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Odense(ō`thənsə), city (1992 pop. 140,886), capital of Fyn co., S central Denmark, a seaport linked by canal with the Odense Fjord (an arm of the Kattegat). Denmark's third largest city, it is an important commercial, industrial, and cultural center and a rail junction. There are large shipyards and plants manufacturing metal goods, motor vehicles, machinery, textiles, and processed food. Founded in the 10th cent., Odense is one of the oldest cities of N Europe. It has been an episcopal see since 1020. Of note in the city are a 12th-century church and the 13th-century Cathedral of St. Knud, one of the finest examples of Danish Gothic architecture. Odense has several colleges and a university (1964). The house of the writer Hans Christian Andersen, who was born in Odense in 1805, is now a museum.
a city and seaport in Denmark, situated along the lower course of the Odense River, on Fyn Island. It is the administrative center of Odense amt. Population, 137,300 (1971). Odense is the center of the country’s shipbuilding industry. Other important industries are machine building, the assembly of automobiles and bicycles, the production of elevators and electrical equipment, food processing, and the manufacture of textiles and clothing. The city has a university.
Odense grew up around a medieval nucleus dominated by the Gothic Cathedral of St. Canute (brick, 13th to 15th centuries) and the Church of Our Lady (12th century). When the city center was reconstructed between the 1930’s and the 1950’s, the old quarter was preserved, including the museum house of H. C. Andersen, who was born in Odense. The Old Canal, built in 1803, connects Odense with a port in the northeast and with a new industrial region. The city has a museum of art (Danish painting), a museum of history and culture, and an open-air museum (Fünen Village).