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Places in Denmark (the s.c.nordic FAQ)
nordic flags
The home pages for the Usenet newsgroup soc.culture.nordic
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Places in Denmark

 



Subject: 3.4 

Main tourist attractions

 

3.4.1 Getting there and getting around

<by Jens Chr. Madsen>

Due to the country's modest size and general topography it is easy to get around in Denmark, be it by bicycle, car, or public transportation.

Denmark is an almost ideal country for cyclists: Relatively short distances, practically no steep roads, and a dense network of bike paths and small country roads. Even large cities are bicycle-friendly (compared to many other countries at least) with bike paths on most major streets. The reason for this, of course, is that a significant number of Danes from all groups of society commute by bicycle.

There is not much to be said about traveling by car in Denmark, except that you should be aware of the large number of bicycles, as mentioned above. *Please* be careful and look for bicycles, especially when you make a right turn.

Traveling by air in Denmark is also possible of course; all domestic flights go to/from Copenhagen and none of them is longer than 45 minutes. You do save some time, but often at a rather high price. However, there are often some good offers during the summer holiday period, so especially if you are going to Bornholm, Billund or Ålborg from Copenhagen, flying there might be worth considering.

Otherwise, public long-distance traveling is done by train (there are, however, a few coach lines from Copenhagen to Århus, Ålborg, and Fjerritslev; 2-3 departures per day and prices approximately as for the train). There is an hourly intercity train service connecting cities on "the main line" from Copenhagen via Odense and Århus to Ålborg. Intercity services to other larger cities in Jutland normally run every two hours. In addition to the intercity, there are regional trains every hour on most lines. Short distance travelling is mostly done by bus.

 

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3.4.2 Zealand and surrounding islands

<From: Durant Imboden and Johan Olofsson>  

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3.4.3 Copenhagen
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mermaid
Den lille havfrue
© Hans-Henrik T. Ohlsen

Copenhagen's metropolitan area is the home of more than 25% of Denmark's population. The city lies on the eastern shore of the island of Sjælland (Zealand), at the southern end of Øresund (The Sound), the waterway that separates Denmark from Sweden and links the Baltic with the North Sea.

Until the 30-Years War Copenhagen was centrally located in the Kingdom of Denmark. Then the rich provinces on the eastern side of The Sound were lost to Sweden, and Copenhagen located on the verge of the realm.

Copenhagen is protected from the Baltic by the small island of Amager. Between Amager and Sjælland there was formerly a group of sand flats. Drained and reclaimed. They now constitute the islet of Christianshavn, which has been developed as the chief dock area of the city. The harbor of Copenhagen occupies the narrow waterway between Christianshavn and Sjælland.

The nucleus of the city is Slotsholmen, or Castle Isle, where a fortification was built in 1167. Its site is now occupied by Christiansborg Palace, constructed between 1907 and 1915 as a home for the legislature and government ministries. Nearby are the Thorvaldsen Museum and Børsen (the Exchange), built from 1619 to 1640, with a twisting spire made up of the interwoven tails of four sculptured dragons.

North of the old city is Frederikstad, a planned suburb built in the 18th century. In it is the Amalienborg Palace, originally luxurious town houses but since 1794 the residence of the Danish monarch; a ceremonial changing of guards takes place every day at 12 noon. Nearby is the massive Marble Church started in 1749 but finished only almost 150 later, and to the west of the church is Rosenborg Palace, built in the early 17th century as the summer residence of the king but now acts as a museum.

The university was founded in 1479 by King Christian I and was re-founded in the 19th century.

To the southeast, beyond the dock quarter of Christianshavn, is the largely residential suburb of Amager. The island of Amager, much of which is low-lying and marshy, is the site of Copenhagen's Kastrup airport, one of the largest in Europe.


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Nyhavn
Nyhavn (the new harbor)
© Hans-Henrik T. Ohlsen
Copenhagen has many canals, wide boulevards and public parks and gardens. Among these is the famous Tivoli, in the heart of the city to the southwest of the old town, a highly sophisticated amusement park laid out in 1843, with e.g 28 restaurants, music, dance, and theater, fountains, carousels, etc., as well as more modern amusement park devices.

Other parks worth a visit and maybe a picnic are the Botanical Gardens (Botanisk Have) and Rosenborg Gardens with the palace.

The famous pedestrian shopping street Strøget starts from The City Hall (Rådhuset), which is an impressive piece of neo-gothic architecture, and runs to Kongens Nytorv where Charlottenborg palace and the Royal Theater are located. The pedestrian center itself, which includes many winding, medieval streets, is a marvellous place to stroll around, but keep in mind that businesses close by early afternoon on Saturday and aren't open on Sunday.

