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  North Jutlandic Island (Denmark) is historically a part of Jutland although it was separated from it by a flood in 1825.
  Northern Jutland (Denmark)
  Northern Schleswig (Denmark)
  Southern Schleswig (Germany)
  Holstein (Germany)

Jutland (/ˈʌtlənd/; Danish: Jylland [ˈjylanˀ]; German: Jütland [ˈjyːtlant]), also known as the Cimbric or Cimbrian Peninsula (Latin: Cimbricus Chersonesus; Danish: Den Kimbriske Halvø; German: Kimbrische Halbinsel), is a peninsula of Northern Europe that forms the continental portion of Denmark and part of northern Germany. The names are derived from the Jutes and the Cimbri, respectively.

As the rest of Denmark, Jutland's terrain is flat, with a slightly elevated ridge down the central parts and relatively hilly terrains in the east. West Jutland is characterised by open lands, heaths, plains and peat bogs, while East Jutland is more fertile with lakes and lush forests. Southwest Jutland is characterised by the Wadden Sea, a large unique international coastal region stretching through Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.


Dunes on Jutland's northwest coast.

Jutland is a peninsula bounded by the North Sea to the west, the Skagerrak to the north, the Kattegat and Baltic Sea to the east and Germany to the south. Geographically and historically, Jutland comprises the regions of South Jutland, West Jutland, East Jutland (including Djursland) and North Jutland (including Himmerland, Vendsyssel and Thy). There are several historical subdivisions and regional names, some of which are still occasionally encountered today. They include Nørrejyllland, Sydvestjylland, Nordvestjylland and Slesvig. Politically, Jutland currently comprises the three contemporary Danish Administrative Regions of North Jutland Region, Central Denmark Region and the Region of Southern Denmark, along with portions of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein.

The Danish part of Jutland is currently divided into three administrative regions: North Jutland Region, Central Denmark Region and Region of Southern Denmark.[1] These three regions have a total area of 29,775 km2 (11,496 sq mi), a population of 2,599,104 (2016)[2] and a population density of 84 per km2 (218 per sq.mi.).

The northernmost part of Jutland is separated from the mainland by the Limfjord, a narrow stretch of water bisecting the peninsula from coast to coast. The Limfjord was formerly a long brackish water inlet, but a breaching North Sea flood in 1825 created a coast to coast connection.[3] This area is called the North Jutlandic Island, Vendsyssel-Thy (after its districts) or simply Jutland north of the Limfjord; it is only partly coterminous with the North Jutland Region.

The islands of Læsø, Anholt and Samsø in Kattegat and Als at the rim of the Baltic Sea are administratively and historically tied to Jutland although the latter two are also regarded as traditional districts of their own. Inhabitants of Als, known as Alsinger, would agree to be South Jutlanders, but not necessarily Jutlanders.[citation needed]

The Danish Wadden Sea Islands and the German North Frisian Islands stretch along the southwest coast of Jutland in the German Bight.

Danish part[edit]

Flensburg has the largest Danish minority of any city in Germany.

The largest cities in the Danish section of Jutland are as follows:

  1. Aarhus
  2. Aalborg
  3. Esbjerg
  4. Randers
  5. Kolding
  6. Horsens
  7. Vejle
  8. Herning
  9. Silkeborg
  10. Fredericia

Aarhus, Silkeborg, Billund, Randers, Kolding, Horsens, Vejle, Fredericia and Haderslev, along with a number of smaller towns, make up the East Jutland metropolitan area.

Administratively, Danish Jutland comprises three of Denmark's five regions, namely Nordjylland, Midtjylland and the western half of Southern Denmark, which includes Funen. The five administrative regions came into effect on 1 January 2007, following a structural reform.[4]

German part[edit]

Kiel is the largest city on the German side of the Jutland Peninsula.

The southern third of the Jutland peninsula is made up of the German Bundesland of Schleswig-Holstein. Schleswig-Holstein has two parts: the former duchies of Schleswig (Danish fief) and Holstein (German fief), both of which have passed back and forth between Danish and German rulers several times. The last adjustment of the Danish–German border followed the Schleswig Plebiscites in 1920 and resulted in Denmark's regaining Northern Schleswig (Danish: Nordslesvig or more commonly today: Sønderjylland).

The historical southern border of Jutland are areas south of Kiel, Husum and Rendsburg, but the river Eider was the border between the former duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, as well as the historical border between the Danish and German realms from c. 850 to 1864. Although most of Schleswig-Holstein is geographically part of the Jutland peninsula, most German residents there would not identify themselves with Jutland or even as "Jutlanders", but rather with North Germany (German: Norddeutschland) and Schleswig-Holstein, considering themselves Northern Germans (German: Norddeutsche) and Schleswig-Holsteiner.

The medieval law Code of Jutland applied to Schleswig until 1900 when it was replaced by the Prussian Civil Code. Some rarely used clauses of the Jutlandic Code still apply north of the Eider, even some cities south of the river- all of Rendsburg and more than half of Kiel.[citation needed]


The largest cities in the German part of Jutland or the Jutland Peninsula are Kiel and Flensburg.[citation needed]


Geologically the Mid Jutland Region and the North Jutland Region as well as the Capital Region of Denmark are located in the north of Denmark which is rising because of post-glacial rebound.


