The city of Odense lies on the Danish Island of Funen and is the third largest city in Denmark. Odense is also one of the oldest cities in Denmark and celebrated its 1,000th anniversary in 1988. The name Odense comes from the Danish “Odins Vé” meaning Odin’s shrine. During the Middle Ages Odense was a place of pilgrimage who came to visit the shrine of Saint Canute in the cathedral bearing his name.
The poet Hans Christian Andersen is synonymous with Odense. Here he was born to poor parents, and all over the city, in his childhood home in Munkemøllestræde and at the museum his influence is still strongly felt. The poet’s life is the story of the ugly duckling that turns into a stately swan with embracing wings. Life was hard for the thoughtful man who never found the love of his life. To us he leaves his talents in literature, drawings, collages and imaginative art; all characterized by exuberant imagination, merriment and daring. Try the walking tour in Andersen’s spirit with or without a guide in the old cozy neighborhoods. Don’t miss his childhood home, which is furnished according to descriptions in the poet’s autobiographies.
Play your way through the heart of Odense and dive into a treasure chest filled with specialty shops, venues, markets, galleries, cobbled streets and green spaces. The locals welcome you with open arms and a smile. They know full well that they live in a magical city that is steeped in history and atmosphere. How could Odense be anything else with such a famous fellow-townsman as Hans Christian Andersen? Give your curiosity full reign and explore the vibrant city centre and all the nooks and crannies.
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