Major Cities in Denmark
Copenhagen has been the capital of Denmark since the 15th century and is the largest city by population (around 500,000) in the country. The city is located on the island of Zealand and Amager in the southwest portion of Denmark near the tip of Sweden. The coast of Copenhagen runs along the Oresund straight, which separates the city from Sweden. In 2000, the Oresund Bridge was completed that connects Malmo, Sweden, with Copenhagen over the straight.
Since the rule of Christian IV in the 17th century, Copenhagen has been an important cultural center for Denmark. Now the city is home to many important business headquarters. The city’s infrastructure, seaport, and airport, the largest in Scandinavia, are reasons for Copenhagen’s importance not only to Denmark but to Scandinavia. The quality of life is affluent in Copenhagen; it is within the top 15 spots on the quality of life index and is also one of the most environmentally friendly cities in the world. Also, 40% of the city’s population bikes to work every day. With this quality of life comes a cost, Copenhagen was ranked by Forbes Magazine in 2010 as the tenth most expensive city to live.
Aarhus is located on the eastern side of the Jutland peninsula and is known as the capital of Jutland. The harbor of Aarhus is the largest port in Denmark and one of the largest in Northern Europe. Most of the exports are related to agriculture, while the imports are mostly iron and coal. There are many large farmlands surrounding Aarhus. The main crop is grain, and the main livestock are cows and pigs. Aarhus is also home to a popular Danish attraction, The Old Town, a collection of old buildings from all over the country.
Odense is the third largest city in Denmark and is located on the island of Funen, off the southwestern coast of mainland Denmark. The word Odense translates as “Odin’s shrine.” Odin is the god of war in Norse mythology. In 1988, Odense celebrated its 1000th year as a city and, in commemoration, planted a forest and named it “the Thousand Year Forest.”
Odense was home to the second largest tower in Europe, next to the Eiffel Tower, called the Obinstarnet. However, in 1944, Danish Nazis destroyed the Obinstarnet. The tower was never reconstructed, though a small model does exist on the spot where it once stood.