There are a couple of old churches in the pedestrian center as well, e.g. Nikolaj Church and the neo-classic Cathedral. In Christianshavn, be sure to climb to the spiral tower of the baroque Vor Frelsers Kirke (Our Saviour's Church) for a great view.

Pedestrians (tourists as well as Copenhageners) often stroll along the waterway from central Copenhagen to the Langelinie "the Long Line" where the harbour meets The Sound. Along that route you find den lille Havfrue (the little Mermaid), a lot of impressive buildings and the most beautiful place of all: the newly re-constructed ramparted citadel "Kastellet" above the Langelinie from whence one can enjoy a beautiful view: The town, the harbour and the sparkling blue Sound.

The beloved fairy tale of the Little Mermaid was first published by H. C. Andersen in 1837. It is the story of the little mermaid who saves the life of a shipwrecked prince and sets off on a perilous quest to win his love. The price she pays is dear: to become human she must give up her lovely voice as well as her mermaids tail, and if the prince should wed another, she will turn into foam on the sea and disappear forever.

Tourists are strongly adviced to cross the harbour and stroll along the canals in Christianshavn. It is beautiful. Nothing more needs to be said.

Christiania

While you're in Christianshavn you may want to visit the "alternative city" of Christiania.

The story of Christiania began in 1971 when a large number of hippies took over the abandoned military barracks in Bådmanstrædes Kaserne; after futile attempts by police to empty the area, the matter ended up in the parliament and Christiania got political exemption and acceptance as a "social experiment" in return for agreeing to pay for the use of water and electricity.

After many colourful struggles against threats of closing and "normalization" as well as hard drugs and violent motorcycle gangs, Christiania's tale still continues.

The Freetown's self-government is arranged in an anarchist fashion, with common decisions being made in various councils such as the Common Meeting, The Economy Meeting, The House Meeting, etc. Christiania has no laws, but there's a series of bans put up by the inhabitants of the Freetown: no hard drugs, no weapons, no violence, no trading with buildings or residential areas.

Christiania is probably best known to the outside world for the free availability of cannabis products; they are indeed being openly sold on the main street, but this does not mean hash is legal in Denmark, or that you can't be punished for carrying or using it. The Danish police have a policy of not fining for small amounts of cannabis and for the most part tolerate the trade in Christiania, but they do sometimes patrol the area.

Tourists should think twice before abusing the liberal attitudes and good will of the Danish officials. Also, don't take photos of Christiania or Christianians, they won't like it and you may have your film taken from you if do.

Back to Sjælland


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photography
H. C. Andersen
Legal intoxicants can be tried out by taking a guided excursion to the two major Danish breweries, Carlsberg and Tuborg.

Tuborg is located in the suburb of Hellerup in northern Copenhagen, Strandvejen 54, excursions are Monday-Friday 10 a.m, 12.30 and 2.30 p.m.

Carlsberg breweries are right in the city, at Ny Carlsbergvej (at the Elephant Gate; take bus 16 from Rådhuspladsen toward Sydhavn), excursions Monday-Friday at 11 a.m and 2 p.m.

Carlsberg has always been a major patron of the arts in Denmark, and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek (near the Tivoli gardens), which houses a collection of antique artifacts as well as French and Danish art, is well worth a visit.

Nyhavn canal (the "new" harbor) close to Kongens Nytorv square (the King's "new" market) is a popular place to walk around; there's also a H. C. Andersen exhibition at Nyhavn 69.

Statens Museum før Kunst (Sølvgade 48-50) is the Danish National Gallery: European masters and Danish art.

Nationalmuseet (the National Museum) has, among other things, a splendid collection of unique prehistoric finds (rich, well-preserved bronze age bog-finds, the Gundestrup Cauldron, the Solvagn, Viking age gold treasures, etc) and an exhibition of Eskimo culture.

North of Copenhagen lies Frilandsmuseet: open air museum of the history of folk architecture in Denmark and the formerly Danish part of Sweden (Scania) - it can be accessed by train or bus.

 

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3.4.4 Bornholm

<From: Durant Imboden>  

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3.4.5 Fyn and surrounding islands

[someone could add something here]
 

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3.4.6 Jutland

<by Jens Chr. Madsen>
Compared to Sealand and Copenhagen, Jutland has not many castles etc. to offer. Jutland's main asset is nature, which spans a wide spectrum from lakes, hills, and forests (very like the landscape of Sealand and Funen) to heaths, moors, marsh and dunes, unique to the Jutland landscape. Some of Europe's finest beaches are found on Jutland's North Sea coast.

Here is a brief description of some of the attractions in Jutland - going from south to north.



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© Copyright 1994-2001 by Antti Lahelma and Johan Olofsson.
You are free to quote this page as long as you mention the URL.
The line of flags is modified after a picture at det Åländska skoldatanätet.
This page was last updated March the 11th in the year of 2001.

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