, for example, the ever-growing leisure and trade unions that were most of. If the professional and scientific journals are included, there were now up to 1000 different publications in Denmark.

1914-45 – Press reform

In 1905, Politiken’s editor – in – chief Henrik Cavling initiated a change in the newspaper’s format, choice of material, journalism and set – up, which has become known as the “press reform”. From focusing on party politics, public opinion and cultural debate, following the American model, the newspaper now relied on a wide range of news on local universal, economic and social news, reports and reader service, and party political engagement weakened. Before and during World War I, almost all of the capital’s newspapers completed a reorganization according to this pattern. It was Politiken and especially Berlingske Tidende that managed the reorganization best, and it was also these two magazine houses’ respective morning papers, Ekstra Bladet (1904-) and BT(1915-), which gradually received the largest circulation. At national level, only Aarhusavisen Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten (1871-) could keep up, but in the interwar period the press reform also broke through among the major provincial newspapers led by the three major diocesan newspapers in Aarhus, Aalborg and Odense and Esbjergavisen Vestkysten (1918-91, hereafter JydskeVestkysten).

Another significant change in the media picture occurred when the daily press’ news monopoly in 1926 was broken with the introduction of news broadcasts on the radio.

The total circulation of the dailies grew from 1920 only in step with the population. After this, the circulation increased again by approximately 50% in the period 1942-50. The occupation also led to the emergence of several illegal magazines, a few of which continued to be published after the war, including Information (1945-).

1945-2015 – Leaf death and the current situation

From approximately In 1930, in each of the province’s 30-40 magazine areas, there was a concentration on the strongest newspaper, and after this, the weakest of the other newspapers suffered “magazine death” despite various subsidies from outside. In the period 1950-70, this process continued, leaving the strongest alone in the area. The magazine’s death meant that the number of editorially independent dailies fell from 123 in 1945 to 33 in 1994. Of these, nine were sold evenly across the country, while local newspapers served their local areas with news and advertising material. The local newspapers range from newspapers for large regions with a similarly broad orientation to actual local newspapers, where the news in the local community dominates.

Among the factors behind leaf death should be highlighted the increased demands on journalistic resources stemming from readers’ need for ever broader orientation, not just from the local community, but from home and abroad in general. In addition, there was intensified competition from the electronic news media: TV started broadcasting news (TV-Avisen) from 1965, Danmarks Radios Program 3 (P3) broadcast hourly news from 1975.

The electronic mass media has since made great strides, not least after the introduction of local radio and television as well as advertising television in the latter half of the 1980’s and the final break with Danmarks Radio’s television monopoly in 1988.

The development of the other print media has also contributed to the weakening of the daily press. The free weekly district and advertisement magazines showed a marked increase in numbers and circulation from the beginning of the 1960’s, so that at the end of 1994 approximately 290 such magazines in a total circulation of 8 million. copies. However, just under half of these magazines were published by dailies.

The newspapers that immediately performed best were the two pure single-issue newspapers, also called lunch, morning or tabloid newspapers, BT and Ekstra Bladet. These newspapers, with a circulation of approximately 170,000 copies in the mid-1990’s, then as now dominated by sensational and conflict-ridden material, many images as well as sports, entertainment and comics. With that, the newspapers won younger, less accustomed readers all over the country and doubled their circulation in 1955-80; 1995-2005, however, they lost approximately 40% of their readers, as a large part of their target group no longer read the newspaper. In circulation, BT and Ekstra Bladet were still among the country’s largest everyday newspapers, and from 1987 they also had some of the country’s largest Sunday editions.

The growth of the breakfast newspapers weakened the morning papers, and together with major strikes in connection with the introduction of new printing technology, this created life-threatening crises for both Politiken 1971-72 and Berlingske Tidende 1977-82. However, the morning newspapers overcame the crisis with some success and adapted to the educational and business structure of the 1990’s.

Politiken and Berlingske Tidende dominated the capital’s press for 65 years in equal competition and with ingrained differences in attitude, choice of subject and journalism. Politiken is the social-radical all-round newspaper with strength in the reportage, petit and cultural material, and Berlingske Tidende is the mildly conservative news newspaper built on the political, economic and cultural material and a very large amount of advertising.

Of the seven nationwide morning newspapers, only Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten is headquartered outside Copenhagen. This bourgeois debate body developed in the 1990’s to become equal with Politiken and Berlingske Tidende, and in 1995 the newspaper had the country’s largest everyday and Sunday circulation among the morning magazines, not least thanks to an extensive regional Jutlandic material, the magazine’s business and financial coverage and the country’s largest job ad market.

The three large morning magazines had an everyday circulation of approximately 150,000 and a Sunday circulation of about 200,000 copies at least three times larger than any of the smaller national newspapers, but four of these have found their special niches. It was easiest for the specialized business newspaper Børsen (1896-), which, despite competition from 1974 from Erhvervsbladet, had large advertising revenues. They were missed by both the politically independent opinion newspapers Kristeligt Dagblad (1896-) and Information, both of which were at times maintained by fundraisers and support associations. The Free News(published under the name Aktuelt 1959-87), the only survivor of the Social Democrats’ press agencies, the A-press, survived for more than 50 years on subsidies from its owners in the trade union movement. Finally, Berlingske’s weekly Weekendavisen (until 1971 Berlingske Aftenavis) maintained a position as a serious weekly magazine with an emphasis on news analyzes, background reports and cultural material.

The national newspapers have gradually moved away from following party slogans, but instead compete on the quality and weighting of news, culture and domestic and foreign policy material as well as the supply of, for example, job, car and boat ads. An increasingly widespread way of marking the newspapers’ profile has been the publication of various thematic supplements on fixed days of the week, for example on IT. In the mid-1990’s, however, it had to be noted that the population’s traditional ties with the newspaper weakened, and thus also that the newspapers’ so-called coverage percentage fell.

The daily circulation, which in 1913-60 corresponded to more than 100% of the household population, was down to 8 5% in 1985 and 73% in 1993 (Sundays 62%). As before, in the 1990’s approximately 30-35% of the population two newspapers daily, but in 1995 there were 25-30% who did not read newspaper at all, especially among young people, against before only 2-3%. Well-educated adults drew the most knowledge about the world, state and society from the newspaper, but a solid majority preferred television.

In connection with the difficulties of the daily press in the post-war period, the state introduced from the 1960’s a number of indirect forms of support for the print media; the sale of newspapers and certain district and trade magazines was exempt from VAT, and the postal service of the print press was favored at reduced rates.

Within the weekly magazines, the large sales of the women’s and family magazines remained, and the concentration increased further: In the 1990’s, the publisher Aller Press had approximately 60% of magazine magazine sales, while Egmont magazines had 27%. This dominance was broken by magazine-like trade and membership magazines such as FDB’s Samvirke (1945-) and FDM’s Motor (1906-) as well as the article magazine Det Beste (1946-). The magazine and trade press became more specialized, for example with monthly magazines such as Bo Bedre (1961-) and Illustreret Videnskab(1984-) and with computer technology journals. In addition, a number of customer magazines are published in Denmark, eg Helse (1955-) and DSB’s Ud & Se (1980-) as well as free household-distributed advertising magazines such as the housing magazine Idé-nyt (1973-).

The independent magazines did not win many readers after World War II either, but some of them have nevertheless had an impact on public opinion – among the literary ones especially Heretica (1948-53) and Vindrosen (1954-73), by political among others. Finanstidende (1915-89), Frit Danmark (1942-82), Politisk Revy (1963-87) and Notat (1973-).

Since the mid-1980’s, the newspaper market has undergone significant structural changes. While in 1988 there were still 46 fully independent dailies, at the end of 2005 there were only 29. In the same period, the total circulation fell by approximately 30% to a total of DKK 1.27 million. copies on weekdays. Household coverage fell correspondingly from just over 80% to approximately 55%. The relationship between the individual leaf groups also showed strong shifts. In 1986, the nationwide morning newspapers accounted for approximately 30% of the total circulation; that number grew to approximately 40% in 2005. The morning press’ share fell from approximately 25% in 1986 to approximately 16% in 2005. The provincial press remained relatively stable at around 44%; however, this covers the fact that the five major regional newspapers, Dagbladet (Ringsted), Fyens Stiftstidende, Jydske Vestkysten, Nordjyske Stiftstidende and Aarhus Stiftstidende, through the acquisition of a number of dailies together grew from 18% to 24%. The other smaller provincial newspapers printed an ever-decreasing part of the circulation due to competition from especially the district magazines. By 2014, total circulation had fallen further; the nationwide morning newspapers maintained their share of approximately 40%, while the morning press’ share fell to approximately 8.5%.

From 2001, free newspapers began to appear with a quick news bulletin as their main appeal, first distributed in a number of the major cities, then increasingly nationwide. They are financed by advertising revenue. With a total circulation of close to 500,000 by the end of 2005, they gradually became a significant threat to the paid dailies. In the summer of 2006, this type of newspaper was supplemented all five weekdays of the week with new household-distributed free newspapers, which further increased the competitive pressure in terms of both readers and advertisers.

Within the weekly and magazine press, the cheap picture magazines KIG IND and Her & Nu til (both in 1997), at the same time as a number of new lifestyle magazines were launched, especially for women, among others. the monthly magazines Eurowoman (1998) and Costume (2002).

In recent years, the media picture has been characterized by an increase in the number of online users and a decrease in the number of subscribers. At the same time, the turnover for both dailies and the other print media has fallen.

Denmark – mass media: radio, television and video

Radio 1922-1980

The first Danish radio broadcasts aimed at a wide audience were broadcast in 1922. Radio was subject to telegraph legislation and as such was state-monopolized according to a law from 1907, which, however, opened up for experimental activities. The programs were broadcast as such trials by two amateur radio clubs in particular with the participation of dailies. The content was mainly music and from 1923 weekly news programs, of which the daily newspaper Politikens Radioavis was the first.

After intensified competition – known as the “ether war” – the clubs and other interested parties were tentatively gathered under the wings of the state in 1925 with the Radio Scheme, which in 1926 was replaced by the State Radio. In 1959 it was renamed Danmarks Radio.

The company became a special part of education and cultural policy, and the programs were to be of a “diverse, cultural and enlightening nature” (so-called public service). The financing was done through a user fee (the license), which ensured that only the users of the radio paid for it. Broadcasting time was gradually increased from two to three hours a day to 14 hours in 1939, when 80 percent of the population had radio. The news dissemination was brief and controlled by the print press in Pressens Radioavis until 1964.

During the occupation, the radio was subject to German censorship, but Danish programs were broadcast from the BBC 1940-1945 and from Swedish Radio 1944-1945. Program 2 (P2) started in 1951 and was tasked with broadcasting classical music, long-running debate programs and background briefings. Program 3 (P3) with pop music was created in 1963, after competition had arisen from the private and advertising-financed stations Radio Mercur (1958-1962) and Danmarks Commercielle Radio/DCR(1961-1962). Their broadcasts on the FM network consisted of pop music and entertainment programs, which only exceptionally appeared on DR, and they gained as many listeners as the broad Program 1 (P1), before stopping their business: Mercury as a result of a law change that made its broadcasts illegal. Mercur broadcast stereo programs from 1961, and DR from 1969. From the 1950’s, the AM broadcast network had been gradually supplemented with an FM network where P3 had been located. To this was added in the 1960’s a nationwide system of regional radios, which was gathered under one Provincial Department in 1973.

Tv 1932-1980

The first Danish trial broadcasts with television were arranged by Politiken in 1932, and it was possible to capture the BBC’s programs 1936-1939. Television technology was demonstrated in public 1947-1948, and Statsradiofonien had trial broadcasts 1949-1950, regular programs 1951-1953 and daily broadcasts from 1954. Television was first included in the Radio Act in 1959, but was subject to radio broadcasting in the Act on Telecommunications, etc. from 1949 and was thus automatically part of the state monopoly. The transmission network was handled by the Post and Telegraph Service, which from 1960 covered the entire country. The transmission time increased steadily from approximately one hour a day in the 1950’s to ten hours at DR in the early 1990’s.

The programs were, like on the radio, produced by DR itself, but it required a large production apparatus with many employees, and heavy bureaucracy and inability to adapt became a problem. From the 1960’s, approximately 50 percent of the programs factual programs incl. news, where TV-Avisen in 1965 replaced the film journal TV-Aktuelt, and approximately 50 percent were foreign programs with an emphasis on movies and series. Color transmission was started in 1968, and stereo sound was introduced approximately 1990.

Radio and television from the 1980’s

Local television and radio in concession started in 1983 as a pilot scheme, under which the Copenhagen Channel 2 was established as a partial subscription channel with foreign owners. Local radio was finally allowed in 1985, local television in 1988 and advertising funding from 1988-1989. A number of TV stations, led by Kanal 2, formed an almost nationwide collaboration in Kanal Danmark under the multinational Scandinavian Broadcasting System (SBS). The Copenhagen music radio The Voice (1984-) established branches and was very successful, as did Radio Viborg (1984-) and other West Danish local radio stations.

The state monopoly on nationwide radio was maintained when a new, fourth FM channel was awarded to DR after a tender round in 2001, which used it for regional radio. The monopoly, in turn, was abolished in 2003, when two private companies, Sky Radio and Radio 100FM, received broadcasting licenses for the fifth and sixth FM channels. Radio 100FM, owned by the Dutch Talpa Radio, escaped public service demands and gained prominence with its adult pop music and the program Morgenhyrderne in the radio media’s best broadcast time. Sky Radio, owned by Rupert MurdochsNews Corp., on the other hand, was subject to certain public service requirements, including 1,000 hours of news and magazine programs per year. The station closed after two years and a dispute with the Ministry of Culture’s Radio and Television Board over the terms. The broadcasting license was granted to TV 2 in 2006, which launched TV 2 Radio in 2007, but gave up the following year, when SBS took it over to continue the channel under the name Nova FM. However, TV 2 continued to deliver news material and paid the annual state fee of DKK 23 million. DKK until 2014.

