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On the road

DENMARK

Population: 5.8 million
Capital city: Copenhagen
Area: 2,210,579 km2
Specialities: smeurebreud, Stegt flæsk (pork), rolled eel, sakkuk, wienerbrod, sol over Gudhjem, Danish hot dog 
National team results: Euro 92 football, Olympic champions in women's handball (3) and men's handball (1), 11 times world champions in badminton. Caroline Wozniacki, former world number 1 tennis player. Bjarne Riis, former Tour de France winner (1996). Mads Pedersen was also world road champion in 2019, as was Amalie Dideriksen in the women's race in 2016. Speedway.
Competitions: Grand Départ of the Tour de France, 2025 Handball World Championship, Danish Badminton Open, Tour of Denmark Cycling. World Equestrian Championships 2022. Speedway Grand Prix.
Festivals: Roskilde Festival (May), Copenhagen Jazz Festival (July), Smukfest Festival, Aarhus Festuge, Culture Night (October) Esbjerg Festival, HC Andersen Festival in Odense. 
Economy: agriculture, toys (Lego), breweries (Carlsberg, Tuborg), windmills, hi-fi (Bang & Olufsen, Dynaudio). Copenhagen harbour.
Remarkable sites: Copenhagen, the Little Mermaid, royal castles, Jelling tumulus, Jylland frigate etc...
Websites / FB / Twitter : https://www.visitdenmark.fr

SOUTHERN-DENMARK

Population: 1,224,000
Capital city: Vejle
Surface area: 12,191 km2
Specialities: Odense omelette, white wine, smørebrød. 
Sports clubs: Odense Boldklub, Vejle Boldklub, Sonderjyske (football, handball and ice hockey), Esbjerg FB.
Competitions: HC Andersen Marathon, Aabenraa mountain marathon.
Festivals: Esbjerg Festival, Ribe International Viking Market, HC Andersen Festival in Odense.  Economy: services, brewery, food, offshore, horticulture. Lego, Linak.
Landmarks: Jelling burial mound, Legoland, modern architecture in Vejle, castles in Odense, Egeskov, Andersen's birthplace in Odense, Ribe.
Websites / FB / Twitter: https://regionsyddanmark.dk/

Km 12

JELLING (Pop: 3,370)  

Tumulus and rune stones of Jelling

Construction: 940 to 970, discovered in 1978 under the town's church.
Characteristics: the small and large Jelling Stone were erected in the 10th century by King Gorm the Elder and Harald the Blue Tooth, his son, respectively. The small Jelling Stone honours Thyra of Denmark, the wife of King Gorm, while the large stone, erected much later, commemorates the life of Harald the Blue Tooth's parents and his conquest of Denmark and Norway.
History: the site was originally a pagan site, which was enlarged and converted into a large-scale Christian site. The monument at Jelling was built in three phases from 940 to 970. The first phase saw the erection of a 170m long stone boat with a Bronze Age mound at its end. The second phase was the erection of the northern mound, which is the largest in Denmark. It covered the Bronze Age mound and the northern tip of the stone boat. Analysis of the runes and dating of the burial chamber, including the remains found there, suggest that this is the tomb erected by Harald the Blue Tooth. The third and final phase took place 5-7 years after the death of King Gorm, around the year 965. It is connected with the conversion of Denmark to Christianity.
Trivia: there is a granite copy of the small stone near the abbey church of Saint-Ouen in Rouen, donated by the Carlsberg Foundation of Denmark in 1911 on the occasion of the Norman millennium celebrations.
Listing: listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1994.  

Jelling Treasure

In September 2021, an amateur archaeologist discovered a treasure near Jelling that is about 1,500 years old. It is one of the largest, most valuable and most beautiful gold treasures in Danish history, the Vejle Museum Association announced at the time of the discovery. The treasure consists of 22 coins, which probably date from the 5th century and weigh a total of 945 grams.

Km 14.7

LAKE FARUP

Lake Farup is one of the deepest lakes in the region, and most of its water comes from springs in and around the lake. At the edge of the lake can be seen a lot of aquatic fauna, and you may be lucky enough to see kingfishers or ospreys. During part of the summer, the impressive Viking ship Jelling Orm sails on the lake.

