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Once a small fishing village known as Havn, Copenhagen is now the largest city and capital of the Kingdom of Denmark. While some archaeological finds date the town back to the late Viking age, the founding of Copenhagen is traditionally set in 1167, when the Danish Bishop Absalon fortified the harbor town. The well-protected harbor established Copenhagen's importance as a center of trade and commerce for centuries to come, and it was made the capital of Denmark early in the 15th century. Unfortunately, other civilizations also noticed the natural riches of Copenhagen's harbor, and the city was attacked numerous times, especially by the Hanseatic League (a trade organization running a monopoly along the coast of Northern Europe).
In 1658 the Swedes unsuccessfully tried to take the city, but in 1807 the British succeeded where they could not; a preemptive naval blockade, following by a sweeping firebombing bombardment on civilian buildings and its failing old defenses, caused massive damage to the city and left hundreds dead. After the end of the Napoleonic wars, the city began to rebuild and expand over the now useless defensive inland moats, improving sanitation and incorporating nearby towns in the process. Copenhagen was occupied by the Germans in World War II, but did not sustain any substantial damage and continued to expand greatly after the war's end.
Copenhagen is now recognized as one of the up-and-coming cities in Europe and is ranked the "most livable city in the world" for its wonderful quality of life. The city is also renowned for its extensive public infrastructure and environmentally-friendly policies. Copenhagen is now one of the most visited cities in Europe and has become a veritable Mecca for the world's new architects, chefs, and designers.