The private and mainly commercial local radios have (2016) a market share of approximately 25 percent, while DR has approximately 75 percent. Most popular is P4 with approximately 35 percent of the listeners, while P3 has approximately 16 percent. Many radio and also TV channels are available on the internet.

DR’s nationwide TV monopoly was abolished with the opening in 1988 of TV 2/ Denmark and eight regional TV 2 stations. Both DR and TV 2 were given professional boards, which in DR replaced the Radio Council, and TV 2, like DR, was obliged to public service. But TV 2 became self-sustaining, advertising-financed and primarily based on ordering programs from independent producers, which not least benefited the film industry. This was a popular line both for DR and as a competition for the commercial channels, especially the foreign ones.

In 1996, DR opened its second channel, DR2, which broadcasts more specialized and demanding programs, including about history and culture. TV 2 launched the youth channel Zulu in 2000, and has since followed the senior channel Charlie, a sports channel, a 24-hour news channel and a movie channel. In 2002, the Folketing decided to transform TV 2’s nationwide company, TV 2/DANMARK, into a state-owned joint stock company with a view to privatization. But it will have to wait for decisions in court cases before the European Court of Justice regarding TV 2’s share of the license fees, which could distort competition for the commercial stations’ advertising revenues. In 2008, TV 2 and the state were acquitted.

In 1994, TV 2 had a viewership of approximately 40 percent against DR’s 30 percent, while the distribution since 2015 has been approximately 35 percent versus 31 percent. Together, the two public service stations have a unique share of viewers in an international context.

With the law on the hybrid network from 1985, foreign channels, e.g. from satellites, distributed via cable, which was outside the Post and Telegraph Administration’s transmission monopoly. Thus, commercial television gained ground, and in 1995 approximately 2 mio. Danes via cable watch a large number of Danish and foreign channels, including the first Danish cable TV channel, DK4. From this time, the spread of the Internet also gained momentum, and in 2008 the cabling reached approximately 90 percent of the population.

In 2007, it was further decided to digitize the wireless transmission network. The existing frequencies can thus contain a larger number of channels, which together with the existing ones can be distributed to antennas and mobile receivers. The Swedish-owned Boxer TV was given the task in 2008 and started the digital broadcasts in the beginning of 2009. The analogue network was finally shut down per. November 1, 2009; on that occasion, DR introduced three new TV channels: DR Ramasjang for children, DR K with culture and history programs and DR HD with foreign nature and documentary programs in HD format.

The increase in the Danish TV offer was initiated in 1986 by the advertising-financed Swedish-owned TV3 Viasat, which broadcasts from London, where liberal English advertising rules can be used. Viasat expanded in 1996 with TV3 +, and since then additional channels have been added. SBS broadcast with the local TV collaboration TvDanmark and followed up with broadcasts from London, Kanal 4 and Kanal 5, as well as a number of other channels. Viasat has a market share of approximately 10 percent, while SBS is at approximately 5 percent. Both have similar channels in other Nordic countries and media activities outside Europe.

These channels are financed through advertising as well as consumers’ subscriptions to software packages where the channels are included. In addition, there are actual subscription channels specializing in movies and sports. Most companies have established websites from which some of the broadcasts are available and to which news services are often linked.

Deregulation since the 1980’s and the many new forms of distribution and providers have led to commercialization and professionalisation. In the mutual competition, it is not only the private but also the state channels that are now largely controlled by viewership and listener numbers. The entertainment value is screwed up in all types of programs to attract the audience. It is produced for target groups to give consumers exactly what they want. Or rather, what they have wanted so far, which is what the numbers show – with the consequent reluctance to the new and different.

At the same time, the program quality has risen, as Danish media people have become more skilled. This is due to inspiration from a large foreign tender, greater demands in the competition and a larger talent pool with more opportunities for development. For news and informative programs as well as entertainment and drama, the differences to old-fashioned monopoly offerings are radical.


In the 1970’s, video was launched without success, but better devices, including with the VHS system, as well as the marketing of feature films on video led from the early 1980’s to a rapidly increasing prevalence. In 1994, approximately 60 percent of the population video was mostly used for recording television, especially movies. In the 1980’s, it was almost exclusively rent, but from the 1990’s, purchase cartridges accounted for an increasing share. Since then, DVD has taken over the majority of the market to be replaced by various online services.

Denmark’s climate

Denmark’s climate is characterized by the country’s location on the edge of the European continent close to major sea areas and in the westerly wind belt. This part of Europe enjoys the stable warm water of the Gulf Stream, without this we would have a climate similar to southernmost Alaska. Our location results in cool summers with average temperatures around 16 °C and not very cold winters with average temperatures around 0.5 °C. Denmark is thus located in the temperate climate zone.

It blows frequently, strongest in winter and weakest in summer. Precipitation falls throughout the year with the largest amounts in September, October and November. Least precipitation falls in February and April. The evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year is due to Denmark’s location in the westerly wind belt, where the most prevailing wind directions are west and southwest. Series of northeasterly low pressures (cyclones), frequently formed at Newfoundland, are the background for the characteristic changing weather: During a few days the weather typically changes from even precipitation in front of the warm front to clear or slightly hazy weather, possibly with a little drizzle in the subsequent warmer air mass. Finally, the passage of the cold front will provide precipitation in the form of heavy showers followed by clear weather with few clouds.

Within Denmark’s area, there are only small differences in temperatures from place to place. In winter, you will find the lowest temperatures in areas that are some distance away from the sea. In summer, the highest average temperatures are found in South Zealand and on Lolland-Falster. The coastal areas have smaller differences in temperature between summer and winter due to the leveling effect of the sea.

The precipitation pattern also shows moderate differences from region to region. The Great Belt area receives the least annual precipitation with approximately 500 mm, while the southern parts of Central Jutland get the most with an annual rainfall of over 900 mm.

Climate change can be considered through different time intervals. To even out random fluctuations in temperature and precipitation, the climate figures are calculated for a period of 30 years. In 1990, the 30-year normal period began, which began in 1961. When this is compared with the previous period 1931-60, differences can be observed. It has thus been shown that the average temperature of the year in Denmark has fallen by 0.2 °C; it is especially temperature drops in the period July to September that have prevailed. The precipitation has increased by 46 mm on an annual basis; the summer months have become drier, while especially the autumn months have become more humid.

The number of hours of sunshine indicates the number of hours of direct radiation from the sun. This number has in the last normal periods fallen from 1729 to 1670 hours per. year. This decrease of almost 5% can due to an increased number of aerosols (pollution particles) in the air as well as a change in the prevailing wind directions, both with an increase in cloud cover as a result.

The prevailing wind directions have changed slightly from one normal period to the next. The frequency of southerly and southwesterly winds has increased compared to the previous higher frequency of westerly winds, so that the prevailing wind direction has turned approximately 5 °Counterclockwise.

Denmark’s climate shows fluctuations in step with periodic changes in the global climate system. Seen over long periods of time, the temperature in Denmark has never been constant. Cold periods have replaced warm periods, and the largest climate fluctuations are marked by ice ages and interglacials. During particularly hot periods, for example during part of the Stone Age, the average temperature for July was a few degrees higher than it is in our time.

Denmark – geology

The current Danish landscapes have predominantly been shaped during the last ice age for approximately 114,000-10,000 years ago. But from profiles in coastal cliffs and in boreholes, the deep oil exploration wells, one knows rocks and deposits from a much more distant past.

The oldest is the bedrock, which lies like a shelf under Denmark. On top of this, there are deposits that show the changeability of nature through the last just over 500 million. years, how land and sea have alternately shaped the area, how the climate, flora and fauna have developed, and how the earth’s crust has moved.

The structure of the deep ground

The Danish area belongs to the northwestern European basin area, which at the Fennoscandian Edge Zone is separated from the Scandinavian bedrock area. The border zone runs from the Skagerrak and Vendsyssel towards the SE through the Kattegat to Bornholm. It forms the northwestern part of an old quarry zone, the Tornquist zone, which continues towards the Black Sea.

The edge zone consists of several geological blocks, which are delimited by faults, eg Bornholm Horsten and Rønne Graven. West of the border zone there are two deep subsidence areas: the Norwegian-Danish Basin and the North German Basin separated by the east-west-oriented Ringkøbing-Fyn ridge. The subsidence of the two basins began in Perm. The ridge, which consists of high-lying bedrock, is intersected by several north-south-oriented burial depressions, Horn Graven (active in the Triassic) and Central Graven (primarily active in the Late Jurassic). A large number of salt marshes have developed in the basins and burial depressions during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic. Since the middle of the Cretaceous period, the area has been part of a larger and coherent geological basin, the North Sea Basin.


Grundfjeldet, ie. the solid, crystalline base for the deposits in the Danish area, is part of the Baltic Shield, whose western and southern boundaries are respectively. The Caledonian Mountain Range in Western Norway and large faults along the border with northern Germany. It consists mainly of granites and striped, quartz-feldspar-rich gneisses, formed at a depth of 15-20 km. These are formed by melting and recrystallization of an older bedrock at temperatures above 600 °C. Amphibolites and mica-rich gneisses show that the older bedrock formed by metamorphosis of basalt and muddy sediments. Bornholm’s bedrock was formed at the same time as the bedrock in SE-Sweden for approximately 1750-1500 mio. years ago. Here, gray, striped gneisses and migmatites dominate, which are cut by a number of younger granites: the light Hammer and Vang granites in the north, the dark Rønn granite in the SW and the coarse-grained Swanke granite in the east. At later fractures, basaltic magma has penetrated and formed dark diabase passages.The Baltic shield, and the bedrock is blotted on 2/3 of the land area.

In the rest of the Danish area, the bedrock is known only from boreholes. Along Ringkøbing-Fyn Højderyggen, the bedrock is known from boreholes at Grindsted and Glamsbjerg in respectively. 1.6 and 0.8 km depth, while at Frederikshavn in the Fennoscandian Randzone is known from approximately 1.3 km depth. Age dates of approximately 1150-850 mio. years from the deep boreholes show that the bedrock here belongs to the north-south-going Sveconorwegian Mountain Range, which forms the bedrock in southern Norway and SW Sweden.

Paleozoic (approximately 540-245 million years before now)

Deposits from the Paleozoic in the Danish area are primarily known from the eastern part, as the deep boreholes in the North Sea only reach deposits from Carbon and Permian.

At the beginning of the period, the bedrock had eroded down to a level surface, on which rivers and winds deposited sediments. With the subsequent rise in sea level, an extensive, shallow sea area was formed, in which in the Old Paleozoic, ie. in the Cambrian, Ordovician and Silurian (approximately 540-408 million years before now), sandstone, limestone and black alum shales were deposited, followed by limestone and dark gray shale, which in Silur became more silty. On Bornholm, this layer series is less than 500 m thick; the largest thickness (approximately 3000 m) reaches the Kattegat in the Fennoscandian Edge Zone. The difference is due to the fact that there has been a continued subsidence in the Kattegat area, whereas a local elevation of Bornholm has led to erosion. The island must have repeatedly been above sea level.

The Caledonian fold at the end of the Silurian has largely not affected the Danish area, as older Paleozoic rocks characterized by metamorphosis are known only from the central part of the North Sea and from Southern Jutland. Deposits from Devon (approximately 408-363 million before now) have not been found in the Danish area, but from Karbon (approximately 363-290 million years before now) deposits have been found in some areas, e.g. in the Kattegat, on Falster, in Southern Jutland and in Central Graven. In the Kattegat, red and green sand and clay stones from Late Carbon occur; in the other areas are gray, marine clay and limestone from Early Carbon. Finds of carbon plant spores in Mesozoic sediments suggest that the carbon deposits may have been more widespread in the Danish area and on the Scandinavian Peninsula.

On the transition from Carbon to Permian, there was, in connection with the varicose folding in Central Europe, an extensive volcanism. Volcanic rocks occur in the North Sea and Kattegat as well as under the Danish land area. At the same time, a strong faulting activity occurred, whereby the Oslo Tomb and the grave depressions along the Fennoscandian Edge Zone were formed.

Deposits from Perm (approximately 290-245 million years before now) are known from all over Denmark except Bornholm. The deposits are limited to the North German Basin and the Norwegian-Danish Basin.

In Early Permian (Rotliegendes) hot, desert-like conditions prevailed, and coarse-grained, reddish-brown sediments were deposited. Fly sand is common, especially in the North German Basin. The deposits are usually 100-250 m thick; however, more than 300 m in the Central Tomb and more than 600 m in the Horn Tomb and in the Fennoscandian Edge Zone. In the latter area there are talk about local erosion products (coarse-grained sand and conglomerates containing weathered volcanic rocks), which were deposited in the newly formed burial depressions.

Due to an increasing subsidence, the North German Basin and the Norwegian-Danish Basin at the beginning of the Late Permian (Zechstein) were below global sea level. They were flooded in a breakthrough in the area between Scotland and Norway. In Sen Perm, only a little erosion material was added to the two basins, which in the hot, dry climate came to function as partially sealed evaporation basins. Repeated penetrations of salt water from the north formed a more than 1000 m thick, cyclically constructed series of evaporation rocks (evaporites), which are typically formed in a certain order: clay, lime, anhydrite, rock salt and finally potassium salts. In the Norwegian-Danish Basin there are a total of four and in the North German Basin five bicycles. Along the edge of the basins, the deposits are dominated by lime and anhydrite.

Rock salt acts under a suitable load as a plastic material, and since it has a lower density than other sediments, the salt deposits become mobile during the subsequent deposition of sediments. At the end of the Triassic, the salt began to accumulate in pillow-shaped structures, which then pushed themselves up through the overlying Mesozoic layer series. The so-called salt thirsts (diapirs), one of which is used for the production of table salt, are formed in this way. Flushed cavities (caverns) in another salthorst are used as storage spaces for natural gas, as rock salt is impermeable to gases.

