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Kildeparken, Aalborg, Denmark

Taking an underpass below the railway we found a nice park in Aalborg: the Kildeparken.

There were two small thatched buildings there. One seemed to be a public convenience, the other may have been a caretaker’s hut. Pity about the grafitti:-

Aalborg Thatched Building, Baltic cruise,

Aalborg Thatched Building

There was also a walkway with statues along its sides. This one is of the Three Graces:-

Sculpture, Aalborg, Denmark

The park is also home to the Singing Trees. Each performer at Aalborg’s Concert Hall is asked to plant a tree alongside which is a device containing a recording of a sample of their music.

Singing Trees, Aalborg, Denmark

Singing Trees, Aalborg, Baltic cruise

Singing Trees, Aalborg, Baltic cruise

Sadly during our visit none the playbacks we tried were working. Here’s a clip from You Tube where they were:-


Streets in Aalborg, Denmark

Aalborg (see earlier post) had some nice older buildings in streets quite near the city centre:-

Older Buildings, Aalborg, Denmark

Old Street in Aalborg, Denmark

Looking one way, then the other in another old street:-

A Street in Aalborg, Denmark
Street in Aalborg, Denmark

A Danish Fjord

This isn’t the sort of view normally associated with fjords. The word usually conjures up images of steep, almost mountainous sides and a narrow waterway.

Jutland from Limfjord 1

This however is the Limfjord, which cuts Jutland in Denmark in two. And the countryside by its banks is flat. I thought that perhaps in Danish the word fjord just means inlet. (It seems it does, if you type ‘fjord’ on the ‘Danish’ side of this link. In all the other Scandinavian languages ‘fjord’ translates as ‘fjord’.)

Jutland from Limfjord 2

We sailed up the easternmost bit of the Limfjord on our approach to the last stop on the trip, Aalborg, Denmark’s fourth largest city.

Jutland from Limfjord 3

Danish National Second World War Memorial, Copenhagen

Moving on from the memorials to individual soldiers from Denmark I found the Memorial I had spotted from the Gefion Fountain.

King’s Gate entrance to the Kastellet behind:-

Danish National Second World War Memorial, Copenhagen

The Memorials’ inscriptions are Vore Faldne (Our Fallen) followed by,

I Dansk og I Allieret Krigstjeneste 1940-1945 (In Danish and in Allied War Service 1940-1945) and then,

Rejst af det Danske Folk. (Raised by the Danish People.)

Danish National World War 2 Memorial

Amaliehaven, Copenhagen

Amaliehaven is a relatively new (1983) park near the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen:-

Concrete Roof Garden by Amalienborg Palace, Copenhagen

From it you could see these onion domes. Onion domes are unusual for Denmark I’d have thought. By searching Google Maps I discovered the building they belong to is on a street called Bredgade. Apparently it is the Alexander Nevsky Church, the only Russian Orthodox Church in the city:-

Onion  Domes, Copenhagen

There are more images of the church here. It would not look out of place in St Petersburg.

This rather grand looking frieze on Toldbodgade seemed to be over an underground car park. The inscription seems to read “Konge May Told Kammer” (King May Customs House?) and below that Anno 1733.:-

Frieze, Copenhagen

Norway Thanks Denmark Memorial, Copenhagen

I found this on the way in from Langelinie Pier, Copenhagen to the city centre.

Apparently a statue of two sisters, this obviously represents Norway’s thanks to Denmark.

Norway Thanks Denmark Memorial, Copenhagen

Maritime Monument, Copenhagen

This impressive monument greets you as soon as you leave Langelinie Pier in Copenhagen, Denmark, the second* stop on our recent Baltic cruise.

Monument to Mariners, Copenhagen

The winged female figure of Remembrance (modelled on Nike of Samothrace) is dedicated to those Danish merchant mariners who lost their lives in the First World War.

Maritime Monument, Copenhagenn

*(Our first stop was actually in Dundee. For some reason the trip cost £200 less – each – from Newcastle even though the ship was doing exactly the same journey.)

Rochdale Town Hall, Stained Glass

One of the striking features of Rochdale Town Hall’s interior is the stained glass windows many of which feature portraits of the Kings and Queens of England.

