The Messina Family

The Messina Family
Barcelona 2010

Friday, August 28, 2009

Copenhagen, Denmark

Cyndi with the opera house behind her...It was built in 2004 and is 14 stories, with 5 of them being below the water. Placido Domingo sang at the opening. The roof is painted in gold.

Wind power...25% of the total electricity in Denmark is from wind power.

This is the big bridge that spans from Denmark to Sweden. It is 12 miles or 16 km long and was built in 2001. 30,000 Swedes come to Copenhagen to work everyday on that bridge.

Here's a close up of a thatched roof.

a house with a thatched roof in Dragør, a small fishing village near Copenhagen. It is a neat little town...there are no cars allowed in the neighborhood. The town was established in 11th century. They used to herd geese there. Currently, there are about 1500 residents and it is a fairly affluent neighborhood. The houses are 17th and 18th century and must be yellow. This town is famous for helping to get 7,000 Jews out of Copenhagen the night before the Nazi's started rounding them up for death camps. They snuck them out on boats to Sweden the night prior.

Our guide...who was incredibly knowledgable on the history of Denmark!

These hollyhocks were everywhere and they were HUGE!

bicycling is the main method of transportation! One third of the population uses bicycles for travel. Most Danes own 2-3 bikes each.

Guarding the square where 4 identical large homes owned by the royal family of Denmark.

One of the larger statues in Denmark....of the Queen and her four sons (oxen).

The Little Mermaid...a statue by the water that was built in 1913 based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale. The brewing company in Denmark called Jacobsen, donated this statue to the city. They have donated statues all over the area. 4.5 million people come to visit this "Little Mermaid" in Copenhagen every year. The mermaid has been beheaded twice...back in 1964 it was treated as a murder precious is this statue to the people of Copenhagen. They have now filled the statue with cement to avoid such occurances. Next year, as a part of the world expo, the Little Mermaid will travel to Beijing and be on display for 7 months. They will take several barrels of the sea water from Copenhagen to take with her so she is never far from the waters of her home.

Denmark is about 1/2 the size of Maine and has a population of around 5 million. Denmark is a peninsula and approximately 500 islands. There is over 5,000 miles of coastline in Denmark and sailing is a way of life for everyone.
The other Baltic nations that we visited all were occupied or attacked by the Nazi's during WWII. Denmark is no different. They were occupied by the Germans from Apr 9, 1940 until May 4, 1945.
In the 19th century, 350,000 Danes left Denmark to go to America from the ports by the Little Mermaid.
Denmark has the oldest monarchy in the world. It can be traced back for centuries. The current Queen (Queen Margaret II) is 69 and is an artist. The guards that guard her and the houses which her family lives in are called the Royal Life Guard. They have to be over 6 ft to be selected. It is a great honor to be a part of the RLG.
As for religion in Denmark...80% belong to the Lutheran Church of Denmark. However, only 4% actually attend church services. (sounds like Norway! - and the rest of Scandanavia). There are 50,000 Catholics, 7,000 Jews and 200,000 thousand Muslim.
We fly through Copenhagen all the time and we only ever see the airport...not the town, so it was nice to learn a little bit about our southern neighbors!

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