The Scandinavian Peninsula (Swedish: Skandinaviska halvön; Norwegian: Den skandinaviske halvøy (Bokmål) or Nynorsk: Den skandinaviske halvøya; Finnish: Skandinavian niemimaa; Russian: Скандинавский полуостров, Skandinavsky poluostrov) is a peninsula of Eurasia located in Northern Europe, which roughly comprises the mainland of Sweden, the mainland of Norway, and the northwestern area of Finland.
The name of the peninsula is derived from the term Scandinavia, the cultural region of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. That cultural name is in turn derived from the name of Scania, the region at the southern extremity of the peninsula which was for centuries a part of Denmark, which is the ancestral home of the Danes, and which is now part of Sweden. The derived term "Scandinavian" also refers to the Germanic peoples who speak North Germanic languages, considered to be a dialect continuum derived from Old Norse. These modern North Germanic languages found in Scandinavia are Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish; additionally Faroese and Icelandic belong to the same language group, but they are not part of the modern Scandinavian dialect continuum and are not intelligible with the other languages.
The Scandinavian Peninsula is the largest of the well-known peninsulas of Europe, with a greater area than the Balkan, Iberian and Italian peninsulas. During the Ice Ages, the sea level of the Atlantic Ocean dropped so much that the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland disappeared, and the countries now surrounding them, including Germany, Poland, the other Baltic countries and Scandinavia, were directly joined by land.
Scandinavian Peninsula in winter 2003
|Adjacent bodies of water||Arctic Sea, Atlantic Ocean|
|Area||1,680,000 km2 (650,000 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||2,469 m (8,100 ft)|
|Mainland, possibly excluding the eastern part of Finnmark|
|Parts of Lapland|
|Possibly a north western sliver of the Murmansk Oblast|
The largest peninsula in Europe, the Scandinavian Peninsula is approximately 1,850 kilometres (1,150 mi) long with a width varying approximately from 370 to 805 kilometres (230 to 500 miles). The Scandinavian mountain range generally defines the border between Norway and Sweden. The peninsula is bordered by several bodies of water including:
Its highest elevation was Glittertinden in Norway at 2,470 metres (8,104 feet) above sea level, but since the glacier at its summit partially melted, the highest elevation is at 2,469 metres (8,100 feet) at Galdhøpiggen, also in Norway. These mountains also have the largest glacier on the mainland of Europe, Jostedalsbreen.
The climate across Scandinavia varies from tundra (Köppen: ET) and subarctic (Dfc) in the north, with cool marine west coast climate (Cfc) in northwestern coastal areas reaching just north of Lofoten, to humid continental (Dfb) in the central portion and marine west coast (Cfb) in the south and southwest. The region is rich in timber, iron and copper with the best farmland in southern Sweden. Large petroleum and natural-gas deposits have been found off Norway's coast in the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
Much of the population of the Scandinavian Peninsula is naturally concentrated in its southern part, which is also its agricultural region. The largest cities of the peninsula are Stockholm, Sweden; Oslo, Norway; Gothenburg, Sweden; Malmö, Sweden and Bergen, Norway, in that order.
The Scandinavian Peninsula occupies part of the Baltic Shield, a stable and large crust segment formed of very old, crystalline metamorphic rocks. Most of the soil covering this substrate was scraped by glaciers during the Ice Ages of antiquity, As a consequence of this scouring, the elevation of the land and the cool-to-cold climate, a relatively small percentage of its land is arable.
The glaciation during the Ice Ages also deepened many of the river valleys, which were invaded by the sea when the ice melted, creating the noteworthy fjords of Norway. In the southern part of the peninsula, the glaciers deposited vast numbers of terminal moraines, configuring a very chaotic landscape. These terminal moraines covered all of what is now Denmark.
Although the Baltic Shield is mostly geologically stable and hence resistant to the influences of other neighbouring tectonic formations, the weight of nearly four kilometres of ice during the Ice Ages caused all of the Scandinavian terrain to sink. When the ice sheet disappeared, the shield rose again, a tendency that continues to this day at a rate of about one metre per century. Conversely, the southern part has tended to sink to compensate, causing flooding of the Low Countries and Denmark.