The windows flanking the entrance though have stained glass representations of the coats of arms of European countries, here Greece, France, Belgium, Turkey, Russia and Portugal:-

Rochdale Town Hall, Stained Glass Windows 1

The other such window betrays the building’s age. Coats of arms for Sweden & Norway, Prussia, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark and Austria. Note Sweden & Norway, as was (they separated in 1905) and Prussia which, subsumed the rest of Germany in 1871.

Stained Glass Window, Rochdale Town Hall

Grand staircase:-

Rochdale Town Hall Staircase

This is a closer view showing the stained glass window on the half-landing to greater effect.

Rochdale Town Hall, Stained Glass

The Netherlands 4-2 Denmark

Women’s European Championship Final, De Grolsch Veste (Arke Stadion,) Enschede, 6/8/17.

This was a great watch – certainly in the first half. Attacking football, end-to-end stuff, four goals, lead changing hands, two equalisers.

The Netherlands had the best of the opening exchanges but Denmark had shown intent before the penalty with which they took the lead, Afghan refugee Nadim putting it away with aparently no nerves.

The main Dutch ploy in the early stages was to exploit De Sanden’s pace down the right which led directly to their equaliser, her pinpoint cross converted by Miedema. Martens then made a goal out of nothing by running across the defence and turning it back against the goalkeeper’s expectation. The keeper maybe still ought to have made the save though.

Denmark’s equaliser was a supreme example of a forward making a goal for herself. Harder bent her offside beating run beautifully, staying in her own half till the pass was played before running half the length of the pitch, cutting across the defender and clipping the ball back between her opponent’s legs into the near corner.

It had been a breathless first half.

It couldn’t continue. Things settled to a slightly slower pace in the second.

The Dutch got themselves in front via a free kick given away too cheaply and the goalkeeper’s mistaken anticipation of where Spitse would place the ball. From there Denmark huffed and puffed, even hitting the frame of the goal, but never looked composed enough to take it away from Holland. The writing was on the wall when they threw a centre half up front and they duly paid the price as Miedema more or less replicated the latter movement Harder had made for her goal.

Some iffy goalkeeping apart this was a great advert for women’s football. (Iffy goalkeeping is not unknown in the men’s game too.)

The Holocaust and the State

There was an interesting article in the Guardian of 16/9/15 where Timothy Snyder argued that the conditions necessary for the Holocaust of Jews (and others, but mainly Jews) by the Nazis to take place have largely been misunderstood.

Snyder sees it as crucial that in the areas where most killings occurred, principally in the lands of pre-war Poland, the Baltic States and what had been Soviet Belarus and Ukraine, the apparatus of the state was no longer functioning – had indeed been deliberately destroyed. This was the necessary precondition for the activities of the Einsatzgruppen and the SS to be so unconstrained.

Though Snyder’s focus is on Eastern Europe I found myself thinking that in Western Europe too the absence of state institutions was a factor contributing to whether or not transportations to the killing zones of those whom the Nazis saw as undesirables came about. In Denmark, where the king remained and most institutions stayed intact (at least until 1943,) most of the Jews escaped or survived. By contrast in the Netherlands, whose monarch went into exile in Britain, and in France, where the Third Republic collapsed and Vichy was a puppet, deportations were much easier and in some cases even facilitated.

We have seen the consequences of the absence of the state relatively recently in Afghanistan – the Taliban would not have come to power there if not for the chaos engendered by, first, the Soviet presence and then its retreat (effectively driven out by a mujahideen aided and abetted via US and Western support) – in the disarray of Libya and now in Iraq and Syria where ISIS/ISIL/Daesh would not have had the opportunity to grow as quickly or at all if there had not been the vacuum created by the destruction of the Iraqi state and the failure to replace it.

Contrary to what some libertarians appear to think it seems the state really is a force for good.

Postscript:- While looking over the above it also occurred to me that the killing fields in Cambodia, while a consequence of Pol Pot’s take-over, were also due to state collapse, in this case that of the pre-revolutionary government. I suppose too that La Terreur in revolutionary France and the turmoil in the former Russian Empire after the Bolshevik coup are examples of what happens when state organisation suffers disruption. To avoid chaos a polity requires not people with guns but checks and balances; plus a functional judicial system capable of holding those in power to account.

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