'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 2 April 2019

Bookish Places: Hans Christian Andersen's Odense

One of several HC Andersen statues in Odense (Photo: Sarah Steed)
The Kids' Book Review Bookish Places posts are a chance to celebrate museums, galleries and other places with a connection to children's literature and reading. The posts are compiled by KBR's Consultant Librarian, Sarah Steed, our intrepid traveller and hunter-gatherer of amazing places!

Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales are known all over the world, and he is much celebrated in his home country, Denmark, where they usually refer to him as HC Andersen.

Visitors to Denmark can follow a fairy tale, almost literally, by tracing a route through Odense, the city of Hans Christian Andersen's birth. HC Andersen's Odense is a wonderful day out for families, and anyone interested in fairy tales, the writer, and his history.

Odense, Denmark's third largest city, is located on the island of Funen and easily reachable by train from the Danish capital, Copenhagen. The trip takes 70-90 minutes or so (depending on if you get a fast train or not). If you're driving, it's about 45 kilometres.

From the Odense train station, follow footprints inlaid on the footpath to visit 13 sites of significance in HC Andersen's life.
Follow the footprints in HC Andersen's Odense (Photo: Sarah Steed)
Head to the HC Andersen Museum first, where you can buy a ticket that will get you entry into five different museums/experiences, all of which are worth seeing.

1. HC Andersen Museum -- An extensive exhibition with artefacts and detailed information about HC Andersen, his life and career.
HC Andersen Museum (Photo: Sarah Steed)
HC Andersen Museum (Photo: Sarah Steed)
2. HC Andersen's Hus (The Birthplace) -- A tiny yellow house, in what was at the time a poor area of the city.
HC Andersen's birthplace (Photo: Sarah Steed)
Inside HC Andersen's birthplace (Photo: Sarah Steed)
3. HC Andersen's Barndomshjem (The Childhood Home) -- Another small house, this one being where he lived from 2--14 years of age.
HC Andersen's childhood home (Photo: Sarah Steed)
4. Montergarden -- A museum of cultural history with lots to learn about the city.

5. Fyrtojet -- The 'Elf Mound' at Montergarden, a play experience for children, inspired by HC Andersen's fairy tales.
A peek at the play spaces inside the 'Elf Mound' (Photo: Sarah Steed)
The 5-in-1 ticket comes with a neat little wristband and a booklet which includes a map and details of each of the sites. The trail will also take you past other buildings with a connection to HC Andersen, sculptures, and offers some simple activities for young children.

HC Andersen's Odense booklet (Photo: Sarah Steed)
HC Andersen's Odense wristband (Photo: Sarah Steed)
You can fit the whole trail into one day, although spending a night or two in Odense so you can take your time, is also an option. Odense, particularly its historic city centre, is pretty and worth the effort of exploring.
(Photo: Sarah Steed)
(Photo: Sarah Steed)
(Photo: Sarah Steed)
(Photo: Sarah Steed)
Interested in taking a Bookish Places trip around the world with Sarah? Enjoy this sensational map, also created by Sarah, and check out our other Bookish Places posts here.