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Odense, Home of Hans Christian Andersen

Odense, Denmark

Denmark’s Odense is the birthplace of beloved storyteller Hans Christian Andersen. A museum devoted to his life, packed with mementos and visitors, has a fairy-tale theater starring a chatty HC and a cast of characters from his stories.

Complete Video Script

Odense, Denmark's third-largest city, with nearly 200,000 people, is big and industrial. The city, like almost every town in Denmark, has a traffic free shopping street that gives it a strolling charm. While Odense is relatively non-descript, the reason tourists stop in is to visit the home of its famous son, Hans Christian Andersen.

Today his humble birth house stands on a cobbled lane. It's literally the corner of a museum packed with mementos from the writer's life. The exhibit entertains and inspires a steady stream of children and tourists.

You'll see a display on the age in which Andersen lived — 1805 to 1875 — and letters from his life and times. A library shows Andersen's books from all around the world. His tales were translated into nearly 150 languages. And headsets play a selection of fairy tales.

Sketches from his extensive travels were souvenirs of experiences and adventures that would eventually help inspire his famous tales. Children loved the way he'd fashion a paper cutout as he told a story, revealing his creation with the finale of his tale.

Young Anderson fans gather daily through the summer in the museum garden's fairy-tale theater. Wide eyed and enthralled, they're entertained by old HC himself and a cast of characters right out of his favorite fairy tales. It all culminates, hopefully, in a happy ending.