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.