The crystalline substrate of the land and absence of soil in many places have exposed mineral deposits of metal ores, such as those of iron, copper, nickel, zinc, silver and gold. The very most valuable of these have been the deposits of iron ore in northwestern Sweden. In the 19th century these deposits prompted the building of a railway from northwestern Sweden to the Norwegian seaport of Narvik so that the iron ore could be exported by ship to places like southern Sweden, Germany, Great Britain and Belgium for smelting into iron and steel. This railway is in a region of Norway and Sweden that otherwise does not have any railways because of the very rugged terrain, mountains and fjords of that part of Scandinavia.
The first recorded human presence in the southern area of the peninsula and Denmark dates from 12,000 years ago. As the ice sheets from the glaciation retreated, the climate allowed a tundra biome that attracted reindeer hunters. The climate warmed up gradually, favouring the growth of evergreen trees first and then deciduous forest which brought animals like aurochs. Groups of hunter-fisher-gatherers started to inhabit the area from the Mesolithic (8200 BC), up to the advent of agriculture in the Neolithic (3200 BC).
The northern and central part of the peninsula is partially inhabited by the Sami, often referred to as "Lapps" or "Laplanders," who began to arrive several thousand years after the Scandinavian Peninsula had already been inhabited in the south. In the earliest recorded periods they occupied the arctic and subarctic regions as well as the central part of the peninsula as far south as Dalarna, Sweden. They speak the Sami language, a non-Indo-European language of the Uralic family which is related to Finnish and Estonian. The first inhabitants of the peninsula were the Norwegians on the west coast of Norway, the Danes in what is now southern and western Sweden and southeastern Norway, the Svear in the region around Mälaren as well as a large portion of the present day eastern seacoast of Sweden and the Geats in Västergötland and Östergötland. These peoples spoke closely related dialects of an Indo-European language, Old Norse. Although political boundaries have shifted, descendants of these peoples still are the dominant populations in the peninsula in the early 21st century.
Although the Nordic countries look back on more than 1,000 years of history as distinct political entities, the international boundaries came late and emerged gradually. It was not until the middle of the 17th century that Sweden had a secure outlet on the Kattegat and control of the south Baltic coast. The Swedish and Norwegian boundaries were finally agreed and marked out in 1751. The Finnish-Norwegian border on the peninsula was established after extensive negotiation in 1809, and the common Norwegian-Russian districts were not partitioned until 1826. Even then the borders were still fluid, with Finland gaining access to the Barents Sea in 1920, but ceding this territory to the Soviet Union in 1944.
Denmark, Sweden and the Russian Empire dominated the political relationships on the Scandinavian Peninsula for centuries, with Iceland, Finland and Norway only gaining their full independence during the 20th century. The Kingdom of Norway – long held in personal union by Denmark – fell to Sweden after the Napoleonic Wars and only attained full independence in 1905. Having been an autonomous grand duchy within the Russian Empire since 1809, Finland declared independence during the Soviet revolution of Russia in 1917. Iceland declared its independence from Denmark in 1944, while Denmark was under the occupation of Nazi Germany. Iceland was encouraged to do this by the British and American armed forces that were defending Iceland from Nazi invasion.
The Wehrmacht invaded Norway in 1940 and the German Army occupied all of Norway until May 1945. With the acquiescence of the Kingdom of Sweden, German troops moved from northern Norway, across northern Sweden, into Finland, which had become an ally of Nazi Germany. Then, in the spring of 1941, the German Army and the Finnish Army invaded the Soviet Union together. The Republic of Finland had a grievance against the Soviet Union because the Red Army had invaded southeastern Finland in the Winter War (1939–40) and had taken a large area of territory away from Finland.
In 1945, Norway, Denmark and Iceland were founding members of the United Nations. Sweden joined the U.N. soon after. Finland joined during the 1950s. The first Secretary General of the United Nations, Trygve Lie, was a Norwegian citizen. The second Secretary General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjöld, was a Swedish citizen. Thus the people of the Scandinavian Peninsula had a strong influence in international affairs during the 20th century.
In 1949, Norway, Denmark and Iceland became founding members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation for their defence against East Germany, the Soviet Union and all other potential invaders, and these three countries remain members as of 2011.
Sweden and Finland joined the European Union in 1995. Norway, however, remains outside the Union.
The following details notable events from the year 1826 in Norway. Norway is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and the subantarctic Bouvet Island. Key domestic issues include maintaining the country's extensive social safety net with an aging population, and preserving economic competitiveness. See also: NorwayBjørn Sundquist
Bjørn Richard Sundquist (born 16 June 1948) is a Norwegian actor, famous for TV, theatre, and movie roles.
For many years he worked at Det Norske Teatret and Nationaltheateret in Oslo, and he is especially famous for the roles as Merlin and Hamlet.
