H.C. Andersen was born in Odense in 1805. At the age of 14 he decided to seek his fortune at “The Royal Theatre” in Copenhagen. For a period of three years, H.C. Andersen was attached to the theatre without any fixed salary after which he received help to complete a grammar school education. Having completed the education in 1829, the young man began to indulge in poet work on full time. H.C. Andersen was approximately 1,85 m. high, and 25 cm. taller than the average of his contemporaries. The man with the long legs, the characteristic head with the deep-seated eyes, and the big nose was not exactly known as a contemporary ideal of beauty. People thought he was ugly, and his outer did not make a positive reaction for people he met. This applied though only to the first impression. Those who got to know H.C. Andersen found his face alive, his figure stately, and his appearance elegant.
The Yellow Cornerhouse
The birthplace of the writer lies in the old city of Odense. The H.C. Andersen Museum opened in 1908 as a museum focusing on the life and work of the writer, making it one of the first writer museums in the world.
When H.C. Andersen was born, this part of Odense was a poor area, and afterwards when H.C. Andersen was asked about his place of birth, he always replied that he could not remember where he was born.
Close to St. Canute’s Cathedral in Odense you find the house where H.C. Andersen lived from the age of two until he was fourteen. It was from this home that his childhood memories sprang. The house in Munkemøllestræde is only 18 m2 in size. Today, it houses an exhibition on H.C. Andersen’s links to the city of Odense. The exhibition in the childhood home conforms completely to the description H.C. Andersen gave of it in his autobiographies.
The Nyhavn Room
The Nyhavn Room at Nyhavn number 18 was H.C. Andersen’s last apartment, which also was his study, where he worked on many of his fairytales. Among others, he has authored: The Ugly Duckling, Thumbelina, Clumsy Hans, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, The Princess on the Pea, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Tinder Box, The Swineherd, The Little Mermaid, The Nightingale, The Shepherdess and the Chimney-Sweep, The Little Match Girl and many more.