Regional Overview

The Kingdom of Denmark

Denmark may have been born on the beaches of Jutland, but its heart lies on the island of Sjaelland. Centered around the country’s only major city, Copenhagen, the heritage of Sjaelland is all about the rise and fall of the Danish Empire. From the ruins of the ancient city of Roskilde to the towering monuments of Christian IV in Fredriksborg and Helsingor, one would need a lifetime to see everything.

Regional Identity

What to Lookout For

  • Danish Brick-Gothic architecture, which like their Hanseatic counterparts, introduced, but later rejected the French Gothic for local preferences in design.
  • The Renaissance of Christian IV, an anachronistic style of an Empire-building monarch drawing heavily on Flemish designs.
  • The austere Danish Classicism of the reconstruction, notably in Copenhagen but found essentially everywhere in Denmark.




Justin Bunch | CityscapeTravel

What is Sjælland?

Sjaelland, Seeland, or Zeeland is the largest island group in the Danish “Archipelago”. The island controls the flow of traffic in and out of the Baltic sea, and the location of Copenhagen is no accident. Sited at a natural harbor in the straight, it along with the fortress of Helsingor controlled access to the Baltic. Anyone wishing to bring goods in or out of the sea had to pay the “Sound Toll” a sum of money that made the Danish Monarchs excessively wealthy. The wealth of this toll would be a source of many conflicts for Denmark until Sweden wrested the Danish territory of Scania from them in the 17th century.

Sjaelland belongs almost entirely to the gravitational orbit of Copenhagen. However, leaving Copenhagen is worth your time, as the greater region has much to offer the tourist. Like Fyn and Jylland, there are numerous towns and villages with immaculately preserved centers, almost trapped in time. The Danish Reformation did not involve iconoclastic purges, and as a result, every church in the country has a complete medieval inventory, something that is truly unique in Europe. However, the best destinations are those related to the Danish Crown. The massive Renaissance palace complex in Fredericksborg and the UNESCO Heritage fortress of the Kronborg in Helsingor will each fill an entire day of exploration.

My Subjective Travel Rankings

To understand where the categories come from, see this article here.

8.2 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Accommodation: 10
  • Transportation: 8
  • Volume/Capacity: 8
  • Infrastructure: 10
  • Interactivity: 5

10 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Context: 10
  • Monuments: 10
  • Quality: 10

4 / 10

The score is based on the following:

  • Abstraction: 1
  • Tradition: 7



A Kingdom of Renaissance Ideals

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