Are you a Hans Christian Andersen fan? If so, this little Danish city should be on the top of your travel list! Find out more about the man who wrote some of the most popular children's stories.
Odense is a small Danish city on the island of Funen. With a population just shy of 180,000, it's the country's third largest city, and is the main city on the island. But what makes this city extra special, is its history. Remember the stories you read as a child like The Emperor's New Clothes or The Princess and the Pea? These were written by the legendary Hans Christian Andersen, who was born right here in Odense. Explore this cute city and find out more about the author of your favourite childhood fairytales.
This adorable yellow building is the supposed birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen. Inside, you'll find a small museum devoted to the writer, giving information about his life and his birth. The house was shared back then between many families; Andersen was unfortunately born into a time of extreme poverty, and a high child mortality rate. This shows just how amazing it is that he ended up being such a successful author. There is also another, larger HC Andersen museum close to this house which exhibits manuscripts, paper clippings, some of his belongings, and his famous top hat.
The childhood home
This half-timbered building is the childhood home of Hans Christian Andersen. He moved here with his family at the age of two, and they stayed there until he was fourteen. This building is where you'll find a lot of hints of inspiration for the stories that Andersen would write in the years to come. The few plants in the back garden, the cobbled street, the small windows and the tiny bedrooms, elements of all that you see in this house are peppered throughout his later writing.
Sculpted by Louis Hasselriis in 1888 and erected in 1949, this statue of HC Andersen stands proudly beside the river in the southern part of the city. It looks onto the Eventyrhaven (meaning Adventure or Fairytale Garden) and is engraved with the words "Hans Christian Andersen, Born in Odense, 2 April 1805" in Danish. As you walk around the city, you will also come across several statues depicting characters and scenes from his most famous stories, from Thumbelina to The Little Mermaid.
The Fairytale Garden
The Fairytale Garden, just a stone's throw from Andersen's statue, was originally a private book club for the wealthy residents of Odense when it opened in the late 19th century. Since becoming public in the 1940s, the gardens have been relandscaped and new parts have been added, including an herb garden behind the cathedral. The garden is also one location of the annual Hans Christian Andersen Parade, which consists of performances, parties and music events throughout the city, spread over the summer months.