A Brief Introduction to Jutland

Western Denmark's Historic and Popular Peninsula

Cobblestone alley in the old town, Ribe, Jutland, Denmark, Scandinavia, Europe
•••   Stuart Black / robertharding/Getty Images 

Jutland, a low-lying peninsula in western Denmark, separates the North and Baltic seas and borders Germany to the south. Home to about 2.5 million Danes across its 11,500 square miles of land, Jutland's biggest cities are Aarhus, Aalborg, Esbjerg, Randers, Kolding, and Ribe.

Aarhus, which is on Jutland's east coast and is the second-largest city in Denmark, was named a "2017 European Capital of Culture" that offers plenty of cultural events and establishments to visit; on the other hand, you could spend the day in the oldest city in Denmark, Ribe, which is a great place to see a bit of history.

Travelers to Jutland can also enjoy many amusement parks such as the original Legoland in Billund as well as small and large museums, annual events, the pristine beaches along the coastline, and a number of other local pastimes and traditions.

Many of Jutland's outdoor activities are influenced by the peninsula's mostly flat, even topography. Popular sports and outdoor adventures in Jutland are windsurfing and cycling because the low, even terrain is perfect for cycling and the unstoppable gusty Danish winds that blow across the peninsula are great for windsurfing.

Jutland's Topography and Major Cities

Denmark is a low-lying country—the average altitude of Denmark is about 100 feet, and the highest point in the country, Yding Skovhoj in southeastern Jutland, is only 568 feet. In fact, the altitude along the southern coast of the island of Lolland, and in a few other areas, Jutland is protected from flooding by levees (called dikes).

Jutland—like nearly all of Denmark—consists of a glacial deposit over a chalk base with a surface of small hills, moors, ridges, hilly islands, and raised sea bottoms across most of the country and downs and marshes on the west coast.

Although Aarhus is Jutland's unofficial capital and most populous city, Billund is the site of the original Legoland and the entire region's main airport while Herning is a major traffic junction for Western Jutland and Aalborg is a cultural center and port town in Northern Jutland.

A History of Conquest in Jutland

The Jutes—for whom Jutland was named—were one of the three most powerful Germanic peoples during the Nordic iron age in the sixth and fifth centuries B.C. From their home in Jutland, together with the Angles and Saxons, the Jutes migrated to Great Britain starting in about 450 A.D., sparking the long road to the creation of Great Brittian and the start of modern western civilization.

The Saxons inhabited the southernmost part of the peninsula until Charlemagne violently subdued them in 804, after 30 years of fighting. The Danes—including Jutland—united in 965, and the Code of Jutland, a civil code enacted under Valdemar II of Denmark in 1241, created a uniform set of laws governing Jutland and other settlements in Denmark.

One other historical incident of note was the Battle of Jutland fought between the British Royal Navy and the Imperial German Navy from May 31 to June 1, 1916, at the height of World War I. The battle ended in somewhat of a stalemate, with the British losing twice as many ships and men but also containing the German fleet.