Scandinavian Peninsula

Geographical location

The Scandinavian Peninsula is a peninsula in Europe, ranging from Skåne in the south to the North Cape in the north. To the west is the Norwegian fjord coast, in the south the great lakes ( Vänern, Vättern ). Upstream, there are small rocky islands, the archipelago. On the Scandinavian peninsula are Norway and Sweden, and much of northern Finland. A northern border of the Kola Peninsula and Finnish Lapland has to be assumed arbitrarily.

The name is derived from the term Scandinavia, which includes mostly culturally Denmark, Sweden and Norway. This name is in turn derived from the name of Skåne, the southernmost part of the peninsula which now belongs to Sweden, but belonged to the 17th Century Denmark and is the original home of the Danes.

The Scandinavian Peninsula is the largest peninsula in Europe, which is itself peninsula of Eurasia. However, this is difficult to assess, because the boundaries of the respective peninsulas are drawn individually. Europe has some major peninsulas such as Italian, Iberian and the Balkans. During the ice ages the British Isles formed a more European peninsula. At times, Scandinavia was not a peninsula. During the Ice Age, the sea level dropped so much that the Baltic Sea, the Gulf of Bothnia and Gulf of Finland disappeared. States that surround it today, including Germany, Poland, the Baltic States and Scandinavia were directly connected by land.

The geography of Scandinavia

The Scandinavian peninsula is approximately 1850 km long with a varying width of about 370-805 km. The Scandinavian Mountains typically defined the border between Norway and Sweden. The peninsula is bounded by several waterways, including:

  • The Baltic Sea ( including the Gulf of Bothnia ) in the east with the autonomous Åland Islands, between Sweden, Finland and Gotland,
  • The North Sea ( including the Kattegat, Skagerrak and ) in the west and southwest,
  • The Norwegian Sea in the west,
  • The Barents Sea in the north.

The highest elevation was Glittertind in Norway with 2,470 m above sea level, but has melted since the glaciers at the summit in part, is 2,469 m Galdhøpiggen, also in Norway, the highest elevation. These mountains also have the largest glacier on the European mainland, Jostedalsbreen.

About a quarter of the Scandinavian Peninsula, north of the Arctic Circle, its northernmost point is located at the North Cape, near the city of Hammerfest.

The climate in Scandinavia varied from Tundra ( Köppen ET ) and subarctic ( Dfc ) in the north, with cool west coast climate ( Cfc ) in the northwest coastal areas reach north of Lofoten, to humid continental climate ( Dfb) in the central portion, and the West Coast ( Cfb ) in the south and southwest. The region is rich in wood, iron, copper and has the best arable land in Sweden. Large oil and gas reserves off the coast of Norway were found in the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

The majority of the population of the Scandinavian peninsula lives in the southern part of the agro- economic region. The biggest cities of the peninsula are in descending order Stockholm, Oslo, Gothenburg, Malmö and mountains.


The first recorded human presence in the southern region of the peninsula and Denmark dated 12 000 years ago. When the ice sheets abtauten after the last ice age, the Tundra was able to extend with their typical inhabitants in the now ice-free areas. So the people who at that time lived by hunting reindeer, the large herds of reindeer pulled behind. The climate warmed gradually and favored the growth of conifers First, it brought the like aurochs of deciduous forests, the animals with them. Groups of hunter - fisher - gatherers began the area from the Mesolithic to ( 8200 BC) until the advent of agriculture in the Neolithic period (3200 BC) to colonize.

The northern and central part of the peninsula is partly inhabited by seeds, often referred to as " rag " or " Laplanders ". In the earliest recorded periods they occupied the arctic and subarctic regions, as well as the central portion of the Peninsula south to Dalarna in Sweden. They speak the Sami languages ​​, a non- Indo-European language of the Uralic family, which is related to Finnish and Estonian. The other inhabitants of the peninsula, according to the records from the ninth century, when the Norwegians the west coast of Norway, the Danes the south and west of present-day Sweden, the Swedes in the region around the Mälaren as a large part of the eastern sea coast of Sweden and Västergötland and Östergötland inhabited, spoke close to each other dialects of the Indo- European language, Old Norse. Although the political boundaries have shifted over time, the descendants of these people are still the dominant population in the early 21st century.

The Scandinavian Peninsula in winter (February 19, 2003)