Hans Christian Andersen Quarter
Hometown of Denmark’s best-loved storyteller, Odense is a forward-thinking city with an ancient, well-preserved cobbled quarter crammed with half-timbered houses built in the late 18th century and now all spruced up with gaily painted yellow and ochre walls, white window frames, and sharply sloping roofs. Wandering around this historic quarter, you’ll come across several Andersen-related attractions, including his former home, now a museum containing a vast assortment of memorabilia, including his elaborate paper cut-outs, first imprints of his books, rooms reconstructed from his peripatetic times living in Copenhagen, and a gallery showcasing illustrations featured in his books. In the garden of the museum is The Tinderbox, an interactive center for kids, where fairy tales are told in the Storyteller’s Room. There’s a free downloadable walk in the footsteps of Andersen available from www.visitodense.com, which takes visitors on a journey past milestones in his life and ending up at the Gothic cathedral of Sankt Knuds, where he was confirmed in 1819. There are plenty of bars, cafés, and restaurants in the pedestrianized quarter, plus market stalls to check out and ancient buildings to inspect.