| Southern Denmark (Syddanmark)|
| University of Southern Denmark, Odense University|
Odense Zoo, The Funen Village, Odense City Museums, Danish Railway Museum, Brandts Museum of Photographic Art
Odense is the third largest city in Denmark. It has a population of 173,814 as of January 2015, and is the main city of the island of Funen. 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, with a population of 173,814 (as of 1 January 2015), 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. 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.
There has been human settlement in the Odense area for over 4,000 years, although the name was not mentioned in writing until 988, and by 1070, it had already grown into a thriving city. Canute IV of Denmark, generally considered to be the last Viking king, was murdered by unruly peasants in Odenses St Albans Priory on 10 July 1086. Although the city was burned in 1249 following a royal rivalry, it quickly recovered and flourished as a centre of commerce in the Middle Ages. After a period of decline, large-scale plans for development were made during the 18th century, which led to the rebuilding of Odense Palace and the building of a canal to the Port of Odense, facilitating trade. In 1865, one of the largest railway terminals in Denmark was built, further increasing the population and commerce, and by 1900, Odense had reached a population of 35,000. Odenses Odinstarnet was the second tallest tower in Europe when built in 1935 but was destroyed by the Nazis during World War II. The University of Southern Denmark was established in 1966.
In the present day, Odense remains the commercial hub of Funen, and has a notable shopping district with a diversity of stores. Several major industries are located in the city including the Albani Brewery and GASA, Denmarks major dealer in vegetables, fruits and flowers. The city is home to Odense Palace, erected by King Frederick 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. In sports, Odense has a number of football clubs including OB, BM, B1909, and B1913, the Odense Bulldogs professional ice hockey team, and the city also hosts the H.C. Andersen Marathon. Odense is served by Odense Airport and Odense station, which lies on the line between Copenhagen and the Jutland peninsula.
Odense is situated in the northeastern centre of the island of Funen. By road, Odense is located 45 kilometres (28 mi) north of Svendborg, 144 kilometres (89 mi) to the south of Aarhus, 167 kilometres (104 mi) to the southwest of Copenhagen, 136 kilometres (85 mi) east of Esbjerg and 69 kilometres (43 mi) southeast of Kolding. Suburbs of Odense include Stige to the north, Seden, Bullerup and Agedrup to the northeast, Blommenslyst to the west, Bellinge to the southwest, and Neder Holluf and Hojby to the south.
The Odense River flows through Odense, to the south of the main shopping quarter. To the northeast of the city is the Odense Fjord, and to the northeast, along the 165 road to Kerteminde is Kerteminde Fjord. The fjord is accessed through the narrow passage of Gabets, between Hals and Skoven, and is connected by canal to the Port of Odense. The small fishing village of Bregnor lies 2.3 miles (3.7 km) to the southeast of the passage. A controlling depth of 11 metres (36 ft) is reported in the northern part of channel between the entrance to the fjord and Lindo Terminal Quay. The bight of Fyns Hoved to the northeast of the harbour curves south to form the approach to Odense Fjord. The eastern side of the bight between Fyns Hoved and Skoven, 5.5 metres (18 ft) to the south, is irregular, with a beach and hills behind it, and to the south of the bight is the small, shallow Korshavn Bay, with the Korshavn Light in the vicinity. Skoven is a bare, rugged peninsula, with Dalby Bay (Dalby Bugt) to the east.
In the southwestern part of the Odense Fjord are the islands of Vigelso and the 21 hectare Torno, although the latter is connected to the mainland by a 300 metre (980 ft)-long causeway. Vigelso is the largest island in the fjord at 132 hectares and is an important breeding ground for migratory birds. It is part of the Special Area of Conservation No. SPC 94, Odense Fjord under the EU Habitat and Birds Directives and has been subject to close monitoring, with the target to reach at least "good" ecological status by 2015. The island is low-lying, the highest point of Osterhoved only reaching six metres above the sea. There is a 25 hectare forest on the northern part of the island while the southern part consists of coastal meadows.
Odense is Funens most important industrial and commercial centre, and the citys central location in Denmark makes it one of the national convention and congress centres. Enterprises include the Albani Brewery, ABB (Asea Brown Boveri), Kansas Workwear (clothing), Plus Pack (canning and containers) as well as manufacturers in the electrical sector. In recent years there has been a general trend from manufacturing into the service sector. By 2002, 51% of the workforce was employed by the service sector while only 13% were working in industry. Lindo Wharf, once Denmarks largest shipbuilding facility, has now been converted into Lindo Industrial Park specialising in the production and storage of components for the offshore industries, creating a variety of new tenants. GASA, a large horticultural centre, supplies fruit, vegetables, flowers and plants to most of the country as well as for export. Established in 1988, Denmarks major commercial television channel TV 2 is based in Odense.
Nonnebakken, a hill in the Odense area, is the site of one of Denmarks six former Viking ring castles, built during the reign of Sweyn Forkbeard, who had forced his father Harold Bluetooth to leave the country and seek refuge by the Jomsvikings in Wollin (modern Poland) in around 975. The fort provided its occupier the command of the Odense River passing next to the hill. The archaeological remains of the fort were heavily damaged when a building for the Odd Fellow lodge was constructed on the site during the late nineteenth century.
The museums in Odense are mainly governed by the Odense City Museums, a department of the municipal government. Funens Art Museum (Fyns Kunstmuseum), formerly The Museum of Funens Abbey, is one of Denmarks oldest art museums, dating to 1885. It contains the principal works by Jens Juel, Dankvart Dreyer, P.S. Kroyer and H. A. Brendekilde. The open-air The Funen Village museum (Den Fynske Landsby) tries to emulate what country life was like in Denmark at the time of Andersens life and contains houses of historical Odense.
The Carl Nielsen Museum is dedicated to the life of Carl Nielsen and his wife, the sculptor Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen. It documents his life from his childhood in the town of Nr. Lyndelse, to his career and success on the European music scene, with his violins, his bugle and his grand piano on display, as well as a number of his musical scores, including six symphonies, three concertos, two operas, and chamber music and numerous songs.
The Montergarden cultural history museum of Odense is one of the most notable remaining Renaissance buildings of the city, built in 1646 by the nobleman Falk Goye. It has many artefacts related to the early Viking history in Odense, and is named after the narrow street Montestraede adjacent to the building, where a coin workshop once operated in around 1420. Located in a courtyard of half-timbered houses, the museum also has exhibits on Funens ancient history, as well as Odense in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
The Danish Railway Museum is the national railway museum of Denmark, the largest such museum in Scandinavia. It was established in 1975 in a former engine shed adjacent to the citys main railway station and has an area of over 10,000 metres (33,000 ft), with some 50 locomotives and railway carriages on 20 rail tracks from all periods of Danish rail history. The oldest steam engine dates back to 1869.