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Jutland (//; Danish: Jylland [ˈjyl.anˁ]; German: Jütland), historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Skagerrak to its north, Kattegat and the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German border to its south. The German state of Schleswig-Holstein is part of the Cimbrian Peninsula but not part of Jutland.
Today, the Danish parts of Jutland belong to either of the three administrative regions North Jutland, Central Jutland or Region of Southern Denmark. The German parts of Jutland peninsula today form the state of Schleswig-Holstein and the city of Hamburg.
Its terrain is relatively flat, with heaths, plains and peat bogs in the west and a more elevated and slightly hilly terrain in the eastern side. The Danish portion has an area of 29,775 km2 (11,496 sq mi) and a population of 2,528,129 (2008). Population density is 84 per km2 (218 per sq.mi.).
The northernmost part of Jutland is separated by the Limfjord from the mainland, but is still commonly reckoned as part of the peninsula. It only became an island following a flood in 1825. The 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 region called North Jutland.
The islands Læsø, Anholt and Samsø in Kattegat and Als at the rim of the Baltic Sea South are administratively and historically tied to Jutland, although especially the latter two are also regarded traditional districts of their own. Inhabitants of Als would agree to be South Jutlanders, but not necessarily Jutlanders.
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, Jutes, and Frisii 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 (Angleland). This is thought by some to be related to the drive of the Huns from Asia across Europe.
The Danes took considerable steps to protect themselves from the depredations of the Christian Frankish emperors, principally with the building of the Danevirke, a wall stretching across South Jutland at the shortest distance from the North Sea to the Baltic Sea.
Charlemagne removed pagan Saxons from the southernmost part of the peninsula at the Baltic Sea— the later Holstein area — and moved Abodrites (or Obotrites), a group of Wendish Slavs who pledged allegiance to Charlemagne and who had for the most part converted to Christianity, into the area instead.
To speed transit between the Baltic and the North Sea, canals have been built across the peninsula, notably the Eiderkanal in the late 18th century and the Kiel Canal, completed in 1895 and still in use.
During World War I, the Battle 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 ship losses on both sides. The battle was initially regarded a German victory, based on the total number of capital ships sunk and the number of sailors killed. However, the British fleet remained in control of the North Sea and so in strategic terms most commentators regard Jutland either as a British victory or as indecisive.
Typical of Jutland are the distinctive Jutish (or Jutlandic) dialects which differ substantially from Standard Danish, especially West Jutlandic and South Jutlandic. Dialect usage, although in decline, is better preserved in Jutland than in eastern Denmark and the dialect-speaking Jutlander remains a stereotype among many Copenhageners and eastern Danes.
The largest cities in the Danish section of Jutland are:
Aarhus, Silkeborg, Billund, Randers, Kolding, Horsens, Vejle, Fredericia, Haderslev along with a number of smaller towns make up the East Jutland metropolitan area. Administratively, Danish Jutland consists of Region Nordjylland, Region Midtjylland, and the western half of Region of Southern Denmark which also covers Funen.
The southern third of the Jutland peninsula is made up of the German Bundesland of Schleswig-Holstein. Schleswig-Holstein comprises two parts, the former duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, 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 is the river Eider, which is also the border between the former duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, as well as the historical border between the Danish and German realms from c. 800 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 consider themselves Northern Germans (German: Norddeutsche).
The medieval Code of Jutland applied for 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 today, but not south of the Eider.
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