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Driving Directions Denmark

DENMARK, the most southerly and smallest of Scandinavia, is a constitutional monarchy in northern Europe. It com­prises most of the Jutland or Jylland Peninsula, which protrudes north­wards from the North German Plain, and more than 500 islands, 100 of which are inhabited. The main islands, sandwiched between the east coast of Jutland and the southwest of Sweden, are Fyn, Langeland, Olland, Falster, Mon, and Sjaelland. Bornholm, which lies about 128-kilo­meters or 80 miles east of Sjaelland off the southeastern tip of Sweden, also belongs to Denmark. The Faeroe (Foroyar) Islands in the Atlantic Ocean and Greenland off the coast of Canada are self-governing, depen­dent territories of Denmark. The North Sea lies to the west of the Jutland Peninsula. The North Sea arm between northwest Jutland and Norway is called the Skagerrak, while that between northeast Jutland and Sweden is named the Kattegat. The Baltic Sea lies to the east of the Danish islands, and the southernmost portion of the Jutland Peninsula is within Germany.

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Most of Denmark, including the islands, is low-lying, with small hills found only in Jutland’s central part. Several fjords penetrate eastern Jutland from the Kattegat. The most extensive of these, the Limfjorden, cuts right across the northernmost part of the peninsula, broadening in the west to form an extensive series of waterways. Jutland’s western seaboard is low, with many dunes and sandbars cutting off lagoons and sandy beaches.

The country is intensively cultivated, so very little natural vegetation or wild areas remain. The proximity of the sea combined with the Gulf Stream effects results in warm sunny summers and cold, cloudy winters, with precipitation at its greatest in summer and autumn. Well-developed road, causeway, and ferry systems link the Danish islands to one another and the mainland and connect with their railway network.

The Danish capital and largest city are Copenhagen (Kobenhavn), situated mainly on Sjaelland but extending onto the nearby island of Amager. A high proportion of the people (about 85 percent) live in the cities, towns, or urban areas. Denmark is a wealthy country, and the standard of living is high.

Agriculture has always been important to the Danish economy, and the land is intensively farmed with extensive use of fertilizers since the soils are acidic with low mineral content. Jutland is the main agricultural area, and most farms are quite modest in size. A cooperative system of marketing and involvement in agriculture is very much a part of farming in Denmark.

The rearing of dairy cattle, pigs, and beef cattle is particularly important, and Denmark produces a range of products for export, particularly bacon, butter, cheese, and pork. The most important crops grown are cereals (barley, wheat, oats, and rye) and hops, flax, hemp, tobacco, and grass for grazing and hay. Danish beer and lager are famous worldwide and make a significant contribution to the country’s economy. The country also has a large fishing fleet operating in international waters and catching mainly cod, herring, and salmon, exported.

Denmark has offshore reserves of oil and natural gas and land deposits of kaolin, lignite, and some other minerals. Most electricity generation is from coal or oil-fired power stations, but Denmark has been active in developing renewable energy technology, including ‘wind farms’ and solar power. In addition to the food processing and brewing industries, manufacturing includes iron and steel, metal goods, heavy machinery, engines, shipbuilding, vehicle components, electronic and electrical equipment, chemicals, cement, biotechnology, clothing, textiles, furniture, ceramics, paper, and printing and crafts (porcelain, ceramics, silver and fine textiles).

The country has many business interests abroad that contribute to the overall wealth of the country. Denmark attracts many foreign tourists each year who visit the capital, Copenhagen, the islands, and the Jutland Peninsula.

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Denmark is primarily a low-lying country covered with glacial moraine deposits. The moraines consist of a mixture of clay, sand, gravel, and boulders, carried by glaciers from Scandinavia’s mountains and raised from the bed of the Baltic Sea, with an admixture of limestone and other rocks. These large deposits have formed gently rolling hills interspersed with lakes. The hills are extensive-level plains created when the meltwater washing away from the glaciers deposited sand and gravel outside the ice limit. The country’s densest settlements are found on these heathland plains.

The boundary line between sandy West Jutland and East and North Denmark’s loam plains is the most important geographical division of the country. West of the line is a region of scattered farms. To the east, there are several villages with high population density. Valleys furrow the moraine landscape.

The coastlines of eastern Jutland and many nearby islands are heavily indented with Fjords, bays, and other inlets, forming numerous natural harbors. Narrow straits separate most of the islands.

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