Zealand (Danish: Sjælland, [ˈɕɛˌlanˀ]), at 7,031 km2, is the largest (except Greenland) and most populated island in Denmark with a population of 2,267,659 (39% of Denmark's total as of January 2016).
It is the 13th-largest island in Europe by area and the 4th most populous. It is connected to Funen by the Great Belt Fixed Link, to Lolland, Falster (and Germany from 2028) by the Storstrøm Bridge and the Farø Bridges. Zealand is also linked to Amager by several bridges. Zealand is linked indirectly, through intervening islands by a series of bridges and tunnels, to southern Sweden.
Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is located partly on the eastern shore of Zealand and partly on the island of Amager. Other cities on Zealand include Roskilde, Hillerød, Næstved and Helsingør. The island is not connected historically to the Pacific nation of New Zealand, which is named after the Dutch province of Zeeland.
In Norse mythology as told in the story of Gylfaginning, the island was created by the goddess Gefjun after she tricked Gylfi, the king of Sweden. She removed a piece of land and transported it to Denmark, which became Zealand. The vacant area was filled with water and became Mälaren. However, since modern maps show a similarity between Zealand and the Swedish lake Vänern, it is sometimes identified as the hole left by Gefjun.
Zealand is the most populous Danish island (pop. 2012 est. 2,491,090). It is irregularly shaped, and is north of the islands of Lolland, Falster, and Møn. The small island of Amager lies immediately east.
Copenhagen is mostly on Zealand but extends across northern Amager. A number of bridges and the Copenhagen Metro connect Zealand to Amager, which is connected to Scania in Sweden by the Øresund Bridge via the artificial island of Peberholm. Zealand is joined in the west to Funen, by the Great Belt Fixed Link, and Funen is connected by bridges to the country's mainland, Jutland.
On June 5, 2007, the regional subsidiary of national broadcaster DR reported that Kobanke in the southeast near the town Rønnede in Faxe Municipality, with a height of 122.9 metres (403 ft), was the highest natural point on Zealand. Gyldenløveshøj, south of the city Roskilde, has a height of 126 metres (413 ft), but that is due to a man-made hill from the 17th century and its highest natural point is only 121.3 metres (398 ft).
Zealand gives its name to the Selandian era of the Paleocene.
Urban areas with 10,000+ inhabitants: