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The Sound (locally known as Sundet, Danish Øresund or Swedish Öresund), is the strait that separates the Danishmarker island Zealandmarker from the southern Swedish province of Scania. Its width is just at the narrowest point between Elsinoremarker, Denmark, and Helsingborgmarker, Sweden.

Øresund is one of the three Danish Straits that connects the Baltic Seamarker to the Atlantic Oceanmarker via Kattegatmarker, Skagerrakmarker and the North Seamarker, and is one of the busiest waterways in the world.

The Öresund Bridgemarker was inaugurated on July 1, 2000, by the crown princess of Sweden Victoria and the crown prince Frederic of Danemark. Ferries run around the clock between Helsingborgmarker, Sweden and Helsingørmarker, Denmark.


Political control of Öresund has been an important issue in Danish and Swedishmarker history. Denmark maintained military control with the coastal fortress of Kronborgmarker at Elsinoremarker on the west side and Kärnanmarker at Helsingborgmarker on the east, until the eastern shore was ceded to Sweden in 1658. Both fortresses are located where the strait is just 4 kilometers wide.

In 1429 King Eric of Pomerania introduced the Sound Dues which remained in effect for more than four centuries, until 1857. Transitory dues on the use of waterways, roads, bridges and crossings were then an accepted way of taxing which could constitute a great part of a state's income. The Sound Dues remained the most important source of income for the Danish Crown for several centuries, thus making Danish kings relatively independent of Denmark's Privy Council and aristocracy.

Northern Øresund

Notable islands

See also


  • Menefee, Samuel Pyeatt, "The Sound Dues and Access to the Baltic Sea" in Renate Platzoder and Philomene Verlaan (eds.), The Baltic Sea: New Developments in National Policies and International Co-Operation (1996), pp. 101-32.

External links

  • Øresunddirekt - Official public information site for the inhabitants of the Øresund region
  • Øresund Trends - An official public information site with up-to-date information on the region, available in English
  • Oresundstid - The History of the Oresund Region (English, Swedish, Danish)

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