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.

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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          

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by Bob Brooke

Of all the Scandinavian countries, Denmark is the friendliest. With an area of 16,600 square miles, it’s roughly twice the size of Wales, but with a population of about five million. Apart from Jutland, which is connected to the European Continent, it consists of nearly 500 islands of which 100 are inhabited, giving a total coastline of 4,500 miles. Though it lacks the high scenic drama of its northern neighbors, its countryside is fair and fertile.

Rising only 557 feet, it features landscapes of undulating, farmlands punctuated by woods and the huddle of picturesque old villages and farms. There’s something timeless and relaxing about these tidy landscapes, though change is evident as reduced dairy herds lead to increasing arable production and rosy pigs disappear into the warm sheds of factory farming. This makes Denmark an ideal and well organized country for farmhouse holidays with its very special family appeal.

There’s much to see, too–rich collections dating back to prehistory, numerous traces from Viking times, and many castles and monasteries reflecting the prosperity of the Middle Ages when men cleared the great forests. After the monk Ansgar introduced Christianity in the 9th Century, the village church became a major feature of rural Denmark along with the half-timbered farms and inns. It was the monks who taught the people to fire clay, accounting for the predominance of brick as a building material throughout the country. Later came the castles, manors and parks reflecting and adapting the Renaissance styles especially from Holland.

Denmark's other great natural feature is the complexity of its coastlines, providing splendid sheltered waters for boating, bathing, fishing and other water sports. Among the stirring sights of the Danish summer is the fluttering of a myriad colorful sails during the Funen and Sealand regattas which attract not only expert sailors but many families. Hundreds more take part in marches or organized walks.

Denmark also overflows with culture, from jazz and medieval jousting to street theater and the Royal Danish Ballet. Denmark's pleasure gardens, including Copenhagen's Tivoli, the largest and most sophisticated, typify the Danish talent for catering for all tastes and all ages in the same place at the same time.





< Back to Denmark                                                                        Go to Copenhagen >

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.
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