When he received the Honorary Amanda Award (Norway's answer to Oscar) in 2000, he became the youngest ever recipient of the greatest honor in Norwegian film. He was 52 at the time and only a few months younger than Liv Ullmann, who received the honorary award in 1992.
He is of Sami heritage on his mothers side (a minority originating mainly from the northern parts of the Scandinavian peninsula often referred to as Lapland). He has had several TV-roles for both NRK, the biggest Norwegian television channel, and Norway's largest commercial channel, TV2. Sundquist has been awarded both a Gullruten and an Amanda award for his leading role as police chief inspector Konrad Sejer in the television miniseries "Sejer".Sundquist is humorously said to appear in every single Norwegian movie, due to his popularity and versatility.Continental Europe
Continental or mainland Europe is the continuous continent of Europe, excluding its surrounding islands. It can also be referred to ambiguously as the European continent – which can conversely mean the whole of Europe – and by Europeans, simply the Continent.
The most common definition of continental Europe excludes continental islands, encompassing the Greek Islands, Cyprus, Malta, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, the Balearic Islands, Great Britain and Ireland and surrounding islands, Novaya Zemlya and the Nordic archipelago, as well as nearby oceanic islands, including the Canary Islands, Madeira, the Azores, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and Svalbard.
The Scandinavian Peninsula is sometimes also excluded, as even though it is technically part of "mainland Europe", the de facto connections to the rest of the continent are across the Baltic Sea or North Sea (rather than via the lengthy land route that involves travelling to the north of the peninsula where it meets Finland, and then south through north-east Europe).
The old notion of Europe as a cultural and European unification term was centred on core Europe (Kerneuropa), the continental territory of the historical Carolingian Empire, corresponding to modern France, Italy, Germany (or German-speaking Europe) and the Benelux states (historical Austrasia).
This historical core of "Carolingian Europe" was consciously invoked in the 1950s as the historical ethno-cultural basis for the prospective European integration (see also Multi-speed Europe).Cyclone Dagmar
Cyclone Dagmar (also referred to as Cyclone Tapani in Finland) and as Cyclone Patrick by the Free University of Berlin) was a powerful European windstorm which swept over Norway on Christmas Day 2011, causing severe damage in central coastal areas, before continuing over the Scandinavian peninsula towards the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland. The storm caused $45 million (2011 USD) in damage.Danish overseas colonies
Danish overseas colonies and pre Dano-Norwegian colonies (Norwegian: Danmark-Norges kolonier) are the colonies that Denmark-Norway (Denmark after 1814) possessed from 1536 until 1953. At its apex the colonies spanned four continents (Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia). The period of colonial expansion marked a rise in the status and power of Danes and Norwegians in the union. Being the hegemon of Denmark-Norway or the Statsfædrelandet (lit. State Fatherland), Denmark is where the union's monumental palaces are now located and Copenhagen, today the capital of Denmark, was the city which both Norway and Denmark came to establish as their capital. Much of the Norwegian population moved to find work in Copenhagen, attend university, or join the Royal Fleet.
In the 17th century, following territorial losses on the Scandinavian Peninsula, Denmark-Norway began to develop colonies, forts, and trading posts in West Africa, the Caribbean, and the Indian subcontinent. After 1814, when Norway was ceded to Sweden following the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark retained what remained of Norway's great medieval colonial holdings. Christian IV first initiated the policy of expanding Denmark-Norway's overseas trade, as part of the mercantilist wave that was sweeping Europe. Denmark-Norway's first colony was established at Tranquebar (Trankebar) on India's southern coast in 1620. Admiral Ove Gjedde led the expedition that established the colony.
Today, the only remaining vestiges are two originally Norwegian colonies that are currently within the Danish Realm, the Faroe Islands and Greenland; the Faroes were a Danish county until 1948, while Greenland's colonial status ceased in 1953. They are now autonomous countries of the Kingdom of Denmark with home rule, in a relationship referred to as the "Unity of the Realm".Danish–Swedish Farmdog
Dansk-svensk gårdshund (Danish–Swedish Farmdog) is a breed of dog that has its origin in Denmark and southern Sweden, but has become popular all over Scandinavia. It is an old native breed which has historically lived on farms in the eastern part of Denmark and southernmost part of Sweden (i.e. on both sides of The Sound, the narrow strait that separates the Danish island of Zealand from the southern tip of the Scandinavian peninsula), serving as a guard dog, rat catcher and hunting dog. The breed's soft and gentle temperament also makes them excellent companion dogs.