Km 54.7

KOLDING (City : 59,000 inhabitants. Municipality: 89,000 inhabitants)

The streets of the town are lined with cherry red Danish flags. A medieval castle overlooks parks where flowers and medicinal herbs flourish. The industry of Denmark's seventh largest city is mainly shipbuilding. In the Battle of Kolding, which took place on 25 December 1658, Polish and Danish allied forces defeated the Swedish forces of Charles X Gustav of Sweden. In 2020, the city hosted part of the European Women's Handball Championship held in Denmark. It has also hosted the Tour of Denmark cycling race six times.  

Koldinghus Castle

Construction: 13th century
History: constant conflicts between the King of Denmark and the Duke of Schleswig led the former to build a fortress to defend the southern borders against his neighbour. In the 16th century, Koldinghus lost its defensive importance and King Christian III added several buildings to it to turn it into a royal residence. Copenhagen then became the centre of political power and the royal residences were abandoned. When Frederick IV became king, he decided to remove most of the surrounding walls, leaving Koldinghus as it is today. The castle was destroyed by fire during the Napoleonic Wars in 1808.
Current purpose: The restored castle houses a museum with collections of furniture from the 16th century to the present day, Romanesque and Gothic church culture, older Danish paintings and crafts with a focus on ceramics and silver.  

Tramholt Museum

Founded: 1988
Annual visitors: 80,000
Characteristics: this museum of modern art was expanded in 1996 to house a collection of contemporary Danish design furniture, with a collection of over 500 20th century chairs, the largest in Denmark. The spiral architecture of this part of the museum is inspired by the Guggenheim Museum in New York. It also houses a permanent exhibition of paintings by Richard Mortensen. The museum is surrounded by a sculpture park.
Trivia: in 2000, the museum gained international notoriety when artist Marco Evaristti exhibited his work Helena, an installation consisting of ten working mixers, each containing a live goldfish, allowing visitors to turn on and kill the fish. At least one visitor did so, killing two fish. The Danish animal welfare association filed a complaint and Peter Meyer, then director of Trapholt, was fined DKK 2,000 for cruelty to animals.

Km 90.5

CHRISTIANFELD (Pop: 3,000) 

The 18th century settlement of Christiansfeld in South Jutland reflects the societal and ethical ideals of the Moravian Church. Founded in 1773, it was built as a colony of the Moravian Church, a Lutheran free congregation based in Herrnhut, Saxony. Christiansfeld is the best-preserved example of a northern European settlement built around the church square. The town has a group of intact and well-preserved buildings oriented along two tangent streets running east-west around a central square, with a cemetery at the edge of the town. Its architecture is homogeneous and unadorned, with single-storey and single-floored buildings of yellow brick and red-tiled roofs. The proportions, materials and craftsmanship contribute to the special atmosphere of peace and harmony in the town. The complex was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015.  

Christinero Park

Foundation: 18th century
Characteristics: a beautiful white gate gives direct access to this romantic ex-garden created by Christina Friederica von Holstein, then President of the Chamber. There is a wooden pavilion called My Thoughts and also the tomb of its founder. The garden is dotted with small lakes with fountains and a wood of rare trees. A special feature is the huge oak barn dating from 1668, which can be seen on the path leading to the old Tyrstrup Rectory. It has been assembled without a single nail.

Km 102

HADERSLEV (Pop: 22,000)

Haderslev is situated in a valley leading from Vojens to Haderslev Fjord and the Baltic Sea. The town was probably founded by Vikings at least a century before it was granted the status of a royal burgh in 1292. In the following centuries, the town prospered, building both the Gothic cathedral and the second Hansborg Castle (burnt down in 1644). Due to the plague in Copenhagen, King Christian IV married there. In the 16th century, the city became one of the first Scandinavian centres of Lutheranism. From 1864, Hadersveld was part of Prussia and, as such, of the North German Confederation, and from 1871, of the German Empire. In the Schleswig plebiscite of 1920, which returned North Schleswig to Denmark, 38.6 pc of Haderslev's inhabitants voted for the town to remain part of Germany and 61.4% voted for the cession to Denmark.   

