Did you know … about Denmark?

Aside from the debates regarding immigration, integration and diversity, Denmark and Copenhagen receive so much positive press about the things they do well – welfare benefits and services, design, bike culture, New Nordic Cuisine etc. What do we NOT hear about?

Here is some trivia that you may not know:

  • You probably already know that in 2014 Copenhagen won the European Green Capital Award and intends to become carbon neutral by 2025. Great! But did you know that between 1995 and 2013, Denmark increased the amount of municipal waste produced per capita by an astounding 43%. Of all the EU countries this amount was only exceeded by Malta (44%). At the other end of the spectrum, Slovenia reduced its municipal waste production by 31% and Bulgaria by 38%.

Read more from the EU on municipal waste here.
Read more on the European Green Capital Award here.
See State of Green to find out more about Denmark’s green efforts and to book a tailor made State of Green Tour.

  • Denmark is the world’s largest exporter of pork. Since 2000 Danish pigs have been raised without relying on regular doses of antibiotics. In some countries like the USA, healthy pigs are given antibiotics in their food to prevent disease and enhance their growth, but this has an impact on human health.
  • Approximately 85% of pig meat is exported. As well as being consumed as food, the animals are controversially used by the Danish and British military for trauma training, against national law and EU directives.

Read more on the use of pigs by the military here.
See the homepage of the Pig Research Centre in Denmark.

See the article Denmark’s Drug-Free Pigs.

  • There are approximately 406 islands in Denmark. Consequently, even though the total surface area of Denmark is only 43,561 sq. m, it has a coastline of 7,314m. Read more here.
  • In 2015 more than 30 jazz festivals took place in Denmark. See the full list here.
  • The suffix –bro comes from the word brolagt which translates as cobbled. So Nørrebrogade translates as Northern Cobbled Street (… not bridge or borough or Bronx!!)
  • Assistens Kirkegaard located in Nørrebro was originally founded in 1757 as a back-up cemetery (assistens = assistance) for paupers to be buried, outside of the city walls. It now functions as a graveyard, a museum, a cultural centre and a park. In summer the cemetery is well-visited by sunbathers and picnickers, but in recent years the area they are permitted to use has been restricted. The cemetery is home to numerous species of flora and fauna from around the world, as well as the resting place for Hans Christian Andersen, Søren Kirkegaard and Niels Bohr.
  • Copenhagen Central Station has been built three times (In 1847, 1864 and 1911). Read more here.
  • Aarhus City Hall was designed and built by Arne Jakobsen (and Erik Møller) as was the building housing the Danish National Bank, Skovshoved Pertol Station, the Radisson BLU Royal Hotel near Tivoli, and the Bella Vista apartment complex, Bellevue Theatre and Bellevue Beach!! See Visit Denmark.
  • Skagen beach ranked number 66 in CNN’s 2013 list of the World’s 100 Best Beaches

Here are some alternative sightseeing recommendations for your freetime in Denmark:

  • Verdenskortet – a giant grass map that you can walk on.
  • Medical Museon – A museum on the culture of medicine which is part of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. The main exhibition and event site is located in the city centre on Bredgade.
  • Dansk Jagt- og Skovbrugsmuseum – The Danish Museum of Hunting and Forestry in Hørsholm is a great day out for the whole family and there are also special activities for kids during school holidays and the festive season.
  • Moens Klint – a 7km stretch of chalk cliffs situated along the east coast of the island Møn. The GeoCenter there also looks like it is worth a visit.
  • Kildeparken (Park of Music) – a park in Aalborg where musicians have planted trees to commemorate their visit to Aalborg. Some of the trees are even accompanied by the artists’ music!
  • The Danish Lakelands – A beautiful area of lakes, forests and hills in Jutland located between Skanderborg, Ry and Silkeborg. Hjejlen, the oldest operative paddle steamer in the world sails between Silkeborg and Himmelbjerget (Denmark’s highest hill … I struggle to call it a mountain!). Book tours here.

(… See more options at Atlas Obscura.)

And lastly, here are a couple of nice (info) blogs on Copenhagen, Denmark and Scandinavia:

Dejlige Days
Scandinavia Standard
Copenhagenize
The Copenhagen Tales has a list of ‘8 great blogs about Copenhagen

Do you know any less-well-known facts about Denmark or Copenhagen? Do you have any tips about hidden gems in the cities or countryside? Please do leave some tips in the comments box!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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