Mesozoic (approximately 245-65 million years before now)

After a marked drop in global sea level on the transition from the Paleozoic to the Mesozoic, the sea rose again and culminated in the latter part of the Cretaceous. The geological development through the Mesozoic is represented in Denmark’s subsoil with layer series of varying thickness, from approximately 1000 mi The Fennoscandian Marginal Zone and on Ringkøbing-Fyn The ridge and up to approximately 8000 mi The Norwegian-Danish Basin and in Central Graven in the North Sea.

In the Triassic (approximately 245-208 million years before now) Denmark was on the border between the Scandinavian land area and the sea-covered area to the south of Europe. In the Norwegian-Danish Basin there was a sharp decline, and the largest layer series from that period, approximately 5000 m, found in North Jutland. The layer series alternates between materials brought here by rivers from the Scandinavian area and sea deposits deposited during transgressions (sea level rises) from the south. In northernmost Denmark, the deposits are dominated by reddish, coarse-grained river deposits. In southern Denmark, reddish sand and clay deposits deposited on river plains alternate with red, green and gray clay, limestone and marl stones with elements of anhydrite, all deposited in the sea. Rock salt from this period is found in the central part of the North Sea. Short-term sea level rises also led to the deposition of rock salt in salt lakes north of Ringkøbing-Fyn Højderyggen. From Bornholm, only red and green clay deposits with sandy layers are known, which were deposited on a river plain in the Late Triassic.

In the latter part of the period the climate became more humid, but remained warm; gray colors dominate the deposits from this period. Deposits from this last part of the Triassic have not been found on Bornholm and in the central part of the North Sea, possibly due to a short-term uplift and erosion.

The Jurassic (approximately 208-145.5 million years before now) was initiated in Denmark, as in large parts of NW Europe, by a sea level rise, and for the first time in the Mesozoic, fine-grained sediments were deposited at greater depths. From the Norwegian-Danish Basin and from the North Sea, more than 1000 m thick layers of dark gray claystone from the Early Jurassic are known. The more than 750 m thick layers of sand and clay from the same period on southwestern Bornholm are formed in rivers and freshwater lakes as well as in the coastal zone, ie. on tidal surfaces, in beach lakes and in swamp areas.

The transition from Early to Middle Jurassic was marked by tectonic turmoil. The central parts of the North Sea and Ringkøbing-Fyn The ridge was raised, and faulting activity characterized the Fennoscandian Edge Zone. A subsequent erosion meant that the dark gray marine clay stones from the Early Jurassic are only found north of Ringkøbing-Fyn Højderyggen and in the southern part of Central Graven. In the Middle Jurassic, a few hundred meters thick series of layers of sandstone with thin clay and coal layers deposited in rivers and delta areas were deposited. The series is known from Bornholm, North Jutland and Central Graven. In the North Sea, these sandstones form reservoir rocks for oil and gas deposits.

At the end of the Middle Jurassic, the sea penetrated again into the area north of Ringkøbing-Fyn Højderyggen and in Central Graven, while the area south of the ridge and Bornholm remained above sea level. A rapid subsidence in Central Graven provided space for the deposition of more than 3000 m of dark gray clay, whereas only approximately 150 m of gray clay and sandstone were deposited north of the ridge. The clay rock in the North Sea is rich in organic material – the starting material for the formation of the oil and gas that is extracted from the overlying limestone layers.

Renewed fault activity and rising in the Fennoscandian Border Zone on the transition from the Jurassic to the Cretaceous meant that the coastal zone moved again towards the SW. 200 m of sand and clay stones containing the sea-deposited, green mineral glauconite and remains from land plants testify that Vendsyssel was in the coastal zone, at the same time as the area south of the Limfjord was covered by the sea.

Chalk (approximately 145.5-65 million years before now) was characterized by a renewed sea level rise and a steady subsidence in the North Sea area. In Early Cretaceous, clay was deposited in the North Sea and in North Jutland. Bornholm was again in the coastal zone; an alternating series of clay and sand shows that the sea penetrated over the Bornholm area for a short period. In the middle of the Cretaceous, southern Denmark was also covered by the sea, and reddish marl was deposited throughout the North Sea basin in the first phase of the extensive transgression. An alternating series of conglomerates, sandstone and limestone testify that Bornholm was only covered by the sea for limited periods from late Early Cretaceous to mid-Late Cretaceous. In the Late Cretaceous, the coastal zone towards the NE wandered over the Scandinavian mainland, and up to 2000 m of pure limestone (writing chalk) was deposited in the Danish area. Together with the overlying Danien lime, this limestone forms the most important reservoir rocks for the Danish oil and gas deposits in the North Sea. Writing chalk, which can be seen by the cliffs of Møn and Stevn, originates from the youngest part of Chalk. Late in the Cretaceous, the so-called inversion zone was formed, which is an area in the Fennoscandian Peripheral Zone that is characterized by folding and rising, which has occurred in connection with the incipient folding of the Alps.

Tertiary (about 65-1.6 million years before now)

In the oldest part of the Tertiary period, Denmark, Denmark, with the exception of Vendsyssel and Bornholm, was covered by the sea. The transition from the Cretaceous is marked by the so-called fish clay, but otherwise the transition is not very conspicuous, as the deposits from Denmark consist of completely light, almost white, limestone rocks, which may resemble writing chalk. Denmark was previously included in the Cretaceous, but the layers’ content of fossils shows that they belong to the Tertiary. The Danien lime is divided into different types such as bryozo lime, coral lime and lime sand lime. Known deposits are Stevns Klint, Bulbjerg and the coral bank at Fakse (Fakse Kalkbrud).

Denmark is followed by Zealand, and together with Thanatia they form the Paleocene (about 65-57 million years before now). Just above the Danien limestone, there is a bottom conglomerate in places, which shows that the sedimentation has been interrupted for some time. In the Copenhagen area, dark gray clay with many shells of mussels and snails has also been preserved.

Above the bottom conglomerate, especially on Zealand, is clay, which is greenish colored by glauconite (Lellinge green sand). Incidentally, the layer series is dominated by a light gray marl (Kerteminde marl), which is replaced by gray, lime-free clay. In Jutland and on Funen you then encounter very greasy clay with alternating greenish, bluish and brownish colors (Holmehus formation); this deposit forms part of what is traditionally called “the plastic clay”.

At the end of the Paleocene and in the first part of the Eocene, there was a violent volcanism in the North Atlantic area, which is traced as volcanic ash layers in the Danish layer series. In the Limfjord area, the ash layers appear in the mole (the Furformation), whose large content of diatoms and many other fossils (insects, fish, birds, turtles) show that the climate was warm at the time. South of the Limfjord area, the ash layers are mostly associated with gray clay deposits (the Ølst Formation).

Then follows the rest of the “plastic clay” comprising Røsnæsler and Lillebæltsler, which can be found at Røsnæs and in Røgle Klint. These deposits cause extensive landslides. In the last part of the Eocene, the deposits became very calcareous, and they are known from East Jutland in the form of sea marl.

Clay deposits from the Early and Middle Oligocene are known from Jutland under the name of the Viborg Formation and the Fire Clay. The deposits have a smaller geographical distribution than the Eocene, and they were probably deposited in a shallower sea.

In the Late Oligocene and Miocene, rivers from the Scandinavian mainland carried large amounts of clay and sand with a significant content of mica minerals into the North Sea basin; the sand is generally light, and the clay dark-colored by organic matter (the Vejlefjord formation). At least twice during the Miocene (about 23-5 million years before now) the sea stretched so far to the west that Jutland was flooded by rivers, and deltas with swamp forests emerged; these were later converted to lignite. In an intermediate period, the sea penetrated again over West and Central Jutland and deposited sand with snails and mussels (Arnum formation).

At the end of the Miocene, the sea again lay over West and Central Jutland, and dark, mica-containing clay (Hoddeler) and then gray-brown Gramler were deposited with many fossils, which testify that the climate was a little warmer than today. Then the sea retreated once more to the west, and in almost the entire youngest part of the Tertiary, the Pliocene (about 5-1.6 million years before now), Denmark was dry land.

Quaternary (approximately 1.6 million present)

The Quaternary period is characterized by large climate fluctuations, which result in ice ages interrupted by warm periods, interglacials. During the ice ages, sea levels were low; Glaciers formed in northern Russia, Scandinavia and Scotland, from where they spread beyond the surrounding lowlands and established large ice formations, collectively referred to as the Northern European Ice Shield in Northern Europe, in Denmark. In the Middle Ages, the ice was gone and there was land and sea much like in the present.

The oldest Quaternary deposits in Denmark are from the Menap ice age. There are only quite a few deposits from here, but they show that Denmark was covered in ice.

In the subsequent period, the Cromerian Middle Ages, the climate was about the same as today, and Denmark was forested. From the period only a few lake deposits are known.

The Elster Ice Age, one of the great ice ages, replaced the Middle Ages. In the beginning, the Arctic climate was twice interrupted by short periods of mild climate – the so-called interstadial times. From the icing itself, there are moraine and meltwater deposits, which show that Denmark was exceeded by at least three different ice flows from the Scandinavian Peninsula.

During the meltdown at the end of Elster and into the subsequent Holstein interglacial period, Southern Jutland and the western Limfjord regions were covered by sea. The deposits from that period contain arctic molluscs and foraminifera, which are replaced by more heat-demanding forms. During a land uplift during the interglacial period, the sea withdrew, and the Danish land area became larger. Very little is known about the land in Holstein, as only a few lake deposits have been found. It seems that the plant growth around the lakes was characterized by nutrient-poor soil conditions.

The subsequent Saale Ice Age was also a great ice age. At the beginning of this, the Arctic climate was twice replaced by mild, interstadial periods. From Saale are known not only deposits but also remnants of landscapes. The hill islands, located in West Jutland, are the highest parts of this ice age landscape, whose lower parts are covered by meltwater plains from the subsequent ice age. In Denmark, there are deposits from at least three different Scandinavian ice streams from the Saale ice age; the first from a north-easterly direction, the second from the south-east via the Baltic Sea basin and the last again from the north-east.

In North Jutland, the sea penetrated at the end of Saale, and then began the deposition of a more than 100 m thick marine layer series, which in addition to deposits from the end of Saale includes the entire subsequent Eem interglacial period for approximately 132,000-114,000 years ago and the first part of the last ice age, the Weichsel. The background for this long-term sea cover of North Jutland is believed to be a tectonic subsidence. The Eem sea was warmer than today with a rich fauna of foraminifera. In southern Denmark, the sea did not penetrate until the beginning of the Eem, and it retreated again before the end of the Middle Ages. These two sea areas were separated by a land area from which quite a few lake deposits are known. They show that the country was forested and had hot summers and mild winters.

In one of the lake deposits, it was previously thought to have found traces of the Eem Middle Ages man, as at Hollerup Kiselgurgrav near Langå, southwest of Randers, deer bones have been found, which were considered to have been split by humans (Neanderthals). However, new studies of the bones, published in 2012, challenge this presumption (put forward in the 1950’s by the zoologist Ulrik Møhl), as no traces of human processing have been found.

During the last ice age, the Weichsel, the ice extent was smaller than in both Elster and Saale. The Weichsel Ice Age lasted from 114,000 to 10,000 years before now. In the first part of the ice age, there were two mild interstadials. While northern Jutland was covered by sea early in the Weichsel, the rest of Denmark lay for long periods as part of the northern European tundra steppe, also called the mammoth steppe.

The first glacier protrusions came from resp. north and southeast, but the timing and extent of these are not fully understood. The main glacial event occurred for approximately 18,000 years ago, when the ice from the north and northeast moved to the main state line in Jutland. After the melting of the Northeast Ice, 16,000 years ago followed an ice advance from the southeast to the East Jutland ice edge line. From the melting of this ice, there are several traces of ice edge positions over the Danish islands, from the so-called Belt Sea advance. When the ice disappeared, most of Denmark was above sea level. An exception was Vendsyssel, whose lower parts were flooded by the Arctic Ocean (Yoldia Sea) 15,000 years ago. Three millennia later, the land uplift that pushed the Arctic Ocean away and introduced the mainland era began.

The last part of the Weichsel Ice Age is called the Late Glacial Age. The land was ice-free except for isolated dead ice deposits. Cold periods alternated with the warm Bølling and Allerød interstadials, and sparse tundra vegetation alternated with more lush plant growth.

Our time, the Postglacial Age, began 10,000 years ago. At that time, the ice had melted away from southern Scandinavia. The development in the Postglacial era fell in three main phases. In the first, the mainland period, the Danish land area was much larger than today; Denmark was landlocked with England. Thereafter, the Litorina Sea (Stone Age Sea) penetrated by a rapid sea rise caused by the melting of ice sheets elsewhere on Earth. Since then, the land uplift has drained previously sea-covered areas north of a line from Nissum Fjord to northern Falster. The postglacial vegetation development began with a light pioneer forest, which was followed by a dense, dark primeval forest. By human intervention, the cultural landscape emerged.

Denmark – the formation of the landscape

By far the largest of Denmark’s land areas are in their design the result of glacier activity and Arctic conditions during the last ice age, the Weichsel Ice Age. Only the coastal and dune areas are exceptions.

For most of the Weichsel ice age, Denmark was an open tundra landscape with sparse vegetation. First for approximately 18,000 years ago, ice currents from the north and east reached the main state line, which runs from Bovbjerg over Hald to Padborg in Jutland, where the ice edge was relatively quiet for a long period.

West of the main state line are the hill islands, which are the highest remnants of the landscape from the previous ice age, the Saale Ice Age, and which during the entire Weichsel Ice Age have been exposed to snow drifts, frost blasting, spring floods, landslides and leaching. From glacier gates, meltwater washed over low-lying parts of the landscape and buried them in sand and gravel; thereby the large meltwater plains or heath plains were formed. The largest of these are Karup Hedeslette, Grindsted Hedeslette and Tinglev Hedeslette.

