Destinations » Europe
» Nordic & Baltic Countries »
origin of the name Denmark is unknown, but debated. The name is likely named after
the Dani people (Danes), the people who live in and have lived in Scandinavia for
centuries or a historic, or mythical, king named Dan. No matter the origin, the
word seems to be rooted in a historic Germanic word meaning "flat land."
The mark in the name is less debated and is believed to mean "wood
land" or "border land."
Despite Denmark's limited size on a map, the country has historically been a
crossroads of cultures and empires, making Denmark one of the most diverse and worldly
countries in the world, both in the past and present. Standing on the straight connecting
the Baltic and North Seas, this small country has been able to control trade, communication,
and political power many times in the past.
Due to Denmark's location, the people have been able to control trade and communication
at various points in history. This encouraged political and economic growth, but
also encouraged exchanges of information, cultures, and lifestyles. This power began
in the 1200s and lasted for centuries.
As a regional power, the Danish culture shifted in many ways, primarily in terms
of lifestyle as many people moved from living off of fishing and farming to gaining
employment in trade, business, and transportation. This led to a significant amount
of urbanization as cities grew and Denmark gained influence. The people grew in
wealth, but also slowly took over huge tracts of land throughout Europe, while also
gaining access to new products and goods. All of this introduced new ideas, a new
mentality, and a new religion (Lutheranism) to the Danish people.
Over time Danish power fell and during World War II the country was quickly overrun.
However, over time the priorities of the Danes had also been altered as changes
were decided at a negotiating table as opposed to a battlefield. Denmark was and
continues to be a political leader as they are a champion for social rights and
numerous other issues.
While Denmark has changed substantially over time in terms of politics, the country
has always remained on a steady economic growth pattern and culturally the country
has only changed slightly in recent years. Life in Denmark has always been focused
on family and friends as the people are open, welcoming, and social. Time is better
spent with these people over a beer or in the home around a table than at work trying
to earn more money or a promotion.
Learn More About Denmark:
Map of Denmark: