Though not the rival of the Shakespeare properties in Stratford-upon-Avon, the object of most Funen pilgrimages is to the house of the greater spinner of fairy tales himself, Hans Christian Andersen. When it opened in 1908, it became one of the first museums in the world focusing on the life and work of a single author. In various memorabilia, such as hundreds of documents, manuscripts, and reprints of his books in 100 languages (including Zulu), you learn of the writer's life from his birth as the son of a poor cobbler in Odense, to his hard times in Copenhagen, until his eventual debut upon the world stage.
We even learn about some aspects of his love life, as when he fell for Jenny Lind, "the Swedish Nightingale," who did not return his affection. Letters to such fellow famous writers as Charles Dickens are also on exhibit. The storyteller lives again as you get to see some of his "props," such as his famous walking stick, Fred Astaire-like top hat, and battered portmanteau.
On one visit, we encountered an Arab journalist who claimed "Andersen stole his fairy tales from The Arabian Nights." That provocative statement simply isn't true. It'd be better to say that he was "influenced" by the Arabian classic.
- © Frommer's 2013
Ask a local about H. C. Andersens Hus (H. C. Andersens Museum)
Ask Odense Locals about H. C. Andersens Hus (H. C. Andersens Museum)
- Highly Recommended 2010