North and east of the main condition line are the young moraine landscape, which contains many different landscape forms. At the fronts of the glaciers, ice edge hills or edge moraines were formed, eg Tolne Hills in Thy, Mols Bjerge and Odsherredbuerne. Some are formed by the fact that the ice during repeated thrusts has pushed the preceding material together; others are built up of meltwater deposits built up along a stagnant ice edge. In front of the ice, smaller meltwater plains formed locally, Tirstrup Hedeslette on Mols and Bregninge Hedeslette in West Zealand. Behind these, inlays formed, i.e. smooth, low-lying bottom moraine landscapes that have the shape of glacier tongues, and these are in many cases later flooded, eg Kalø Vig.

During the active ice, other landscapes took place. The sliding movement of the glacier over the surface created a smoothed moraine landscape with elongated drumlin hills oriented in the direction of movement of the ice. These relatively low hills are found on North Funen, Midtsjælland and Lolland, and the moraine landscapes constitute some of Denmark’s best agricultural areas.

In front of the ice, the meltwater in several places created very wide extra-marginal meltwater valleys, several of which ran parallel to the glacier front. Large parts of the Gudenåen run in a former meltwater valley.

Under the ice, especially in summer, meltwater flowed towards the glacier front in large channels. Depending on whether the water eroded in the subsoil or there was a filling with sand and gravel in the ice-bounded runs, elongated hills and long, deep and steep tunnel valleys with thresholds formed at the bottom and often with elongated lakes. The largest tunnel valleys are found in East Jutland, eg near Viborg, Vejle and Kolding, while most hills are found on the islands, eg on Midtfyn and in South and East Zealand. Both tunnel valleys and hills run parallel to the direction of ice movement.

In other cases, the ice edge and glacier surface were divided into a jumble of water-filled basins and rivers. At the same time there was a gradual filling with clay, sand and gravel. These deposits lie as “negative” imprints of the original ice-bounded runs and basins and are characterized by uneven terrain with numerous drainless holes, a so-called dead ice landscape. At Vissenbjerg on Midtfyn and at Gyldenløveshøj on Zealand, there are impressive large hilly landscapes of this type. The slopes have steep sides and are flat at the top and are called ice lake or ridge slopes. They consist mainly of sorted sand and gravel and thus represent an important raw material resource. If the ice slid over hills of this type during a renewed thrust, the inner stratification could be disturbed. Such hills are called hat-shaped hills due to their shape and are found mainly on Langeland and in West Zealand.

The ice has probably been over 2 km thick in the eastern parts of the country, and it caused a significant depression of the earth’s crust, until several hundred meters below the current level.

As the ice melted away, the land rose again, albeit with some delay. Therefore, the sea managed to flood large areas of land in several places, especially in North Jutland, during the melting period. The North Sea and Kattegat were icebergs. The deposits from these are found at an altitude of 20-60 m in Vendsyssel.

For approximately 6000 years ago, the Litorina Sea, also called the Stone Age Sea, reached a somewhat higher level in the northern parts of Denmark than the sea has today, and penetrated far into several East Jutland valleys and created a flat valley floor. In Central Jutland, it reached all the way to Viborg. Many overgrown coastal cliffs from that period are found today behind the current coastline. Since then, the land in Vendsyssel has risen 15 m in relation to the sea. South of a line from Nissum Fjord to Nordfalster, on the other hand, the land has sunk a few meters in relation to the current sea level. In these areas, eroded coastal cliffs are usually seen. In the Wadden Sea area, a partly biologically conditioned marsh formation keeps pace with the relative land subsidence.

The most important natural landscape formation since the ice age, ie. in the Holocene, has taken place along the coasts. Sanding and erosion constantly change the course of the coasts. Large dune areas are found especially along the west coast of Jutland, where the white, active sea ​​dunes face the sea. Behind are inactive and overgrown green- resp. gray dunes. The inland dune areas, the so-called insander, which are found on the heath plains, eg near Billund, have also been inactive for several periods since the end of the ice age. Previously, the dune areas along the coasts were characterized by large recurring sand escape periods. The latest of these lasted from the 1300’s. to 1900-t. The climate was cool and windy. Storm surges in 1825 and 1862 led to breakthrough by Agger Tange. As a result of sand escape control and less storm frequency, the sand escape was gradually reduced at the end of the 1800’s, in North Zealand, however, already in the 1700’s.

Especially behind the coastline, landscape development has been increasingly influenced by the human presence and use of natural resources; the cultural landscape has emerged.

Denmark – the cultural landscape

The appearance of the current cultural landscape is the result of a millennial development process, where people through their business have radically transformed the landscape through deforestation, arable farming and the construction of settlements.

The open country

The open country are the areas that lie outside enclosed urban settlements, and where the use is largely based on the natural resources. It is completely dominated by agriculture, with approximately 2/3 of the country’s total area is utilized by agriculture and a further 12% by forestry. The landscape is characterized by well-cultivated fields, fences and scattered forests; larger forests are rare. Small towns, farms and houses are spread over the landscapes and are connected by a fine-meshed traffic network. The scattered rural settlements are characteristic of Denmark. Almost all field boundaries and other area boundaries are sharp, often rectilinear; unoccupied areas are few. Only on the coasts, outside the cottage areas, a natural landscape development takes place, and in some wetlands there is natural vegetation. Larger streams are rare and their tributaries are often piped.

The first widespread arable farming and thus deforestation began 6000 years ago in the late Stone Age; later expansion of the cultivation is known from the Iron Age and the Viking Age. After the Iron Age, heath spread and overgrazed on meager lands and forest on slightly better lands, when marginal arable farming was again abandoned. In the Middle Ages, many new settlements emerged in the forest areas that had previously avoided clearing.

In the 1700’s and 1800’s. came new major changes, especially by virtue of the agrarian reforms of the 1780’s, which created a whole new structure. It was especially the village landscapes of Eastern Denmark with a pronounced division of the land into small plots, which took on a completely different character with the introduction of freehold, replacement and relocation of farms, especially in the large ownership estates. The landscape picture was greatly changed after the collection of the individual farm’s many, scattered fields to a few larger fields. It provided a rationalization gain for the field work; in addition, a number of innovations were introduced in agricultural technology from the middle of the 1800’s, such as the transition from wheel to swing plow and the introduction of clover in the grassland, of drainage and of merging. The yields became greater.

In the last decades of the 1800-t. agriculture was completely reorganized; the main emphasis was shifted from growing bread grains to breeding fodder crops to increasing animal production. The shift to exporting agricultural products brought new elements into the cultural landscape such as road construction and the construction of railways, and it also led to many newly established cooperatives supporting agriculture, such as dairies, popping up on the outskirts of villages. The breakthrough of industrial society began to shape the open country. 1800’s intensification of farming throughout the country and the inclusion of the heaths in Jutland enabled a doubling of the number of farms during the century. It became almost 200,000 properties, which with versatile operation and varying crop patterns came to shape the landscape over the next hundred years.

In the early 1800’s. A clear separation of forest and agriculture was also carried out by the Peace Forest Ordinance of 1805. The delimitation of forests was permanently determined, and they have since constituted a constant element in the cultural landscape. The forests were to produce timber and fuel and no longer be pastures.

In the last decades of the 1900-t. the open country has again undergone significant changes. Fewer and larger farms in agriculture with specialized production have been the general trend, although more agricultural laws have protected self-ownership and family farming as well as limited mergers. The number of large, uniform field fields has increased in step with mechanization, and a decreasing variation in the landscape has been the result.

The Urban and Rural Zone Act of 1969 introduced an administrative separation of land and city, and with its strict restrictions on land use and construction in the open country, the law (since 1991 the Planning Act) has had a preservative effect on rural building patterns. From the 1970’s, EC/EU rules, most recently the set-aside scheme, as well as the counties’ regional plans left their mark on the landscape. Furthermore, there has been a growth in holiday home areas and protected areas.

The extensive utilization of the Danish landscape, including the country’s intensive agriculture, is favored by the natural basis, the mild Atlantic climate and the weak relief of the terrain. In addition, the short distance to the sea has enabled extensive dewatering of wetlands and drainage of waterlogged soils. Relatively large areas, especially in Eastern Denmark (the Islands and East Jutland), have fertile soil formed on geologically young and nutrient-rich deposits from the last ice age. In contrast, West Jutland is characterized by sandy soil partly developed on older ice age deposits. Heath and arable land have here fought for the lands for the last five millennia, and only during the 1900’s. the area has been intensively exploited using new techniques, fertilizers and irrigation. North Jutland, ie. Himmerland and Den Nørrejyske Ø, are characterized by sandy soils and wetlands with large bogs.

These diverse regions have been subject to a number of common, societal influences over the past few centuries; legislation, economic governance, improved technology and increasing efforts for environmental and nature protection have left their mark. Depending on the regions’ natural basis, the common, nationwide regulations have fallen out differently in Eastern Denmark, Western Jutland and North Jutland.

Eastern Denmark

Eastern Denmark has a varied terrain of predominantly clayey and calcareous moraine surfaces and hills, the so-called young moraine landscapes, which form the basis for fertile soils. The landscape image shows large, densely populated, homogeneous fields, dominated by plant breeding. Fertilization, spraying and drainage have caused grains and seedlings to form uniform, weed-free carpets over hills and depressions and obscure the relief. Cattle on grass are a relatively rare sight. Scattered, smaller deciduous forests and fences as well as the large East Jutland valleys with meadows and scrub alleviate the monotony.

The contemporary settlements in the open country are dense and varied with single farms, detached houses, villages and smaller service towns. The larger towns, former market towns, lie chiefly on the coast and at the bottom of the fjords; their settlements are on their way out into the open country. The 1900’s traffic network has been completely dominated by cars: Bridges and motorways link Eastern Denmark. Sailing, which used to be an important and inexpensive form of transport that connected the regions, has now become an expensive cost that particularly threatens the population of the many smaller islands. Despite the many technical advances of the 1900’s, the East Danish landscape is still full of old cultural traces, which are partly seen in the burial mounds, churches and the older farms, partly in large area patterns around manors and villages. The manors, which are closest to Funen, Lolland and southern Zealand, has extensive fields of fertile soil surrounded by hedges, ditches or rock dikes as well as forests of several hundred ha. Long avenues, pompous buildings and gardens are remnants of the Renaissance and the autocracy. Today, many large farms have financial difficulties in maintaining the listed buildings and parks.

The owners of the manors protected the high forest from predation, and Eastern Denmark therefore had significant deciduous forest areas around 1800, when the rest of the country was almost deforested. In North Zealand, the king had large forest areas with straight forest roads laid out in a star pattern such as game courses. Such ancient forests have protected several early cultural traces, such as high-backed fields and many burial mounds.

The village, like the manor, is a cultural-historical track. After the land reforms of the late 1700’s. the manors had to let go of much of the peasantry, which slowly passed into private ownership. Around Eastern Denmark’s numerous villages, the community of owners was abolished, the lands were replaced, and each farm was allowed to collect its land in one or a few plots. In many villages the farms remained in their original place together with the church, and today they mark small medieval centers. From these villages radiated the property boundaries of the replacement era, marked by fences or dikes, and such a star pattern is traced in modified form around many small towns. The replacement and cultivation of overgrazing also meant that many farms were moved out in the middle of a new adjacent land, possibly. after a split. According to the Peace Forest Ordinanceof 1805 impoverished wooded areas were handed over to agriculture, and on such peripheral and marginal lands quite small farms were established. These uses are found in the outskirts of owner-occupied cliffs clamped against a forest or bog.

The character of the East Danish landscape with scattered farms and houses was created by the strong growth in the number of small farms as a result of the relocation and farm divisions. However, it did not prevent an escape from country to city or emigration to USA. With state support, colonies of uniform homesteading were later established under laws of 1899 and 1919 (the county replacement) to counteract rural exodus. These small farms are often located in rows on good soil from large farms and form a special building pattern that, among other things. are found on Nordfyn, Lolland, Als and on Holbækegnen. The last homestead colonies were established in the 1950’s. The number of agricultural holdings has since fallen sharply as a result of amalgamation and leasing. By exemptions from the Zone Act and the Agricultural Acts Businesses have settled in the open country in several places.

The cultivated area has changed character; intensively utilized fields have replaced hay and pastures that have almost disappeared in Eastern Denmark. The first drains took place via a network of open ditches, which from approximately 1850 was replaced by buried drainage pipes of brick, later of plastic. The acidic and swampy plots of land were thereby greatly reduced or completely removed. In the forests one can still find the old system of open ditches. The rivers in the arable land are in most places regulated in straight canals or piped.

The few remaining water holes are either natural or artificially created irrigation holes or remnants of gravel and marl pits. On the clayey soils, there used to be a water hole in almost every field. The peat excavation continued well into the 1900’s, and it left rectangular ponds and lakes with scrub. Many small holes and ponds have been eliminated because they stood in the way of the large agricultural machinery; others have been transformed into game thieves. After 1980, there has been a counter-movement from recreational nature interests: Many reclaimed areas become lakes again, and streams are again laid in meanders.

The Nature Conservation Act of 1992 protects pastures, meadows, bogs and dikes that were the result of agriculture’s previous forms of farming. Attempts are also being made to transform raw material pits into recreational nature areas, for example in North Zealand and at Hedehusene.

Eastern Denmark consists of several hundred small and large islands and has many natural bays and fjords, which is why the coastline is relatively long, approximately 6000 km. Its character alternates between moraine cliffs, in some places limestone cliffs and sandy beach ramparts and lush beach meadows. The importance of the coasts has changed; until 1900 fishing and sailing took place from here. After the loss of Southern Jutland in 1864, agriculture needed new areas, and small and large bays, especially on North Funen, in North Zealand and on Lolland-Falster, were dammed and drained. Some of the dams were very financially successful, eg Lammefjord in NW Zealand, others were too sandy to give a profit. Through the 1900’s welfare society, the coasts have gained new values ​​for outdoor life and holiday development. Since 1950, holiday home areas near the coast have grown strongly in Eastern Denmark, but legislation from 1937 ensures that the beach must not be built on or destroyed, eg through resource extraction. Furthermore, the public is guaranteed access to all beaches. Nature conservation interests seek in particular to protect the beaches and the internationally rare moraine cliff shores.

