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The Balsam Hill Traveler: Discovering Denmark

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For an avid traveler, one of the best ways to understand the colorful past of a country is to behold the different architecture that can be seen in it. You can learn about the traditions, cultural influences, and even political climate of a country over the years based on the evolution of its structures. In this edition of the Balsam Hill Traveler, we take a look at the rich culture and magnificent history of Denmark through the development of people’s homes.

The Half-timbered Houses of Jutland

While early Danish houses featured the same Viking design as that of other Scandinavian countries, it was not until the Middle Ages that the Danes were able to create their own distinct style of homes. Large half-timbered townhouses replaced the old oakwood cottages that used to dominate Denmark’s countryside, such as in Aarhus and in Svendborg. These two-story structures afforded people more room to live in as well as better insulation to combat the extreme cold during winter.

Balsam Hill Half-timbered House
Photo from Peter Long via flickr. CC BY 2.0

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