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Odense has close associations with Hans Christian Andersen who is remembered above all for his fairy tales.He was born in the city in 1805 and spent his childhood years there.

Hans’s Monastery, and the construction of St Hans’s Church by the Knights Hospitallers.The city gates were demolished in 1851 and soon afterwards development extended to the area south of the river.Glove production, which had begun in the 18th century, developed into one of the most important industries while the harbour facilities were further expanded.After the Danish Reformation, involving the suppression of the Catholic bishopric in 1536, the city enjoyed a sustained period of prosperity from the 1530s to the mid-17th century, becoming northern Funen's commercial centre.One of the main sources of income was the sale of cattle, providing substantial funds for the construction of fine half-timbered houses for the local merchants.A period of stagnation ensued until the end of the 18th century.

Dramatic changes began in Odense in the 18th century to modernise the city and a great plan was drawn up for development.

By road, Odense is located 45 kilometres (28 mi) north of Svendborg, 144 kilometres (89 mi) to the south of Aarhus and 167 kilometres (104 mi) to the southwest of Copenhagen.

The city is the seat of Odense Municipality and was the seat of Odense County until 1970, and Funen County from 1970 until 1 January 2007, when Funen County became part of the Region of Southern Denmark.

Several major industries are located in the city including the Albani Brewery and GASA, Denmark's major dealer in vegetables, fruits and flowers.

The city is home to Odense Palace, erected by King Frederik IV who died there in 1730, the Odense Theatre, the Odense Symphony Orchestra, and the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, situated in the house that was the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen. Odense is served by Hans Christian Andersen Airport and Odense station, which lies on the line between Copenhagen and the Jutland peninsula.

All this provided an ideal basis for industrialisation, attracting a wide range of industries including iron and metals, textiles, and food and beverages.