Scandinavia--Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and Finland--is blessed with five distinct, yet related, cultures.

Learn about the stories behind the legends, about the countries, and most of all about the people.


"We sailed our ships to any shore that offered the best hope of booty; we feared no fellow on earth..."
Saga of Arrow-Odd

What is Gjetost?
A town in Sweden.
Brown goat cheese.
The word for "hello" in

Roasted fish.
The word for ghost in

Correct answer?
OSLO - Norway

Clustered around the head of the 68-mile-long Oslofjord, Oslo is probably the most spacious city in the world. Its 175-square-mile metropolitan area consists of over 75 percent forests and five percent water. Its fine deep harbor, Pipervika, stretches into the heart of the city and from it leave ferries to Denmark and Germany.

Read more

Feature: Stavanger
Featured City: Oslo
Food: The Great NordicDiet
          Swedish Semla
          Norwegian Cuisine
          Canned Sardines
History: The Round Tower
Arts:   Vigeland Park, Oslo
          Georg Jensen
People: Henrik Ibsen    
News: Happiest Countries          

Find out how to contribute to this site

Up, Up and Away
Copenhagen To Get Scandinavia’s Largest Design Hotel
by Bob Brooke

Scandinavia isn’t known for many of the largest things. In fact, living spaces, including hotel rooms, tend to be small and compact. This has as much to do with the economy as it does retaining heat in during the harsh winters. But soon, the Bella Center, the largest convention center in Scandinavia, will open its own hotel, the Bella Sky Comwell Hotel Copenhagen.

The new hotel will contain 814 rooms in a unique, off-center-looking twin towers that look like two chunks of ice melting. The Bella Sky will be an integrated part of Bella Center adding hotel and meeting facilities to the busy Bella Center. Located in Ørestad, a suburban of Copenhagen on the island of Amager, close to both the city centre and Copenhagen Airport, the new hotel’s towers lean 15 degrees in opposite directions, their facades breaking away as they rise. By comparison, the leaning tower of Pisa leans only 3.97 degrees. The Bella Sky’s towers incline amounts to an incredible 20-meter slope difference between the ground and top floors. A top twist of one of the towers decreases problems with turbulence in the flat, windy landscape, and a ground floor twist of the other makes room for a dedicated entrance. The hotel lobby will merge into the existing entrance lobby of the Bella Center, making the hotel a true integrated part of the convention center complex.

In order to build the towers, workers had to be specially trained to repel down the towers to assemble the facade. The building’s unique design creates diversity at every floor level, challenging the conceptions of conventional construction. Due to the it’s complex architecture, the hotel will offer its guests more than 200 room variations, which will contribute to creating an individual, exclusive and warm atmosphere.

The structure offers an unobstructed view of the green meadows and/or the sea from all the rooms in both towers. Each room will have floor-to-ceiling windows and will be decorated in a simple, yet striking, Scandinavian style. The twin-tower design maximizes corner rooms, of which there are 86. To supplement the center’s 63 conference rooms, the hotel will have 30 of its own on the top floor, as well as an exclusive sky bar and lounge that offers patrons a spectacular view of the Copenhagen and the sea. A fitness center and spa will take care of guests’ physical needs. Three restaurants will service their food needs.

< Back to Greenland

Every year about 95 000 people die in Sweden and, according to the law, everyone must be buried. There must be room for everyone in the cemeteries, therefore the future needs of space have to be predicted. Because of this funerals must be part of the planning process.

Read more about Swedish burials

News from Norway
from Aftenposten
News from Denmark
News from Sweden
from the SR International 
News from Finland
from Finnish News Agency STT
News from Iceland
from The Iceland Review
All news is in English


In the early Middle Ages, driven by famine at home and the promise of wealth to be had in other lands, the Vikings set out from Scandinavia to conquer parts of England, Ireland, France, Russia, and even Turkey. Bolstered by their successes, the Vikings pushed westward, eventually crossing the North Atlantic and founding settlements in Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland in Canada.
Read more         Go to the Book Shop >

To read more articles by Bob Brooke, visit his Web site.

Site contents Copyrighted ©2002-2016, by Bob Brooke Communications.
Site design and development by
BBC Web Services.