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History

In spite of a small territory and population, Denmark has played a notable role in the history of Northern Europe.

The history of Denmark dates back about 12,000 years, to the end of the last ice age, with the earliest evidence of human inhabitation. The Danes as a people were first documented in written sources around 500 AD. Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II can trace her lineage back to the Viking kings Gorm the Old and Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson from this time, making the Monarchy of Denmark the oldest in Europe.

The Danes (and other Scandinavians) made a big impact on the world in the Viking Age. The Vikings raided, traded, explored, and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia, and the North Atlantic Islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th centuries. Amongst other things they conquered England in the beginning of the 11th century.

Denmark controlled big parts of the current Sweden, Schleswig-Holstein in Germany and most of Norway in some of the Viking Age and again from the 14th century. However, as a result of ill fortunes of war and poor choice of allies, Denmark’s territory and population shrunk heavily in the centuries hereafter.

Denmark remained neutral in World War I, but was a part of World War II, as it was invaded by Nazi Germany.

Today, Denmark is a member of the EU, NATO, UN and many other international organizations.

"The Jelling Stones"

Picture: The Jellinge Stones are some of the most known historic icons of Denmark. They date back to the years around 935AD to 985AD and are often described as the birth certificate of Denmark as a nation, as both stones feature one of the earliest records of the name "Danmark”.

The inscription on the larger stone (pictured) says: "King Haraldr ordered this monument made in memory of Gormr, his father, and in memory of Thyrvé, his mother; that Haraldr who won for himself all of Denmark and Norway and made the Danes Christian."