Military stratagem in the Maneuver against the Romans by Cimbri and Teutons circa 100 B.C.

Jutland has historically been one of the three lands of Denmark, the other two being Scania and Zealand. Before that, according to Ptolemy, Jutland or the Cimbric Chersonese was the home of Teutons, Cimbri and Charudes.

Many Angles, Saxons and Jutes migrated from Continental Europe to Great Britain starting in c. 450 AD. The Angles themselves gave their name to the new emerging kingdoms called England (i.e., "Angle-land").

Saxons and Frisii migrated to the region in the early part of the Christian era. To protect themselves from invasion by the Christian Frankish emperors, the pagan Danes initiated the Danevirke, a defensive wall stretching from present day Schleswig and inland half-way across the Jutland peninsula, beginning in the 5th century.

The pagan Saxons inhabited the southernmost part of the peninsula at the Baltic Sea until the Saxon Wars in 772-804 AD in the Nordic Iron Age, when Charlemagne violently subdued them and forced them to be Christianised. Old Saxony was politically absorbed into the Carolingian Empire and Abodrites (or Obotrites), a group of Wendish Slavs who pledged allegiance to Charlemagne and who had for the most part converted to Christianity, were moved into the area to populate it.[5] Old Saxony was later on referred to as Holstein.

In medieval times, Jutland was regulated by the Law Code of Jutland (Jyske Lov). This civic code covered the Danish part of the Jutland Peninsula, i.e. north of the Eider (river), Funen as well as Fehmarn. Part of this area are now in Germany.

During the industrialisation of the 1800s, Jutland experienced a large and accelerating urbanisation and many people from the countryside chose to emigrate. Among the reasons was a high and accelerating population growth; in the course of the century the Danish population grew two and a half times to about 2.5 million in 1901, with a million people added in the last part of the 1800s. This growth was not caused by in increase in the fertility rate, but by better nutrition, sanitation, hygiene and health care services. More children survived, and people lived longer and more healthy lives. Combined with falling grain prices on the international markets because of the Long Depression, and better opportunities in the cities due to an increasing industrialisation, many people in the countryside found it necessary, or was inspired, to relocate to larger towns or emigrate. In the later half of the century around 300,000 Danes emigrated, mainly from rural areas to the US or Canada. In 1850, the largest Jutland towns of Aalborg, Aarhus, Randers and Helsingør had no more than about 8,000 inhabitants each; by 1901, Aarhus had grown to 51.800 citizens.[6]

To speed transit between the Baltic and the North Sea, canals have been built across the peninsula, including the Eider Canal in the late 18th century, and the Kiel Canal, completed in 1895 and still in use.

Jutland was of high strategic importance in both World Wars. Here bunker remnants from WWII in Thyborøn.

Battle of Jutland[edit]

During the First World War, the Battle of Jutland in the North Sea west of Jutland was one of the largest naval battles in history. In this pitched battle, the British Royal Navy engaged the Imperial German Navy, leading to heavy casualties and losses of ships on both sides. The British fleet sustained greater losses, but remained in control of the North Sea, so in strategic terms, most historians regard Jutland either as a British victory or as indecisive.[7] The battle is commemorated and explained at the Sea War Museum Jutland in Thyborøn.

World War II[edit]

Denmark was invaded and occupied by the German army in December 1939. In this context, Jutland was of high strategic importance for Germany and work soon commenced for extending the Atlantic Wall to this part of Europe, following the entire west coast of the peninsula.

Many of the seaside bunkers from World War II are still present at the Jutland west coast. Several of the fortifications in Denmark have been turned into museums, including Tirpitz Museum in Blåvand, Bunkermuseum Hanstholm, and Hirtshals Bunkermuseum.


Up until the industrialisation of the 19th century, most people in Jutland lived a rural life in the countryside, getting by as farmers and fishers. Farming and herding has formed a significant part of the culture since the late Neolithic Stone Age, and fishing ever since humans first populated the peninsula after the last Ice Age, some 12,000 years ago.

Art tied to Jutland specifically, in particular paintings and literature, boomed during the industrialisation in the later half of the 1800s and the beginning of the 1900s. Thorvald Niss, part of Skagen Painters collective.

The local culture of Jutland commoners before industrial times, was not described in much detail by contemporary texts. It was generally frowned upon and viewed with contempt by the Danish cultural elite who perceived it as uncultivated, misguided, dumb and useless. The peasantry was dominated by the upper feudal class, manifested in large estates owned by families of noble birth or the Crown. When the industrialisation began in the 19th century, the social order was upheaved and with it the focus of the intelligentsia and the educated changed as well. Writers like Steen Steensen Blicher (1782-1848) and H.C. Andersen (1805-1875) were among the first writers to find genuine inspiration in local Jutlandic culture and present it with affection and non-prejudice.[8] Blicher was himself of Jutish origin and soon after his pioneering work, many other writers followed with stories and tales set in Jutland and written in the homestead dialect. Many of these writers are often referred to as the Jutland Movement, artisticly connected through their engagement with public social realism of the Jutland region. The Golden Age painters also found inspiration and motives in the natural beauty of Jutland, including P.C. Skovgaard, Dankvart Dreyer, and art collective of the Skagen Painters. Writer Evald Tang Kristensen (1843-1929) collected and published extensive accounts on the local rural Jutlandic folklore through many interviews and travels across the peninsula, including songs, legends, sayings and everyday life.