Bornholm’s landscapes are very special with bedrock and an alternation between lush and barren areas within short distances. Both Nordbornholm’s 100 m high bedrock horst and the old sediments of the south are in most places superimposed by nutrient-rich ice age deposits. The commons on the central part of the island are characterized by sandy and swampy soils with rocks jutting up here and there. Since the beginning of the 1800-t. is a forest here on what was previously the king’s property, but served as the public’s grazing area, Højlyngen, with scrub and heather. It is now part of a strip of younger, municipal plantations from Nexø in the east to Hammeren in the NW. In addition, there are many small forests associated with overgrazing (rock loops) and fissure valleys. North of Rønne and at Dueodde, pine plantations have been laid out as a defense forest against sand escape.

In a wide zone around Almindingen there is a rich agricultural belt; here, self-owned farms of 20-50 ha have been scattered for a very long time, without village community and lords. The form of operation and crop selection is similar to the other East Danish islands with plant and pig breeding. Apart from Aakirkeby, the towns are located on the coast, and between these there are many fishing villages that are slowly being transformed into holiday villages. Raw materials (granite, coal and clay) have been the subject of extensive industrial exploitation and have given rise to many small quarries and gravel pits; between Hammeren and Rønne, large raw material pits can be seen, completely or partially abandoned, with new, colorful lakes and overgrowths.

Fixed rock sections, stone fences, burial mounds and the monument stone surrounded by lush fields and deciduous tree edges give a fascinating, contrasting impression. This distinctive feature attracts a very large number of tourists. Hotels, guest houses, campsites and holiday homes add a new touch to the cultural landscape.

West Jutland

Despite its meager lands, this part of the country appears well utilized with fields, plantations and narrow meadows along the streams. Arable land is often divided into small fields framed by hedges. This picture is seen especially on the sandy soils of the flat heaths, but also on the surrounding, meager hill islands, where the landscape is divided by kilometer-long windbreaks, perpendicular to the moist strokes of the river valleys. On the clayey parts of the hill islands, the good soils allow the terrain to lie freely and open. The intensive West Jutland agriculture is the result of an extensive cultural-technical effort and the right choice of crop, as well as the construction of the windbreaks and the use of irrigation systems. There are still traces of previous irrigation systems from fixed canals and gutters along the rivers, eg the Dalgas Canal by Skjern Å.

The windbreaks have during the second half of 1900-t. changed character, as the dark coniferous fences have largely been replaced with light wood-rowed hardwood fences that are more durable and provide better conditions for wildlife. The spring’s threatening sand escape has not only been combated with the windbreaks, but after 1987 far better with the mandatory evergreen fields. The well-cultivated land has been created by more than 100 years of arduous work to cultivate the extensive heathland areas that characterized West Jutland well into the 1900’s; the last major cultivation projects were not implemented until the 1950’s. Simultaneously with the transformation of the heaths into fertile arable land, other areas with particularly poor soils were separated and planted with conifers. In the many plantings in the late 1800’s. mountain pine was included as a pioneer and nursing tree in the construction of the heath plantations, but these are today dominated by spruce. However, mountain pine plantations still function as a protective forest in dunes and sand dunes. Towards the end of the 1900’s. the choice of tree species has become more varied, with deciduous trees so that the plantations can provide more recreational experiences and greater diversity among animals and plants.

The settlements in the open country form a pattern of scattered farms and houses; small and medium-sized industrial and service towns have grown up in line with heath cultivation. Many of the oldest farms and houses lie in a row along streams or wetland areas and are connected by roads parallel to the stream. These farms were originally linked to the old form of meadow farming, where the nourishment from the hay in the meadows was utilized by the cattle, whose manure was again spread on the field, where grain was grown; the heath was an outfield that was occasionally cultivated and provided grass and heather peat. There are also older settlements on the better lands of the hill islands. The farms are located here more randomly in the landscape.

Between the Ådal farms and the old clusters of farms on the hill islands, there are younger, scattered settlements, originally small heath farms that grew larger with continued heath cultivation. In the 1960’s, West Jutland agriculture reached a peak. Thereafter employment fell, and some of the farms grew larger; they are seen today with large buildings that have been expanded and modernized on the basis of land leases of neighboring farms. The new operating units are laying down fences and plumbing ditches to get larger rational fields. The landscape image thus becomes more open.

The colonization of the heath and wetlands formed the basis for a large population growth. This created a labor reserve that has migrated to the cities, such as Herning, Ikast and Billund, since the 1930’s, and has covered the needs of the many new companies for employees.

Locally, West Jutland has been characterized by large lignite excavations, which have left a wild landscape of overgrown clearing mounds with deep lakes in between. A similar impression of wasteland can be found on some of the protected heaths and in the forested Midtjyske Søhøjland as well as along Den Jyske Højderyg, which forms the transition between West and East Jutland.

The west coast between Thyborøn and Blåvands Huk is apart from Bovbjerg a low, sandy lagoon area with seaweed, naturally reinforced by coastal dunes, whose bright peaks can be seen from afar. Since the Stone Age, the sea has constantly eaten into the country and especially in the last 200 years with several meters per. year. With increasing efforts, the state has sought to inhibit coastal degradation. Hips have been built in the vulnerable places since 1862, especially from Agger to Nissum Fjord, where stones and concrete structures stretch out from the coast. In addition, there are breakwaters, compact collections of heavy rocks parallel to the coast, supplemented by large pumps of sand and gravel from the seabed (the coast is fed). The belt of sea dunes, which when planted is inhibited from migrating into the country, slips into the water, and dune dikes, reinforced by concrete blocks, have even had to be built.

Holmsland Klit, the natural seaweed in front of Ringkøbing Fjord, is wide and has large dunes that act as a natural protection against the sea; only a few places are reinforcements. Old, four-lane farms can still be seen between fast-growing holiday settlements. Further south towards Blåvands Huk, the sand deposits of the sea and the wind have built up dune landscapes that reach several kilometers inland.

The coastal area in SW Jutland is a highly regulated and partly man-made landscape, where it has been necessary to build dikes to survive. The area consists of tidal flooded waders as well as extensive, flat salt marshes, marshes. The great heathlands of the hinterland continue out under the marsh and the waders; only a few places even hilly islands go all the way out to sea. The entire landscape ends west of the peninsula Skallingen and the dune islands Fanø, Mandø and Rømø.

The marsh landscape is one of the Danish areas where the interaction between humans and nature has been most dramatic. The daily tide is at 1-2 m; storm surges of up to 5 m above DNN (Danish Normal Zero) constantly create a risk of flooding, which is an important part of the living conditions of the marsh and dune residents.

Farthest to the north around Ho Bay are still unprotected salt marshes, but almost all the way south hinders dikes from the 1900’s. floods. Especially in Tøndermarsken one boil is seen, ie. dammed marsh, outside on the other, terminated to the west by the protruding dike from 1979-81. The oldest cook is from 1500-t.

The marshlands have good soil, but the low location between 0 and 2 masl has caused the drainage to take place by a dense ditch system, which at the same time divides the landscape into small rectangular fields. The many fields of grain are of more recent date; until the mid-1900’s. the moist meadows were used only for fattening cattle and sheep. This still applies in more exposed places such as in the foreland west of the dikes as well as in the protected boilers near the land border.

The large marsh farms and houses are laid out in a row at river-free height on the surrounding, higher-lying gesture, ie. hill islands and heaths. The marsh itself is for the most part a building site; however, this does not apply to Tøndermarsken, where the pioneers laid out their buildings on artificial mounds out in the meadows, verfer. After the dams, farms and houses have also been built in the low marsh.

The Rømø dam (1948) and large land reclamation work outside the dikes have caused the coastline to move to the west, and the new areas are delimited by the straight lines of land reclamation. These culturally created landscapes help to dampen the effect of storm surges on the coast and thus protect both the dikes and the land behind them.

On Rømø and Fanø, holiday homes and tourism make their unmistakable mark on the landscape. During the summer months, the population multiplies, which constitutes a great burden on nature.

North Jutland

North Jutland consists of the Thy-Mors-Sallingegnen, Hanherred, Vendsyssel and Himmerland. Sandy shores with large dunes and low swampy plains deposited by the Litorina Sea together make up a third of North Jutland. Only Thy (apart from the North Sea coast), Mors and Salling have fertile soils, and the cultural landscape here is very reminiscent of Eastern Denmark. In the other areas, sand drift and swamping have caused major problems; only with the technological development of the 1900’s have these unfavorable conditions for agriculture been overcome. The sandy Litorina plains have risen 4-10 m since the Stone Age. At the same time, the sea has formed coastal cliffs of different ages, most pronounced in the west, weakest in the east.

The coast itself consists of a sandy beach with a sandy cliff behind, except where the ice age deposits and subterranean limestone point-wise reach the seabed as promontories: Lodbjerg, Hanstholm, Rubjerg, Hirtshals and Frederikshavn. The coast is suspended like garlands between these. From the coast, sand is blown up into large dunes, 1-7 km inland. The dune belts appear with large, dark conifer plantations, between which there are light dunes, heaths and heaths. I 1500-1600-t. caused sand escape that the population was displaced from the coastal zone. First in the 1800’s. the state got the sand escape under control by planting dune grasses and conifers. Dune plantations became common after 1880. However, the barren dune zone allowed for some sheep breeding and coastal fishing from open beach; since then, fishing has been concentrated in the new fishing ports, however, traces of the earlier culture are still seen in the form of boat lifts and older houses. The Klitz zone is generally very sparsely populated, but after 1930 large holiday home areas have emerged where nature conservation and sand escape control have allowed it, especially in Vendsyssel. Among the dune regions, Skagens Odde is in a class of its own by its size (30 km out to sea) and by its large hiking dunes, of which the protected, vegetation-poorRåbjerg Mile is still very active. Towards the Kattegat and in the dried-out Gårdbo Lake, however, there are cultivation oases in this regulated “dune drought”. At the mouth of Aså and the Limfjord, the dune belt is low and narrow, and the shores have a number of salt marshes, which are bounded by the sea by narrow lagoons and sand barriers at the far end.

North Jutland’s other special terrain and cultural landscape are the extensive, low-lying marine plains formed by the Litorina Sea, which stretches from the dune belts of Jammer Bay’s along the Limfjord to the Kattegat coast and south to Mariager Fjord. The plains encircle a myriad of small and larger isolated hill sections with ice age deposits and subsoil, of which the Fjerritslev area is the largest. At the transition between these types of terrain, there are older farm rows as marginal settlements between grass and grain areas. The marine surfaces between Thy and the Fjerritslev area are only 1-3 masl Until the middle of the 1800’s. the plains here were divided by several shallow bays, the Vejlerne. An extraction of these became an economic failure, as the areas recovered were sandy and barren. The landscape is today meadow, reed forest and lakes, regulated by moderate pumping,2 large nature reserve. At Øland and Gjøl east of Fjerritslev, land reclamation was better; the state has paid for cultivation here (1930-40) and established long rows of homesteads.

Since the Iron Age, several bogs have been developed on the plains north and SE of Aalborg, especially the two approximately 100 km2large raised bogs Store Vildmose in Vendsyssel and Lille Vildmose in Himmerland. The peat layer in these is up to 5 m thick. After acquisitions, the state has rebuilt Store Vildmose, which was drained in the early 1900’s, excavated and marbled. Grasslands were laid out for the breeding of disease-free cattle; later, the area was subdivided and sold, so that long farm rows lie on the former bog area, of which there are protected remains. In Lille Vildmose there are traces of the early drying and cultivation of two lakes from approximately 1760. After 1930, the state cultivated the northeastern part of the bog and subdivided it for homesteading in the 1950’s. The northwestern quarter lies with large, bare, dark peatlands, partly excavated for peat litter; the southern half is a heather-clad raised bog, which together with Tofte Skov is fenced in and used as a zoo with red deer and wild boar.

Central Vendsyssel is located higher than the plains of the Litorina Sea and is equally divided between high-lying moraine landscapes and Yoldia surfaces, which are sea deposits from the end of the last ice age. The soil is sandy on both landscape elements, and agriculture is bothered by soil compaction despite the many windbreaks and evergreen fields. Long, watery streams, Uggerby Å and Voers Å, have eroded deep into the terrain during the significant land uplift since the ice age. Slopes and slopes that were previously meager overgrazing have after the 1880’s been planted with smaller forest areas or replanted with cultivated grass. The old farm buildings are rarely gathered in larger villages, but are found scattered at the transition between the mentioned terrain elements. Since 1600-t. individual farms have been far more frequent in Vendsyssel than in the rest of Denmark. The lonely location of the medieval churches is a consequence of this. For the service of the scattered rural population there is in the 1900-t. grown up a network of small towns at intersections and the now disused railway stations.

In Himmerland, villages are much more frequent than in Vendsyssel, and the terrain is built up of large, 60-100 m high rounded moraine sections with limestone subsoil near the surface. Deep and wide erosion valleys and the fossil shores of the Litorina Sea cut far into the moraine landscape, which rises steeply over the valleys and Litorina plains. Only after World War II were the valley bottoms and marine plains effectively drained and cultivated.

In Østhimmerland, the limestone subsoil is visible in many hill slopes and newly plowed fields. Abandoned and active limestone quarries are frequent. The older buildings here have been greatly expanded with detached house areas as a result of Ålborg’s proximity. The central and south-eastern Himmerland has been forested from ancient times; known is especially Rold Skov. Through the 1900’s. the areas have been expanded partly by additions to the old forests, partly by planting heaths and sandy fields. Vesthimmerland, like Vendsyssel, is plagued by landslides. On the hillside slopes are remnants of formerly widespread heaths; most are cultivated or planted, but southeast of Løgstør there is a 10 km long stretch of heath hills with traces of Iron Age fields. In addition, some larger plantations occur from approximately 1890. The newer rural settlements are scattered between older villages and service villages. Large farms are few, because subdivision associations have been very active in the first half of the 1900’s, when many homesteads were established. Holiday development is strikingly modest in Himmerland.

