Photos of Denmark in the 1970s – and how the same places look today

How much has Denmark's appearance changed since the 1970s?

Photos of Denmark in the 1970s – and how the same places look today
Composite: Kurt Petersen, Niels Ahlmann Olesen / Ritzau Scanpix

We've scoured the archives to find historical photos from the era, taken at locations now found on Google Maps.

Vesterbro, Copenhagen, 1977

This 1977 image shows the Føtex supermarket on Vesterbrogade in Copenhagen.

Photo: Knud Henrichsen / Ritzau Scanpix

A photo from the same area in 1976 is evidence of changes at the Værnedamsvej junction.

Photo: Svend Aage Mortensen / Ritzau Scanpix

Tivoli, Copenhagen, 1970

A new building is constructed at the Tivoli amusement park site in 1970.

Photo: Henning Petersen / Ritzau Scanpix

Aarhus Rail Station, 1970s

This undated photo shows the central rail station in Aarhus, probably some time during the 1970s.

Photo: Bent K. Rasmussen / Ritzau Scanpix

Dragør, 1979

The fishing village of Dragør near Copenhagen is a popular spot for a summer day out.

Photo: Ulf Nilsen / Ritzau Scanpix

Nørrebro Station, Copenhagen, 1975

Photo: Steen Jacobsen / Ritzau Scanpix

Shopping, 1976

Central Copenhagen shopping street Købmagergade in 1976. The Round Tower, a famous sight in the city, can be made out in the background.

Photo: Kurt Petersen / Ritzau Scanpix

READ ALSO: 10 photos of Denmark in the 1950s and 1960s – and the same spots today

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How a Viking king inspired one of our best-known modern technologies

A Swede and American tell the story of how they hatched the idea for the moniker 'Bluetooth' over beers.

A Danish 16th-century paining of Viking king Harald Bluetooth
A Danish 16th-century paining of Viking king Harald Bluetooth. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Public domain

At the end of the 1990s, Sven Mattisson, a Swedish engineer working at telecom group Ericsson, and Jim Kardach, an American employed by Intel, were among those developing the revolutionary technology.

In 1998, at the dawn of the “wireless” era, the two men were part of an international consortium that created a universal standard for the technology first developed by Ericsson in 1994.

But prior to that, they had struggled to pitch their wireless products. Intel had its Biz-RF wireless programme, Ericsson had MC-Link, while Nokia had its Low Power RF. Kardach, Mattisson and others presented their ideas at a seminar in Toronto in late 1997.

“Jim and I said that people did not appreciate what we presented,” Mattisson, now 65 and winding down his career at Ericsson, recalled in a recent interview with AFP.

The engineer, who had travelled all the way to Canada from Sweden for the one-hour pitch, decided to hang out with Kardach for the evening before flying home.

“We received a lukewarm reception of our confusing proposal, and it was at this time I realised we needed a codename for the project which everyone could use,” Kardach explained in a long account on his webpage.

‘Chauvinistic story’

To drown their sorrows, the two men headed for a local Toronto bar and ended up talking about history, one of Kardach’s passions. “We had some beers… and Jim is interested in history so he asked me about Vikings, so we talked at length about that,” said Mattisson, admitting that his recollection of that historic night is now somewhat foggy.

Kardach said all he knew about Vikings was that they ran “around with horned helmets raiding and looting places, and that they were crazy chiefs.”

Mattisson recommended Kardach read a well-known Swedish historical novel about the Vikings, entitled “The Long Ships”.

Set in the 10th century – “a chauvinistic story” about a boy taken hostage by Vikings, says Mattisson – one name in the book caught Kardach’s attention: that of the king of Denmark, Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson.

A Bluetooth adapter from 2004. Photo: Stefan Gustavsson/SvD/TT


An important historic figure in Scandinavia in the 10th century, the king of Denmark’s nickname is said to refer to a dead tooth, or, as other tales have it, to his liking for blueberries or even a simple translation error.

During his reign, Denmark turned its back on its pagan beliefs and Norse gods, gradually converting to Christianity.

But he is best known for having united Norway and Denmark in a union that lasted until 1814.

A king who unified Scandinavian rivals – the parallel delighted those seeking to unite the PC and cellular industries with a short-range wireless link.

And the reference to the king goes beyond the name: the Bluetooth logo, which at first glance resembles a geometric squiggle, is in fact a superimposition of the runes for the letters “H” and “B”, the king’s initials.

Low-cost and with low power consumption, Bluetooth was finally launched in May 1998, using technology allowing computer devices to communicate with each other in short range without fixed cables.

The first consumer device equipped with the technology hit the market in 1999, and its name, which was initially meant to be temporary until something better was devised, became permanent.