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If you were to ask who the most famous Danish person in history is, many would probably answer that it's Hans Christian Andersen. After all, the author penned many of the world's most beloved fairytales. From a very early age, millions of people were already introduced to his stories. But once upon a time, Hans Christian Andersen lived as a humble author in Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark. If you go there now, you can follow in his footsteps and visit places where the famous writer actually visited, as well as a few spots that the city has dedicated to him. Here are some you might want to check out!
Out of all the neighborhoods in Copenhagen, Hans Christian Andersen chose the scenic Nyhavn to be his hometown. Although he was born in the nearby town of Odense, it was at this coastal district where he stayed in the Danish capital. Looking over the Nyhavn River as he wrote his stories, it's not farfetched to assume that this bustling area inspired many of his beloved fairytales. In fact, the place where lodged here around the time his first story was published, Nyhavn 20 (also known as Boel House) still stands to this very day. It's a stark red house located along the coast.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
The Round Tower
Copenhagen's famous Round Tower doesn't just serve as one of the most famous attractions in the city. It's also a place that has inspired Hans Christian Andersen often. In fact, it was said that the Round Tower was one of the first spots he visited when he first came to the Danish capital. With its Medieval look and grandiose appeal, it's pretty clear how the author of many famous fairy tales got his inspiration from this tower. The monument itself has even appeared in many of Andersen's works. The most prominent of which is his fifth novel, 'To Be, or Not To Be.' The story's protagonist, Niels Bryde, grew up in the Round Tower.
Opened in 1748, The Royal Danish Theatre has served as the center of performing arts in Copenhagen for many centuries now. It became central to the city's high society, not to mention a perfect launchpad for emerging artists in Denmark's history. This, of course, includes Hans Christian Andersen. It's said that he first came to the theater when he was 14 years old and worked here doing odd jobs, all while he imagined eventual fairytale masterpieces. Even after his death, the theatre then performed many stage adaptations of his works, ranging from ballets to operas and more.
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Axel Kuhlmann
And now, to the final place in Copenhagen that the Hans Christian Andersen himself went to: the Assistens Cemetery. You can probably already tell what the author 'came here' for. It's in this prominent cemetery where the famous writer was laid to rest upon his death in 1875. Fans of the fairytale author ought not to miss visiting the place when you go to Copenhagen. Located between the central districts of Frederiksberg and Nørrebro, it's fairly easy to get to via public transport. And once you reach his grave, which features a tall marker to let everyone know the historic man who's laid to rest here, you'll likely be filled up with all sorts of emotions!
Source: Flickr.com/ Alex-David Baldi
Hans Christian Andersen Memorial
Now, let's talk about the places in Copenhagen that pay tribute to Hans Christian Andersen. First up are the statues of the legendary author which serve as memorials for his legacy. There are actually two in the Danish capital worth seeing. The first is located in King's Garden, featuring the author reaching out with a book, as if he were telling you to listen to his story. The other one features a more stately Hans Christian Andersen at the City Hall Square. With his top hat and cane, he looks out into the distance; out the world that was inspired by his fairytales.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
The Little Mermaid Statue
Of course, you can't forget about the iconic Little Mermaid statue along the Langelinie Pier. Before she became the beloved Disney heroine, 'The Little Mermaid' was the titular character of Hans Christian Andersen's most famous fairytale. The story of a mermaid princess who fell in love with a human prince and gave up her voice (and eventually her life) for his love resonates with people to this day. And in Copenhagen, the city that once housed the author, a statue of the Little Mermaid, perched atop a large rock, serves as a symbol of tragic and everlasting love.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Hans Christian Andersen Experience
Finally, if you want a more introspective and interactive way to learn all about Hans Christian Andersen, check out the Hans Christian Andersen Experience. Complete with life-sized dioramas, beautiful displays, and even a few historic artifacts, the museum tells the story of the beloved fairytale author who moved from Odense to Copenhagen and became the most famous Dane in the country's history. Most of his life is replicated in this theme park ride-like attraction as if you're walking through an animated version of his experiences. Since it's a hotspot the entire family can enjoy, you won't want to miss it!
Source: In The Loop YouTube Channel
Hans Christian Andersen has earned his place in history as one of the most beloved authors in the world. The fairytales he has created live on in people's hearts. If you want to learn more about the famed writer, Copenhagen is the place to be!