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Location of Denmark within Europe

Denmark is the smallest and southernmost of the Nordic countries. Unified in the 10th century, it is also the oldest. Located north of its only land neighbour, Germany, south-west of Sweden, and south of Norway, it is located in northern Europe. From a cultural point of view, Denmark belongs to the family of Scandinavian countries although it is not located on the Scandinavian Peninsula. The national capital is Copenhagen.

Denmark borders both the Baltic and the North Sea. The country consists of a large peninsula, Jutland, which borders Schleswig-Holstein, and many islands, most notably Zealand, Funen, Vendsyssel-Thy, Lolland, and Bornholm, as well as hundreds of minor islands often referred to as the Danish Archipelago. Denmark has historically controlled the approach to the Baltic Sea, and those waters are also known as the Danish straits.

Denmark has been a constitutional monarchy since 1849 and is a parliamentary democracy. It became a member of the European Economic Community (now the European Union) in 1973. The Kingdom of Denmark also encompasses two off-shore territories, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, both of which enjoy wide-ranging home rule. The Danish monarchy is the oldest existing monarchy in Europe, and the national flag is the oldest state flag in continuous use.



File:Ole roemer.jpg
Ole Rømer.

Ole Rømer (September 25, 1644 – September 19, 1710) was a Danish astronomer who made the first quantitative measurements of the speed of light (1676).

Rømer was employed by the French government: King Louis XIV made him teacher for the Dauphin, and he also took part in the construction of the magnificent fountains at Versailles.

In 1681, he returned to Denmark and was appointed professor of Astronomy at Copenhagen University. He was active also as an observer, both at the University Observatory at the Round Tower and in his home, using improved instruments of his own construction. Unfortunately, his observations have not survived: they were lost in the great fire of Copenhagen in 1728. However, a former assistant (and later an astronomer in his own right), Peder Horrebow, loyally described and wrote about Rømer's observations.

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Otto Bache, "The conspirators riding from Finderup".
Otto Bache: "The conspirators riding from Finderup barn following the murder of Eric Klipping".

Image credit: Otto Bache (1882). Image located at the Frederiksborg Museum. Template:/box-footer

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Skuldelev 2
The Skuldelev ships is a term used for five Viking ships recovered from Peberrenden by Skuldelev, c. 20 km north of Roskilde in Denmark. The remains of the ships were excavated over four months in 1962. The recovered pieces, which constitute five types of ships and have been dated to the 11th century, provide a good source for the shipbuilding traditions of the late Viking period.

The ships are today exhibited at the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde. Skuldelev 1 is a sturdy sea-going cargo-vessel possibly of the knarr type. Skuldelev 2 is an oak-built, sea-going warship, a longship, possibly of the skeid type. The Skuldelev 3 is a 14 m long and 3.3 m wide cargo ship, possibly of the byrding type. Skuldelev 5 is a small warship of the snekke type. Skuldelev 6 is an 11.2 m long and 2.5 m wide cargo and fishing-vessel of the ferja type.

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Aerial view of Aggersborg
Aggersborg is the largest of Denmark's former Viking ring castles, and one of the largest archaeological sites in Denmark. It is located near Aggersund on the north side of the Limfjord. It comprised a circular rampart surrounded by a ditch. Four main roads arranged in a cross connected the castle centre with the outer ring. The roads were tunnelled under the outer rampart, leaving the circular structure intact. The modern Aggersborg is a reconstruction created in the 1990s. It is lower than the original fortress.

The ring castle had an inner diameter of 240 metres. The ditch was located eight meters outside the rampart, and was approximately 1.3 metres deep. The wall is believed to have been four metres tall. The rampart was constructed of soil and turf, reinforced and clad with oak wood. The rampart formed the basis for a wooden parapet. Smaller streets were located within the four main sections of the fortress.


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