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The city of Odense ( ) is the third largest city in Denmarkmarker. The name Odense comes from the Norse god Odin.

Odense city has a population of 158,678 ( ) and is the main city of the island of Funenmarker. It is the seat of Odense Municipality and was the seat of Odense Countymarker until 1970, and Funen County from 1970 until January 1, 2007 when the county became part of Region Syddanmarkmarker.


For the Catholic ecclesiastical history, see Roman Catholic bishopric of Odense

Odense (from Odins , meaning "Odin's shrine", referring to the god Odin of Denmark's indigenous Norse mythology), is one of the oldest cities of Denmark and had its 1000th anniversary in 1988. To celebrate this, a forest named "the Thousand Year Forest" (Danish: Tusindårsskoven) was cultivated. The shrine of Saint Canute ( ) in Saint Canute's Cathedralmarker held great attraction for pilgrims throughout the Middle Ages.

In the 16th century the town was the meeting-place of several parliaments, and down to 1805 it was the seat of the provincial assembly of Funenmarker.

Odense's most famous landmark was Odinstårnetmarker (The Odin Tower) constructed in 1935, as the second-tallest tower in Europe, only surpassed by the Eiffel Towermarker. Odinstårnet was blown up by a Danish Nazi group in 1944 and has never been rebuilt. However, a miniature model of it now stands in the residential area Odinsparken in the area where the original tower was.

Until the beginning of the Danish industrial revolution, Odense was also the 2nd largest city in modern Denmark, but has in recent times been overtaken by Aarhusmarker.

Famous residents of Odense


Odense Palace
Sign post
Pavement decoration from the 2005 Hans Christian Andersen year
Several large industries are located in or near Odense. Denmark's biggest shipyard, Odense Steel Shipyard owned by the A.P.marker Møller-Mærsk Groupmarker is situated in the neighbouring town Munkebomarker. The biggest sales auction of vegetables, fruits and flowers (GASA) in Denmark is situated here. The Albani Brewery brews the local Odense Pilsner amongst others.

The commercial national television company TV 2 is based in Odense.

In the South-eastern part of Odense the Rosengårdscentret shopping mall is located. The mall is one of the oldest and biggest in Denmark with 98,000 m2 of commercially used area.

The city's central location in Denmark makes it one of the nationwide convention and congress centers.


The main campus of the University of Southern Denmarkmarker is located in Odense. A branch of University College Lillebaelt ( ) can also be found in Odense.


Odense is the home of a number of football clubs, the most important are OB, FC FYN, B1909, B1913, FC Campus and Dalum FC.

Tourist attractions

Saint Canute's Cathedralmarker ( ) was formerly connected with the great Benedictine monastery of the same name, and is one of the largest and finest buildings of its kind in Denmark. It is constructed of brick in a pure Gothic style. Originally dating from 1081–1093, it was rebuilt in the 13th century. Under the altar lies Canute (Danish: Knud), the patron saint of Denmark, who had planned to conquer England from William of Normandy. He was slain in an insurrection at Odense in 1086. Odense is also the see of the bishop of Funen. * The cathedral has the skeletons of both the Saint/King and his brother on public display, it also boasts of one of Denmark's finest altarpieces, a magnificent triptych by Claus Berg. A large fragment of Byzantine cloth is displayed next to the two skeletons.

Kings John ( ) and Christian II are buried in the city.

Our Lady's Church, built in the 13th century and restored in 1851–1852 and again in 1864, contains a carved 16th century altarpiece by Claus Berg of Lübeckmarker.

Odense Palace was erected by King Frederick IV, who died there in 1730.

There is a theatre as well as a symphony orchestra, a zoo, and the Funen Villagemarker (Den Fynske Landsby) which is an open air museum with old houses typical for Funen.

The City Hall has a small scar from a battle between Germans and members of the Danish Resistance on 5 May 1945. The city's coat of arms - located above the main entrance to City Hall - is damaged. On close inspection, the kneecap of Saint Canute is penetrated by a bullet.

The 4 most visited attractions in 2007 were:

1. Odense Zoo - 420,254 visitors

2. The Funen Village - 105,040 visitors

3. Danish Railway museum - 97,759 visitors

4. H.C. Andersens House - 80,622 visitors

Other attractions:


The city lies close to Odense Fjordmarker on the Odense Rivermarker (Odense Å). Its railway station lies on the route between Copenhagenmarker and Jutland, the peninsular mainland. A 7.5 metre (25 ft) deep canal, dug from 1796 to 1806 , gives access to the town from the fjord.

Accessibility to Odense was greatly increased when the ferry service between the two main Danish islands, Zealandmarker and Funenmarker, was replaced by the Great Belt Bridgemarker - opened in 1997 for rail traffic, 1998 for road traffic. When the bridge opened, it was the second longest suspension bridge in the world. Its construction greatly cut transportation time between Odense and the Danish capital, Copenhagenmarker. Copenhagen can now be reached by trains from Odense in 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Odense is served by Odense Airportmarker.


The land area of Odense is 304 km2, with a population density of 611 per km2 (2005 figures from Helsingin Seudun Aluesarjat).The population of Odense city, per January 1 of a given year, according to Danmarks Statistik.
Year Population Year Population
|| 138,348 || 1999 || 144,940
1981 136,646 2000 145,062
1986 137,286 2001 144,849
1989 138,339 2002 144,636
1990 138,986 2003 145,374
1992 140,886 2004 145,554
1994 143,029 2006 152,060
1996 144,518 2007 158,453
1997 145,354 2008 158,163
1998 145,296 2009 158,678

Twin cities

For a full list of twin cities, see Odense Municipality

See also


  1. BEF44: Population 1st January, by urban areasdatabase from Statistics Denmark
  2. Odense Municipality Statistisk 10 års oversigt 2008 -Tabel 40 [1]
  3. Statistics Denmark tabel BEF4A 1976-2004
  4. Statistics Denmark tabel BEF44 2006-

External links

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