Erin De Santiago a RoamRight Blog Author

Odense, Denmark: The Birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen

Many travelers to Denmark spend time in Copenhagen and visit popular landmarks like the Little Mermaid statue, based on the fable by Hans Christian Andersen and made even more famous by Disney’s animated classic of the same name. While travelers enjoy visiting Hans Christian Andersen related sites within Copenhagen, you should head to Odense where he was born. Some of the attractions you’ll find in Odense include: 

Hans Christian Andersen Museum 

The building dates back to 1908 and provides insight to Hans Christian Andersen’s humble beginnings and showcases his life’s work through drawings and artwork. You’ll find interactive exhibits like a PC where you can look through his books, and listening posts where you can hear stories and poems. Unfortunately, the museum is currently closed undergoing renovations, but it’s still worthwhile walking by and taking a photo with the H.C. Andersen plaque. This is the house where H.C. Andersen was born. 

Hans Christian Andersen Childhood Home

This is the small house where Andersen lived from the age of 2 until he was 14. The humble home is near the St. Knud’s Cathedral and is only 18 square meters in size. Today, it has an exhibit highlighting Hans Christian Andersen’s links to the city of Odense. While Andersen lived in the house, there was a glovemaker’s family with many children who lived in the living room. Today, you’ll find a small exhibition of childhood memories, told by H.C. Andersen. 

It’s important to visit the official website before visiting his childhood home as opening hours may vary, especially during holidays. 

Funen Village

The Funen Village is an open-air museum including 30 buildings dating from the 17th to the 19th centuries, all of which were moved to the museum from various parts of the Funen region. You’ll see half-timbered homes, flower gardens, fenced enclosures, animals and livestock, a village pond and street, all of which are surrounded by cultivated fields. It is believed this is what the Funen countryside looked like during H.C. Andersen’s time. During the summer months, there are performances and other activities taking place. Don’t miss the family theater performances of Andersen’s fairytales from mid-July to mid-August.  

The Charity School 

Located on the corner of Paaskestraede and Adelgade, you’ll find the historic Charity School. Dating back to 1570, it was constructed in a typical Renaissance style with storey overhangs. It is believed that Hans Christian Andersen attended school here.    

The Washing Site

This is where Hans Christian Andersen’s mother and many other town residents did the washing for the region’s upper-class citizens. You’ll still see the stone slab they stood on. 

Fairy Tale Sculptures

You’ll see a variety of sculptures from Hans Christian Andersen’s works everywhere in the city. Walk along the streets and in parks and find these sculptures from various artists who were inspired by Andersen’s stories. These sculptures include: 

  • The Trinity
  • Hans Christian Andersen on a Bench
  • The Steadfast Tin Soldier
  • The Paper Boat
  • The Butterflies
  • The Mermaid
  • Wild Swans
  • Sea Horse
  • Emperor’s New Clothes
  • Woman with the Eggs
  • The Toad
  • Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep
  • The Darning Needle
  • The Flying Trunk

Be sure to download the fairy tale sculpture map from Visit Odense so you don’t miss any Hans Christian Andersen sculptures and attractions while traveling through the city. 

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About the Author

Erin De Santiago

Erin De Santiago, a RoamRight Blog Author Erin is a travel and food writer who currently splits her time between the Netherlands and Belize. She's traveled to 60+ countries on 5 continents with a passion for culinary travel, luxury hotels, and all things Disney. Her writing has appeared in numerous online outlets including Gadling, BootsnAll, CNN, Art of Backpacking, TravBuddy, CBS, and more. She was the major author of Belize's official visitor magazine, Destination Belize 2013; wrote the official AFAR Guide to Belize; and is also AFAR Magazine's local Belize expert.. In addition to writing for other publications, Erin maintains several blogs, Our Tasty Travels, No Checked Bags, Pooh's Travels, and the brand new Caye To Belize. Follow Erin on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.

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