A chronology of key events:
10th century - Kingdom of Denmark unified and Christianity introduced.
Copenhagen occupies the islands of Zealand, Amager
1445: Became capital of Denmark
Population (metro): 1.3 million
1397 - Union of Kalmar unites Denmark, Sweden and Norway under a single monarch. Denmark is the dominant power.
1729 - Greenland becomes Danish province.
1814 - Denmark cedes Norway to Sweden.
1849 - Denmark becomes constitutional monarchy; two-chamber parliament established.
The modern period
1914-18 - Denmark is neutral during World War I.
1918 - Universal suffrage comes into effect.
1930s - Welfare state established by governments dominated by social democrats.
1939 - Denmark signs 10-year non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany.
1940 - Nazi invasion meets virtually no initial resistance. Government accepts occupation in exchange for measure of control over domestic affairs.
1943 - A determined campaign by the Danish resistance prompts Germany to take over full control of Danish affairs. Thousands of Danish Jews manage to escape to Sweden.
1945 - Germany surrenders and occupation ends. Denmark recognises Iceland's independence, which had been declared in 1944.
1948 - Faroe Islands granted self-government within the Danish state.
1949 - Denmark joins Nato.
1952 - Denmark becomes founder member of Nordic Council.
1953 - Constitutional change leads to a single-chamber parliament elected by proportional representation; female accession to the Danish throne is permitted; Greenland becomes integral part of Denmark.
1959 - Denmark joins European Free Trade Association.
1972 - King Frederick IX dies and is succeeded by his daughter Margrethe II.
1973 - Denmark joins the European Economic Community.
1979 - Greenland is granted home rule. Denmark retains control over Greenland's foreign affairs and defence.
1982 - Poul Schlueter becomes first Conservative prime minister for almost a century.
1985 - Legislation passed banning construction of nuclear power plants in Denmark.
1992 - Danish voters reject the Maastricht Treaty on further European integration in a referendum.
1993 - Schlueter resigns after being accused of lying over a scandal involving Tamil refugees; social democrat Poul Nyrup Rasmussen becomes prime minister.
Danes approve the Maastricht Treaty after Denmark is granted certain opt-outs.
1994 - Poul Nyrup Rasmussen returned to power in general election.
1998 - Poul Nyrup Rasmussen again returned to power.
2000 - Danes reject adoption of the euro as their national currency by 53% to 47%.
New bridge and tunnel link Copenhagen with Malmo in southern Sweden. The new road and rail link makes it possible to travel between the two countries in just 15 minutes.
2001 November - Elections put right-wing coalition led by Anders Fogh Rasmussen into government. Rasmussen campaigned on a pledge to tighten immigration rules and put lid on taxes. The election saw the far-right Danish People's Party win 22 seats and become the third largest party in parliament.
2002 February - New government measures aimed at reducing immigration spark controversy.
2004 August - US and Denmark sign deal to modernise Thule air base on Greenland.
2005 February - Liberal Party leader Anders Fogh Rasmussen wins second term as prime minister in coalition with Conservative Party. Far-right People's Party strengthens presence in parliament by two seats.
2005 July - Diplomatic dispute flares up with Canada over the disputed tiny island of Hans in the Arctic.
2006 January - February - Cartoon depictions of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, published by a Danish newspaper in 2005, spark belated mass protests among Muslims in a number of countries as well as unofficial boycotts of Danish goods.
2007 February - Government says Denmark's 470 ground troops will leave Iraq by the end of August. Denmark was one of the original coalition countries to take part in the 2003 invasion.
2007 November - Government of Prime Minister Fogh Rasmussen wins third term after early elections.
2008 February - Police uncover a plot to kill one of the cartoonists whose depictions of Muhammad sparked outrage across the Muslim world in 2005. Major papers reprint one of the cartoons, prompting some protests.
2008 November - Greenland referendum approves plans to seek more autonomy from Denmark and a greater share of oil revenues off the island's coast.
2009 April - Finance Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen takes over as prime minister and acting Liberal Party leader on the resignation of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who had been elected NATO secretary-general.
2009 July - Denmark plans to set up an Arctic military command and task force because the melting ice cap is opening access to Greenland and the Faroe Islands.
2009 December - Denmark hosts UN climate change summit. Great hopes are invested in the Copenhagen summit but it ends without a legally binding global treaty being agreed.
2010 January - A Somali man is charged with trying to kill the Danish artist whose drawing of the Muslim prophet Muhammad in 2005 sparked riots around the world.
2010 December - Three men are charged with planning to attack the offices of a newspaper which printed cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. A fourth is released and a fifth is held in Sweden.
2011 February - Denmark approves underwater tunnel from Lolland island to the German island of Fehmarn, at a cost of $5.9bn. It will be built in 2014-2020 and speed up transport links between Scandinavia and continental Europe.
Somali man Mohamed Geele is found guilty of attempted murder and terrorism over trying to kill Muhammad cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.
2011 March - Immigration Minister Birthe Roenn Hornbech is sacked after 36 stateless Palestinians were wrongly refused citizenship.
2011 July - Denmark reimposes border controls in bid to curb illegal immigration. Many question the legality of the move under the 1995 Schengen agreement, which abolished internal borders within much of western Europe.