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City and municipality (2000 est.: 183,912), north-central Funen Island, Denmark. Sacred in pagan times as the sanctuary of Odin, the Norse god of war, it first appears in records c. AD 1000. A bishop's seat from the 10th century, it became a centre of pilgrimage to the shrine of Canute IV. It was burned in 1247, but many medieval structures remain. It grew after its port and harbour were built and the Odense Canal was opened in 1804. Denmark's third largest city, it is a shipbuilding and manufacturing centre. The home of Hans Christian Andersen, who was born there, is now a museum.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Odense, visit Britannica.com.