The Hans Christian Andersen Center


- An oral tradition in Odense concerning Hans Christian Andersen's birthplace was the reason why in 1905, at the centenary of Andersen's birth, the City of Odense acquired the house at the corner of Hans Jensens Stræde and Bangs Boder with a view to establishing a museum for the poet (and it is this house which is now the core of the Hans Christian Andersen Museum). However, frequently doubts have been aired as to whether this house was indeed the birthplace. The parents never lived there, and Andersen himself in a conversation totally rejected having been born "in that hovel".

In an article ("Man gaaer først saa gruelig meget Ondt igjennem... - om H.C. Andersens slægt" (First one has to suffer so much - on Hans Christian Andersen's family) in the year book Fynske Minder 2000, published by Odense Bys Museer (Odense City Museums), Einar Askgaard, curator at the Museum, has argued that this is indeed true. His argument is that among the three families in the house in 1805, there was an aunt of Hans Christian Andersen's father (a widow of a brother of Andersen's paternal grandmother!). According to Askgaard it was therefore probable that Andersen's mother brought her child into the world in this house - however, without living there. As the aunt in question is not really "family", however, it is still possible to question the probability of this designation of the birthplace. The most authentic Andersen house in Odense remains the childhood home in Munkemøllestræde, where the family lived from 1807.