Present-day Denmark can trace its linguistic and cultural roots
back to when the region was settled by the Danes, a tribe that is
thought to have migrated south from Sweden around 500 AD.
In the late 9th century, warriors led by the Norwegian Viking chieftain
Hardegon conquered the Jutland peninsula. The Danish monarchy, which
claims to be the world's oldest, dates back to Hardegon's son, Gorm
the Old, who established his reign early in the 10th century.
Gorm's son, Harald Bluetooth, completed the conquest of the Danes,
speeding their conversion to Christianity. Bluetooth's gob-stopping
successors, Forkbeard and sons got the wood on England, setting
up shop and throne and living the sweet life of Anglo-Dane monarchs.
They kept it together for half a century or so, but as Viking power
waned, the borders of the Danish kingdom shrank back to Denmark.
Denmark is famous for beautifully designed ceramics, silverware,
porcelain, and home furnishings. Copenhagen has a permanent exhibition
of arts and crafts where artisans from all over the country may
display and sell their work.