Odense ō´ᵺənsə [key], city (1992 pop. 140,886), capital of Fyn co., S central Denmark, a seaport linked by canal with the Odense Fjord (an arm of the Kattegat). Denmark's third largest city, it is an important commercial, industrial, and cultural center and a rail junction. There are large shipyards and plants manufacturing metal goods, motor vehicles, machinery, textiles, and processed food. Founded in the 10th cent., Odense is one of the oldest cities of N Europe. It has been an episcopal see since 1020. Of note in the city are a 12th-century church and the 13th-century Cathedral of St. Knud, one of the finest examples of Danish Gothic architecture. Odense has several colleges and a university (1964). The house of the writer Hans Christian Andersen, who was born in Odense in 1805, is now a museum.
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