Odense Domkirke


A feast of whitewashed Gothic arches and vaulting, Odense’s imposing cathedral took 200 years to build (1300–1499) with the tower added in the 1580s.

Its most intriguing attraction lies in the chilly crypt, down an inconspicuous staircase to the right of the altar. Here you’ll find a glass case containing the 900-year-old skeleton of Denmark’s patron saint, King Knud (Canute) II, alongside the bones of his younger brother Benedikt. Both were killed by Jutland peasants during a revolt against taxes; legend holds that Knud was murdered while kneeling to pray in a wooden church that was the cathedral's forebear. Although Knud was less than saintly, the pope canonised him in 1101 in a move that helped secure the Catholic Church in Denmark as well as Odense's status as a medieval pilgrim magnet.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Odense attractions

1. Oceania

0.05 MILES

With a classical face, seal-flipper feet and a triumphalist six-pack tummy, this astonishing female figure reclines naked on Odense's central square. But…

2. HC Andersens Barndomshjem

0.08 MILES

The small childhood home of Hans Christian Andersen paints a picture of the writer's poverty-stricken childhood. He lived here from 1807 to 1819, aged two…

3. Sankt Albani Kirke

0.11 MILES

With its seemingly endless, sharpened spire, Sankt Albani Kirke is an 1867 Catholic church whose exterior is interesting for the wooden knight and naive,…

4. Stoppenålen

0.15 MILES

These two shaped-stone pillars look provocatively sexual, but are supposed to represent the proud if hapless 'darning needle' that's the antihero of Hans…

5. Paaskestræde

0.16 MILES

For one of Odense's prettiest street scenes, stand at the corner of Adelgade and watch the little cottages tumbling down Paaskestræde towards the…

6. Tinsoldaten

0.16 MILES

The one-legged military figure outside a branch of Nelle's cafe-bar is not to commemorate a historical conflict but represents the Tin Soldier, sad hero…

7. Børnekulturhuset Fyrtøjet


In the charming Fyrtøjet, children are encouraged to explore the world of Hans Christian Andersen through music and storytelling.

8. Albani Brewery

0.23 MILES

Founded in 1859, the city's ubiquitous Odense beers are brewed by Albani right in the heart of town, though the company is now part of conglomerate Royal…