Travel journal from Germany
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The home of fairytales

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Today, storyteller Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) is the most famous Dane in the world. He is also the writer whose works are translated into the most languages. The poet's humble birthplace in Odense is now known as Hans Christian Andersen's House and…

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From slum to fairytale

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Time / Periode 1805 1908
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When Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense on 2 April 1805, his parents had no house of their own. They lived where they worked in service, so when Hans Christian came into the world he lived with his father's aunt in plain rented rooms in Hans Jensens Stræde. The house stood in the heart of the infamous poor quarter where one in three children was born outside marriage. As an adult, the great storyteller could not or would not point out his birthplace. He probably tried to gloss over it. But when the decision was made in 1905 to open a museum for his work, it was considered appropriate to put it in his birthplace in the slum quarter. After all, the writer may have come from desperate poverty, but he rose above his social background. The museum opened its doors to visitors on the writer's birthday in 1908.

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From slum to fairytale

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