The built-up land

The earliest actual urban formation in Denmark (from the 800’s and 900’s) can be linked to the need for trade in the agricultural society’s surplus production. The natural preconditions for farming therefore had a decisive effect on the size and number of cities. In areas with poor soil, such as the heaths of western and central Jutland, the number and size of cities remained modest until industrialization. Along the coasts, many small market towns developed in the Middle Ages, linked to shipping. The presence of special raw materials or the possibilities of hydropower have also historically played a role, especially before industrialization. Several cities were founded due to easily accessible hydropower, eg Frederiksværk, Hellebæk, Brede, Silkeborg. Others, such as Nivå and Egernsund, grew strongly due to large deposits of stone-free clay,

The strong urban growth, urbanization, in the period approximately 1860-1940 was associated with industrialization. During this period, both the number of cities and the total urban population increased sharply; in 1860 there lived approximately 400,000 Danes in 83 cities. In 1940, there were 628 cities with a total population of 2.5 million. During the same period, the urban population’s share of the total population increased from 23% to 63%. It was especially the large and medium-sized cities that grew during the urbanization phase, while the medium-sized and small cities have had growth after World War II; especially small towns near the larger towns (eg in North Zealand). Since 1980, however, this growth has ceased. From the mid-1990’s, the Danish urban system is characterized by the development of two metropolitan regions; East Jutland-Aarhus and the Capital Area,

The possibilities for access to the prevailing mode of transport have always been of the greatest importance for the business development of cities, in ancient times especially ship traffic. Today, access to the overall road network (motorways) and air traffic play an important role. Finally, the administrative and political significance of the individual city has had a major impact on urban development. Copenhagen, which in 1000-t. was a modest landing site, underwent, for example, a vigorous development after it in the 1100-t. came under Bishop Absalon and later after the period in the 1400’s and 1500’s, when it became the capital. A contemporary parallel is the small towns that became administrative centers at the amalgamation of municipalities in 1970; they all grew strongly in the ensuing 25 years.

The urban pattern, or urban system, which is constituted by the size distribution and relative location of cities, is constantly changing, but slowly due to the large investments made in the physical structures of cities and their relatively long lifespan. The urban pattern in Denmark was developed partly in the Middle Ages and partly during urbanization, where the current mutual size ratio was largely determined. Copenhagen occupies a special position as the capital; the political centralization of about 1600-t. secured the city a dominant position in the country, and it was expanded through a tremendous growth during industrialization. With approximately 22% of Denmark’s population living in the capital, Copenhagen occupies a national position such as Budapest, Vienna, Paris and London. Denmark’s urban pattern is thus monocentric in contrast to, for example, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany,

In 2016, the cities are home to approximately 87% of the population. In addition to Copenhagen, the regional centers include the cities of Aarhus, Odense and Ålborg. They hold approximately 50% of the total urban population from the country’s 1415 cities (2016). They are centrally located in their respective parts of the country (but not Copenhagen after the divestment of Scania, Halland and Blekinge) and are home to general urban functions such as universities, headquarters for major businesses, dailies, TV and radio stations.

29 Danish cities have between 20,000 and 100,000 residents, eg Hjørring, Herning, Thisted, Kolding, Randers, Svendborg and Nykøbing Falster. They are regional centers, often also administrative centers in their region. The smaller market towns, large station towns, etc. with between 1,000 and 10,000 residents (446 cities in 2016) cover a smaller catchment area with retail and service; some have vocational education, and approximately 30 of these cities have high school. The smaller towns (less than 1000 residents) rarely have functions of more than a local character – eg grocery store, school, kindergarten.

Most major cities in Denmark have a broad business base; only a few are completely dominated by a single industry, which is more so among the medium-sized and small towns. This applies, for example, to Billund (Lego) and Bjerringbro (Grundfos).

City structure

The individual city consists of a number of neighborhoods (residential and industrial neighborhoods, the city center and possibly port areas) that house the city’s main functions. In addition, recreational areas and traffic facilities that connect the city’s neighborhoods together.

In the larger cities, which are also often market towns with a long history, the city center is easily recognizable by the street course, the completed buildings and their age. The city center is usually strongly influenced by retail, certain service industries and administration. The city center is most often the square, possibly. a ship bridge, as an expression of the city’s origins as a trading town. In the city center, the buildings have been densified over the centuries through the elevation of existing buildings and the addition of back and side houses. The floor area in relation to the ground area, ie. the building percentage has thereby grown. While newer residential areas have a population percentage of between 10 and 20, it is often more than 200 in the city centers and in bridge areas. However, urban renewals and redevelopments have drastically reduced the greatest densities since the 1960’s.

In the regional centers, the historic city center often constitutes a special business district, city, which houses a large concentration of shops, offices, institutions, theaters, restaurants, etc. The residential buildings are found in a number of neighborhoods, each with its own typical character, such as the closed block buildings of industrialism, the open park buildings of the 1940’s and the large, uniform residential areas of the post-war period – social housing or detached houses. From the late 1980’s, the social division of the housing market has developed socially disadvantaged districts (so-called ghettos) sharply separated from enclaves for the wealthy middle class. Finally, the newer business districts are most often located on the outskirts of cities near the overall road network.

The medium-sized cities, the regional centers, are very similar in their structure to the regional centers, but the division into neighborhoods is often less pronounced, and the individual neighborhoods are of a lesser extent. In these cities, the strong investment in catchment area functions is often seen in the form of shopping streets along the city’s old main streets, while the interiors of the squares have been transformed into e.g. parking spaces. In addition, the historic city center is often surrounded by a circulation street that will distribute the traffic flow to the parking lots. Outside this ring road are the residential and commercial districts. Herning and Roskilde are examples of this. The actual residential areas are characterized by open buildings, especially detached and terraced houses, but also multi-storey houses.

The city center in the smaller market towns often consists of the enclosed buildings in 1-2 storeys along the most important road routes, eg the country road and the access road to the station. Around the city center are mainly small houses. With the industrialization, most market towns added new types of buildings to the existing ones: industrial and station districts and possibly working-class neighborhoods. The transition to these newer neighborhoods is often marked by a strip of parks, space-consuming facilities (eg electricity and gas plants), station and harbor areas and cemeteries. From the beginning of this century, the buildings have become more open with institution building and larger common areas for recreational use.

Denmark – inland waters

The inland Danish waters (Skagerrak, Kattegat and Belt Sea) form a flat-water transition area between the oceanically affected North Sea and the continental Baltic Sea.


The seabed in inland Danish waters has an irregular topography, shaped by glacial glaciers and the sea. In the last phase of the ice age, a series of glacier advances spread from the southeast up through the belts as each thrust left moraine material that since the penetration of the sea has marked the seabed with a number of transverse reefs and grounds, from Djursland in the north to Gedser in the south. A narrow, irregular run with depths over 20 m connects through the Great Belt Kattegat and the Baltic Sea. Lillebælt has an even more complicated course with a threshold depth of almost 20 m, and Øresund is already “blocked” at Drogden, where the depth is only 8 m.

Dynamic conditions

The uneven bottom conditions, often with narrow branches, prevent efficient flow and divide the seabed into numerous basins in which sediments settle, including the wastewater content of polluting sludge. Especially in hot summers, extensive oxygen depletion has therefore been a recurring phenomenon.

The Baltic Sea has a large supply of fresh water, which causes a strong outward fallow surface current through the inland Danish waters; at the same time, the current in the bottom layer transports saline water from the North Sea towards the Baltic Sea. The boundary between the two masses of water is called the spring layer. Due to friction, there will be some mixing between the two layers, whereby the salinity of the surface water increases from the Baltic Sea towards the North Sea, and the salinity at the bottom decreases on the way to the Baltic Sea. However, this two-layer flow is quite sensitive to influences from the wind.

Under strong wind influences, large water level differences can occur between the Kattegat and the western part of the Baltic Sea (± 0.8 m) due to the wind compressing the water masses (wind stagnation). This creates a surface slope that results in a total water transport to the north or south depending on the wind direction. The current speed increases and can, for example, in the Belt Sea reach approximately 2 m/s. Water level differences caused by tides (tidal amplitude) are largest at the border with the North Sea (1-2 m) and smallest at the Baltic Sea (0.1 m).

The temperature conditions are controlled by heat exchange with the atmosphere, which is why the average surface temperature fluctuates between 0-2 °C in February and 18 °C in August, while the bottom temperature is approximately 4 °C and 12 °C.


The Great Belt’s deep channel is used by the majority of ships with a draft of more than 10 m that pass through Danish waters; despite markings from Hatter Rev to Langelandsbæltet, pilotage is recommended.

Before the time of steamships, the modest draft of the sailing ships allowed calls at almost any Danish coast, but when the draft exceeded 5 m, even most market town ports had to deepen their sailing. The traditional fjord harbor is shallow, while healthy harbors such as Aalborg, Fredericia, Svendborg and Stigsnæs are deep and “self-cleaning” due to their location close to deep channels where the current is strong. With the ships’ increased tonnage and draft, quay depths of 10 m also became too small during the 1960’s, and especially refineries and power plants had to build deep-water ports, eg Stigsnæs by the Great Belt with Denmark’s largest quay depth (18 m).

Denmark – ecosystem and environmental management

The ecological cycles have been undergoing strong change since 1950. This is primarily due to the rapidly increasing consumption of energy and raw materials. Large amounts of chemical substances have thus come into circulation. As an attempt to control this development, extensive legislation has been made on the design and use of the Danish landscape. The purpose is “to seek to ensure the qualities of the external environment that are important for people’s recreational and hygienic living conditions and for the preservation of a versatile animal and plant life”, as stated in Denmark’s first environmental law (Environmental Protection Act) from 1974. The concept of “the external environment” has become the “environment” in everyday speech.

From nature to culture

There have also been major changes in the ecological cycles in the past. The Danish landscape has been constantly changing since it was formed by the ice more than 12,000 years ago. The causes are both natural and man-made. For a longer period from approximately 6000 BC to 500 BC the land was almost completely covered by a forest of linden trees with me and elm. Then the climate became cooler and more humid. Then came the book. Animal and plant life were shaped in a natural process of evolution; this means that the energy from the sun was utilized efficiently and the elements circulated in almost closed orbits. This forest landscape was a natural ecosystem, until the people left lasting traces by clearing the forest to arable land. Denmark became a cultural landscape.

The ecosystem Denmark is in the early 2000’s. very different from the early forest landscape. The turnover of energy has become many times greater, because we are increasingly supplementing the energy from sunlight with other energy, produced using fossil fuels, such as oil and coal. The use of this extra energy has also led to an increased metabolism. The closed course of the substance cycles has been replaced by more open cycles with a large transport of chemical substances both out of and into the country. Although this development has taken place over more than 2000 years, it was not until the 1900’s. and especially after 1950, that the substance cycles really changed character.

When the forest disappeared

In the Iron Age, the first major clearings of the forest began. Land had to be provided for growing crops. The foundation for the open Danish cultural landscape was laid, a landscape that is mostly used for farming.

It requires a constant supply of energy to run agriculture in the same way as other activities that work against the natural development of ecosystems. If agricultural land is not maintained, the natural ecological processes will bring forest back to the cleared areas.

In the centuries after the Iron Age deforestation, periods in which the forest took over again alternated with periods of expansion of the cultivated area. In addition, wood was up to around 1800 the most important energy source for heating and the most important raw material for houses, tools and fences. The domestic animals also grazed in the forest. In some places, the forest disappeared because it was used for fuel in, for example, glass industries and saltworks. In addition, the Danish navy and other military activities, especially in the 1500’s and 1600’s. seizures of a myriad of mature oak trees.

Around 1600, 20-25% of the country was forested. But for the next 200 years, forests were subjected to such severe felling that the forest area in the year of the Peace Forest Ordinance, 1805, was less than 4% of the country’s area – the smallest ever. The new provisions on e.g. replanting meant that the forest area was again expanded, so that the forests around 1990 covered approximately 12% of the country. But it was a completely different forest. Most of the newly planted trees were conifers that grow faster than beech and oak.

The large decline in forest area in the period up to approximately 1700 more effects on the ecological circuits. Groundwater rose over most of the country, in some places up to several meters. Lakes, bogs, and streams flooded the lands, and new swamps and marshes were formed. The high water content meant that the growing season of the crops was shortened to approximately 100 days and that the soil became more acidic. Further had the sand escapetaken to such an extent that approximately 5% of Jutland’s area had to be abandoned for cultivation. The flight of sand was also a consequence of the utilization of the forests, which originally extended all the way to the coast. The sand escape closed many watercourses and thereby helped to raise the groundwater level. Finally, agricultural land returned to an ever-increasing extent the plant nutrients that were taken away by harvesting crops; in particular, there was a shortage of nitrogen.

The landscape of the Golden Age painters

In the 1700’s and 1800’s. this trend was reversed. It once again changed the look of the landscape and the ecological circuits. The sand escape was combated under the new provisions of the Sand Escape Act of 1792. The soil was limed with marl, and land reclamation projects created a larger area for agriculture. The groundwater level was lowered by e.g. to regulate watercourses and construct a dense network of canals and ditches in the fields. The soil’s nitrogen balance was significantly improved when cultivated clover and other legumes were introduced in the crop rotation. These legumes live in symbiosis with microorganisms that can convert free nitrogen into a nitrogen compound that the plants can use for their growth.

The result was the landscape that is immortalized in the golden age of painting and poetry – and perhaps especially its reverberations: green beech forests with deer by the waterhole, hedges and clover fields. This is how large parts of eastern Denmark looked around 1830. In West and Central Jutland, it was especially the vast heaths that interested the artists. The changes were not as extensive on the Jutland sandy soils as on the moraine soils in the eastern regions. For many Danes, the Golden Age art’s perception of the Danish landscape also became the image of real Danish nature. Though in reality it was man-made.

