JUTLAND (Danish Jylland), though embracing several islands as well as a peninsula, may be said to belong to the continental portion of the kingdom of Denmark. The peninsula (Chersonese or Cimbric peninsula of ancient geography) extends northward, from a line between Lübeck and the mouth of the Elbe, for 270 m. to the promontory of the Skaw (Skagen), thus preventing a natural communication directly east and west between the Baltic and North Seas. The northern portion only is Danish, and bears the name Jutland. The southern is German, belonging to Schleswig-Holstein. The peninsula is almost at its narrowest (36 m.) at the frontier, but Jutland has an extreme breadth of 110 m. and the extent from the south-western point (near Ribe) to the Skaw is 180 m. Jutland embraces nine amter (counties), namely, Hjörring, Thisted, Aalborg, Ringkjöbing, Viborg, Randers, Aarhus, Vejle and Ribe. The main watershed of the peninsula lies towards the east coast; therefore such elevated ground as exists is found on the east, while the western slope is gentle and consists of a low sandy plain of slight undulation. The North Sea coast (western) and Skagerrack coast (north-western) consist mainly of a sweeping line of dunes with wide lagoons behind them. In the south the northernmost of the North Frisian Islands (Fanö) is Danish. Towards the north a narrow mouth gives entry to the Limfjord, or Liimfjord, which, wide and ramifying among islands to the west, narrows to the east and pierces through to the Cattegat, thus isolating the counties of Hjörring and Thisted (known together as Vendsyssel). It is, however, bridged at Aalborg, and its depth rarely exceeds 12 ft. The seaward banks of the lagoons are frequently broken in storms, and the narrow channels through them are constantly shifting. The east coast is slightly bolder than the west, and indented with true estuaries and bays. From the south-east the chain of islands forming insular Denmark extends towards Sweden, the strait between Jutland and Fünen having the name of the Little Belt. The low and dangerous coasts, off which the seas are generally very shallow, are efficiently served by a series of lifeboat stations. The western coast region is well compared with the Landes of Gascony. The interior is low. The Varde, Omme, Skjerne, Stor and Karup, sluggish and tortuous streams draining into the western lagoons, rise in and flow through marshes, while the eastern Limfjord is flanked by the swamps known as Vildmose. The only considerable river is the Gudenaa, flowing from S.W. into the Randersfjord (Cattegat), and rising among the picturesque lakes of the county of Aarhus, where the principal elevated ground in the peninsula is found in the Himmelbjerg and adjacent hills (exceeding 500 ft.). The German portion of the peninsula is generally similar to that of western Jutland, the main difference lying in the occurrence of islands (the North Frisian) off the west coast in place of sand-bars and lagoons. Erratic blocks are of frequent occurrence in south Jutland. (For geology, and the general consideration of Jutland in connexion with the whole kingdom, see Denmark.)
Although in ancient times well wooded, the greater portion of the interior of Jutland consisted for centuries of barren drift-sand, which grew nothing but heather; but since 1866, chiefly through the instrumentality of the patriotic Heath association, assisted by annual contributions from the state, a very large proportion of this region has been more or less reclaimed for cultivation. The means adopted are: (i.) the plantation of trees; (ii.) the making of irrigation canals and irrigating meadows; (iii.) exploring for, extracting and transporting loam, a process aided by the construction of short light railways; and (iv.), since 1889, the experimental cultivation of fenny districts. The activity of the association takes the form partly of giving gratuitous advice, partly of experimental attempts, and partly of model works for imitation. The state also makes annual grants directly to owners who are willing to place their plantations under state supervision, for the sale of plants at half price to the poorer peasantry, for making protective or sheltering plantations, and for free transport of marl or loam. The species of timber almost exclusively planted are the red fir (Picea excelsa) and the mountain pine (Pinus montana). This admirable work quickly caused the population to increase at a more rapid rate in the districts where it was practised than in any other part of the Danish kingdom. The counties of Viborg, Ringkjöbing and Ribe cover the principal heath district.
Jutland is well served by railways. Two lines cross the frontier from Germany on the east and west respectively and run northward near the coasts. The eastern touches the ports of Kolding, Fredericia, Vejle, Horsens, Aarhus, Randers, Aalborg on Limfjord, Frederikshavn and Skagen. On the west the only port of first importance is Esbjerg. The line runs past Skjerne, Ringkjöbing, Vemb and Holstebro to Thisted. Both throw off many branches and are connected by lines east and west between Kolding and Esbjerg, Skanderborg and Skjerne, Langaa and Struer on Limfjord via Viborg. Of purely inland towns only Viborg in the midland and Hjörring in the extreme north are of importance.