Area: 7517 sq. km (2902 sq. miles).
Counties: Kobenhavns amt, Frederiksborg amt, Roskilde amt, Vestsjaellands amt, Storstroms amt.
Zealand (Danish Sjaelland) is Denmark’s largest island, on which the capital, Copenhagen, and a number of other important industrial towns are situated. Copenhagen’s airport at Kastrup is the hub of Scandinavian air traffic. The island has much to offer the visitor: within easy reach of Copenhagen are many splendid castles and churchs (Frederiksborg, Kronborg, Roskilde); the nearby coast of northern Zealand has fine beaches.
There is no land route to Zealand and the Danish capital. The only bridge linking Zealand with another part of Denmark is the Storstrom Bridge, but this leads only to Falster, another island. There is no immediate prospect of an overland link: a decision was made to build a bridge over the Great Belt to Jutland, but the plan was abandoned on the grounds of cost.
In northern Zealand there has been a switch from agriculture to industry, but agriculture is still predominant in the southern part of the island. The commuting area of Copenhagen now reaches far out from the city, for the Danes like to live in the country and are prepared to put up with long jorneys to work in order to achieve this. There is an excellent public transport system in the Copenhagen area, and the territory of Greater Copenhagen now extends as far afield as Koge, Roskilde, Hillerod and Helsingor.
Motorists who want to cut quickly across Zealand on their way to Sweden will find it takes only about an hour to get from the Storstrom bridge to Copenhagen. For those who want to see more of Zealand itself, four attractive routes are suggested below.
Vordingborg to Copenhagen (E4). From Rdbyhavn (182: ferry connections with Puttgarden on the German island of Fehmarn) the road runs NE across the islands of Lolland and Falster and comes to the Storstrom Bridge (3-2 km (2 miles) long), opened in 1937, which links Falster with Zealand.
A street in Koge Vordingborg (pop. 12,000; Kong Val-demar Hotel, 82 b.) is on the S coast of Zealand. The town grew up around a castle built by Valdemarthe Great, base of the Danish campaigns against the Wends in the 12th c. In the Ruinterraen are remains ofthe castle’s walls and the well-preserved Goose Tower (GcisetSrnet), with a pointed copper roof topped by the gilded figure of a goose. It recalls Valdemar’s remark that the Hanseatic towns were like a flock of gabbling geese.
In the Gothic Church of Our Lady (Vor Frue Kirke) are unusual wall paintings.