Overview of Copenhagen

History of Copenhagen

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Copenhagen was founded around 1000AD and remained as little more than a fishing village until 1200, when it grew in importance following it's fortification by Bishop Absalon in late 1100s. It's superb natural harbour brought the town to prominence as a trading centre, hence it's name, København, which means 'market harbour' or 'trading harbour'. The city was attacked by the Hanseatic League as it's members began to feel the impact of the it's success on their own trading. During 1658-59, the Swedes besieged the city.

In 1805, a British fleet fought a fierce battle against the Danish navy in Copenhagen harbour, during which Lord Nelson put his telecope to his blind eye in order to avoid seeing Admiral Parker's signal to cease fire. In 1807, an expeditionary force subjected the city to a violent bombardment, causing severe damage and heavy loss of life amongst the city's residents, in order to prevent the surrender of Danish naval forces to the Napoleonic army.

During the Second World War, Denmark was under German occupation between April 1940 and May 1945. Although some Danes felt a degree of affinity with Germany and the government intially collaborated with the occupiers, there was a strong resistance movement within the country and from 1943 regular acts of sabotage were being carried out by the resistance movement. Very few Danish Jews perished during the war, mainly due to the Danish people's refusal to hand them over for transportation. The order for the round-up of Denmark's 7500 jews was leaked and the public rallied round to hide their jewish compatriates from the authorities for sufficiently time to allow most of them to flee, mainly to neutral Sweden.

Update 15/09/2007

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