County: Fyns amt.
Altitude: 25 m (80 ft). Population: 168,000.
Postal code: DK-5000. Telephone code: 09.
Odense Turistforening, viV RSdhuset; tel. 12 75 20.
HOTELS. H. C. Andersen, Claus Bergsgade 7, 300 Windsor, Vinegade 45, 110 Motel Brasilia, Blommenslyst, 120 Grand, Jernbanegade 18, 234 Frederik Vis Kro, Rugardsvej 590, 81 Ansgar Missionshotel, 0. Stationsvej 32, 80 Ydes, Hans Tausensgade 11, 46 b.
YOUTH HOSTEL. Kragsbjerggarden, Kragsbjergvej 121.
CAMP SITES. Autocamping Hunderup, Odensevej 102; Blommenslyst, Middelfartvej 494.
RESTAURANTS. Den gamle Kro, Overgade 23; Naesbylund Kro, Bogensevej 105; NassbyhovedSkov, Kanalvej 52; Skoven, Hunderup Skov; Rode, 0. Stationsvej 34; Under Lindetraeet, Ramsherred 2; Franck-A, Jernbanegade 4.
Hans Christian Andersen Monument, Odense
Odense, Hans Christian Andersen’s home town, lies on the island of Funen, on the important main road (E66, A1) from Copenhagen to Jutland. Denmark’s third largest town (after Copenhagen and Arhus), it is located on the little Odense, which flows into the Odensefjord a bit N of the town. It is one of the oldest towns in Denmark and a considerable commercial and industrial city. It has a University (founded in 1966).
HISTORY. The name of Odense first appears in the documents in 988, when the bishop of the town received a letter of safe-conduct from the German Emperor, Otto. No doubt it was originally a cult-site devoted to the worship of Odin (Wotan): hende its name. In 1086, the Danish king Knud (Canute) was murdered in St Alban’s church here; 1 5 years later he was canonised by the Pope. An ecclesiastical headquarters and place of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages, Odense survived secularisation during the Reformation and remained an important commercial town. At the beginning ofthe 19th c. Kerteminde, 1 5 km (10 miles) away, became the port of Odense. The old town was gradually occupied by shops and businesses, so that although it has preserved its original layout it has few old buildings. Odense’s most celebrated son is the fairytale writer, Hans Christian Andersen (the initials H.C. are pronounced ho-tsay in Danish; the cin Andersen is not pronounced). He was born here on 2 April 1805, but he moved to Copenhagen, where he became famous, because he felt unappreciated in his native town. This feeling is reflected in the story, The Ugly Duckling.
SIGHTS. Hans Christian Andersen is believed to have been born in a house on Hans Jensens Straede, H. C. Andersens Hus, which has been restored and is now a museum. It is a single-storey half-timbered house which contains furniture, pictures, manuscripts, documents and books belonging to the writer. Between the ages of 3 and 1 5 he lived in a house in Munkem0llestraede, H. C. Andersens Barndomshjem, now also a museum, which gives a good idea of the living conditions of a modest family in the early 19th c.
From Hans Christian Andersen’s childhood home it is only a few steps (through the H. C. Andersen Park, with a statue of the writer) to Odense’s Cathedral, St Knud’s Church, named after the Danish saint who founded it. The original building was burned down in the 12th c. and, after another fire, Bishop Giscio (13th c.) began the construction of a new church. It took almost 200 years to complete it. A notable feature of this Gothic church is the crypt, with the tombs of King Knud and his brother Benedikt. Behind the high
altar is a huge reredos with magnificent carvings by Claus Berg (bronze font, 1 620; pulpit, 1 750; carillon).
Opposite the Cathedral is the Town Hall (Tourist Information Office), a late 1 9th c. building modelled on Italian town halls in Gothic style, with an extension (1939-55) in concrete and red tiles. It contains many works of art, including an interesting sculpture, Spring on Funen. In front of the Town Hall can be seen a statue of Knud by Utzon Franck. To the E, at the end of Albanitorv, is St Alban’s Church (R.C.) Farther E, by way of Overgade, is the Old Mint (Mtfntergar-den), now a Museum of Cultural History part of a complex which includes other 16th and 17th c. houses and a Baroque warehouse (collections of stoneware and silver and material on the history of Odense). Just beyond the Old Mint is Vor Frue Kirke (Church of Our Lady), a late Romanesque aisleless brick church with a partly preserved group of Romanesque windows in the E wall (tower, 15th pulpit, 1 639).
Adjoining the Kongens Have (King’s Park) is St Hans’ Church (oldest parts, the SW wall is an external pulpit accessible from inside the church (the only external pulpit in Denmark). The monastic buildings, in the park, were converted by Frederick IV into a Baroque palace, which was remodelled in neo-classical style by Frederick VII (1841).
In Jernbanegade, which runs from the station towards the middle of the town, we find the Museum of Art (works by Funen painters; prehistoric section). Beyond the station is a Railway Museum.
Two of Odense’s more modern churches are particularly interesting, the Fredens-kirke and the Munkebjerg church. The Fredenskirke (Peace Church), in Skibs-husvej, was built in 1 91 6-20; the design (by Jensen Klint) was originally intended for a church in Arhus which was never built; an adaptation of the brick churches of the Gothic period, it was a preliminary study for Klint’s famous Grundtvig Church in Copenhagen. The Munkebjerg church, in Osterbaeksvej, was the result of an architectural competition in 1 942. The winning design was for an unusual polygonal structure, but local resistance prevented the construction of the church until 1962, when another team of architects took over and produced a building similar to the original plan, the unconventional style having, in the meantime, become generally accepted. The church is hexagonal, withtheairofa huge tent, and has a free-standing tower.
SURROUNDINGS. 4 km (2i miles) S ofthe middle of the town, in Hunderup Skov, is Den fynske Landsby, an open-air museum containing 20 old Funen buildings (farms, houses, a blacksmith’s workshop (forge), a mill, an inn, a brickworks). The museum represents a village of about 1750. Agriculture is practised according to traditional methods. Various cultural activities. Boating on the OdenseS.
To the SW of the town are a Zoo and the Tivoli Amusement Park. On the southern outskirts is Dalum, with a church which originally belonged to a Benedictine house, moved here from Odense about 1200 (interesting wall paintings). Farther E is Fraugde, with the half-timbered 16th c. manor-house of Fraugdegard; in the late 17th c. it belonged to Denmark’s most famous ecclesiastical poet, Thomas Kingo (later a bishop).