New raw materials and fuels, increased energy consumption

Coal and iron were especially through the 1500’s and 1600’s. the most important new raw materials, as wood became in short supply. It was imported substances that thereby came to play an increasing role in the ecological cycles. Consumption continued to rise well into the 1900’s. The coal was later supplemented with other energy sources, primarily oil and gas. The Danish landscape was thus no longer able to supply the population with sufficient energy. Instead, hundreds of millions of fossil fuels were created from energy storage created by plant growth. years earlier. Energy consumption grew much faster than the number of Danes did. One can therefore use energy consumption both as a measure of living standards and as an expression of the impact on the ecological substance cycles.

At the beginning of the 1900’s, the annual energy consumption for heating houses, producing electricity, transport and industrial activity was approximately 50 PJ (petajoule = 10 15 J). In 1960, approximately 300 PJ, and 15 years later approximately 800 PJ. Most of the energy was used in the cities and for transportation. But also in agriculture, energy consumption grew rapidly.

In the years just before World War II, agriculture’s energy consumption in addition to the energy from sunlight was approximately 8 PJ, of which the indirect consumption in the form of industrially produced fertilizer (commercial fertilizer) was approximately 2.5 PJ. In 1970, 6 times as much was used, and ten years later, indirect energy consumption had increased further. Thus, the consumption of the extra energy that supplemented the energy from the sun was 10-fold in 50 years. It also gave a greater yield, but the amount of food produced was only increased by approximately 40% in the same period. The increase in extra energy consumption was therefore not offset by a corresponding increase in yield.

More substance in circulation

The increased energy consumption contributed to changes in the country’s ecological cycle. By burning coal, oil and gas, increasing amounts of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen filters were emitted into the air in addition to soot and dust particles with heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury and lead. In addition, slag and ash were formed, most of which was placed in landfills. Upon leakage from these sites, the heavy metals, among other things, were carried out into the surrounding substance’s circulation.

The increasing production of goods similarly increased the circulation of substances. There were also many new chemical compounds that did not exist before, such as PCBs and pesticides. These substances were discharged to the soil, air and water or were collected on e.g. landfills. The amount of solid waste grew from the mid-1970’s to the mid-1980’s from approximately 5 mio. t to approximately 9 mio. t. It was almost 2 t for every Dane. There have in the early 2000-t. There has been an increasing focus on recycling, so that more than 60% of the waste generated in 2012 was collected for recycling.

Agriculture under change

The structure and mode of operation of agriculture have changed in particular since 1950. There were fewer but larger farms. Mechanization and specialization gained further momentum. Farms with livestock were concentrated in the southwestern regions of the country. More got pure cattle or pig herds and fewer a mixed herd. The number of pigs grew from approximately 3 mio. in 1950 over 10 million. in 1980 to 12 million. in 2015, while the cattle herdfell from approximately 3 mio. PCS. in 1950 to approximately 1.5 million in 2015. In East Jutland and on the islands, plant cultivation became dominant and the area with cereals expanded at the expense of areas with grass and root vegetables. At the same time, consumption of energy, commercial fertilizers and pesticides grew. The uneven distribution of agricultural production in the different parts of the country meant, among other things, that some livestock farms produced more manure than the crops on the farms’ land could use.

Until 1940, waste from livestock was the most important form of manure. But from 1950, the consumption of imported, industrially produced nitrogen fertilizer increased to approximately 120,000 in 1960 and approximately 400,000 in 1980. In addition, there was the increase in livestock manure due to the increased pig population, from approximately 50,000 tonnes around 1900 to more than triple in the early 1990’s.

As more nitrogen was brought into circulation on agricultural land, increasing amounts spread to other parts of the country. In the period 1950-80, the supply of nitrogen to agriculture increased from approximately 100 kg pr. ha to more than double, while 1.5 times as much was removed in the form of agricultural products. In this way, an ever smaller proportion of the added nitrogen was incorporated into agricultural products, and the loss of nitrogen to the environment was correspondingly greater. In the mid-1980’s, the loss was even greater. About 230,000 t seeped through the ground to the groundwater or into the streams, lakes and sea, and approximately 100,000 t were sent into the air.

Changes in the environment

In the aquatic environment, increasing amounts of organic matter from households and industry led to oxygen depletion and fish death. Emissions of nitrogen and phosphorusalso resulted in more and more cases of strong algae growth resulting in oxygen depletion and fish death. The content of nitrate nitrogen in groundwater used by water supplies tripled from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. In some places the nitrate content reached above 45 mg nitrogen per in groundwater. The emission of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen filters in particular to the air damaged people, animals and plants, buildings and materials and contributed to the acidification of land and water areas. In some places, such large amounts of heavy metals, pesticides and other environmental toxins were emitted that fish and plants died or were unfit for human consumption because they contained too much poison.

Open circuits

The development towards more open circuits with a larger transport of substances from one area to another did not take place only within the Danish landscape. Denmark’s “exports” and “imports” of chemical substances also grew. It was primarily airborne substances, but also substances in the sea. In the early 1990’s, approximately 100,000 tonnes of sulfur (sulfur dioxide), most of which was exported to other countries. In return, we received approximately 34,000 t, mostly from Germany and England.

In contrast to sulfur dioxide, most of the emitted ammonia nitrogen, which came mainly from agricultural areas, fell again over Denmark, just as only a small part came here from other countries. The total deposition of nitrate and ammonia nitrogen was tripled from approximately 1950 to 1980. In this way, nitrogen was spread throughout the Danish landscape and acted as extra fertilizer for the plants. It affected the ecological cycles, especially in nutrient-poor lakes, bogs and heaths.

Pollution control and environmental protection

The extensive and constant shifts in the ecological cycle of the landscape intensified the need for intervention in the 1960’s. This is reflected in the scope and nature of public action in the field of the environment. In the period 1945-85, more laws were passed that had an impact on the development of the “external environment” than in the previous 200 years. But it was especially in the decade before and in the years after the Environmental Protection Act of 1974 that the regulations had a decisive influence on energy consumption and substance cycles.

In the beginning, the legislation was mostly aimed at limiting the spread of substances to air, soil and water. The remedy was purification and, to a lesser extent, an effort towards the form of production and consumption pattern. “Pollution control” came before “environmental protection”. It can also be read from the name of the new ministry, which was set up in 1971 to oversee legislation on the “external environment”. In 1973, the Ministry of Pollution Control became the Ministry of the Environment. One of the first major tasks for the new ministry was to combat pollution of streams, lakes and sea areas.

Before 1950, most wastewater from households and industries was sent out into streams, lakes and seas without actual treatment. Thereafter, the purification was gradually improved. From around 1975 to the mid-1980’s, they received municipal treatment plantseach year a wastewater volume corresponding to approximately 10 mio. pe (person equivalents). In 1970, 20% of wastewater was treated biologically. 15 years later, approximately 80% through biological and bio-chemical treatment plants, and in the early 1990’s underwent approximately 90% of the wastewater an advanced treatment. In the mid-1980’s, approximately 24,000 t nitrogen, approximately 7,000 tonnes of phosphorus and 72,000 tonnes of organic matter from the treatment plants to the aquatic environment. In the same period, the industry’s contribution was approximately 5000 t nitrogen, approximately 3500 t phosphorus and 50,000 t organic matter.

Similar interventions were made against e.g. emissions of dust particles, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen filters into the air by power plants and industries. In addition, higher chimneys and longer sewage pipes were built. It “diluted the pollution”.

These regulations were increasingly combined with interventions against the source of pollution itself. For example, fuels with a high content of sulfur and heavy metals were replaced with fuels that pollute less. The purpose of the 1986 pesticide action plan was to halve the consumption of pesticides over a ten-year period, which was around 11,000 tonnes around 1985. In addition, new chemical substances and products must be assessed by the environmental authorities in accordance with the Chemicals Act of 1980 before they are used.

Through regulation, the Danish consumption of freon (CFC) was reduced by 60% in the period 1986-92. Interventions were also made against the consumption of heavy metals. For example, emissions of lead from cars fell from approximately 900 to 1977 to approximately 30 to 1993. This was partly due to lower taxes on unleaded petrol in relation to leaded and the car industry’s response to the growing environmental awareness of the population. Sales of leaded petrol stopped in Denmark in 1994 and since then in most of the western world.

Better environment and more nature

From around 1970, the increased interest in the environment was accompanied by the desire to make greater use of the open country for recreational purposes. This was particularly pronounced in the urban population, which in 1970 numbered about 80% of the total population against approximately 40% at the turn of the century. The need was conditioned by longer vacations, shorter working hours and a greater abundance of money. From the mid-1980’s onwards, attention was also paid to tourism in a clean environment and a varied nature as a national source of income.

The legislation increasingly had the dual aim of improving the environment and creating more “nature”. Some rules were created on Danish initiative, others in collaboration with the other EU countries. Among the first were a series of action plans to limit substance release to the aquatic environment. According to the Aquatic Environment Plan of 1987, the goal was to halve the emission of nitrogen and reduce the emission of phosphorus by 80% over 5 years. The funds were further treatment of wastewater from households and industries and reorganization of agricultural practices.

It did not succeed in realizing all the objectives of the Aquatic Environment Plan within the deadline. But already a few years after its implementation, the plan led to changes in the appearance of the landscape and in the ecological substance cycles. By 1993, the discharge of phosphorus to the aquatic environment had been reduced to near the planned level, while the nitrogen discharge had hardly changed. The effects on the aquatic plant and animal life were still few and far between. On the other hand, the open country was a clear sign of the realization of some of the new regulations. The brown and black fields that had dominated the winter landscape for the previous 30-40 years were gradually replaced by green fields covered with plant growth. In particular, it was part of the efforts to reduce the leaching of nitrate nitrogen to groundwater.

After more than 30 years of absence, entire fields in 1993 were covered with red poppies and blue cornflowers. This set-aside must help to limit the consumption of e.g. energy and fertilizers. But the aim is first and foremost to lower the production of agricultural products. This is also the purpose of other regulations within EU co-operation, e.g. the scheme for marginal soils, eg low-lying meadows and sandy soils, which are no longer to be cultivated intensively, but either lie uncultivated, planted with forest or used for eg grazing of livestock.

Lakes, streams and wetlands, which through the drainage works of the previous centuries had been converted into agricultural land, are now being recreated by nature restoration.and restoration. Streams play a major role in the water cycle. In the early 1700’s. many thousands of km of ditches were dug as part of an extensive work to drain agricultural areas. From the late 1800’s. a new series of drainage projects was initiated, and now the areas close to the watercourse were also included. At the same time, many open ditches and small streams were piped, the water holes of the fields were dried out or filled up, and streams were straightened out into straight canals. Several drains were laid and the streams were systematically cleaned up and maintained so that the fields could be kept dry. In this way, the path of water from land to sea became shorter. However, this reduced the living conditions of the watercourses ‘plants and animals, and reduced the watercourses’ ability to metabolize, for example, domestic wastewater and manure residues. This development was reversedThe Watercourses Act of 1982, so that the previous form of maintenance has been gradually replaced by new methods that take into account both plant and animal life and ensure the diversion of water from the fields. Cultivation-free zones are also being constructed along streams, lakes and windbreaks. Then fertilizers and pesticides can not be so easily spread from the fields to these “nature” areas. At the same time, the wild plants and animals get better living conditions. Nature care of eg meadows, pastures and heaths has become more widespread. Thereby, one seeks to maintain the characteristic features of the Danish landscape types. With The Forest Act of 1989 is intended to double the forest area over the next 100 years.

Towards closed circuits

From the beginning of the 1970’s, public regulation increasingly aimed to limit the consumption of energy and raw materials. Energy consumption has been reduced, by better insulation of buildings and by using machines and appliances with a lower energy consumption. Rising environmental taxes on energy consumption and increased use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind are also important.

The increase in the consumption of raw materials was also reduced, because a larger proportion of the waste is recycled. In addition, many companies are shifting their production so that less energy is used, fewer raw materials and less waste is created. It must also be possible to recycle the remaining waste. The key words in this type of production are cleaner technology and recycling, which must ensure that environmentally hazardous substances from the production do not escape into the environment and that the products produced do not create future environmental problems. In this way, the trend is reversing, so that the open substance cycles are now becoming more closed. Organic farming is an example of companies that have worked towards this type of production.

The Rio Conference in 1992 has inspired Danish environmental and nature policy and left its mark on the use of the landscape as well as energy consumption and drug cycles, as well as the population’s influence on the development of the sustainable society. Municipalities and regions are thus obliged to draw up strategies for sustainable development every four years in the form of local Agenda 21 plans.

During the 1990’s, the conventional agricultural area continued to be reduced and in 2025 is expected to constitute 60% of Denmark’s area, while nature restoration and afforestation create new nature areas. In addition to recreational purposes in particular, these areas help to protect groundwater and increase biodiversity. 1999-2003, the largest nature project to date was completed in Skjern Ådal; it covered 2200 ha and cost 254 mill. kr.

Following the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, Denmark undertook to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by 21% in 2008-12 compared to 1990; another commitment period with further reductions has been agreed for 2013-20.

Denmark – plant life

The Danish flora belongs to the temperate, nemoral, deciduous forest zone. With the increased knowledge of the Danish nature, new species are constantly being added. The total number of higher plants (vascular spore plants such as ferns, conifers and flowering plants) is estimated at around 1500 species. approximately 30% of these are deliberately or randomly introduced species, anthropocors that can sustain wild populations themselves; this applies, for example, to a number of medicinal plants. approximately 1050 species are immigrant themselves, the so-called indigenous species or naturally native species.

The calculation of the number of species is made more difficult, among other things. of species that set seeds without pollination, by apomiksis, eg dandelions and blackberries, for whom the actual species delimitation is problematic, and these are therefore not included here. Of the taller plants, approximately 70 species protected, eg pale blue anemone, king fern, yew, meal cowslip and all orchids (approximately 35 species). The inventory of groups other than the taller plants is more problematic, but it is believed that there are approximately 500 species of trapped algae, to which is added a large number of planktonic algae. Finally, there are an unknown number of bacterial species.