Danish-Swedish Farmdogs are also companion dogs, making them an ideal pet for Scandinavian farmers. There are some indications that the breed originates from the Pinscher breeds and the British white hunting terriers.Europe (disambiguation)
Europe is a continent that comprises the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia (extending from the Urals to the Iberian Peninsula), the Scandinavian Peninsula, Great Britain, Ireland, Iceland and many smaller surrounding islands in the North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.
Europe may also refer to:
Continental Europe, the mainland of Europe excluding the islands surrounding it
European Union, a European political supranational entityFennoscandia
Fennoscandia (Finnish: Fennoskandia; Swedish: Fennoskandien; Norwegian: Fennoskandia; Russian: Фенноскандия Fennoskandiya) or the Fennoscandian Peninsula is the geographical peninsula comprising the Scandinavian Peninsula, Finland, Karelia, and the Kola Peninsula. It encompasses Finland, Norway and Sweden, as well as Murmansk Oblast, much of the Republic of Karelia, and parts of northern Leningrad Oblast in Russia.
Its name comes from the Latin words Fennia (Finland) and Scandia (Scandinavian). The term was first used by the Finnish geologist Wilhelm Ramsay in 1898.Geologically, the area is distinct because its bedrock is Archean granite and gneiss with very little limestone, in contrast to adjacent areas in Europe.
The similar term Fenno-Scandinavia typically refers to a cultural or political grouping of Finland with Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden, and Norway), which is a subset of the Nordic countries.Horse skulls
In Ireland, England, Wales, and the Scandinavian Peninsula, the skulls of horses have been found concealed in the structures of buildings, usually under the foundation or floor. Horse skulls have also been found in buildings in the United States, although in far fewer numbers. As part of the larger folk tradition of concealing objects in structures, horse skulls are related to concealed shoes, dried cats, and witch bottles.
There are two main theories as to the reason for depositing the horse skulls in buildings: as a method for enhancing the acoustics of a room, such as in a church or in a threshing barn; or as a method for repelling evil spirits such as witches and ghosts.Lands of Denmark
The three lands of Denmark historically formed the Danish kingdom from its unification and consolidation in the 10th century:
Zealand (Sjælland) and the islands south of it, with Roskilde as a centre
Jutland (Jylland), the western peninsula, and the island of Fyn, with Viborg as a centre.
Scania (Skåneland) on the Scandinavian peninsula, with Lund as a centreEach of the lands retained their own thing (ting) and statute laws until late medieval time (Jutlandic Law, Zealandic Law and Scanian Law). Although Denmark was a unified kingdom, the custom of rendering homage to the King at the three individual assemblies remained. A remnant is the current division of Denmark into two High Court districts, the Eastern and Western High Court.
During the early 19th century, Zealand and Fyn became administratively united as Østifterne with a provincial assembly in Roskilde. Jutland, The Islands and Bornholm remains an informal subdivision still used, notably in meteorology and public statistics. Bornholm is the only part to represent Scania after the rest of the region was lost to Sweden in 1658. (Bornholm was also lost in 1658, but was recovered two years later.)
In recent decades, the less specific division between Eastern and Western Denmark has also become common, for example when describing logistic, economic and political patterns. Funen may be attributed to both the eastern and western part of the country, the border line being either the Great Belt or the Little Belt.List of companies of Norway
Norway is a sovereign and unitary monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula plus the island Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard.