Haderslev Cathedral

Construction: founded in the 12th century, actual construction from 1420 to 1440.
Styles: Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque.
History: the cathedral played a major role in the struggle between Denmark and the Duchy of Schleswig as it was financed by King Erik in the early 15th century in order to create a diocese independent of Schleswig. Despite the final Prussian victory over Erik, the church was still completed in a high Gothic style with high apses and a transept. A tower was built later with a saddle roof. In 1525, the church became Lutheran. A major restoration was undertaken between 1941 and 1951.
Special feature: after a turbulent history, Haderslev finally became an official cathedral in 1922.

Km 135.8

AABENRAA (City: 16,000 inhabitants, Municipality: 59,000 inhabitants)

Situated 60 kilometres from the German city of Schleswig, Aabenraa (Apenrade in German) is the political and cultural centre of the German minority in Denmark, with a high school, school, kindergarten and library. The town, founded in the 13th century, was ceded to Prussia after the Duchy War of 1864. In 1920, it became Danish again after the Schleswig plebiscites (referring to the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles), even though 55% of the town's inhabitants voted to remain in Germany.  

Brundlund Castle Museum

The art museum has a rich collection of works from the late 1700s to the present day. The most important names in the collection are C.W. Eckersberg and Franciska Clausen, who both grew up in and around Aabenraa. The art experiences continue in the castle park with a magnificent collection of sculptures in a green setting, which can also be enjoyed from the museum's café and terrace.

Km 159.3

GRAASTEN (Pop: 4,200)

Graasten, located in the municipality of Sønderborg on the east coast of Jutland in the region of Southern Denmark, is famous for its castle, the summer residence of the Danish family. The town is also famous for the apple variety known as Gravenstein (the German name for the town). 

Graasten Castle

Construction: 1603
Characteristics: the main house has a modern, all-white facade with Venetian doors that open onto large, manicured lawns and gravel driveways. The grounds include a huge stable yard. The estate has an area of 6.6 km².
History: the south wing of the present castle is said to have been built in 1603 to replace a hunting lodge destroyed by fire. After three and a half centuries of ownership by Danish nobles, Graasten Slot was bought by the state, extensively restored, and in 1935 became the summer residence of Crown Prince Frederick, later King Frederick IX, and Crown Princess Ingrid, later Queen Ingrid. It is the usual place for the official photo shoot of the royal family in summer.
Special features: the chapel is the only remaining building of the original baroque palace after a fire in 1757. Despite the fact that the interior was badly damaged during the Second Schleswig War, it is decorated with 80 paintings. It provides services in German and Danish to accommodate the local cultural mix.  

Km 165.7

NYBOL (Pop: 1,130)  

Nybol Mill

Construction: 17th century
Characteristics: Dutch type mill, originally built in the 1600s. It is located 200 metres south of the Sonderborg highway and is clearly visible from the road.
History: During the Three Years' War, the Danish army attacked the German Confederation troops on 28 May 1848 and drove them out of Sundeved. The battle was settled around Nybol Molle, and the mill went down in history as a memorial to the Danish victory. In 1864, the Prussian Roeders Brigade was headquartered at Nybol Molle during the Battle of Als. In 1879 the mill caught fire but was rebuilt the same year. The mill was in operation until 1957 and then fell into disrepair but was restored several times and listed in 1998.  

Dybbol Mill

Construction: 1744 (first mill), 1936 (present mill)
Characteristics: Dybbol Molle (Dybbol Mill), west of Sønderborg, was built in 1936. It is a tower mill, i.e. a Dutch windmill with a gallery, where the upper and lower mills have a plastered foundation wall. The blades are fitted with shutters and the windmill is curved by wind roses. It was in operation until 1990.  In 1995, the Sønderborg Castle Museum organised exhibitions in the windmill and the attic about this national symbol for both Danes and Germans. Since then, the mill has been constantly renovated by charities.
History: The first mill, built of wood in 1744, burned down in 1800. The site was the centre of fierce battles during the Schleswig wars: 1848-1849 and 1864. The mill, whose wings were used to transmit messages to the Danish army, was destroyed both times, but rebuilt.
Trivia: the Dybbol Mill became a national symbol after the victory of the Danish resistance against the Germans in 1864 and has been the subject of several poems and songs.      

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