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There are 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Denmark. This list is comprised of 5 cultural sites and 3 natural sites. One of them, the Wadden Sea, is shared with other countries. 3 of the 9 sites are located in Greenland.
Denmark UNESCO Site
Christiansfeld, a Moravian Church Settlement (2015)
First on this list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Denmark is Christiansfeld. This Moravian settlement was established in the late 18th century by the Moravian Church. This settlement was built under a strict city plan. It is, therefore, the best example of this kind of settlement in Europe.
According to UNESCO, this settlement meets two important criteria as to what would be considered a world heritage property. First, it showcases a unique cultural tradition that is not only well-preserved but still exists until today. Second, it is also a good example of architecture in the region that reflects a specific time in human history. This settlement was named after Danish King Christian VI.
Jelling Mounds, Runic Stones and Church (1994)
This multi-site property is another cultural site recognized as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Denmark. It was inscribed on the list in 1994 because of its importance as an archaeological site to the Vikings. All three of these sites encompassed within this world heritage property reflect the pagan Nordic culture and its transition to Christianity.
This site was first constructed in the 10th century as a royal monument. It serves as a symbol to a unified Denmark and how Christianity was introduced into the country. The burial mounds are believed to be where many of the Danish royals were buried.
Kronborg Castle (2000)
Located in Helsingor, Denmark, the Kronborg Castle is another cultural property recognized by UNESCO in Denmark. This castle, aside from being a royal residence, also served as a stronghold of the town. It is considered one of Northern Europe’s most important Renaissance castles. This same castle was the inspiration for Shakespeare’s Elsinore in the play “Hamlet”.
Built-in the 1420s, the Kronborg Castle together with its fortress protected entryway to the town via the Baltic Sea. In the early 17th century, there was a fire that nearly destroyed the entire castle but it was successfully rebuilt by King Christian IV.
Roskilde Cathedral (1995)
This Lutheran Church of Denmark is the first Gothic cathedral constructed out of brick. Thus, it innovated the spread of Brick Gothic style of architecture not just in Denmark but also in the rest of Northern Europe. As one of the cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Denmark, this 12th-century cathedral also incorporates Romanesque architectural styles into its design.
Aside from the architectural value of the cathedral, this was the only cathedral in Zealand until the 20th century. It is also built with two tall spires that dominate the skyline of the city. For this reason, this cathedral is a major tourist attraction in the city with an estimated 125,000 annual tourist visits.
The par force hunting landscape in North Zealand (2015)
Located in Copenhagen, this site rounds up the list of cultural sites recognized by UNESCO in Denmark. This group of hunting grounds and forests are located in Copenhagen. It was added to the UNESCO list in 2015. There are three main sites that are part of this hunting landscape in Denmark: Store Dyrehave, Jægersborg Dyrehave/Jægersborg Hegn, and Gribskov.
All three of these forest landscapes are located on the North Zealand peninsula of Copenhagen. These sites preserve the hunting landscape that was important to the people in the region during the 17th and 18th centuries. It was also an important showcase of the power of the monarchy.
Ilulissat Icefjord (2004)
The Ilulissat Icefjord is the first of 3 natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Denmark. It is a glacier-carved channel of water in the coastal town of Ilulissat. This coastal town is located west of Greenland. The site is composed of several icebergs that have broken up from the Jakobshavn glacier. This world heritage property protects up to 40,240 hectares of fjord landscape. This fjord is also responsible for dispersing about 10% of the ice that is released from the glaciers of Greenland.
Stevns Klint (2014)
Stevns Klint is a white chalk cliff on the Danish island of Zealand. This coast measures at 17 kilometers in length and is considered geologically important as one of the best examples of the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary that the world has seen. In addition, the cliff provides physical evidence of its evolution throughout many centuries with the uppermost stage being dated to have formed around 72 million years ago. Meanwhile, the lower portion signifies the Danian stage, which developed about 66 million years ago. The cliff is also made up of bryozoan chalk that is known to be highly resistant to conventional and nuclear weapons.
Wadden Sea (2009)
Wadden Sea is the only transnational property in this list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Denmark. This property represents an intertidal zone in the North Sea. It forms a shallow body of water that consists of wetlands and tidal flats. This property is also known for its biological diversity. This is also the only sea in the world wherein the coastline has experienced great human modification in the form of causeways and dikes. Aside from Denmark, this property is also attributed to Germany and the Netherlands.
Kujataa Greenland: Norse and Inuit Farming at the Edge of the Ice Cap (2017)
Kujataa is a cultural landscape in Denmark that is the newest entry into the country’s list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is recognized as the best example of how the Arctic community has adopted a farming and hunting technique that would provide for the needs of the locals. There are 5 components to this cultural site and they encompass agricultural lands, archaeological sites, and sheep farms, to name a few. The most amazing feature of these farming and hunting techniques is how they adapted influences from the Greenlandic and Norse culture.