Scandinavia actually starts with Denmark. There have been many shifts over the centuries. Formerly home to the strong Viking warriors, this kingdom is now a tranquil modern utopia where cutting-edge construction coexists with old structures.
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Top 10 Places to Visit in Denmark
There are several quaint fishing communities that can trace their history back to the Vikings; while there, try some of the region’s most famous fish, the herring, on a smrrebrd.
In the country that gave the world Hans Christian Andersen, you may visit castles and palaces where your childhood dreams might just come true. Here’s a rundown of some of Denmark’s top attractions:
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Ribe, the oldest town in Denmark, is a prime example of the saying, “You’re not getting old, you’re becoming better.”
Ribe, on the island of Jutland, was established in the year 700 as a Viking marketplace, and it is home to the oldest town hall in all of Denmark. Although though construction began in 1496, it wasn’t used as a town hall until 1709.
Ribe Cathedral, the first Christian cathedral in Denmark, is just one of many attractions in this charming mediaeval town.
You may learn about its Viking past by taking a tour with the night watchman throughout the summer. Wadden Sea National Park, a haven for wildlife, is not far away.
Even though it’s so far north, Denmark actually has a Riviera. Gilleleje, a lovely fishing hamlet on the North Sea at the top of Zealand, serves as the centrepiece of the Danish Riviera.
During World War II, fishermen used their boats to escape the German occupiers and smuggle Jewish refugees from Denmark to Sweden, which was only 25 kilometres (15 miles) away.
The local museum will have further information about these initiatives. Gilleleje, a town that has been around since the 14th century, is beautiful and pleasant. Take a stroll through town and stop by the monument honouring the pioneer existentialist, Kierkegaard.
Elsinore, often called Helsingr, is where you’ll find Kronborg, the castle used as the location for Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The play has been presented here for 80 years straight. Although a fortress and church surrounded by convents had been built a century prior, the mediaeval fishing community didn’t come into existence until the 15th century.
It has developed into a busy port city. Han, a statue erected in the port in 2012, has been called “the Little Mermaid of China.” The statue of Holger Danske, a famous character who fought Charlemagne, the maritime museum, and the castle are among the most popular tourist destinations.
Another old Danish city, Aalborg, has developed into a modern industrial and cultural (with an emphasis on cultural) hub throughout the years. It hosts a symphony orchestra, an opera company, and an annual funfair that is the largest of its kind in all of Scandinavia.
Famous landmarks in the city include the 14th-century Budolfi Church, constructed on the site of an ancient Viking church, and the 16th-century Aalborghus Castle, a former royal home.
The half-timbered and sandstone mansion of 17th-century mayor Jrgen Olufsun stands out, as does the Dutch Renaissance residence of Jens Bang, which has served as a pharmacy for 300 years.
One of Denmark’s early capitals, Roskilde, is located 30 kilometres (20 miles) west of the modern capital, Copenhagen. Many Danish kings and queens are buried in this, one of the country’s oldest cities. Their royal remains were interred in Roskilde Cathedral, Scandinavia’s first brick Gothic cathedral, which was built in the 12th century.
The museum on the ruins of five Viking ships sunk to defend Roskilde from sea invaders is another must-see. The Roskilde Jars are three enormous jars erected to celebrate the city’s millennium. The former royal residence is now an art gallery. Late June/early July sees the annual Roskilde Festival, a massive rock music festival.
Skagen, the city at Denmark’s farthest northern point, is not only a major fishing port but also a popular tourist destination, drawing in an estimated 2 million people each year. Artists of the Impressionist movement of the late 19th century flocked to this picturesque fishing community for its picturesque seascapes, long sandy beaches, and fisherman.
Skagen has been a popular summer destination for the wealthy, notably Scandinavian sailboaters, since the early 1900s, when it was frequented by Danish monarchy. Try some of the herring caught in the waters around Skagen, where the Baltic and North Seas meet. One of Denmark’s oldest lighthouses can be found in this town.
Located in the Baltic Sea between Denmark and Poland and Sweden and Norway, the island of Bornholm is well-known for its glass and ceramics. Many attractive towns with windmills and four round mediaeval churches may be found on the island.
The island’s exceptional environment ranges from jagged sea cliffs and woods to beautiful valleys and beaches; it was held by the Germans and the Soviets during World War II. Denmark and Sweden each have ferries that can take you there. There are Prehistoric sun temples and a mediaeval castle here. The suspense novel by Ken Follett, Hornet Flight, likewise takes place on Bornholm.
Despite the fact that its name means “Odin’s shelter,” the city of Odense is better known for something other than being a haven for devotees of the Norse god. Since Hans Christian Andersen grew up in this town, you may see several memorials to the author and his works all across town.
The Danish dessert marzipan originated in the city of Aarhus, Denmark’s third largest. In addition, many of its sights are a visual feast for visitors. Funen’s Abbey, one of Denmark’s oldest art museums, and Saint Canute’s Cathedral, built in the 11th century, are also on the list, as is an old Viking castle and the Funen Village Museum, which recreates life during Andersen’s years there.
Aarhus, the second-largest city in Denmark, is home to around 330,000 inhabitants. It was originally established as a Viking walled stronghold in the ninth century. Aarhus has been an important commercial hub for centuries, and it also has a thriving music scene. The city is known worldwide for its annual eight-day jazz festival.
In 2017, Aarhus will serve as the European Capital of Culture. The city’s architecture spans from the Viking era to the present day, making it a fascinating place to explore.
Inner-city neighbourhoods typically have the oldest and best-preserved homes. The Aarhus Cathedral, the city’s longest and tallest church, was built in the 13th century and dominates the skyline.
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The majority of visitors to Denmark will likely start their trip in Copenhagen. They are correct to do so, as Copenhagen is a lively city with many attractions. The once-quiet Viking fishing community is today the economic and cultural hub of the country.
The Little Mermaid, a bronze statue based on a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, and Tivoli Gardens, the most popular amusement park in Scandinavia, are the two main attractions in Copenhagen.
Copenhagen has a horizontal landscape defined by numerous elegant castles and mediaeval churches, and it is especially well-known for its Dutch Renaissance architecture in the Christianshavn neighbourhood.