HomeThe Guides → The Worktrotter's Guide to Denmark

Chapter 3. Made in Denmark

This is an excerpt from the Worktrotter's Guide to Denmark.
The Worktrotter's Guide to Denmark

Since it’s likely you will be spending some time in Denmark, it will no doubt be of interest to find out what originates in Denmark including famous people, brands and companies. This chapter also provides you with popular topics for your first conversations with the locals, and for talking about what comes from Denmark in general. With these you‘ll be able to score points right away, because the Danes are very proud of their country. The following list of well-known people and companies is meant as a small “taster” to arouse your curiosity.

3.1 Famous Danes

There are many Danes that have achieved global recognition in their respective fields. What follows is my small selection of Danish personalities who have left a significant impression on the world.

3.1.1 Tycho Brahe (Astronomer)

14.12.1546 – 14.10.1601
Tycho Brahe was born in Scania (Skåne). At the time, Scania belonged to Denmark but today it is part of southern Sweden. You will therefore find both countries referred to with respect to the heritage of this influential astronomer.
It is said that a partial lunar eclipse, visible in Copenhagen on 21 May 1560, was what first awakened Brahe’s interest in astronomy. However, in the sixteenth century the study of astronomy was not seen as fit for a man of nobility – it was
decided that Brahe should study law instead. Nevertheless, he spent his evenings and nights devoted to the charting and mapping of the planets and stars. Brahe made all of his observations with the naked eye, but his measurements – even by
today’s standards – show a remarkable degree of accuracy. In the final two years of his life, Brahe was assisted by the German astronomer Johannes Kepler, known for the laws of planetary motion named after him. Kepler’s laws are based, to a large extent, on Brahe’s calculations.

3.1.2 Christian IV. (King)

12.04.1577 – 28.02.1648
Christian IV was the son of Frederick II and Queen Sophie von Mecklenburg. After his father died at a very early age, King Christian assumed the throne as an 11-year old. He was to reign for 60 years (1588-1648).
Although he did not increase the size of the kingdom (in fact he brought it almost to the brink of bankruptcy), Christian IV is the best-known Danish king. He is called the “Builder of the North”. King Christian built an extraordinary number
of beautiful Renaissance jewels, chief amongst them are: the old Stock Exchange (Børsen), Rosenborg Castle, the Trinity Church with the Round Tower, Holmen's Church, Frederiksborg Castle and others.

3.1.3 Bertel Thorvaldsen (Sculptor)

19.11.1770 – 24.03.1844
Thorvaldsen was born in Copenhagen. At the age of 11, he already showed precocious promise and, due to his phenomenal skills, he was accepted to the Copenhagen Academy of Fine Arts, the artistic focal point of northern Europe at that time.
In 1793, he won the gold medal at the Academy of Arts, which included a travel grant. Three years later, he went to Rome. His stay in Italy had a major influence on his work. His beautiful sculptures, including figures from classical antiquity, were so well-received that he was commissioned from all over Europe. Even Pope Pius VII commissioned him to create a monument in St. Peter’s Basilica, a surprise considering that Thorvaldsen was an avowed Protestant.
Thorvaldsen later referred to the date of his arrival in Rome as his “Roman birthday”. In 1805, he was awarded a professorship at the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.
His statue of Christ, created in 1839 for the Copenhagen Cathedral (Vor Frue Kirke) would later serve as a model for the oversized 11-foot statue of Christ in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Thorvaldsen’s greatest achievement perhaps is to have revived interest in ancient art.

Contents of Chapter 3. Made in Denmark
3.1 Famous Danes
3.1.1 Tycho Brahe (Astronomer)
3.1.2 Christian IV. (King)
3.1.3 Bertel Thorvaldsen (Sculptor)
3.1.4 Hans Christian Andersen (Author)
3.1.5 Søren Kierkegaard (Philosopher)
3.1.6 Karen Blixen (Author)
3.1.7 Niels Bohr (Physicist)
3.1.8 Jørn Utzon (Architect)
3.1.9 Other well-known people

3. 2 Danish companies
3.2.1 Bang & Olufsen – Designer hi-fi equipment
3.2.2 Carlsberg – Beer
3.2.3 ECCO – Shoes
3.2.4 LEGO – Construction toys
3.2.5 A. P. Møller-Mærsk – Shipping
3.2.6 Novo Nordisk – Insulin / Novozymes – Enzymes
3.2.7 Oticon – Hearing aids
3.2.8 Velux – Window solutions
3.2.9 Vestas – Wind energy
3.2.10 Other well-known companies
3.3 Sports

Previous: The country                     Table of contents                    Next:  Life in Denmark

Worktrotter's Guide to Denmark

Share with your friends

Denmark seen with international eyes

The Worktrotter books

Business-Dances with Danes. Decoding Danish work cultureBusiness-Dances with Danes

For those working with Danes and those trying to find work in Denmark.
This book is also aimed at those Danes who want to become conciously aware of the Danish workplace culture.

Find out how to decode Danish work culture, avoid pitfalls and know how you can bring your messages across when working with Danes. 

The Worktrotter's Guide to Denmark

For current and future newcomers to Denmark.

A practical step-by-step guide about living and working in Denmark. Save time, nerves and money. Be smart and do things right - right from the start.

No shipping fees worldwide!

Follow on Google+

SpeedNetworking event, Copenhagen

Our Partners

The Worktrotter web site was developed by
jfb Webdesign, who provide web design and developement services

Foreigners in Denmark is a social network for foreigners / expats living in Denmark, cooperating closely with Worktrotter

 Photojournalist and event photographer Matthew James Harrison