In photos: Denmark in the 1990s, and the same places today

Take a look at Denmark in the '90s – and check the same locations in up-to-date images.

In photos: Denmark in the 1990s, and the same places today
Composite: Svend Åge Mortensen, Mads Claus Rasmussen / Ritzau Scanpix

We've picked out a selection of archive shots of Denmark in the '90s, and looked up the locations where they were taken in modern images or on Google Maps.


Great Belt Bridge, 1995

The Great Belt Bridge linking Funen and Zealand opened in 1998. Prior to this, a ferry had to be taken to travel between the two Danish regions. The second photo of the bridge is from 2017.

Photo: Svend Åge Mortensen / Ritzau Scanpix

Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen / Ritzau Scanpix

Roskilde Festival, 1991

The 1991 edition of Roskilde Festival was a wet and muddy affair. 2019's weather was more about the wind.

Photo: Thomas Sjørup / Ritzau Scanpix

Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen / Ritzau Scanpix

READ ALSO: 200 forgotten phones found after Roskilde Festival

Christiania, 1996

Alternative enclave Christiania was founded by squatters in the early 1970s and has undergone many changes throughout the years.

Photo: Bjarke Ørsted / Ritzau Scanpix

Copenhagen Harbour, 1993

In this image, Copenhagen Harbour can be seen with its former ferry terminals in the days before the 1999 'Black Diamond' addition to the Royal Library was built. The modern photo is from a different angle.

Photo: Mogens Ladegaard / Ritzau Scanpix

Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen / Ritzau Scanpix

Stelling House, Copenhagen, 1999

Stelling House (Stellings Hus) on the Gammel Torv square in central Copenhagen was designed by famous Danish architect Arne Jacobsen.

Photo: Kaspar Wenstrup / Nf-Nf / Ritzau Scanpix

Nørregade, Copenhagen, 1999

The building which was once the Daells Varehus department store now houses a hotel. Here it can be seen before conversion in 1999.

Photo: Brian Rasmussen / Nf-Nf / Ritzau Scanpix

Aalborg, 1997

Gøglerbåden, a famous maritime-themed bar in Aalborg. closed in 2017.

Photo: Henning Bagger / Ritzau Scanpix

Ørestad, Amager, 1998

The modern Ørestad suburb near Copenhagen was at the very beginnings of its development in the late '90s.

Photo: Peter Elmholt / Nf-Nf / Ritzau Scanpix

Photo: Ulf Liljankoski/Creative Commons

READ ALSO: Ten historic pictures that show life in Denmark decades ago

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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.