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Location of Denmark within Europe

Denmark is the smallest and southernmost of the Nordic countries. Unified in the 10th century, it is also the oldest. Located north of its only land neighbour, Germany, south-west of Sweden, and south of Norway, it is located in northern Europe. From a cultural point of view, Denmark belongs to the family of Scandinavian countries although it is not located on the Scandinavian Peninsula. The national capital is Copenhagen.

Denmark borders both the Baltic and the North Sea. The country consists of a large peninsula, Jutland, which borders Schleswig-Holstein, and many islands, most notably Zealand, Funen, Vendsyssel-Thy, Lolland, and Bornholm, as well as hundreds of minor islands often referred to as the Danish Archipelago. Denmark has historically controlled the approach to the Baltic Sea, and those waters are also known as the Danish straits.

Denmark has been a constitutional monarchy since 1849 and is a parliamentary democracy. It became a member of the European Economic Community (now the European Union) in 1973. The Kingdom of Denmark also encompasses two off-shore territories, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, both of which enjoy wide-ranging home rule. The Danish monarchy is the oldest existing monarchy in Europe, and the national flag is the oldest state flag in continuous use.

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King Christian IV of Denmark and Norway. Painting by Pieter Isaacsz (1611-1616).

Christian IV of Denmark and Norway (April 12, 1577–February 28, 1648) was the longest reigning Danish monarch with a reign of 60 years. His reign was characterized by wars and rivalry with Sweden as well as his unsuccessful involvement in the Thirty Years' War. Christian is also remembered for founding a number of towns and a large number of buildings, including Børsen, Rundetårn and Holy Trinity Church in Kristianstad. He features in the Danish national play, Elverhøj (The Elf's Hill) and is the central figure in the Danish royal anthem Kong Christian stod ved højen mast.

Christian was the son of Frederick II and Sophia of Mecklenburg. Christian was born at Frederiksborg Palace in 1577, and succeeded to the throne on the death of his father (April 4, 1588), attaining his majority on August 17, 1596. ...

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The old Manor House at Liselund
Liselund is an 18th-century aesthetically landscaped park, complete with several exotic buildings and monuments. Located close to Møns Klint on the north-eastern corner of the Danish island of Møn, it is deemed to be one of the finest examples in Scandinavia of Romantic English gardening. The park was created in the 1790s by French nobleman Antoine de Bosc de la Calmette for his wife Elisabeth, commonly known as Lisa. Liselund, roughly translated, means Lise's grove.

Antoine de la Calmette was a Hugenot whose family had been forced to leave France for Holland. His father was a diplomat who after terms in Switzerland and Portugal, finally arrived in Denmark where, in 1776, the family was naturalised and recognised as Danish nobility.

In January 1777, he married Catharina Elisabeth Iselin, the daughter of the Swiss baron Reinhard Iselin who had also emigrated to Denmark. In 1783, Antoine was appointed prefect of Møn. The same year, he bought six hectares of land on the eastern coast of the island in the parish of Magleby.

He and his wife, who travelled widely, had become interested in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's philosophy of naturalism in the Age of Enlightenment. As a result, Antoine designed the park in the Romantic spirit of the time as a loving gift for his wife. It was intended as a retreat where the family could spend a few days or weeks at a time, often with invited guests, away from the hardships of their working lives at Marienborg on the other side of the island.

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Entrance to Christiania
Freetown Christiania, is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighbourhood and Anarchist community of about 850 residents, covering 34 hectares (85 acres) in the borough of Christianshavn in the Danish capital Copenhagen. Civic authorities in Copenhagen regard Christiania as a large commune, but the area has a unique status in that it is regulated by a special law, the Christiania Law of 1989 which transfers parts of the supervision of the area from the municipality of Copenhagen to the state. The rules forbid stealing, violence, guns, knives, bulletproof vests, hard drugs and bikers' colors.

Famous for its main drag, known as Pusher Street, where hash and skunk weed were sold openly from permanent stands until 2004, it nevertheless does have rules forbidding 'hard drugs', such as cocaine, amphetamine, ecstasy and heroin. The region negotiated an arrangement with the Danish defence ministry (which still owns the land) in 1995. Since 1994, residents have paid taxes and fees for water, electricity, trash disposal, etc. The future of the area remains in doubt, though, as Danish authorities push for its removal.


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