ICRI 2012

Denmark - facts and highlights

Facts about Denmark

Denmark is the smallest of the five nations in the Nordic Region. On the other hand, Denmark has plenty of good arable land, and makes the most of this natural resource. With around 5.5 million inhabitants, Denmark is the most densely populated country in the Region. Approx. 1.6 million people live in and around the capital city, Copenhagen. The most important sources of revenue in Denmark are oil and other forms of energy, the medical industry, agricultural produce, shipping and IT services.

A constitutional monarchy

Denmark is a constitutional monarchy and the head of state is Queen Margrethe II. The Queen is widely respected for her intellectual prowess and her artistic abilities as for example as an illustrator, set designer for the theatre and textile artist. Queen Margrethe II has no real political power, and the parliament, Folketinget, is the country's highest authority. Just like in many other monarchies, a discussion of the role and function of the monarchy does takes place in Denmark, but the general tone is much more subdued than has been the case in some other kingdoms.

Visit the website of the Danish Monarchy 

Member of EU and NATO

Denmark is a member of the European Union (EU), but has retained the Danish krone as its currency. The country is also a member of NATO. In the first half of 2012, Denmark will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Read more about the Danish EU Presidency 2012

The Vikings

In Denmark you will find many interesting Viking sites which have been carefully restored to give you an authentic experience of what life was like in the Viking Age. The Danes gained notoriety as the Vikings who plundered churches and monasteries, but behind this stereotypical view of the period lies a far more complex interplay of political and cultural factors which can be explored at Danish museums and archaeological sites.

Art and culture in Denmark

As the country that links the rest of Scandinavia with continental Europe, Denmark has always benefited from a unique stream of cultural influences: Denmark is a cosmopolitan culture with a strong tradition in art, ballet, opera and theatre. For music lovers, Denmark ranks in a class of its own, with more than 100 rock, folk and jazz festivals every year and a lively international concert scene even outside the capital.

Denmark’s image is currently enjoying something of a metamorphosis: from quaint and cosy to cosmopolitan and trend-setting. Modern minimalist cafés are found throughout the country, and coffee bars are popping up on almost every street corner. Restaurants are changing too, creating their own ‘new Nordic’ cuisine based on the finest local, seasonal ingredients.

Danish fashion and shopping

As a concept, Danish Design has been making headlines for much of the twentieth century. Most recently, many Danish fashion designers have made a name for themselves both within and beyond the country’s borders. Instead of chasing the trends in the fashion meccas of Paris, London or Milan, a new generation is cultivating a distinctively Nordic style. Shopping for designer wear is just one of many opportunities in Denmark. You will also encounter exclusive brands, such as Bang & Olufsen (audio and video), LEGO (toys), Fritz Hansen Furniture (classic Danish modernism) and Lindberg Optic (titanium eyewear), one of the biggest Danish Design success stories in of recent years. And of course, you will find Danish porcelain and Danish silver, perhaps best represented by Royal Copenhagen and Georg Jensen.

Architecture and design

Danish architecture and design are known for their Nordic simplicity and clean lines. In the realm of 20th century architecture, international luminaries such as Arne Jacobsen, Jørn Utzon (Sydney Opera House) and Henning Larsen have long since placed Denmark on the world map. The effortless ease of Scandinavian architecture, with its emphasis on the functional, still plays an important role in modern-day Denmark. Denmark’s past is also richly preserved, with a fascinating landscape of country manors, medieval churches, half-timbered market towns and ancient burial mounds to explore.

The classics are back in fashion

The iconic modernist furniture by iconic designers such as Arne Jacobsen, Hans J. Wegner, Kaare Klint and Poul Henningsen is back in fashion. Jacobsen's Egg, Ant and Swan chairs, as well as Henningsen's lampshades, can be experienced in many of the trendiest cafés in Copenhagen and Aarhus – not to mention in London and New York.

References and more information about Denmark