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Skagen (The Skaw) is a projection of land and a town in Region Nordjyllandmarker on the northernmost tip of Vendsyssel-Thymarker, a part of the Jutland peninsula in northern Denmarkmarker. Skagen is located in Frederikshavn municipality.

Geography

The very northmost point of Denmark is called Grenen (The Branch).
Skagen takes its name from the region, which projects into the waters between the North Sea and the straits of Denmark. Skagen is considered the boundary between the Skagerrakmarker (named after Skagen) and the Kattegatmarker. At its very tip is a sandy, shifting headland known as Grenenmarker. Here it's possible to experience the sight of waves clashing together from each side of the tip.Danish national road 40 also passes through Skagen.

Skagen stretches out to the northeast surrounded by the following waters:
  • to the east is Ålbæk Bay (Ålbæk Bugt) and beyond that the waters of the Kattegatmarker, the strait that separates Denmark from Swedenmarker
  • to the west is Tannis Bay (Tannis Bugt) and beyond that the waters of the Skagerrakmarker, the strait that separates Denmark from Norwaymarker


Description

The area is extremely picturesque, and distinguished by its low, yellow houses with red tile roofs nestled into the beach areas. The impressive and wild landscape was largely formed by a severe process of desertification that hit the area in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Problems with moving dunes and desertification were brought under control in the latter 19th and early 20th centuries by large-scale plantations of grasses, bushes and fir trees. Two significant migratory dunes remain in the area, including the enormous Råbjerg Milemarker.

The area is closely associated with the Skagen Painters, a community of artists (artist colony), who flocked to this picturesque, and then unspoiled, area in the late 1800s to escape the city and to record artistically a way of life they realized was soon to disappear.

The area continues to be a popular tourist destination visited by many people each year. A highlight of the year is the celebration of Midsummer Eve or St. John's Evening (Sankt Hans Aften) on the beach with blazing bonfire and song.

Skagen is the setting for small but important parts of Jonathan Coe's novels The Rotters Club and The Closed Circle.

History

The sand-engulfed Buried Church (tilsandede kirke) at Skagen.
Always sparsely populated, until recently Skagen has been of interest mainly to mariners. Of the region now known as Skagen, Pliny the Elder says (Book IV.97):
"Promenturium Cimbrorum excurrens in maria longe paeninsulam efficit quae Tastris appellatur."
"The promontory of the Cimbri running far out into the seas makes a peninsula, which is called Tastris."


The name Tastris is a hapax legomenon, recorded only once in all of history. Its meaning is not known: it may be the name assigned by the pre-Indo-European Mesolithic culture that once dwelled in the region, or by the subsequent agriculturalists.

Skagen, on the other hand, seems to follow Pliny's description of a projection running out into the "seas" (maria). There is a set of obscure words in modern Germanic languages that seem relevant: English skeg, a projection of a ship's keel, shag, a surface with projections, Swedish skägg (pronounced sheg), "beard". The root remains as yet unidentified.

Once a remote fishing area, it become considerably easier to travel to Skagen after it became connected to the rest of the country via a railroad line in 1890. A paved road followed in the 1940s.

Attractions

The historic Brøndums Hotel in Skagen, Denmark.
2002.
The Skagen lighthouse from the 1850s.
The headland at Grenenmarker, the northernmost point of Denmark, is a spectacular setting where the two parts of the North Sea, the Kattegat and the Skagerrak meet. This makes for turbulent seas and strandings— beachings and shipwreckings are not uncommon. The frequent shipping losses and the strategic location as the gateway to the Baltic led to Skagen being the site of one of Denmark's earliest lighthouses, the Vippefyr, constructed in the 15th century. A reconstruction of the lighthouse is located to the north of the town of Skagen.

The lighthouse was originally built and funded by the late Medieval Danish state with the proceeds of the "sound duesmarker", and was superseded by the "white lighthouse" or hvidefyr in the 17th century, and then the far taller "grey lighthouse" or gråfyr of the 1850s.

The desertification that hit the area in the 18th and 19th centuries led to the abandonment of the old parish church to the migrating sands— the famous Buried Church (Den tilsandende Kirke). The tower of the church remains protruding from the dunes, as it was left as a sea marker when the church was abandoned at the close of the 18th century.

In central Skagen there is a teddy bear museum called Skagen Bamsemuseum. The teddy bears on display belongs to the private collection of the owner Jonna Thygesen.

Famous residents of the town

[[Image:P S Krøyer 1899 - Sommeraften ved Skagens strand. Kunstneren og hans hustru.jpg|thumb|right|260px|Summer Evening on the Beach at Skagen. Artist and His Wife (Sommeraften ved Skagens strand. Kunstneren og hans hustru) Painting by Peder Severin Krøyer. 1899.The Hirschsprung Collection, Copenhagenmarker.]]The Skagen Painters, which enjoyed the reputation of a bohemian lifestyle, encompassed not only painters, but also writers, and other influential people as well. While only a few were fulltime residents of the area, they were often joined by friends, especially during the summer months. Among these notable visitors and residents of the time were writers Holger Drachmann, Georg Brandes,Hans Christian Andersen, and Henrik Pontoppidan, artists Peder Severin Krøyer, Marie Triepcke Krøyer Alfvén, Christian Krohg, Michael Ancher and Anna Ancher, and composer Hugo Alfvén. They were often gathered at the area's Brøndum's Hotel, which is still in operation today.

See also



References

External links


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