Of the approximately 640 mosses that occur in Denmark are approximately 150 species of liverworts and approximately 490 leaf and peat bogs; approximately 900 species of lichens. The inventories are generally more uncertain for other plant groups; thus the large fungi comprise approximately 3000 species, while there are several thousand species of microscopic fungi.

Development of the Danish flora

Today’s flora is the result of a long development process, which is characterized by ice age and interglacial alternations. During the last ice age, West Jutland was ice-free, and the rest of the country was only covered in ice for 10% of the time. For the rest of the period, the flora consisted mainly of cold-tolerant herbs, the so-called Dryas flora, many of which today live widely separated in different parts of Europe; there are no living plant communities that correspond to the communities during the last ice age.

After the last ice age, the land was covered with primeval forest; first with birch and one, later with birch and pine followed by hazel, which in turn was replaced by lindenas the most common tree species. The Danish primeval forest has probably not been as dark and closed as you can read in many places, but on a lush and dry bottom the forest was dense with small clearings, created by tree falls and tree death, and in these light-demanding herbs could thrive. Herbs also grew where erosion prevented dense tree growth, eg along wetlands and hillsides. First of all, the beach has been a refuge (refuge); plants from the Dryas flora are found today on calcareous beach slopes at Hanstholm, Løgstør and Høje Møn. The northwest coast of Zealand, where precipitation is particularly low, is also home to many of the late glacial plant species. In West Jutland’s nutrient – poor areas, the forest had a more open structure with linden, hazel, some birch, oak, grasses and heather.

Human influence on the flora

Only with the advent of agriculture approximately 4000 BC humans significantly influenced the flora. Forests were cleared and a number of cultural habitats emerged. Many species that had hitherto grown on seawalls, coastal cliffs, and other open places now found suitable habitats on agricultural land. Lancetvejbred, sheep’s bit, mugwort and many grass species were characteristic elements of grazing areas, while species chenopodiaceous could be taken on cultivated fields. Species richness increased, and soon new habitats emerged. The oldest heaths are thus from around 2800 BC, and since then their extent and number have increased, for example, several Central Jutland heaths are only 600-700 years old. The fresh meadows became widespread in the Iron Age when the pond was taken into use. The oldest beech forests dates from around 1500 BC, and since then this type of forest has been common in Eastern Denmark.

The flora was probably most species-rich in the Middle Ages and later declined in areas with intensive landscape use. Where land use was more limited, the greatest species diversity was achieved in the first part of the 1900’s, before fertilizers and herbicides became widespread.

Drainage became widespread in the second half of the 1800’s. Before, approximately 20-25% of the land area was so wet that peat was formed. This figure is now down to 1-3%, which has had a major impact on the bog, lake and stream flora, many of which species are now rare or endangered. Only a few areas are not included in agriculture, but there are e.g. 100,000 ha of meadows.

Since the 1950’s, the use of fertilizers has increased and nutrients are no longer a limiting factor in agricultural production. The extensively exploited habitats therefore lost their economic significance and were either abandoned or made more productive. To protect nature and its animals and plants, Denmark’s natural areas are protected under the Nature Conservation Act. The protected habitats are lakes, bogs, fresh meadows, salt marshes, heaths and pastures and streams. approximately 9.5% of Denmark’s area is protected nature.

Agricultural farming methods have been shown to have a far greater impact on the flora than, for example, traffic, picking and flower excavation. In recent years, the content of nutrients and toxins in the air has also increasingly affected the composition of the vegetation, and in certain urban and agricultural areas, air pollution has directly become a threat to the flora. The significant traffic and urbanization has meant that naturally native plants have declined in number and population sizes, while introduced species are spreading; our plant communities therefore change composition.

Endangered species

In Denmark, there are a large number of taller plants that are rare or about to be rare. Depending on the underlying causes, such a species is termed acutely endangered or vulnerable. About 300 species of higher plants are rare, endangered or otherwise require protection.

Some habitat types are more endangered than others. This is partly reflected in the distribution of extinct, acutely endangered and vulnerable species associated with the different habitat types. Most threatened are heaths, overgrazing and open slopes, followed by meadows, bogs, swamps and swamps, and finally the forests. Lakes, streams and creeks are less endangered, and the marine and salt-affected coastal communities and dunes are least endangered. Threats include overgrowth, planting, cultivation, drainage, pollution and urbanization.

Among the different plant groups, the lichens are with approximately 70% of the species the most endangered. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen pollution as well as acidification are the main causes. In the case of fungi and higher plants, 20-30% of the species are endangered and the causes are generally human.

Denmark – wildlife

The northern temperate coastal climate and the often lush soil in a gently undulating landscape, divided by fjords and healthy, together with the late migration of the flora and fauna in Denmark (after the last ice age) are the conditions that especially determine it. wildlife, to which man today more than ever has left his decisive mark. Denmark’s wildlife on land is strongly affected by intensive agriculture and urban development and the consequent pollution. At sea, the human impact consists mainly of fishing, discharge of wastewater and the supply of nutrients, primarily nitrate, originating from agriculture.

The development of the fauna

Humid mild winters and cool summers, together with the soil, determine the natural vegetation types. Originally, 80-90% of the land was covered by mixed deciduous forest. Therefore, the Danish wildlife was predominantly a forest fauna and still is when it is calculated in the number of animal species.

The undisturbed forest contains many species that in a complicated food network utilize the forest’s large and stable production, so that almost nothing is wasted. The forest is therefore characterized by many specialized and often rare species. The modern, rationally driven and often planted forest differs greatly from here. In particular, the lack of large old, possibly. dying trees and branches as well as the decline in forest wetlands cause many animal species to decline.

The total number of animal species in Denmark is impossible to calculate accurately. In 1995, the Danish Forest and Nature Agency calculated the number of free-living, naturally occurring, breeding species of vertebrates in this country at 424, namely 49 mammals, 209 birds, 5 reptiles, 14 amphibians, 37 freshwater fish and 110 saltwater fish. Far more uncertain, the number of invertebrates is estimated at 21,000 species, of which 18,000 are insects alone. In 1990, the Danish list of the most demanding plants and animals showed that 53% of these belong in the forest. This applies, for example, to forest martens, three of our woodpecker species, æskulapsnog and 658 species of beetles. The latter make up 61% of the beetles requiring protection and 10% of all Danish beetle species.

The forests were before the most dominant nature and landscape type, today it is arable land. It covers almost 2/3 of the land area. From an area perspective, it is therefore the arable land’s fauna that is the significant part of the Danish fauna. This may be true if you count the number of individuals, but far from it if you count the number of species. The wildlife of the arable land is a species-poor section of the original fauna supplemented by a few other species introduced or introduced by humans.

Where the undisturbed forest was characterized by stability that gave peace to many specialists to find and adapt, the conditions in the arable land, on the other hand, are very unstable. The field is mechanically and chemically treated several times a year, and the vegetation cover is removed and replaced often every year. Therefore, only quite a few species can survive alone on the cultivated field. A large part of the arable land’s wildlife is therefore dependent on the existence of uncultivated small biotopes in the form of fences, boundaries, ponds, small forests or other natural areas in the neighborhood.

Perennial crops, minimal or no use of fertilizers and pesticides as well as a closely cohesive and varied pattern of small habitats are what provide the richest wildlife. But until very recently, the trend has been in the opposite direction.

The hare, the partridge and the song lark probably originated in the country in the wake of the cultivation. The subsequent sharp decline of these species is probably due to the declining variation in crops, the decline of biotopes and a narrowing of the food supply due to the use of pesticides.

Agricultural drainage and drainage of wetlands have had a drastic impact on the fauna. In the arable land, somewhere between 95% and 98% of the original wetlands disappeared through the 1800’s and 1900’s. This is an important part of the explanation for the fact that all 14 Danish toad species are today considered to require protection.

The urban landscape becomes poorer with species, the further you get towards the “stone bridge”, where the pigeon, the sparrow and the rat are the only safe ones among the vertebrates. But in a land without mountains, the building mass of the city can constitute a home for species that would otherwise be rare or completely lacking, such as rock pigeon, house redtail, and wall sail.

In the residential areas on the outskirts of cities, the wildlife is far more varied. Although species richness is still limited, the number of individuals per area unit very high. Here, for example, foxes, hedgehogs and house martens are found, in addition to a number of bird species with sparrows, wood sparrows, blackbirds, white-tailed deer and starlings as the most common.

Denmark has a sea area of ​​104,000 km2 and a land area of ​​43,000 km2. It can thus be said that two thirds of Denmark is made up of the sea. Which animals can thrive depends on, among other things. of water depth, current and salinity. The almost oceanic water of the North Sea with a salinity of 3.5% is far more species-rich (approximately 1500 species) than the brackish water east of Bornholm, where the salinity is below 1% (approximately 200 species).

The Danish waters are generally shallow; only in the Skagerrak does the water depth exceed 100 m. The bottom is usually soft and consists of sand or mud. This is due to a relatively species-poor marine fauna, which has not become richer from the large supply of fertilizers from land in recent decades. Large parts of the seabed are now affected by annual oxygen depletion and thus no longer house a perennial fauna. On shallow water, where oxygen conditions are better, and especially on rock reefs and mussel banks, the fauna is richer.

Marine wildlife can be plankton that float freely in the water mass, eg jellyfish and water fleas, necton, ie. animals that swim actively, eg guinea pigs, cod, herring and plaice, as well as benthic fauna, which can be divided into in-fauna at the bottom, eg mussel and sandworm, and epi-fauna on top, eg mussels, crabs and starfish.

Finally, there are seals and seabirds. Pga. the combination of low shores, shallow water, currents, salinity and nutrient richness, the danish waters are of unique international importance as a resting and wintering place for seabirds. No less than 17 bird species occur in Danish waters with more than 20% of the total species, races or defined population individuals during the year. Many other species of migratory waterfowl are also dependent on Danish waters and coasts. This makes regulation of hunting and traffic an important international responsibility for Denmark.

Lakes, streams, bogs, dunes, moors and salt marshes are each home to a characteristic animal and plant life. The first three are by nature quite nutrient-rich and thus also both productive and species-rich. However, the large supply of fertilizers via water and air has generally had a negative effect on the species richness of all habitats. In particular, this can be documented in the case of watercourses, where the centuries-old establishment of barriers in the form of dams and watermills has meant that most of our water fish today require special considerations. Thus, sturgeon, allis shad, shad and hvidfinnet ferskvandsulk disappeared from Denmark in the last hundred years.

Conservation and nature protection

Denmark’s wildlife is the wildlife of the densely populated, industrialized society. But an increasingly developed nature management is emerging, and nature considerations are sought to be incorporated in the individual sectors of society. The increasing efforts being made to improve wildlife conditions are urgently needed. For some species, conservation may be needed, such as for the cormorant, whose population, after the species was protected in 1980, grew from 2,000 to 37,000 pairs in 1994. For other species, such as the bell frog, it is the restoration of habitats, needed.

For other species, the primary need is a more general change in the “nature-friendly” direction of the way production takes place and society is organized. This is especially true for the wildlife of the forest and arable land. Several untouched forest areas, perennial crops, grazing areas and other extensively utilized areas will have a positive impact on the fauna, both the species-rich forest fauna and the individual-rich arable land fauna.

For all animal species, as for nature in general, their continued presence and distribution in Denmark is predominantly in the hands of humans. In the intensively exploited land (and sea) it is thus a social and political question how much and what nature we want.

Several factors improved conditions for the Danish fauna in the 1990’s. The state’s special grants for nature management enabled afforestation, nature restoration and care of nature on 16,000 ha. Set-aside of 5-10% of agricultural land, which was the result of the common agricultural policy within the EU, meant fewer pesticides in the agricultural landscape and more food for the wild birds.

A number of rare birds have re-immigrated to Denmark, eg the peregrine falcon, where a pair in 2002 for the first time in 30-40 years had young in a nest on Møns Klint, the sea ​​eagle, which in 2014 was up to 61 breeding pairs, red kite on a dozen pairs and golden eagles with a few. Furthermore, large barn owls can be mentioned, which returned in the 1980’s after almost 100 years of absence, spoon stork, the black stork and meadow snipe. On the other hand, the primordial bird is probably already extinct, and the white stork is in the process of extinction as a Danish breeding bird.

Thorough mapping of the distribution of selected insect groups, such as dragonflies, locusts and buzzards, has revealed a number of new species, just as certain rare species have proven to be more widespread than expected. The otter was certainly registered on Zealand in 1995, and during the work on the Danish Mammal Atlas, for example, the muskrat has been registered as a probable Danish species and, for example, the mole on Møn, from which it was not known before.

For a number of animal species, their immigration is due to the release of farmed animals, eg large horned owls and peregrine falcons in our neighboring countries, or that animals escape captivity, eg muskrats. At Furesøen there is thus a colony of Siberian ground squirrels that is at least ten years old, and in several places in the country you can find various species of marsh turtles (which, however, cannot maintain a natural population). When a herd of escaped wild boars was discovered near Blåvand, they were quickly shot away for fear of disease transmission to domestic pigs, while a population in Lille Vildmose and Tofte Skov is allowed to look after themselves in the large reserve, which in 2001 was acquired by Aage V Jensen’s Foundations, and which also contains the only Danish pair of golden eagles and breeding cranes, another species spreading in Denmark. In 1999, 18 beavers were released in Klosterhede Plantage as an attempt to reintroduce larger mammals to Danish nature, and the population has since grown and left its clear traces in the area.

In 2001, the Wilhelms Committee closedhis work; it concluded that the state of nature in Denmark, despite examples such as the above-mentioned progress, had never before been so poor. This is due to a number of different factors, but the continued industrialization of agricultural production gives rise to most problems, although at certain points greater consideration is now being given. If the Wilhjelm Committee’s recommendations are followed, one will be able to expect an improvement for the Danish animal world in the medium term. But in the future, other problems await, such as the continued pollution of the environment with nutrients in concentrations that far exceed the natural tolerance limits. Another is the extensive contamination of groundwater with pesticides and nutrients. When they reach the surface of streams and lakes, it will cause problems.

Denmark Education