The country maintains a combination of market economy and a Nordic welfare model with universal health care and a comprehensive social security system. Norway has extensive reserves of petroleum, natural gas, minerals, lumber, seafood, fresh water and hydropower. The petroleum industry accounts for around a quarter of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). On a per-capita basis, Norway is the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas outside the Middle East.For further information on the types of business entities in this country and their abbreviations, see "Business entities in Norway".Phinnoi
Phinnoi (Φιννοι) were one of the people living in Scandinavia (Scandia), mentioned by a Greek scientist Ptolemy in his Geographia around 150 CE. Ptolemy mentions them twice, but provides no other information on them.Today, Phinnoi are most commonly seen as the forefathers of the Sami people, who inhabited most of the Scandinavian peninsula in the times of Ptolemy. The name seems to have been a form of the Germanic word finn, an old common nominator for Finns and the Sami people, both speakers of Uralic languages.Scandinavia
Scandinavia ( SKAN-dih-NAY-vee-ə) is a region in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. The term Scandinavia in local usage covers the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The majority national languages of these three, belong to the Scandinavian dialect continuum, and are mutually intelligible North Germanic languages. In English usage, Scandinavia also sometimes refers to the Scandinavian Peninsula, or to the broader region including Finland and Iceland, which is always known locally as the Nordic countries.While part of the Nordic countries, the remote Norwegian islands of Svalbard and Jan Mayen are not in Scandinavia, nor is Greenland, a constituent country within the Kingdom of Denmark. The Faroe Islands are sometimes included.Scandinavian prehistory
The Scandinavian Peninsula became ice-free around the end of the last ice age. The Nordic Stone Age begins at that time, with the Upper Paleolithic Ahrensburg culture, giving way to the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers by the 7th millennium BC (Maglemosian culture c. 7500–6000 BC, Kongemose culture c. 6000–5200 BC, Ertebølle culture c. 5300–3950 BC). The Neolithic stage is marked by the Funnelbeaker culture (4000–2700 BC), followed by the Pitted Ware culture (3200–2300 BC).
Around 2800 BC, metal was introduced in Scandinavia in the Corded Ware culture. In much of Scandinavia, a Battle Axe culture became prominent, known from some 3,000 graves. The period 2500–500 BC also left many visible remains to modern times, most notably the many thousands rock carvings (petroglyphs) in western Sweden at Tanumshede and in Norway at Alta. A more advanced culture came with the Nordic Bronze Age (c. 1800–500 BC). It was followed by the Iron Age in the 4th century BC.Smygehuk
Smygehuk is a harbour and fishing village at Smygehamn in Skåne, Sweden. It is most known for being the southernmost point of Sweden, and the entire Scandinavian Peninsula (55° 20' N). To the west of the harbour are Smygehuk Lighthouse and Smygehuk Hostel.
A statue of a nude woman stands in the harbour. It was made by artist Axel Ebbe and installed in 1930. It is named Famntaget (the embrace). The model for the statue was Birgit Holmquist, mother of the model Nena von Schlebrügge and grandmother of actress Uma Thurman.Söderslätt
Söderslätt ("South Plain") is a Swedish agricultural district, known for its very high quality soil. It is located in the south-west of Scania, at the southernmost peak of the Scandinavian peninsula. It isn't an administrative area but is usually considered to comprise four municipalities: Skurup, Svedala, Trelleborg and Vellinge (of which the latter includes the Falsterbo peninsula). Malmö, Scania's largest city, is not really associated with this agricultural area. But that city's eastern end equals Söderslätt's western boundary. Whilst the smaller town Trelleborg sooner is a part of the area. It's the southernmost town at the entire Scandinavian peninsula and has extensive car ferry traffic with the European continent.Thomas Öberg (singer)
Rolf Thomas Öberg (born 15 March 1967) is a Swedish musical personality best known as the singer in the acclaimed group bob hund. He was named, in 2000, as the country's best singer. He has gained renown for his musical depth and unique lyrics as well as extremely energetic stage presence.
A native of the coastal city of Helsingborg, the seat of Helsingborg Municipality in Skåne County, at the southernmost tip of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Öberg moved to Stockholm in 1987, at the age of 20. As singer and lyricist for the Swedish indie bands bob hund, Bergman Rock and Sci-Fi SKANE, he has been involved in many other musical endeavours, including former bands Oven & Stove, Instant Life, and a solo project going by the pseudonym of Walter L. Ego, as well as a new group with the name, 27#11, a collaboration with Graham Lewis of Wire. His fame is also credited to the original nature and depth of his lyrics along with his stage presence, which expends so much energy that, in one frequently recounted incident, he broke a leg during a performance. In 1994, he and his band, bob hund, received a Grammis (the Grammy of the Swedish music industry) for "Best Live Band" and another in 1996 for "Best Lyrics", which Öberg is known for delivering in his native dialect of Skånska. Having been named Sweden's best singer in 2000, he has also won awards for his lyrics and for the band's live performances.Trelleborg
Trelleborg (Swedish pronunciation: [trɛlɛˈbɔrj]) is a town in Skåne, Sweden, with 28,290 inhabitants in 2010. It is the southernmost town in Sweden located some 10–15 kilometres (6.2–9.3 mi) west from the southernmost point of Sweden and the Scandinavian peninsula. It is one of the most important ferry towns in Scandinavia as well as around the Baltic Sea, and the main town of the Söderslätt agricultural areas.