Peter Skautrup Centret at Aarhus University is dedicated to collect and archive information on Jutland culture and dialects from before the industrialisation. The centre was established in 1932 by Professor in Nordic languages Peter Skautrup (1896-1982).[9]

With the railway system, and later the automobile and mass communication, the culture of Jutland has merged with and formed the overall Danish national culture, although some unique and peculiar local traits are still present in some cases.


The distinctive Jutish (or Jutlandic) dialects differ substantially from standard Danish, especially those in the West Jutland and South Jutland parts. The Peter Skautrup Centre maintains and publishes an official dictionary of the Jutlandic dialects.[10] Dialect usage, although in decline, is better preserved in Jutland than in eastern Denmark, and Jutlander speech remains a stereotype among many Copenhageners and eastern Danes.

Musicians and entertainers Ib Grønbech[11][12][13][14] and Niels Hausgaard, both from Vendsyssel in Northern Jutland, use a distinct Jutish dialect.[15]


In the Danish part of Jutland, literature tied to Jutland and Jutland culture grew significantly in the 1800s and early 1900s. That was a time when large numbers of people migrated to the towns during the industrialisation, and there was a surge of nationalism during the public foundation of the modern democratic national state.[8]

Steen Steensen Blicher wrote about the Jutland rural culture of his times in the early 1800s. Through his writings, he promoted and preserved the various Jutland dialects, as in "E Bindstouw", published in 1842.

Danish writer Jeppe Aakjær also used Jutlanders and Jutland culture in some of his works, especially in "Af gammel Jehannes hans Bivelskistaarri. En bette Bog om stur Folk." from 1911, which was widely read in its time. He also translated poems of Robert Burns to his particular Jutish dialect of Midtvestjysk.

Karsten Thomsen (1837-89), an inn-keeper in Frøslev with artistic aspirations, wrote warmly about his homestead of South Jutland, using the dialect of his region explicitly.

Jutland native Maren Madsen emigrated to the American town of Yarmouth, Maine, in the late 19th century. She wrote a memoir documenting the transition, titled From Jutland's Brown Heather to the Land Across the Sea.[16] She married Christian Christensen, with whom she had four children. Maren died in 1965, aged about 93. She and her family are all buried in Cumberland County, Maine.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Region Nordjylland". Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Danmarks Statistikbank". Statistikbanken.dk. Retrieved 2016-03-30.
  3. ^ "Fishery Before the flood the land was connected to the west. History". Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Strukturreform" (in Danish). Danske Regioner. 27 January 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  5. ^ Nugent, Thomas (1766). The History of Vandalia, Vol. 1. London. pp. 165–66. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  6. ^ Erik Strange Petersen. "Det unge demokrati, 1848-1901 - Befolkningsudviklingen" [The young democracy, 1848-1901 - The population trends] (in Danish). Aarhus University. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  7. ^ "The Battle of Jutland". History Learning Site. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  8. ^ a b Inge Lise Pedersen. "Jysk som litteratursprog" [Jutlandic as literary language] (PDF) (in Danish). Peter Skautrup Centret.
  9. ^ "Peter Skautrup Centret" (in Danish). Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Jysk Ordbog" (in Danish). Peter Skautrup Centret. Retrieved 11 January 2019.
  11. ^ Evanthore Vestergard (2007). Beatleshår og behagesyge: bogen om Ib Grønbech (in Danish). Lindtofte. ISBN 9788792096081 8792096085 Check |isbn= value: length (help).
  12. ^ "Musik og kærlighed på nordjysk" (in Danish). Appetize. 14 May 2018. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  13. ^ Ib Grønbechs whole catalog of songs are performed in his homestead dialect of Vendelbomål. (Maria Præst (1 April 2007). "Grønbechs genstart" (in Danish). Nordjyske. Retrieved 15 January 2019.)
  14. ^ Palle W. Nielsen (18 July 2007). "Hvad med en onsdag aften med Ib Grønbech i Den Musiske Park?" [What about a Wednesday evening with Ib Grønbech in Den Musiske Park?] (in Danish). Nordjyske. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  15. ^ Dialect researcher brands Hausgaard as ambassador of dialects. (Josefine Brader (9 April 2014). "Hausgaard: Folk havde svært ved at forstå mig" [Hausgaard: People had a hard time understanding me] (in Danish). TV2 Nord. Retrieved 15 January 2019.)
  16. ^ Bouchard, Kelley (March 2012). "Yarmouth history center to break ground in April". Portland Press Herald.